Monday, March 17, 2014

Call for Papers for the Conference of the Society for Romanian Studies (SRS), Bucharest, 17- 19 June 2015

The SRS is an international inter-disciplinary academic organization that promotes professional study, criticism, and research on all aspects of Romanian culture and civilization, particularly concerning the countries of Romania and Moldova. 
For information about SRS visit
The 2015 SRS conference will be hosted by the Faculty of Political Science, the University of Bucharest. We thank them for their support.

Linking Past, Present and Future: The 25th Anniversary of Regime Change in Romania and Moldova (1989/1991) 

Anniversaries represent opportunities to reflect on past events, re-assess their impact on the present, and draw lessons for the future. Together with other 20th century historical events – including World War I, World War II, and the communist take-over – the overthrow of the communist regime represented a watershed event for Romania and Moldova, the most recent great transformation it is seen as having led to the end of the communist dictatorship, democratization of the political system, the introduction of market economy, cultural liberalization, the opening of borders, and a re-alignment with the West. At the same time, given Romania’s and Moldova’s persistent problems with political instability, pervasive corruption, slow economic growth, populism, and nationalism, the significance of the 1989/1991 regime change and its outcomes remains a source of contestation. The aim of this conference is to take a fresh look at the transformative events of a quarter century ago. We wish to examine their significance for the two countries’ post-communist trajectories, past, present, and future both domestically and in the wider European and Eurasian contexts with the help of broad historical, political, literary, and cultural disciplinary and interdisciplinary inquiries. 
Keynote Speakers: Dennis Deletant (Georgetown University) and Mihaela Miroiu (SNSPA). 
We welcome proposals for papers, panels and roundtables from junior and senior scholars working in a variety of disciplines: history, sociology, anthropology and ethnography, political science, philosophy, law and justice studies, literature and linguistics, economics, business, international affairs, religious, gender, film and media studies, art history, music, and education, among others. Possible topics might include, but are not limited to: 
• Precursors of 1989 (anti-Stalinist revolts and resistance, resistance through culture, the role of dissidents, everyday forms of resistance, Braşov 1987, etc.)
• The external context (Gorbachev’s Soviet Union, the events in East and Central Europe) 
• Western propaganda and the Romanian diasporas 
• 1989 in popular and official memory, historiography, film, literature and the arts 
• Legacies of World War I and World War II 
• Sources and archives 
• Communism, post-communism, and the arts 
• Writers and artists in post-communism 
• The Romanian new wave and the legacy of communism 
• European Union accession 
• Moldova between West and East 
• Legal and constitutional reforms 
• Party and electoral politics, and voting behavior 
• Free markets, neoliberalism and state paternalism 
• Romania’s place in Europe and in the region 
• Romania’s relationship with the Republic of Moldova 
• Moldova’s place in Europe and the region 
• The status of ethnic, religious and sexual minorities in Romania and Moldova 
• The reconfiguration of social stratification 
• Post-communist media and journalism 
• The role of the Orthodox Church, and of other religious groups 
• Dynamics of migration from and into Romania and Moldova 
• Policy analysis and public administration 
• Urban policies and architecture in communism and post-communism 
Individual paper proposals should include the title of the presentation, a brief abstract of up to 500 words, a short c.v., and contact information of the presenter. They should be sent in a single attached Word document by August 1, 2014 at
Proposals for 2-hour panels including 3-4 papers, one chair, and 1-2 discussants should provide a title and description of the panel topic, abstracts of all papers, short vitae, and contact information for all participants. Panel participants should be drawn from at least two different universities. 
Round tables proposals of 3-5 participants should include title and description of the topic, short vitae and contact information for all participants. In addition, the conference organizers will accept proposals for book panels. Submissions and presentations in French will be accepted, as long as they are for full panels and roundtables including members from more than one university. Participants will be notified of the acceptance of their proposal by October 15, 2014. 
In order to assure that the conference is accessible to scholars from across the Atlantic region and to those from Romania and the Republic of Moldova, the conference fees will be quite modest. For scholars from North America, the fee will be 40 USD; for those from the Eurozone and Western Europe, 40 Euros, and from Romania, Moldova and parts east, 40 Romanian Lei. Graduate students will be exempt from this fee. SRS membership will also be required and additional for those paying in USD and Euros, but included for those paying in Lei. 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Upcoming conference: "Imagining Alternative Modernities"


We are excited to announce the interdisciplinary conference, "Imagining Alternative Modernities: Interventions from the Balkans and South Asia", which will take place at The Ohio State University, Columbus, October 9-11, 2014. The conference completes and complements a series of interdisciplinary activities in 2013-14, supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation through the John E. Sawyer Seminars on the Comparative Study of Cultures grant program. For more information on the seminar, please visit:

Keynote Speakers:

Tomislav Longinović, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Kalyanakrishnan Sivaramakrishnan, Yale University

On the surface, the Balkans and South Asia might seem to have little in common. However, despite many specific differences, they share similar dilemmas of linguistic, religious, cultural, and ethno-national complexity, similar turbulent political developments associated with imperial, post-colonial, and Cold War legacies, and a similar diversity of responses to these historical and contemporary challenges. Both areas have seen a mixing of people through migratory settlement, conquest, contact, and trade. But both have also experienced periods of reaction to cultural hybridity: a radical unmixing of people through partition and population exchange. The impact of these upheavals is seen in the direct violence of war and devastation, but also through crises on the levels of language, religion, and other modes of culture and human creative activity. The unique yet similar issues within each region compel us
towards a comparative approach that will offer a transnational perspective on the intersection of language, religion, culture, and nationalism.

We thus invite proposals for paper presentations from any disciplinary or interdisciplinary perspective within the humanities and social sciences addressing one or more of the following themes in the Balkans or in South Asia, or comparatively between the two regions:

1.Violence, Gender, and Human Rights

2.Nation, Religion, Language, and Secularism

3. Minorities, State, Language, and Citizenship

4. Postcolonial and Postsocialist Perspectives on Neoliberalism

Additionally, selected papers will be included in a collection of essays resulting from the conference.

Graduate students are encouraged to participate. Limited funding is available for student lodging.

Please send a 350-word abstract in PDF format and brief (one paragraph maximum) bio to by Monday March 17, 2014 (11:59pm).

Notifications of acceptance will be sent by May 1, 2014 and the program will be announced by June 1, 2014.