CfP: Special issue on Nostalgia


Call for Papers for a Special Issue:

“Nostalgia Enterprise: Longing for the Past, (Re-)Imagining the Future”

Nostalgia is a pervasive emotion prompted by personal or collective memories about a lost, longed-for past. It can also be triggered by exposure to various images and narratives about the past, good and bad. Such images and narratives can induce feelings of warm well-being or, on the contrary, of negative emotions. Nostalgic narratives of the past are not uniquely Eastern European of course, but some scholars speak of a “dominant paradigm of nostalgification in post-socialist studies.” Not only in Europe, political leaders often employ a nostalgic national narrative to highlight the disconnect between their nation’s great past and its dire present predicament. From “Make America Great Again” to “Make Europe (but not the EU) Great Again,” such political discourses employ nostalgia to arouse a collective angst in the present. Nostalgic memories of a “golden past” are also instrumentalized in discourses that glorify former Empires and colonizers.

This special issue aims to identify the features of such nostalgic discourses, the cultural mechanisms on which they rely, and the various ways in which they are politicized within and beyond the post-socialist context. It will zoom in on the question of whose nostalgia is detectable in the public sphere and the ends to which it is employed. Does longing for the past appear in both expected and unexpected ways? How is such longing used in political discourses, media, film, literature, museum exhibitions, music, material culture, performances, and sales campaigns for national brands?

Contributions can address, but are not limited to, the following themes and topics:
- nostalgia for strong leaders, national greatness, and Empire
- post-colonial & anti-colonial nostalgia
- nostalgia for communism (Ostalgie, Yugo-nostalgia, etc.)
- nostalgification and political emotions
- nostalgia in populist discourses and narratives
- radical nostalgia and longing for resistance
- nostalgia for a lost home
- nostalgia and trauma
- nostalgia and the material and consumer culture
- nostalgia in museums and the arts
- nostalgia and sociality
- nostalgia, ontological security, and collective identity
- collective memory versus collective nostalgia
- mythologization of the past and the creation of national identity
- nostalgia for the future

Submitted articles should be in English and should ideally be 6,000 to 9,000 words long (excluding footnotes and abstract). Submissions should be sent to the journal’s editorial team at or uploaded via the Studia Territorialia journal management system. Authors should consult the submission guidelines on the journal’s website for further instructions and preferred style. All contributions will be subject to double-blind peer review.

Abstract submission deadline (no more than 300 words): July 31, 2023.
Notification of status and next steps: August 10, 2023.
Article submission deadline: September 30, 2023.

Please feel free to direct all inquiries to the editors at