Friday, April 25, 2014

Drop out from socialist society? A conference in Bristol

Dr. Juliane Fuerst; Dr. Josie McLellan 
05.06.2014-06.06.2014, Bristol, University of Bristol 
Deadline: 30.05.2014 

Much emphasis has been placed in recent years on questions of conformity and everyday ordinariness in socialist societies. This project aims to look at increasingly forgotten elements in these societies: those who did not conform, did not live an ordinary life, yet were also part of the late socialist everyday. Ranging from teddy boys, hippies and punks to non-conformist artists, Buddhists, yoga teachers or lesbian and gay communities, the list of 'drop-outs' is long and varied, yet in danger of being buried by histories that left better documentation and more archival traces. We intend to write these individuals and groups into the newly emerging history of late socialism and examine both their internal functioning as well as their complex relationship with mainstream society and socialist authorities. Was it possible to drop out from socialist society? How far could one distance oneself from the realties of late socialist life? What does the existence of alternative cultures and their daily practices say about the last three decades of socialism in Europe? Did they hasten its decline - or were they indeed a factor in its longevity?
Thursday June 5 

10-10.30: Arrival, registration, coffee 

10.30-12.30: Practice and Belief 1 
Gabriel Jderu (Bucharest): Agency and Liberty. Motorcycle Riding and Freedom Figuration in Romania between 1950 and 1990 
Madigan Fichter (NYU), Islamic identity and practice in Bosnia and Bulgarian student politics and counterculture, 1965-1975. 
Anita Kurimay ( Bryn Mawr) and Judit Takács (Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Finding Sex: desire, disease, and the emergence of the Hungarian homosexual movement in late socialism 

12.30-1.30: Lunch 

1.30-3.30: Practice and Belief 2 
Ewgeniy Kasakow (Bremen), The History of Siberian Punk Underground -- from Antisovietism to Nationalbolshevism 
Jeff Hayton (Illinois), Ignoring Dictatorship? Punk Rock, Alternative Subculture, and Political Challenge in the German Democratic Republic 
Terje Toomistu (Tartu), Cosmic, global and rocking: hippies in Soviet Estonia. 

3.30-4.30 Tea and coffee 

4.30-6.30: Consumption and Production 1 
Vlad Strukov (Leeds) and Daria Kostina (Yekaterinburg), The Failed Engineer? Alternative Artistic Practices in Late-Socialist Yekaterinburg, USSR 
Patryk Wasiak (Wroclaw), Polish youth, home computers and social identities during the system transition of 1989 
Josephine von Zitzewitz (Oxford), The reading habits of the Leningrad underground 

Friday June 6 

9.00-10.30: Consumption and Production 2 
Maria Alina Asavei (Central European University), Art and "Mental Disability": Weapons of the Marginal during Socialism in Eastern Europe 
Sara Kurpiers Blaylock (UC Santa Cruz), The body as machine: System contact in the art of the Auto-Perforation Artists, Dresden 1985-1991 

10.30-11.00 Coffee and tea 

1.30-1.00: Consumption and Production 3 
Irina Costache (Central European University), The Biography of a Scandal: yoga experiments during late state socialism in Romania 
Marta Marciniak (Buffalo), Polish punk subcultures, 1978-1991 

1.00-2.00: Lunch 

2.00-3.00: Alternative Economies 1 
Mark Keck-Szajbel (European University Viadrina) Sex, Lies and Videotape: Dropping Out with VHS 
Roy Kimmey (Chicago), "Karl Marx with a Sex Angle": Sex Work and Sex Workers in State Socialist Central and Eastern Europe 
Anna Kan (Bristol), The production and circulation of magnitizdat in Leningrad 

3.00-3.30 Tea and coffee 

3.30-5.30: Alternative Economies 2 

Peter Mitchell (Edinburgh), Squatting in the German Democratic Republic 
Dariusz Stola (Polish Academy of Sciences), Opting out of the socialist economy: Polish migrants and the second economy in 1980s 

Samantha Barlow University of Bristol

Friday, April 11, 2014


"Questioning the Temporalities of Metropolitan Memory: Transitions, Cycles, Durations and Moments"
"Metropolitan Temporalities" Conference
Technische Universität in Berlin, Germany
November 20 - 22, 2014

We hereby invite submissions for the paper session “Questioning the Temporalities of Metropolitan Memory: Transitions, Cycles, Durations, and Moments” as part of the forthcoming conference “Metropolitan Temporalities.”
Metropolitan Temporalities is the third annual conference of the International Graduate Research Program Berlin – New York – Toronto “The World in the City,“ and will take place November 20 – 22, 2014 at the Technische Universität in Berlin, Germany.
Over the past three decades, both urban studies and globalization studies have predominately focused on spatial concerns, often neglecting the important temporal dimensions of global urban development. Our third annual conference therefore seeks to systematically examine the diverse temporal aspects of global exchange and metropolitan development in four thematic clusters: metropolitan pasts and futures; politics of time; metropolitan rhythms; and economies of time.
Session Description


Within the interdisciplinary sub-field of memory studies that has emerged since the 1980s, the urban realm has been acknowledged to be particularly well-attuned to reflect the dynamics of social memory and has subsequently been elevated as a key context for investigation. Within this body of literature, however, notions of temporality and time are often under-scrutinized and their significance is often assumed to be self-evidently connected to the process of handling the past in the present. Temporality is almost always present but is rarely the focus of such studies. One notable and influential theoretical exception is Jan Assmann’s attention to memory transitions, most significantly the transition between ‘communicative’ and ‘cultural’ memory, determined by generational cycles and characterised by durations of 80-100 years. In addition, numerous empirical studies have emphasised memory moments or ‘flashpoints’ – commemorative anniversaries or instances of returning social relevancy that facilitate the remembrance of specific pasts and the repression of others. These explications of mnemonic temporalities, however, may themselves be of the past, outdated and no longer suited for the study of metropolitan memory in the early 21st century. Globalisation processes, in particular the spread of virtual and digital technologies with their increasing degrees of social connectivity and instantaneity, have eroded the sharp distinctions that formerly characterised notions of ‘metropolis’, ‘time’ and ‘temporality.’

This urban temporal transformation has undoubtedly changed the nature of urban memory, although the precise ways in which this has occurred has yet to be fully empirically investigated or theoretically formulated. As such, this session invites paper proposals that question and explicate the changing temporalities of urban memory. Preference will be given to proposals that explicitly emphasise the temporal transfigurations of existing theories of urban memory and question their ongoing validity through the application of comparative and transnational perspectives and where possible, in reference to empirical case studies.

Please submit an abstract of 300 words by April 30th to and .

There is the possibility of financial support for accepted participants.

Emily Bereskin
Center for Metropolitan Studies
Berlin, Germany

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

„Mahalle Meets Stadtquartier: Berlin – Rabat – Tehran – Istanbul“

Call for Applications - Internationales PhD Kolloquium „Mahalle Meets Stadtquartier: Berlin – Rabat – Tehran – Istanbul“, Deadline: 30.04.2014.
Die Habitat Unit ruft zu Bewerbungen für das internationale Austauschprogramm „Mahalle meets Stadtquartier“ auf.

Bewerben können sich Doktorand_innen verschiedener akademischer Disziplinen, die Ihren Forschungsschwerpunkt in Stadtbezirken o.ä. in einem oder mehreren der teilnehmenden Partnerländer haben.
Die vollständige Ausschreibung ist hier erhältlich: