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Uilleam Blacker

MAW Postdoctoral Research Associate
Cambridge team
Department of Slavonic Studies
University of Cambridge

Curriculum Vitae

Research Project:

Uilleam Blacker's research focuses on the interrelation between the city and memory in the literatures and cultures of Poland, Russia and Ukraine.

After 1989 the cultural significance of cities in Eastern Europe begins to shift. Rather than being seen as spaces of modernising, forward-looking socialist culture, they are increasingly utilised to look into the past. A rediscovery of urban space goes hand in hand with a rediscovery of the multiple memories inscribed in it. Cities inspire playful and poetic responses, yet are also sites of sharp memory conflict. In order to examine these conflicts and responses, the research focuses on literature, but retains a wider cultural perspective, incorporating popular and official urban cultural phenomena such as festivals, consumer culture and monuments. The project, which draws on both urban studies and memory studies, aims to establish how the varying cultural situations throughout Poland, Russia and Ukraine determine the attitude of its writers and societies to their cities and the memories they hold, and how these varying situations influence one another across the borders between them.


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