Spicing up Memories and Serving Nostalgias: Thematic Restaurants and Transnational Memories in East-Central European Borderland Cities

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The article is a result of field studies on the transformations of multicultural heritage in the east-central European cities of Cracow, Wrocław, Lviv and Chernivtsi. In all these cities, a majority of the pre-war populations (and in Wrocław, practically all pre-war residents) disappeared as a result of WWII. After decades of silence imposed by the ruling communist elites, collective memories of the post-war populations are now surfacing in public discourse. Precisely how the contemporary populations living in the zones of ‘dismembered multiethnicity’ approach the past's cultural diversity in the everyday life remains, however, an underinvestigated topic. Under these circumstances, ethnography proves to be an innovative methodological approach particularly suited to studying local expressions of transnational memory. Based on the methodological approach of multi-sited ethnography, the article examines thematic restaurants which allude to cultures of some perished ethnic groups (in particular, Jews, Poles and Germans).


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Ethnology
  • Other Social Sciences


  • ethnic diversity, central and eastern Europe, transnational memories, commercialization, nostalgia, thematic restaurants, borderland cities
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)417-432
JournalJournal of Contemporary European Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Publication categoryResearch