ONE RING TO RULE THEM ALL?
POWER AND POWER RELATIONS IN EAST EUROPEAN POLITICS AND SOCIETIES
The graduate students affiliated with the Institute of Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies at the University of California at Berkeley, in cooperation with the Institute and with the support of its associated faculty, would like to announce an international, interdisciplinary conference to be held at Berkeley in November 2002.
Papers are called for which broadly address questions of power and power relations in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. A central concern of theorists from Plato to Foucault, encompassing "politics writ large" as well as the "micro-practices" of everyday experience, power is a concept to which social science and humanistic disciplines consistently return. Relations of power have driven much of Eastern Europe's turbulent history; they are sites of both cooperation and conflict in present social, economic, and political developments; and their scope stands to be fundamentally altered as European integration proceeds. Despite power's central importance, however, questions about where it resides in East European societies, how it is configured, and who actually wields it remain contested. By fostering discussion of such questions from a variety of disciplinary and national perspectives, the conference aims to stimulate the development of new approaches and hypotheses.
The conference will continue a tradition established by the symposia "Between the Bloc and the Hard Place" (London 1999), "Eastern & Central Europe: Lessons from the Past, Prospects for the Future" (Warsaw 2000) and "Faith, Dope, and Charity: Purity and Danger in East European Politics and Culture" (London 2001). Held annually in November, conferences in this series provide a forum for graduate students and scholarly audiences to reflect on the current affairs of post-Communist states and the changing meanings of their pasts and futures. They are intended primarily for young researchers in the humanities and social sciences, enabling them to forge links with colleagues from across Europe, North America, and beyond.
Possible paper topics include (but are by no means limited to):
ANTHROPOLOGY AND SOCIOLOGY
The "new elites" and their projects--knowledge, responsibility, and political will;
Gender, class, and ethnicity; intersecting forms of identification, and who authors them?
Mortality, migration, and belonging--the cultural politics of demography;
The place of NGOs;
Consuming subjects: the production of needs and desires;
What is post-socialism and how long will the "post" last?
Violence and economics; meanings and varieties of "corruption";
Energy and the environment--geopolitical forces on the global market;
The IMF, World Bank, and EU: articulating neo-liberal prescriptions for elusive futures;
Globalization and the collective farm.
HISTORY AND HISTORIOGRAPHY
Historians as power-brokers: uses of memory and forgetting;
Rome and Byzantium--the enduring legacy of divided imperium;
Agrarian and commercial societies in conflict and collusion;
Configurations of power in Nazism, Communism, and East European fascism;
Dissident movements and the "power of the powerless";
Discourses of power--crime and punishment, science and magic, family romances, etc.
Displaced persons and human rights;
Federalism in the new European Union;
NATO expansion, restructuring, and security alternatives;
Determining the boundaries of "Europe";
Trafficking (drugs, women...) and international crime.
LANGUAGE, LITERATURE, AND THE ARTS
Power relations in East European literature;
The power of humor;
Domestic cinema vs. Hollywood;
Questioning concepts of aesthetics, propaganda, and cultural production;
Dialects, slang, and world languages--issues in the expression of identity.
PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGION
Mimetic desire, with and without objects;
The Enlightenment heritage and the power of ideas;
Claiming and renouncing power: the fortunes of ethics in post-socialist societies.
POLITICS AND POLITICAL THEORY
Really-existing constitutions of political society;
The public sphere and the uncertain power of public opinion;
Civic movements and the politics of the street--secrets of success and failure;
Regionalization from above and below;
What political theory can learn from Eastern Europe.
The conference will take place on the premises of the University of California at Berkeley between 8 and 10 November 2002. Graduate students, recent Ph.D.s, and independent scholars are encouraged to submit 200-300-word outlines of proposed papers by 10 May 2002.
Submissions and enquiries should be directed to the conference organizers, James Krapfl and Maria Stoilkova, at:
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