The “Establishment” Responds -
The Institutional and Social Impact of Protest Movements During and After the Cold War
3rd Event of the Marie Curie Conferences and Training Courses, Series of Events (SCF)
“European Protest Movements since the Cold War: The Rise of a (Trans-)national Civil Society and the Transformation
of the Public Sphere after 1945”
supported by the European Union
Conveners: Martin Klimke (HCA, University of Heidelberg, Germany), Joachim Scharloth (University of Zurich, Switzerland), Kathrin Fahlenbrach (University Halle, Germany)
Location: Heidelberg Center for American Studies (HCA), University of Heidelberg, Germany
Date: November 22-24, 2007
Whereas protest movements themselves are gradually entering the realms of scholarly analysis in Europe and U.S., the larger repercussions they caused with respect to the various institutions of society have largely been neglected. When thinking of 1953 in East Germany, 1956 in Hungary, 1968 in all of Europe, the terrorism of the 1970s, as well as 1989 in Eastern Europe, it was, however, the perception of the “establishment” which frequently posed as the embodiment of things to overcome and the major target of criticism.
It is therefore rather surprising that the manifold institutional and social reactions to these protest phenomena, both in Eastern and Western Europe as well as in the U.S., have not yet been sufficiently and comparatively explored. An examination of the various ways in which political parties, the business world, the military, trade unions, churches or other segments of society experienced, confronted or even actively contributed to protest movements is, however, essential for assessing the historical significance of these movements and their role in long-term societal changes.
As a consequence, a number of additional questions remain to be answered from a variety of political and socio-cultural perspectives, e.g.:
-How did different branches of government locally, nationally or internationally analyze and react to the challenge they faced with protest movements? How did they attempt to (de)-escalate the situation?
-To what extent did social movements influence the practices of art performance and art reception (e.g. ensemble modern, performance art)?
-What was their influence on the public use of language (e.g. political correctness) and the media systems?
-In which way did they use the established media to articulate their protest and how did the media assimilate their protest? What influence did the media coverage have on the mobilization, contents and forms of protests?
-How far did their expressive behavior influence the lifestyles of other social groups (e.g. informalization as a consequence of the ‘68-movement)?
-How were their symbolic forms adopted, transformed and commercialized by the music-, fashion- and design- and advertisement industry?
-To what extent did their concepts of an alternative lifestyle influence architecture and the planning of urban spaces?
-Furthermore, were protest movements considered representative of concerns of other social groups or even seen as triggers of larger historical developments?
The overall relationship between protest movements and their interaction in a larger social and cultural context, the influence of other historical trajectories, the various segments of society, political and legal institutions, as well as the mutual conceptions underlying these communications on a national and international level will therefore have to be examined more thoroughly than has hitherto been the case. The geopolitical situation in Europe during as well as after the bloc confrontations of the Cold War will form the framework of our analysis during this international and interdisciplinary conference.
Possible areas and topics include:
-government reactions to protest phenomena
(cooperation among various branches of government, reactions of local/regional officials)
-protest and foreign policy/diplomacy
-international responses to protest (e.g. by the European Union, NATO, the United Nations, etc.)
-political parties/organizations, lobby groups, NGOs
-media reactions and relationships to protest movements
-churches and religious communities
-art, literature and music
-languages of dissent and protest
-constructions of class and race
-the transformation of the public sphere
-pedagogy, childcare and the educational sector
-university politics and the history of science
-drug policies and legislation
-the economic sphere/business world
-trade unions and labor organizations
-the military and the intelligence community
-representations of the “Establishment”/targets of criticism (e.g. individuals, organizations, or countries)
Applications from postgraduate students, early stage researchers (PhD-students), postdocs and young scholars from all disciplinary and national backgrounds are strongly encouraged and form the main target group for this event.
All travel and accommodation costs within reasonable boundaries will be covered by the European Union.
Although the conference language will mainly be English, we also invite proposals in French, Spanish, Dutch, German and Polish, if a short summary in English is provided.
DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS: March 15, 2007
SELECTIONS WILL BE MADE BY: April 15, 2007
PLEASE USE ONLINE APPLICATION AT: www.protest-research.eu
FURTHER QUESTIONS OR SUGGESTIONS: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Martin Klimke
Heidelberg Center for American Studies
University of Heidelberg
Curt und Heidemarie Engelhorn Palais
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