Postcolonial Europe

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Histories, societies, spaces of dialogue. Post-dependence studies in a comparative perspective.

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Call for Papers

First circular

May 27th – 28th 2013 Wrocław, Poland

Almost twenty five years after the fall of communism, the debates on the past and present of and in East-Central Europe are entering a properly comparative stage, in the disciplinary, geographical, and political sense. The fourth conference of the Center of Post-dependence Studies is dedicated to the comparative potential of bringing Central and Eastern Europe into a range of discourses situating the so-far national or regional perspectives within larger global flows.

Even a cursory look at how Eastern and Central Europe has positioned itself in modern thought reveals a telling ambivalence – a strong affinity to the western intellectual tradition and, concurrently, a sense of being othered, excluded, made different or even betrayed. This is a story of troubled, subdued, or denied belonging, of functioning within European or western thought as a space of difference. The phrase “New Europe” used in reference to the new EU members from Central and Eastern Europe testifies to the tenacity of this ambivalence.

“Post-dependence”, the foundational term to our studies, marks a specific problematic of Central and Eastern European cultures and societies in the context of the fall of communism and its aftermath in the last two decades, and, in a broader historical perspective – of the realities of modernity in the countries of the region. The goal of the Wrocław conference is to enrich post-dependence studies so far focused on the specifics of the Polish case with voices from other Central and Eastern European countries, as well as those from scholars interested in responses from the perspective of postcolonial studies. We wish to investigate the validity of using terms from postcolonial and area studies, or other related fields, to Central and Eastern European countries, societies and histories, vis-à-vis postcommunism and post-dependence, and transformation periods in the region in general. Our project introduces discourses on the social and cultural situation of Central and Eastern European countries into the global academic debates on postcoloniality, social inequalities of late capitalism, and new social identities emerging from these phenomena. It is important to do so with an adequate academic language capable of grasping these realities through theoretical categories comprising a comparative perspective both in disciplinary and in cultural terms.

We invite papers from across the humanities and social sciences, as well as transdisciplinary approaches responding to the questions listed below:strategies of dealing with, codifying, and (re-)interpreting the past (both recent and more distant) – nostalgia, sentimentality, willed and/or unconscious amnesia; post-1989 sites of commemoration/remembering/ forgetting;

 

the center-periphery relation as diagnostic of the transforming format and function of the state; the resurgence of the local and the discovery/recreation of multiple histories of the place;

 

narratives of historical breakthrough; instances of “epistemic violence” connected with these breakthroughs or takeovers;

 

contemporary marginalized groups emerging as a result of social stratification and the phenomenon of non-normative identities, privileged and underprivileged groups in social narratives;

 

cultural and political complexities of the post-communist transition process;

 

the border status of Central and Eastern Europe as inscribed within the project of European modernity; Western discourses on Eastern and Central Europe after communism and ambivalent attitudes toward the "new" Europe;

 

the effects of the mutual intersecting and overlaying of these phenomena and processes.

We propose to ground the inquiry into the above-listed areas into some larger theoretical categories, such as:

  • Post-dependence studies – evaluation of the term, its theoretical apparatus, its comparative potential for diagnosing the socio-cultural situation of the countries of Central and Eastern Europe; Post-dependence studies vis-à-vis postcolonialism and studies on postcommunism.
  • The Other Europe – what significance has Philip Roth’s label today? The past and present mechanisms of constructing the European “Other”. Self-othering at work in post-communist/post-socialist countries of Central and Eastern Europe vis-à-vis the west?
  • The Postcolonial/ Postcommunist connection - Categories from postcolonial studies in historical discourse and historiographic thought in Central and Eastern Europe; ideological uses of postcolonial categories, especially as a new language for the national(ist) paradigm; theorizing postcommunist/postsocialist transformation beyond the patronizing/didactic bias of development and other theories of modernization; attitudes to real socialism of the left in the West; intellectual responsibility/accountability.
  • The affect of post-dependence – emotional aspects and the affective charge of postcommunist/post-dependence transformation, social phenomena of nostalgia, melancholia, anger and frustration, ressentiment.
  • (Un)translatability of cultural difference – difficulties in communicating cultural uniqueness/difference. Where does the object of inquiry resist translation into theoretical/received paradigms? Effective translational strategies for dealing with cultural difference in the target language.
  • Activating cultural memory - any study of the “post” situation becomes necessarily an adventure in spectrology – a knowledge of how the past lags in the present. What haunts current studies in post-dependence, post-Soviet, post-socialism and so on? Re-membering the forgotten/falsified past; strategies of cultural survival, remembering and reconstructing memory in cultures of Central and Eastern Europe. (Non-)antagonistic relation between such social/cultural/political phenomena as commemorating, memory, remembering.
  • Challenges of transnationality and globalization – how do we bring the multiple “posts” studied at the moment in the contexts of Central and Eastern Europe into the force field of globalization? Revising methodologies of critical thinking within the area of history, culture, literary canons to build new viable comparative models of investigation.
  • Localism and globality – reflections in culture, politics and literature of Central and Eastern European countries, vis-à-vis the increasing mobility and émigré population of the E-C European countries. The histories of local migrations, transregional communities and contacts, of Eastern European borderlands and their multicultural social tissue active long before the contemporary post-colonial, late-modern multiculturalism; local and translocal cosmopolitanisms of “provincial Europe”; new migrations.
  • Commonality of feelings and sensitivities - is there an Eastern European regional, transnational sensibility/solidarity that allows us to see this category in terms of a subject of critical thinking, which would correspond with Arjun Apadurai’s idea of “community of sentiment” creating a new locality in global flows?

Conference languages are English and Polish. Selected papers will be published in two books in respective languages, which means that at least some of the texts will come out both in the original language and in translation.

Please send paper abstracts of ca. 300 – 500 words with keywords and a short bio- note by 30th November 2012 to:

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

The organizing committee:

Dr. Dorota Kołodziejczyk, University of Wrocław, Poland;

Prof. Hanna Gosk, Warsaw University, Poland;

Prof. Ewa Kraskowska, Poznań University, Poland;

Dr. Cristina Sandru, Literary Encyclopedia, UK.

Prof. Bożena Karwowska, University of British Columbia, Canada.

Last Updated on 14 January 2013  

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Sandra Ponzanesi and Bolette B. Blaagaard (Ed.): “Deconstructing Europe. Postcolonial Perspectives”, by Paulina Gąsior

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Gjoko Muratovski: The use of built environments in the formation and change of national identities: the case of Macedonia and ‘Skopje 2014’

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Alexander Etkind: "Internal Colonization. Russia's Imperial Experience", by Madina Tlostanowa

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Neil Lazarus: The Postcolonial Unconscious", by Blanka Grzegorczyk

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Katarzyna Marciniak and Kamil Turowski: "Streets of Crocodiles: Photography, Media, and Postsocialist Landscapes in Poland", by Magdalena Kania Lundholm

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Gjoko Muratovski: The use of built environments in the formation and change of national identities: the case of Macedonia and ‘Skopje 2014’

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Alexander Etkind: "Internal Colonization. Russia's Imperial Experience", by Madina Tlostanowa

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Katarzyna Marciniak and Kamil Turowski: "Streets of Crocodiles: Photography, Media, and Postsocialist Landscapes in Poland", by Magdalena Kania Lundholm

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Sandra Ponzanesi and Bolette B. Blaagaard (Ed.): “Deconstructing Europe. Postcolonial Perspectives”, by Paulina Gąsior

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Gjoko Muratovski: The use of built environments in the formation and change of national identities: the case of Macedonia and ‘Skopje 2014’

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Alexander Etkind: "Internal Colonization. Russia's Imperial Experience", by Madina Tlostanowa

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Neil Lazarus: The Postcolonial Unconscious", by Blanka Grzegorczyk

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Katarzyna Marciniak and Kamil Turowski: "Streets of Crocodiles: Photography, Media, and Postsocialist Landscapes in Poland", by Magdalena Kania Lundholm

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Sandra Ponzanesi and Bolette B. Blaagaard (Ed.): “Deconstructing Europe. Postcolonial Perspectives”, by Paulina Gąsior

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Gjoko Muratovski: The use of built environments in the formation and change of national identities: the case of Macedonia and ‘Skopje 2014’

Read more...

Alexander Etkind: "Internal Colonization. Russia's Imperial Experience", by Madina Tlostanowa

Read more...

Neil Lazarus: The Postcolonial Unconscious", by Blanka Grzegorczyk

Read more...

Katarzyna Marciniak and Kamil Turowski: "Streets of Crocodiles: Photography, Media, and Postsocialist Landscapes in Poland", by Magdalena Kania Lundholm

Read more...

Sandra Ponzanesi and Bolette B. Blaagaard (Ed.): “Deconstructing Europe. Postcolonial Perspectives”, by Paulina Gąsior

Read more...

Gjoko Muratovski: The use of built environments in the formation and change of national identities: the case of Macedonia and ‘Skopje 2014’

Read more...

Alexander Etkind: "Internal Colonization. Russia's Imperial Experience", by Madina Tlostanowa

Read more...

Neil Lazarus: The Postcolonial Unconscious", by Blanka Grzegorczyk

Read more...

Katarzyna Marciniak and Kamil Turowski: "Streets of Crocodiles: Photography, Media, and Postsocialist Landscapes in Poland", by Magdalena Kania Lundholm

Read more...

Sandra Ponzanesi and Bolette B. Blaagaard (Ed.): “Deconstructing Europe. Postcolonial Perspectives”, by Paulina Gąsior

Read more...

Gjoko Muratovski: The use of built environments in the formation and change of national identities: the case of Macedonia and ‘Skopje 2014’

Read more...

Alexander Etkind: "Internal Colonization. Russia's Imperial Experience", by Madina Tlostanowa

Read more...

Neil Lazarus: The Postcolonial Unconscious", by Blanka Grzegorczyk

Read more...

Katarzyna Marciniak and Kamil Turowski: "Streets of Crocodiles: Photography, Media, and Postsocialist Landscapes in Poland", by Magdalena Kania Lundholm

Read more...

Sandra Ponzanesi and Bolette B. Blaagaard (Ed.): “Deconstructing Europe. Postcolonial Perspectives”, by Paulina Gąsior

Read more...

Gjoko Muratovski: The use of built environments in the formation and change of national identities: the case of Macedonia and ‘Skopje 2014’

Read more...

Alexander Etkind: "Internal Colonization. Russia's Imperial Experience", by Madina Tlostanowa

Read more...

Neil Lazarus: The Postcolonial Unconscious", by Blanka Grzegorczyk

Read more...

Katarzyna Marciniak and Kamil Turowski: "Streets of Crocodiles: Photography, Media, and Postsocialist Landscapes in Poland", by Magdalena Kania Lundholm

Read more...

Sandra Ponzanesi and Bolette B. Blaagaard (Ed.): “Deconstructing Europe. Postcolonial Perspectives”, by Paulina Gąsior

Read more...

Gjoko Muratovski: The use of built environments in the formation and change of national identities: the case of Macedonia and ‘Skopje 2014’

Read more...

Alexander Etkind: "Internal Colonization. Russia's Imperial Experience", by Madina Tlostanowa

Read more...

Neil Lazarus: The Postcolonial Unconscious", by Blanka Grzegorczyk

Read more...

Katarzyna Marciniak and Kamil Turowski: "Streets of Crocodiles: Photography, Media, and Postsocialist Landscapes in Poland", by Magdalena Kania Lundholm

Read more...

Sandra Ponzanesi and Bolette B. Blaagaard (Ed.): “Deconstructing Europe. Postcolonial Perspectives”, by Paulina Gąsior

Read more...

Gjoko Muratovski: The use of built environments in the formation and change of national identities: the case of Macedonia and ‘Skopje 2014’

Read more...