James C. Richter, professor of politics at Bates College with an expertise in US and Soviet foreign policy during the Cold War, will present The Memory Wars of Central and Eastern Europe on Tuesday, Jan. 25 from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

This virtual lecture is the second of three Camden Conference Community Events co-sponsored by the Scarborough Public Library and the Camden Conference. While the webinar is free and open to the public, registration is required to receive the Zoom link.

The theme of the Camden Conference, Europe Challenged at Home and Abroad, includes far-ranging topics featuring various European nations. Richter’s virtual talk, The Memory Wars of Central and Eastern Europe, will examine the most important tensions around history and memory within and between the countries of Eastern and Central Europe, and explore their political implications for an evolving Europe. In the United States, debates about confederate monuments and history curricula raise profound questions about who we are, what we value and how we should proceed. In the relatively new regimes of Eastern and Central Europe, the questions are, if anything, even more fundamental. All of these states have had to redefine their national identities as independent states situated between the affluent, more established democracies of the West and a newly assertive, authoritarian Russia to the East, and they have to do this work while negotiating the bitter and divisive memories of the 20th century, including two world wars, occupation, genocide, ethnic cleansing and Soviet domination.

Richter has been professor of politics at Bates College since 1987. With an expertise in US and Soviet foreign policy during the Cold War, his research agenda has changed several times since joining the Bates faculty, but he has always been interested in global politics and particularly the politics of Russia and the other countries of Central and Eastern Europe. His current research focuses on the politics of memory — or, in other words, elite efforts to mobilize history and memory to bolster support for their political preferences — and how this politics affects international relations in Europe and beyond.

Register for The Memory Wars of Central and Eastern Europe and Paris at Six: Environmental Divides and Climate Unions in Europe, the third and final talk in the series by visiting: www.scarboroughlibrary.org/adults/events/series/camden-conference.

A recording of the first Camden Conference Community Event, Brexit at Five — How Is It Going? will soon be available on the Library’s YouTube channel.

Kim Scott, executive director of the Camden Conference, celebrating its 35th year, said, “We believe that Maine libraries are the keystone of the community, so we are grateful to the Scarborough Public Library for offering Camden Conference-themed events as a way to promote citizen engagement — especially in these times when we all need more opportunities to connect with each other.”

For the second year, the Scarborough Public Library is offering its Camden Conference Community Events virtually. Nancy Crowell, library director said, “While we miss gathering in person in the Library’s meeting room, the virtual webinar format allows residents of Scarborough to join interested individuals from around the country and the world to benefit from hearing three engaging experts on topics related to this year’s Camden Conference theme prior to the Conference.” The 2022 Camden Conference goes from Feb. 25-27. Visit www.camdenconference.org/ for details and to register.