Saturday, April 27, 2013

CALL FOR PAPERS: "Dropping out of Socialism: Alternative Cultures in the Soviet Bloc"

The Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) are calling for proposals for articles relating to subcultures, drop-outs and the underground in late socialist societies. Any group and any time period between 1956 and 1991 will be considered, University of Bristol, UK; Workshop TBA Spring 2014 (Abstract Deadline: June 1, 2013)

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 the ordinary life, yet were also part of the late socialist every day.

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 realities 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?

We are calling for proposals for articles relating to subcultures, drop-outs and the underground in late socialist societies. Any group and any time period between 1956 and 1991 will be considered.

The workshop and subsequent publication of articles in a special journal issue is part of the AHRC sponsored project 'Dropping out of Socialism', which examines a variety of drop-out cultures in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. We are planning to hold a workshop in Bristol, UK in the spring of 2014, when authors present their articles for discussion. A final manuscript will be expected by the summer of 2014.

Please send a short proposal (max 500 words) and a CV to:

josie.mclellan@bristol.ac.uk by 1 June 2013.

For further questions please contact: 

juliane.furst@bristol.ac.uk

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