THE DESIGN INSTITUTE: BUILDING
A TRANSNATIONAL HISTORY
Venue: Room 419, Knowles Building, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong
Date: 10-Mar-2017 – 11-Mar-2017
3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
“The Design Institute: Building a Transnational History” is a two-day scholarly conference that will examine the key institutional mechanism for architectural production in the socialist world over the course of much of the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. Comprised of
international scholars in fields such as anthropology, architectural design, architectural and urban history, and government, among others, this event will map, historicize, and theorize the transnational history of the socialist design institute, with a particular emphasis on China. This
undertaking involves tracing the institute’s bureaucratic origins in the Soviet Union as well as Eastern Europe, its emergent role in the development of China’s international diplomacy after 1949 throughout the socialist world, and its participation in the economic and political
reconfigurations that define post-socialism.
The conference is particularly relevant to the study of architectural design’s history in China.
Full details and abstracts here.
International Conference “L’Europe de l’Est, l’Afrique Subsaharienne et la diplomatie culturelle pendant la Guerre Froide”
1966-2016 – Legacies of the Tricontinental, Imperialism, Resistance, Law
Venue: Centre for Social Studies, University of Coimbra, Portugal
Date: 22-24 September 2016
More information here booking now open
Youth and Socialism, Transnational Perspectives
Information on a recent seminar:Zurich Youth Socialism Transnational
IMPERIAL REVERB EXPLORING THE POSTCOLONIES OF COMMUNISM
Date:13 – 15 May
Venue: Princeton University
For full details click here
Global circuits of expertise and the making of the post 1945 world
Weatherhead East Asian Institute
International Affairs Building, Room 918 – 420 West 118th Street, New York, New York 10027
Full information can be found here
African Socialism, Socialism in Africa
Date: 6 – 9 April, 2016
It is high time to give Africa its rightful place in the global historiography of socialism and to socialism its right in the History of Africa. Historians of socialism systematically forget Africa. Yet many African states professed “African” or scientific socialism, many African political actors used the theoretical toolbox drawn from the Marxist tradition. It offered support for the political advancement of colonial populations and the building of post-colonial States. The USSR, China, Cuba, offered readyto-use models. Some states even tried to invent their own forms of African socialism, adapted to the specific conditions of Africa and true to its theoretical roots.
Click here for full details.
Non-Western Europe and Africa: Connections in the Past and the Present
Venue: Institute for African Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow
Date: 2-3 June 2016
An international conference of Central and East European Africanists. Although the call for papers is closed, please refer to the representative of the Organizing Committee Ms Olga Kulkova: firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to attend.
Conference aims at the creation of the forum for an academic discussion with scholars in African Studies from different countries of Central and Eastern Europe on the issues of ties, relations and exchanges between these countries and the African continent in the past and the present. This conference will become a follow-up of the scientific dialogue with our Slovenian colleagues after the first joint colloquium of Russian-Slovenian Africanists in Ljubljana in 2015.
Full details on the following African Studies Conference_Moscow June 2016.
Conference Date: 5 November 2015
LatinEast Conference 2015 – Comparing Latin America with Eastern Europe
AFRICAN SOCIALISM/SOCIALISM IN AFRICA
Conference Date: 7 – 9 April, 2016
The conference will consider all African countries, North, South, East and West, and aims to be strongly interdisciplinary. It will focus on the topics of: corpus of sources, the “real socialisms” and socialist oppositions. Further information from email@example.com
Racism in the land of “people’s friendship”?
Racisms under state socialism’s “internationalism” and in its aftermath
Venue: Södertörn University (Sweden).
Date: 28 – 29 January 2016
A workshop organised by the Center for Baltic and East European Studies and the Institute of Contemporary History, to discuss the problems of racism in the context of the Communist rhetoric of the “people’s friendship” and the ideology of internationalism. The historical part of the conference is connected to the discussion on different aspects of contemporary racism in the countries around the Baltic Sea.
The workshop will explore how racism was approached and dealt with by different ex-Communist countries and how much of the post-Cold War growth of racism in the former “East” is connected to the politics of anti-racism under the Communist rule.
Keynote Speakers: James Mark, Professor at the University of Exeter (UK). Vera Tolz, Sir William Mather Professor of Russian Studies at the University of Manchester (UK
NEW POLITICAL SCIENCE (from the South)
Date: November 2015
http://www.globallearning-cuba.com/new-political-science-2015.html Issues to be included: the perspective of the South in the ex-colonized countries; the plurality of ways to socialism; Political culture and political socialization in the period of transition to socialism; the relation between domestic policy and foreign policy; etc.
WISSENSCHAFT UND IMPERIUM im östlichen Europa im „langen 19. Jahrhundert“ / SCIENCE AND EMPIRE in Eastern and East-Central Europe in the “long 19th century”
Date: 5 – 8 November 2015
Venue: Bad Wiessee, Germany
IN THE SHADOW OF THE COLD WAR, Domestic and International Terrorism in the Former Communist Countries
October 8-9, 2015
International terrorism paralyzed the societies of Western Europe in the 70’s and 80’s. Aircraft hijackings, bombings, and assassinations were part of daily, brutal reality. The hostile acts were organized by separatist movements, leftists, rightists, and Middle-Eastern terrorist organizations. The Communist mass media propaganda often alleged that international terrorism was a result of social inequality and instability in capitalist states. In contrast to Western Europe, the countries ruled by Communist parties were presented as oases of calm where the threat of terrorism did not exist.
After the fall of the Iron Curtain several former Soviet bloc countries declassified their records from the security apparatus archives. The new sources proved that most of the Communist Secret Service agencies had maintained informal relations with various terrorist and extremist organizations, such as for example Abu Nidal’s Organization, the Palestine Liberation Organization, Carlos (“The Jackal’s”) group, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Red Army Faction and the Red Brigades. The Communist authorities allowed them to conduct terrorist activities, gave them safe transit and visas, supplied them with arms, and turned a blind eye to their business ventures. Hence, the platform of their cooperation was quite wide. In return, the Communist Secret Services benefited from these contacts by getting access to embargoed goods, and used terrorists as arms brokers or for gathering intelligence information. The declassification of former security apparatus files has also demonstrated that the Communist states were in fact not free from domestic and international terrorism.
Call for papers – deadline 21 March 2015
ORIENTALISM, COLONIAL THINKING AND THE FORMER SOVIET PERIPHERY Exploring Bias and Stereotype Representations of Eastern and Central Europe, the Caucasus, and Central Asia.
VILNIUS UNIVERSITY Centre of Oriental Studies
August 27-29, 2015
Vilniaus universiteto Orientalistikos centras | Universiteto g. 5, Vilnius, 01513
El. paštas: firstname.lastname@example.org | Tel./ faks. +370 5 268 7256
The Ukrainian crisis has placed the entire post-communist world back at the very centre of global debates in the media, politics and academia. Concepts such as sovereignty of post-Soviet and post-communist states have been brought into question once again, alongside the historical development, international alignment and aspirations of state actors in the region.
In this context, a narrative of “Russian interests versus Western interests/values” seems to have gained currency in Western media and political discourses. Smaller actors of Eastern and Central Europe, Central Asia, the Baltics and the Caucasus see their perspectives ignored or put on a secondary level. This has led some scholars to suggest the existence among Western commentators of a “colonial”, “Orientalist” bias that favours the former imperial “centre” and sees formerly subaltern actors as passive entities in a greater game, giving a stereotypical and demeaning image of such countries and their people. This in turn leaves countries of the former Czarist and Soviet peripheries unable to influence the mainstream debate and to present a self-centred approach in a world in which perceptions and narratives more and more legitimize actions in international relations.
The purpose of the conference is to provide an academic framework for the discussion of these ideas and put them to the test of peer debate. The goal is to discuss the relevance of Post-Colonial Studies to Post-Communist Studies and hopefully open an innovative chapter in the academic understanding of the Post-Communist World.
Conference research questions and structure
The conference will be structured in three sections, each with distinctive but interrelated research questions.
I. Section one will debate the impact of colonial and Orientalist thinking on policy-making processes about former subjects of the Russian and Soviet power, both in the international arena and in internal affairs. Examples of research questions are: how do existing prejudices in media, politics and academia contribute to consolidating the idea of post-communist countries as “passive” actors with “limited sovereignty”, “subordinated”, limited in their possibility to freely choose an international alignment, and of common people in Eastern European countries as “backward”, or “second-class Europeans”? How does this affect decisions taken at a European level concerning security crises of the post-Soviet world? What are the recurrent (and competing) images and via what tools are they routinized?
II. Section two will approach the issue from a historical perspective. The purpose is to discuss whether colonial thinking and the possible understanding of Eastern Europe as a subaltern, passive entity biases Western views of history in the region. Asking whether there exists a “hierarchy of historical narratives” in the way the history of countries of the former Soviet bloc are perceived by scholars, media and politicians, the section aims to explore if and how these prejudices impact Western receptiveness of historical interpretations and discourses coming from former imperial subjects, making them less effective than competing narratives coming from Russia or the West itself, and how does this impact regional and international relations.
III. Section three will be specifically dedicated to the applicability of the concept of Orientalism and Post-Colonial studies to the study of the context in which Russian/Soviet colonial thinking was first developed, i.e. the early Czarist imperial “frontier”: the North Caucasus, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Central Asia, broadly understood to include the five “Stans” as well as regions that experienced significant Russian/Soviet influence at different points in their history, such as Mongolia and Xinjiang. To what extent, in what forms, and why do Orientalist stereotypes still bias our understanding of the Asian part of the former Czarist and Soviet sphere, and what is the impact of this on political and academic agendas?
Confirmed keynote speakers so far include:
Dr. Andreas Umland, Kyiv-Mohyla Academy
Prof. Alexander J. Motyl, Rutgers University
Mykola Ryabchuk, Ukrainian Centre for Cultural Studies
Dr. John Heathershaw, Exeter University
Dr. Nick Megoran, Newcastle University
– No conference fee will be applied to presenters.
– Non-presenters can register upon payment of a EUR 20 fee.
Call for papers – Deadline 25 March 2015, deadline for Panel Proposals – 10 April 2015.
CONFERENCE: Writing and Screening Socialisms in an Entangled World
Date: 3-4 July 2015
Place: Universität Tubingen
Socialism is one of the paradigms that shaped the global 20th century. While it is characterized by a transcultural, universalizing utopia, socialism has actually manifested itself in a large variety of local concepts that modify, alter, adapt and localize its universalisms in time and space (e.g., Soviet-style communism, Western socialist movements, African socialism or its North Korean and Chinese versions). Socialism as an idea has been spread all over the world, regardless of whether a given society has defined itself as socialist or not, whether it was a real life experiment in society or a cultural counter concept to local or transnational power structures (such as imperialism and colonialism). Socialism interacts with the arts, with literature, with film, with humanities, with varying theories and with everyday culture which were all used to express and/or shape its differing forms. Possible varieties range from European avantgarde movements, Soviet socialist realism and North Korean nationalizing reinterpretations to African, Asian and South American anti- and postcolonial theory and writing as well as filmmaking. As a global movement, socialism has triggered a migration of concepts, people, cultural artefacts, texts and films that might not even be directly connected with socialism as such, but rather stem from its respective rootedness in local cultures. As such, socialism becomes one of the facilitators for a global cultural exchange that has yet to be investigated. The workshop aims to bring together scholars from different disciplinary contexts such as film, art, literature or intellectual history in order to ask for possible routes of transnational entanglements as a result of socialism.
WORKSHOP: Economic encounters in the age of ideology
Exploring the business dimension of political confrontation (China, Russia, Europe, 1945-1991)
Date: 7th May 2015
Place: The London School of Economics and Political Science
The new century has revealed that the barriers between Socialist economies and the Free World were more porous than expected (Dobson; Cain; Segreto) and that enterprises and businessmen played an important part in East-West interaction (Autio-Sarasmo and Miklossy; Eloranta and Ojala; Jensen-Eriksen). Nevertheless, a serious analysis of trade is clearly lacking from Cold War historiography.
Discovering the economic dimension to that highly ideological era, can help to explain why accessing the capitalist system has not meant a “heal-all” for each of the transitions. Analysing role of foreign trade in Socialist systems, will enable scholars to better understand economic and political transitions. Secondly, focusing on businessmen and on business operations, will add to the debate on economic globalization, integrating different social sciences from economics to history and political science.
The idea for the present workshop has been shaped by the efforts of a number of scholars, who – from different perspectives – have chosen to study the role of world economic exchanges in command economies. The workshop will offer the opportunity to coherently discuss the activities of individuals involved in everyday trade practices in Soviet Russia, Eastern Europe and Mao’s China, as well as in their capitalist counterparts. The ultimate aim is to kick-start a fruitful debate about the place of the Communist countries in the world economy, particularly as it pertains to the Cold War and the beginning of globalisation.