Controversies over the post-communism
(re-)construction of social ties and the political production of togetherness
Conference of the Canada Research Chair in the Comparative History of Memory
Laval University, Quebec city, February 8-9, 2008
The post-communist transition led to the dissolutions of old and new identity and memory referents, and gave the occasion to question the past, be it recent or not so recent. It also allowed re-examining the distribution of roles between heroes and victims, innovating by renouncing old traditions in favour of new ones, and revealing signs of identity fragility like nostalgia, the confusion of markers or the so called identity deficit.
Our conference examines the dynamic relationship between and within social groups, a new mechanism that allows them to better adapt to a complex and ever-changing world and to look for new meaning in the multiple facets of their collective being. Inspired by the theoretical framework of Bruno Latour and the school of pragmatic sociology, we invite participants to identify and to analyse a controversy that permits the identification of newly established relationships between social actors in order to better understand the stakes, internal tensions and boundaries of the continuous negotiation that prompts social actors to come together. Such analyses should highlight the particularities of the controversy, to spell out what appears hard to distinguish initially, to acknowledge the actors’ capacity to produce their own “social theories”. From this perspective, the controversy can be an entrance point because, despite its conflictual appearance, it allows us to understand the roots of agreements and disagreements, acceptance and exclusion, to know moderate and radical, traditional as well as new positions. The aim is not to judge or to label, but to assess the actors’ creativity, to analyse the traces they leave us, to shed light on the social relations they build, reconfigure and try to reset, in order to spin out them when faced with the threat of concurrent meanings.
If you are interested to participate, send your proposal, including the title of the presentation, an abstract (one page maximum) and your university affiliation, before December 1, 2007, to firstname.lastname@example.org
Canada Research Chair in the Comparative History of Memory
Laval University, Quebec city
(418)681-0483 Email: email@example.com
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