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Brett R. Chloupek

Abstract

During the communist period in Slovakia (1948-1989), street toponyms and monuments were a few of the many realms of ideological infusion by the communist government. Renaming streets and establishing monuments in honor of local and international socialist figures was intended to have an aggregate effect on public consciousness in a way that helped legitimize the political rule of the communist regime. However, because the nature of socialist commemorations is fundamentally more complex that those of other competing ideologies like nationalist movements, these commemorations took on complex and sometimes contradictory meanings in the public memory that, in some cases, cause them to persist to this day. This paper utilizes Turner’s (1975) concept of ‘liminality’ to examine elements of city text like toponyms and statues in the eastern Slovak city of Košice to demonstrate why many of these communist-era elements of city text remain as leftover landscapes of the communist period.