Call for Papers--Soyuz Symposium at Columbia University

"Out of the Ruins: Culutural Negotiations in the Soviet Aftermath"


Contact: David Koester at
Dept of Anthropology,
Columbia University
NY, NY 10027.
E-mail: David Koester or Cathy Wanner

The Seventh Annual Symposium on Cultural Studies of Eastern Europe and Eurasia will be presented by Soyuz, the Research Network for Post-Communist Cultural Studies and the Department of Anthropology at Columbia University.

March 27-28, 1998
Columbia University

Empires leave ruins. The title of our symposium evokes the by-now popular image of the toppled ruins of socialist monuments to Lenin, the Worker and the Peasant, and other emblems of Soviet cultural authority. But the social shards, cultural fragments and political artifacts of the former system have now become the stuff from which new forms of the quotidian are emerging. In such an aftermath, cultural ruination and regeneration are appearing in unlooked-for places and unlikely guises. Ruins are the landscape of the uncanny. While the crumbling of states and societies that attended the events of 1989 and 1991 led many theorists to predict an end to history and the inevitable transition from socialist cultures to liberal capitalist ones, post-Soviet culture has yet to experience the predicted metamorphosis into familiar forms. The processes of ruination and regeneration now taking place are resulting in hybrid forms, novel articulations of the local with the global, and the collision of received histories with their unscheduled presents. While socialist states have exited the political stage, the many and various histories of the peoples of the former Soviet Bloc remain, as do the subjects, knowledges and structures that accompanied them. Out of the ruins slouch new rough beasts. Soyuz proposes the Seventh Annual Symposium of Cultural Studies in Eastern Europe and Eurasia as a step in understanding the cultural negotiation of ruins now taking place in the former Soviet Bloc.

We are interested in papers from across the disciplines that concern cultural studies of Eastern Europe and Eurasia. The proposed papers may be up to 25 pages in length and are to be presented at the symposium in a cultural studies of Eastern Europe and Eurasia. The proposed papers may be up to 25 pages in length and are to be presented at the symposium in a strict 20-minute format. Preference will be given to those abstracts that address the symposium's metaphors of cultural ruination and regeneration and which concern cultural and/or ethnographic sensibility.

A one-page abstract and curriculum vitae can be sent to David Koester using the information above. The deadline for abstracts is January 10, 1998. Decisions concerning acceptance will be made by February 1st, 1998. Regrettably, no financial assistance will be available for participants.

Sponsored by the Columbia Univeristy Dept. of Anthropology, Soyuz, the Harriman Institute of Columbia University and the Columbia Graduate Anthropology Alumni Association.


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Last updated: December 9, 1997


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