Interview with Marci Shore--April 10, 2015
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Interview with Marci Shore, Associate Professor of History at Yale University. The interview was conducted in Ithaca, NY on April 10, 2015. Marci Shore specializes in European—and especially East-Central European—cultural and intellectual history is the author of 2 books, including Caviar and Ashes: A Warsaw Generation’sLife and Death in Marxism, 1918-1968 (Yale, 2006) and The Taste ofAshes: The Afterlife of Totalitarianism in Eastern Europe (2013). She has also translated Michał Głowiński’s Holocaust memoir, The Black Seasons, from the Polish (that book was published in 2005). In addition, she has written a number of articles for both academic and more general readership audiences, including Kritika, Contemporary European History, and Modern European Intellectual History. She is currently at work on two book manuscripts, one is entitled “Phenomenological Encounters: Scenes from Central Europe,” and the other is an intellectual history of the recent revolution in Ukraine.
Interview Themes: How Shore came to be interested in history, people who influenced her, and the “susceptibility to being transported” (1:48); How Shore came to be aware that she was living history in Eastern Europe in the 1990s and the “un-grounded” and “up-in-the-air” feel of that time (8:08); What did people like Shore, who came of age intellectually in the 1990s, see or miss when compared with those who came before or those who came after? (11:58); How Shore approaches writing: principles and idols (on “keeping the language fresh” and “setting the scene” as opposed to “telling the reader what to think”) (16:58); On empathizing with the subjects of one’s work (25:20); On what holds Shore’s body of work together: dynamics of generation, friendship (32:40); Going to Eastern Europe to seek meaning: how does one arrive at the fundamental questions? (39:15); Is there an identifiable “Naimark school” of those who studied under Norman Naimark (45:35); What is at stake in considering oneself of an intellectual historian who focuses on a particular region? (51:05); Is Eastern Europe becoming “real” again through events in Ukraine and on the Maidan? On the “return of metaphysics” and knowing that—for better or worse—“anything is possible.” (57:25); Shore on the “miraculous transformation of subjectivity” in Ukraine (1:05:28); How should we be training the next generation of scholars in the field? (1:09:00)