[URBANTH-L] CFP: Walls and Bridges: Refiguring 'Socialist' and 'Postsocialist' Spaces in a Deterritorializing World

Angela Jancius acjancius at ysu.edu
Fri Sep 30 14:14:01 EDT 2005

CFP: Walls and Bridges: Refiguring "Socialist" and 
"Postsocialist" Spaces in a Deterritorializing World

SOYUZ, the Post-Communist Cultural Studies Interest Group,
invites paper proposals and, for the first time, poster
proposals, for its 2006 meeting, to be held March 3-5,
2006, at Bryant University in Smithfield, Rhode Island.
Bryant University is conveniently located near both
Providence, RI, and Boston. The Soyuz symposium is an
intimate forum where scholars (including graduate
students, junior faculty, and senior faculty) from across
the world can exchange ideas and engage in dialogue.

The 2006 Soyuz Symposium will focus on the
deterritorialization of postsocialism and invites papers
and posters that propose new ethnographic, theoretical,
and methodological models for configuring the spaces and
places of postsocialist life. Although categories such as
"socialism," "late socialism," and "postsocialism"
continue to be central to studies of state socialist
societies, particularly in the former Soviet Union and
Eastern Europe, critics have argued that over-reliance on
these categories has produced a sense of geographic,
ethnographic, and methodological isolationism. As a
result, boundaries created by uncritical application of
the concepts of socialism and postsocialism may have
prevented analysts from hearing the perspectives of
scholars and informants who are positioned differently
within these conceptual geographies.

Taking cues from recent globalization studies of
deterritorialization and reterritorialization, this
Symposium challenges participants to map out new
conceptual frameworks that contest, query, or reject the
traditional binary categories of socialism and
postsocialism. In particular, we are interested in
ethnographic work that attends carefully to local
discourses of locality, translocality, and globality as
alternatives to, or critical engagements with, traditional
notions of socialism and postsocialism. Possible questions
to consider include: To what extent is it still legitimate
to propose a geography of socialism/postsocialism? How do
the critical lessons from globalization studies help
socialist/postsocialist scholars rethink the categories
and boundaries that define and constitute our field sites
and our scholarly conversations? Where are the borders,
centers, and peripheries of socialism/postsocialism in a
global, deterritorialized world, and who are our
interlocutors? How do global technologies create,
transform, or eliminate socialist/postsocialist
communities? What do methodologies from globalization
research (multi-sited fieldwork, global commodity chains,
virtual ethnography, etc.) contribute to studies of
socialism/postsocialism and to new research alliances?

Proposed papers and posters should be based on
ethnographic research in a socialist or postsocialist
society (please specify if you are proposing a paper, a
poster, or you have no preference). Presentations and
posters may come from any discipline (anthropology,
sociology, folklore, political science, history, literary
studies, etc.), but must combine solid ethnographic
evidence with theoretical analysis. Suggested length for
proposals is 200-400 words. Please send proposals and a
brief c.v. to Professor William Graves
(wgraves at bryant.edu) and Professor Melissa Caldwell
(lissa at ucsc.edu) by December 1, 2005. Decisions will be
made and notification sent out in early January 2006.

Melissa L. Caldwell
Assistant Professor
Department of Anthropology
321 Social Sciences I
University of California, Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz, CA 95064
Phone: 831-459-3856
E-mail: lissa at ucsc.edu

More information about the URBANTH-L mailing list