[URBANTH-L]CFP for AAA: Gender and Comparative Socialisms

Elise Andaya elise.andaya at nyu.edu
Wed Feb 25 15:34:55 EST 2009

CALL FOR ABSTRACTS for the American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting 
December 2-6, 2009, Philadelphia, PA

Panel Abstract

As the Berlin Wall came down in 1989, international observers declared the beginning of a “post-socialist” age.  Twenty years later, the unexpected tenacity of established socialist states in Asia and in Cuba, the (re)emergent socialisms in Latin America, as well as the pervasiveness of “socialist” ideologies and practices in “post-socialist” states underscore the prematurity of predictions about the end of socialism. It is clear, however, that socialism is in a decisively different moment shaped by new forms of globalization and transnational flows. While drawing attention to local specificities, such processes open the analytical separation between socialism and capitalism to examination and critique, especially among states that have embraced certain aspects of capitalist market practice while retaining socialist or Communist ideologies and state organization.

Given socialism’s commitment—ideologically, if not in practice—to the creation of a gender-egalitarian society, gender has proved a productive analytic lens for many scholars of (post)socialism.  Feminist anthropologists working during the 1990s, for example, turned a gendered lens onto processes of social and economic change to examine the emergence of new public and private spheres, the re-configuration of masculinities and femininities, and the imbrication of gender with ideologies of modernity and processes of state-making.

Given changes in the global political-economic terrain, we ask: how might attention to gender elucidate new economic and social processes in (post)socialist states? In what ways do gendered experiences of new configurations of states, capital, and markets in Asia, Cuba, and Latin America differ, if at all, from transitions witnessed in Eastern Europe in the 1990s and today?  Taking a broadly comparative perspective, we invite papers that examine gender and (post)socialism in novel ways to interrogate (for example, and not limited to): gender and global flows; gender and social critique; gender and local modernities; gender and citizenship; gender and consumption; gendered bodies and the state; gender and medicine; gender and reproduction. Do these ideological, social, and market shifts represent—for either anthropologists or local participants—transformative ends and beginnings, or are they better viewed as continuities of gendered practices?

Please contact both Elise Andaya (eandaya at albany.edu) and Melissa Pashigian (mpashigi at brynmawr.edu) to indicate interest ASAP, with abstracts to follow by Friday, March 6, 2009.

Elise Andaya
Department of Anthropology 
New York University

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