Friday, April 25, 2014

Drop out from socialist society? A conference in Bristol

Dr. Juliane Fuerst; Dr. Josie McLellan 
05.06.2014-06.06.2014, Bristol, University of Bristol 
Deadline: 30.05.2014 

Much emphasis has been placed in recent years on questions of conformity and everyday ordinariness in socialist societies. This project aims to look at increasingly forgotten elements in these societies: those who did not conform, did not live an ordinary life, yet were also part of the late socialist everyday. Ranging from teddy boys, hippies and punks to non-conformist artists, Buddhists, yoga teachers or lesbian and gay communities, the list of 'drop-outs' is long and varied, yet in danger of being buried by histories that left better documentation and more archival traces. We intend to write these individuals and groups into the newly emerging history of late socialism and examine both their internal functioning as well as their complex relationship with mainstream society and socialist authorities. Was it possible to drop out from socialist society? How far could one distance oneself from the realties of late socialist life? What does the existence of alternative cultures and their daily practices say about the last three decades of socialism in Europe? Did they hasten its decline - or were they indeed a factor in its longevity?
Thursday June 5 

10-10.30: Arrival, registration, coffee 

10.30-12.30: Practice and Belief 1 
Gabriel Jderu (Bucharest): Agency and Liberty. Motorcycle Riding and Freedom Figuration in Romania between 1950 and 1990 
Madigan Fichter (NYU), Islamic identity and practice in Bosnia and Bulgarian student politics and counterculture, 1965-1975. 
Anita Kurimay ( Bryn Mawr) and Judit Takács (Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Finding Sex: desire, disease, and the emergence of the Hungarian homosexual movement in late socialism 

12.30-1.30: Lunch 

1.30-3.30: Practice and Belief 2 
Ewgeniy Kasakow (Bremen), The History of Siberian Punk Underground -- from Antisovietism to Nationalbolshevism 
Jeff Hayton (Illinois), Ignoring Dictatorship? Punk Rock, Alternative Subculture, and Political Challenge in the German Democratic Republic 
Terje Toomistu (Tartu), Cosmic, global and rocking: hippies in Soviet Estonia. 

3.30-4.30 Tea and coffee 

4.30-6.30: Consumption and Production 1 
Vlad Strukov (Leeds) and Daria Kostina (Yekaterinburg), The Failed Engineer? Alternative Artistic Practices in Late-Socialist Yekaterinburg, USSR 
Patryk Wasiak (Wroclaw), Polish youth, home computers and social identities during the system transition of 1989 
Josephine von Zitzewitz (Oxford), The reading habits of the Leningrad underground 

Friday June 6 

9.00-10.30: Consumption and Production 2 
Maria Alina Asavei (Central European University), Art and "Mental Disability": Weapons of the Marginal during Socialism in Eastern Europe 
Sara Kurpiers Blaylock (UC Santa Cruz), The body as machine: System contact in the art of the Auto-Perforation Artists, Dresden 1985-1991 

10.30-11.00 Coffee and tea 

1.30-1.00: Consumption and Production 3 
Irina Costache (Central European University), The Biography of a Scandal: yoga experiments during late state socialism in Romania 
Marta Marciniak (Buffalo), Polish punk subcultures, 1978-1991 

1.00-2.00: Lunch 

2.00-3.00: Alternative Economies 1 
Mark Keck-Szajbel (European University Viadrina) Sex, Lies and Videotape: Dropping Out with VHS 
Roy Kimmey (Chicago), "Karl Marx with a Sex Angle": Sex Work and Sex Workers in State Socialist Central and Eastern Europe 
Anna Kan (Bristol), The production and circulation of magnitizdat in Leningrad 

3.00-3.30 Tea and coffee 

3.30-5.30: Alternative Economies 2 

Peter Mitchell (Edinburgh), Squatting in the German Democratic Republic 
Dariusz Stola (Polish Academy of Sciences), Opting out of the socialist economy: Polish migrants and the second economy in 1980s 

Samantha Barlow University of Bristol

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