CfP: National Bodies in Eastern Europe

posted by Amalia Kerekes on 2009/11/26 11:04

[ Call for Papers ]

The conference at the Victoria University of Wellington (August 28-29, 2010) explores the spread of nationalized thinking as it relates to the body. How did people in Central Europe, Eastern Europe, and the Balkans classify each other in terms of national concepts? Topics of interest include: bodily practices, literary concepts of the body, national sexuality, national clothing, sporting nationalism, and eugenics. We expect to publish selected proceedings. Abstracts are due 1 June 2010.

Several scholars have explained the rise of nationalism as the consequence of "modernization," variously understood as some combination of secularization, industrialization, rising literacy, increasing technological sophistication, and similar factors. National ideologies transformed political life, as they seized European imaginations, but also affected how people viewed each other in everyday circumstances. The experience of life in Eastern Europe, a region where the impact of nationalism proved particularly explosive, has included the experience of being stereotyped and classified in terms of nationalist fantasy.
We wish to explore the spread of nationalized thinking as it relates to the body. How did people in central Europe, Eastern Europe, and the Balkans classify each other in terms of national concepts? What characteristics supposedly distinguished the Czech from the German, the Jew from the Ukrainian, the Romanian from the Hungarian, the Turk from the Greek, and so forth? How did these fantasies of the national body emerge, and how did they affect human interactions? Other topics of possible interest include: national bodily practices, literary concepts of national bodies, national sexuality or sexualities, national clothing or accoutrements, sporting nationalism, or eugenics.
We are initially soliciting papers for a conference hosted by the Antipodean East European Study Group at Victoria University and the Russian Programme at the University of Canterbury. The conference will take place on the weekend of 28-29 August  in Wellington, New Zealand. We welcome scholars working in history, anthropology, sociology, literary studies, film studies, and other related disciplines. The conference organizers then intend to publish selected papers either as an edited volume, or a special edition of a relevant journal. Final word lengths are flexible at this stage, but we suggest contributors aim for 6,000 words.
Interested parties contact Alexander Maxwell at alexander.maxwell@vuw.ac.nz.


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