Bo Stråth


Bo Stråth (Curriculum Vitae) was 2007-2014 Finnish Academy Distinguished Professor in Nordic, European and World History and Director of Research at the Department of World Cultures / Centre of Nordic Studies (CENS), University of Helsinki. 1997-2007 he was Professor of Contemporary History at the European University Institute in Florence, and 1991-1996 Professor in History at the University of Gothenburg. He is a member of The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters.

Myth and Memory in the Construction of Community

by | Jun 20, 2000 | Anthologies, Publications

Historical Patterns in Europe and Beyond

Myth and Memory in the Construction of Community

Bo Stråth (ed.), Myth and Memory in the Construction of Community, Historical Patterns in Europe and Beyond. Multiple Europes No. 9. P.I.E.-Peter Lang, Brussels 2000


Across and beyond Europe, history is being rewritten in the wake of the Cold War’s dissolution. An example of this process is the reevaluation of the part played by resistance movements during World War II in country after country. This book deals with the role of myth and memory in forming collective identities, with a particular emphasis on national identities. Myth and memory should not be seen as clearly demarcated from history. They are history in ceaseless transformation and reconstruction; the image of the past is continuously reconsidered and reconstituted in the light of an ever-changing present.

History is an interpretation of the past, not the past, as it really was. The key question of this book concerns the role myth and memory play in the construction of communities and what the distinction between collective myth and memory signifies. The discussion of this question is undertaken in theoretically oriented chapters as well as 15 case studies of national patterns from Scandinavia in the north to Italy and Israel in the south, and from the USA in the west to Russia in the East, as well as local community constructions in working-class districts in Glasgow and Roubaix and the national politics of architecture in Berlin and Rome.



Prologue. Wolfgang Pavlik. The Image of the Other: Ahnengalerie. James Kaye

Chapter 1. Introduction. Myth, Memory and History in the Construction of Community. Bo Stråth

Myth, Memory and History

Chapter 2. Catastrophe, Communal Memory and Mythic Discourse: The Uses of Myth in the Reconstruction of Society. Hayden White

Chapter 3. Maurice Halbwachs: Memory and the Feeling of Identity. Lutz Niethammer

Chapter 4. Spinosa on Historical Myths. Thomas Hippler

Myth, Memory and Representation

Chapter 5. Conflict in the Social Representation of Place: The Cases of Gorbals and Alma-Gare. Michael James Miller

Chapte 6. Political Stage-Setting. The Symbolic Transformation of Berlin. Beate Binder

Chapter 7. Italian Fascism and Roman Heritage. The Third Rome of Mussolini. Steen Bo Frandsen

Chapter 8. Monuments in the Making of Italy. Lars Berggren

Chapter 9. Representation of the American Nation in Architecture: The Case of the 1920s. Ron Robin

Chapter 10. The Baltic as Image and illusion: The Construction of a Region between Europe and the Nation. Bo Stråth

Myth and Memory in the Construction of the Nation

Chapter 11. The Emergence and Transformation of Foundation Myths. Wolfgang Kaschuba

Chapter 12. National Identity as Trauma: The German Case. Bernhard Giesen

Chapter 13. (Re)creative Myths and Constructed History: The Case of Poland. Ewa Dománska

Chapter 14. The Creative Fear: Fascism, Anti-Semitism, Democracy and the Foundation of the People’s Democracy in Hungary. Péter Apor

Chapter 15. A Nazione Mancata: The Construction of the Mezzogiorno after 1848. Marta Petrusewicz

Chapter 16a. Challenging Israel’s Foundation Myths: The Constitution of a Constructive Mythology? Ilan Pappe

Chapter 16b. Two Cheers for the New Historians: A Critique of Israel’s Post-Nationlists. Ron Robin

Chapter 17. In Search of a New Identiy: Visions of Past and Present in the Post-Communist Russia. Andrei Zorin

Chapter 18. Foundation Myths at Work: National Day Celebrations in France, Germany and Norway in a Comparative Perspective. Arve Thorsen

Chapter 19. Remembering the Second World War in Denmark: The Impact of Politics, Ideology and Generation. Metten Zølner

Chapter 20. Poverty, Neutrality and Welfare: Three Key Concepts in the Modern Foundation Myth of Sweden. Bo Stråth


About the Contributors


  • Monographs
  • Anthologies
Creating Community and Ordering the World
A European Memory
A European Memory?
European Solidarities
European Solidarities
Reflections on Europe
Reflections on Europe
The Economy as a Polity
The Economy As a Polity
A European Social Citizenship
A European Social Citizenship?
Representations of Europe and the Nation in Current and Prospective Member States
States and Citizens History Theory Prospects
States and Citizens
The Meaning of Europe
The Meaning of Europe
From the Werner Plan to the EMU
From the Werner Plan to the EMU
Europe and the Other and Europe as the Other
Europe and the Other and Europe as the Other
AFTER FULL EMPLOYMENT European Discources on Work and Flexibility
After Full Employment
Enlightenment and Genocide Contradictions of Modernity
Enlightenment and Genocide, Contradictions of Modernity
Department of History and Civilization Nationalism and Modernity EUI Working Papers
Nationalism and Modernity
The Postmodern Challenge Perspectives East and West
The Postmodern Challenge
The Cultural Construction of Norden
The Cultural Construction of Norden
Comparativ Wohnungsbau im Internationalen Vergleich Heft 3-1996
Wohnungsbau im internationalen Vergleich
Language and the Construction of Class Identities
Language and the Construction of Class Identities
Idylle oder Aufbruch
Idylle oder Aufbruch?
Democratisation in Scandinavia in Comparison