The foundations of the new political and social order in post-WarII Estern Europe were set not only following radical political and diplomatic changes; they were also a result of transformations in the cultural sphere. In this sense, the introduction of Socialist Realism in the post-war Eastern and Central European Literatures went well beyond purely literary matters; it can, indeed, be seen as a first attempt at a cultural and institutional unification of Europe. Literature being at the core of any European nation’s cultural identity, state control in this sphere was a major part of legitimizing the Soviet expansion into Europe as a natural development of the national history of each country – and it was to be prescribed, and described, in the new literatures accordingly. However, so far, no in-depth comparative, comprehensive study of the institutionalization of Eastern European literatures in the formative post-war years has been performed. The participants of this conference will attempt to make a step towards closing this gap in scholarship.
The conference will take place on 16-18 May 2014 in the Council Room, Firth Court, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S10 2TN, UK.
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