The 2017 Annual Soyuz Symposium
Embracing Confusion and Questioning Clarity: on Matters of Method in Postsocialist Studies
Russian and East European Institute
Indiana University Bloomington
March 3-4, 2017
Soyuz Research Network for Postsocialist Cultural Studies invites presentation proposals for the 2017 symposium hosted by the Russian and East European Institute at Indiana University Bloomington. We are seeking research papers and visual presentations (including, but not limited to documentary and ethnographic films) that engage with the issues of methodology in the postsocialist world broadly defined, encompassing East-Central Europe and the Former Soviet Union, as well as Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Our goal is to foster conversations about knowledge production in the field of postsocialist studies that spans generations of researchers: from graduate students and junior scholars to senior professionals. The 2017 Soyuz Symposium theme Embracing Confusion and Questioning Clarity is inspired by the immense and somewhat untapped potential that postsocialist studies have to offer to methodological conversations in social sciences. In our view, a more vibrant scholarly exchange will aid current compartmentalization of much scholarship into global North and South and produce new analytical categories. Recent resurgence of Cold War ideologies in Europe has ushered a renewed interest in this region on the part of policy makers, funding organizations, and academic programs, and we want to invite scholars of postsocialism to provide their critical commentary on the issues that have accompanied these geopolitical shifts.
Embracing Confusion and Questioning Clarity theme encourages presenters to consider questions they have faced and discoveries they have made on a journey from conceiving a research idea to their interpretation of findings. In what ways have postsocialist transformations and the scholarly analyses that followed posed a challenge to long-standing social scientific categories, methods and theories? What portable analytical categories and methodological insights have postsocialist studies yielded? How have our methodological frameworks and research questions changed in the last decades? Which conversations, interpretive frames, and collaborative processes were beneficial and which were not? What sorts of creative responses have scholars of postsocialism generated to navigate confusing times? And how do insights gleaned by earlier generations of researchers translate, travel and land in the world nearly thirty years removed from the iconic fall of the Berlin Wall?
Invited themes include, but are not limited to the following: creating knowledge about a space; methodologies of data collection and analysis; fieldwork events; analysis of state narratives and discourses; interpretation of contested histories; conducting policy-relevant research; writing in social sciences, and others. As always, at Soyuz, other topics of research on postsocialism that are not directly related to this theme are also welcome. We will invite selected papers for publication as a special issue in one of the relevant journals. Partial funding might be available for graduate students, please indicate if you’d like to be considered in your materials.
Abstracts of up to 250 words should be sent to the Soyuz board by October 15, 2016.
Please include your full name, affiliation, and paper title. Write “Soyuz 2017” in the subject line of your email. Papers will be selected and notifications made by December 1, 2016.
The Soyuz Research Network for Postsocialist Cultural Studies is an interdisciplinary forum for exchanging work based on field research in postsocialist countries, ranging from Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union to Africa, Southeast Asia, and Latin America. Soyuz is an interest group in the American Anthropological Association (AAA) and an official unit of the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES). The Soyuz symposium has met annually since 1991 and offers an opportunity for scholars to interact in a more personal setting. More information on the Soyuz Research Network can be found at the website.
CFP: Art and Social Practice in Eastern Europe after Socialism
We are pleased to announce call for paper proposals for the panel “Art and Social Practice in Eastern Europe after Socialism”, which will be a part of the 2016 Conference of the Universities Art Association of Canada (UAAC). The conference will take place on 27–30 OCT. 2016 UQÀM, Montréal http://www.uaac-aauc.org/montreal-2016
The deadline for paper proposals is June 24, 2016
After the collapse of Communism in 1989, former Soviet-bloc countries faced the urge to reintegrate art practice into the international art scene in order to revive national traditions as well as to reassess the Communist past. Nowadays, artists explore art as social practice, commenting on political and post-colonial activism, gender, and environmental issues, and addressing their concerns to a global audience. Eastern European artists deliberately or implicitly reframe the historical experience of former Socialist societies that had been developed under the Marxist ideas of a non-hierarchical society, social order in culture, and politically engaged art. How is the concept of socially significant, class-specific art now implemented and/or contested by artists and audience? We encourage scholars and art practitioners to reflect on how Socialist cultures influenced the contemporary cultural exchange. We invite prospective panelists to link the contemporary social agenda in art to the Socialist ideological background and intellectual legacy of post- Socialist countries. The organizers expect to bring together diverse approaches to the Socialist/social agenda of the past and its influence on visual culture of post-Socialist societies in a global perspective.
Please, submit your paper proposals (150 words) and short one-page bios/CV to the session chairs:
Hanna Chuchvaha, Sessional Instructor/Independent scholar, University of Alberta
Maria Silina, Banting Postdoctoral Fellow, Université du Québec à Montréal