Cultural Space & Identity

posted by ush on 2010/03/13 13:28

[ Call for Papers ]

Cultural Space and Identity in a Post-Socialist Context
Ljubljana, Slovenia,
8-10 September 2010
Organizers: University of Ljubljana, Academy of Theatre, Radio, Film and Television in conjunction with STEP - Project on European Theatre Systems

Abstracts of 200 words or less (in .doc, .docx, or .rtf formats) should be submitted by 30 April 2010 to Dr. Barbara Su’ec Michieli ( and Prof. Steve Wilmer ( The authors whose abstracts are accepted will receive confirmation of acceptance by 10 May 2010. Complete papers should be sent by 1 September 2010. Selected papers may be invited to be developed further for publication in a hard copy volume.

The interdisciplinary conference Cultural Space and Identity in a Post-Socialist Context inquires about the impact of social changes in post-socialist societies since the 1980s on theatre, cinema, contemporary art and new media. In particular, the conference seeks to explore such questions as:
  • How have cultural space, identity and national iconography been reconfigured in post-socialist societies?
  • What common patterns of change, if any, can be identified in post-socialist theatre and/or contemporary art and new media?
  • How is cultural memory being performed in post-socialist societies?
  • What are the implications of globalization and international (global) markets for contemporary art, theatre, etc., in post-socialist societies?
The transition from socialism to democracy goes beyond economic and political shifts and is multifold, complex and diverse. In various countries it has occurred at slightly different times, at different paces and with different consequences; some countries have experienced military conflicts, others a (seemingly) "velvet" revolution. Accordingly, the changes in cultural identities, the emergence of civil society, the redefinition of public spaces and other social changes have also varied depending on the mode of transition. While political, economic and ideological aspects of these transitions have been thoroughly investigated, little has been said about the "less spectacular", "marginalized" issues that have also contributed to and benefited from transition periods.

The conference Cultural Space and Identity in a Post-Socialist Context seeks to do just that.  The conference will emphasize local cultural practices from local standpoints, drawing attention to anarchic, radical and marginalized cultural practices as well as encouraging comparative research about theatre in relation to other cultural fields.

Papers are invited on issues related - but not limited - to any of the following topics:
  • the impact of social change (including political, economic, ideological, and aesthetic as well as globalization and international markets) on cultural expressiveness and diversity in post-socialist societies;
  • the new cultural (especially anarchic) spaces in post-socialist societies (e.g., in Ljubljana, Budapest, Berlin, Vilnius, etc.);
  • the rise of new radical artistic phenomena in the context of post-socialism, the role of video, performance art and new media;
  • the redefinition of old public spaces and the emergence of new ones, the re-appropriation of public space by civil society;
  • the redefinition of national cultural institutions, especially national theatres and their role and identity after socialism;
  • performing cultural memory (remembering the past, historical events, the redefinition of cultural and national icons, the reinterpretation of national symbols, and monuments);
  • the extent to which Western culture has colonized, redefined and/or reinvented Central and Eastern European culture;
  • the images of socialism from the standpoint of post-socialist art (and artists) as opposed to the standpoint of Western art (and artists);
  • changes in the process of comprehending the meanings of cultural elites.
  • the defeat of the Left in the last twenty years, and its reverberations in engaged political performances.


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