CfP: Socialism – Experience and Rememberance. Young researchers in an established field

Call for papers, deadline 31 October 2018


Socialism – Experience and Rememberance. Young researchers in an established field.
16th Potsdam postgraduate forum on contemporary history, 21 - 22 February 2019, Potsdam, DE.

The socialist experience and its legacy is on everyone’s lips – be it as a template for the migration experience or as a possible explanation for the recent rise of populist and authoritarian parties in Europe.
This ongoing debate as well as the 30th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall provide an opportunity to reflect on the experiences of Socialism in the former Eastern Bloc and to discuss the various forms of remembrance after the times of upheaval: To what extent were the developments post-89/90 primed by the socialist past and how is that past dealt with in the process of remembrance and reappraisal?

The Centre for Contemporary History (ZZF) is hosting the 16th Potsdam postgraduate forum on “Socialism – Experience and Remembrance”, focusing on the era of Soviet Socialism in the second half of the 20th century in Europe and the following period of transformation(s) up to the present day.

PhD students of contemporary history and neighboring fields are invited to present their research and preliminary results including disparate experiences and various methodical approaches from the following range of topics:

Experiencing socialism:
- experience and remembrance as individual as well as collective phenomena in (post-) socialist societies
- discursive analysis of experience and remembrance in (post-) socialist societies
Doing socialism:
- social and performative practices during and after the socialist period
Feeling socialism:
- studies in the history of senses and/or emotion during socialism and during the period of transition: the interpretation of experiences on corporal-affective levels
Remembering socialism
- the remembrance of socialism and the transition period as well as the transformation of experience into (political) capital
- reappraisal of socialism (and the period of transition) as a formal as well as an emotional process
Contributions are not limited to the pre-1989 period and might cover the experiences of the following processes of sociopolitical change and the post-socialist time.

With this approach, we not only want to study fractures and continuities but also seek to test Koselleck’s statement – in an environment of severe socio-political unrest – that “old expectations worked themselves out on the basis of the experiences” .
The objective of the conference is to provide a setting where young researchers can present and discuss their projects and research findings and receive comments from senior researchers (primarily ZZF-fellows).

Additionally, we will organize a special workshop to address the various methodological and practical challenges associated with the specific theoretical approaches.

We welcome proposals from young researchers and PhD Students.
Please submit a 500-word abstract (German or English) and a brief C.V. by October 31st 2018.

The conference will take place from 21 to 22 January 2019 at the ZZF in Potsdam.
The language of communication is German and/or English. Please ensure that the length of your presentation does not exceed 20 minutes.
Travel and accommodation allowance can be granted for accepted speakers.
We welcome external listeners and guests to participate at their own expenses.
Organization and contact: Christopher Banditt, Nikolai Okunew, Henrike Voigtländer