Sunday, November 16, 2008

CONF./CFP- History and Subjectivity in Russia, St. Petersburg, June 2010

Distrib. by: Central-Eurasia-L - Announcement List for Central Eurasian Studies

CONF./CFP- History and Subjectivity in Russia, St. Petersburg, June 2010

Posted by: Serguei A. Oushakine <>

Call for Papers:

Chelovek i lichnost kak predmet istoricheskikh issledovanii: Rossiia
(pozdnii 19 vek-20 vek)

History and Subjectivity in Russia (late 19th 20th centuries)

The International St. Petersburg colloquium in Russian history,
organized by historians from Russia, the United States, and Western
Europe, is held every two to three years. The goal of the upcoming
conference in June 2010 is to explore how concepts of selfhood shaped
politics, society, and identities in Russia over the last hundred
years. The conference draws attention to dialogical practices through
which individuals in Russia appropriated or modified the blueprints of
identities prescribed by political, intellectual, religious, or
cultural authorities, such as activists, professionals, academic
experts, artists, or priests.

The conference seeks to engage with historical processes through the
analytical lens of the self. It will examine the presuppositions about
human behavior and the ideals of personality and humanity on the part
of state and cultural authorities from the late Imperial period to the
breakup of the Soviet Union; it will follow how these notions were set
into motion over the course of a long century of war and revolution;
and it will study their effects on the lives, personal horizons, and
self-understandings of individuals.

Suggested themes include, but are not limited to:

* The intelligentsia, the church, and the intellectual history of the
personality (lichnost'), from the late 19th through the 20th
centuries. Notions of lichnost and humanity in the human and social

* Wars and revolutions as catalysts of individual self-definition.
Relationships between political violence, repression, and self-definition

* Russian/Soviet formulations of self in dialogue and conflict with
foreign models (e.g. Soviet vs. fascist conceptions during the 1930s
and 1940s; Soviet vs. capitalist models during the Cold War)

* Trajectories of the new man, the Soviet person (sovetskii chelovek),
russkii chelovek, and the dissident

* Gender and sexuality. Evolving representations of the human body
from the late 19th to the late 20th centuries

* Subjectivity and the erosion of political legitimacy (from the late
Imperial to the late Soviet period)

* Everyday life, byt, consumption. Popular cultures and alternative
forms of identity

* Writers, filmmakers, and journalists as human engineers, from
Symbolism to post-Soviet times

* Documenting and classifying selfhood in the archives and in the
realm of istochnikovedenie. The role of oral history.

* An institutional history of biography: From The History of
Remarkable People (Istoriia zamechatelnykh liudei), the History of the
Factories, and A Day in the World (Den mira), to internet diary blogs

We invite paper proposals, based on original archival or ethnographic
research, from specialists in different disciplines and across
disciplineshistory, literary studies, cultural anthropology and
sociology, history of science and religion, film and media studies,
art historyworking on questions of identity and subjectivity.

Organizational Information

The conference, jointly organized by the St. Petersburg Institute of
History of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the European University of
St. Petersburg, and Rutgers University, will take place at the
European University in St. Petersburg in June 2010. The sponsoring
institutions will cover the costs for travel and accommodation of all

Abstracts in Russian or English (maximum length: 500 words) of the
paper you intend to give should be sent to
Your abstract should include your email address and institutional
affiliation, the title of your intended paper, and the abstract text.
Deadline for submission of abstracts: June 1, 2009.

Notification of applicants: no later than September 2009.

Chosen participants will then be asked to submit article-length (at a
maximum of 10,000 words) original papers in Russian or English by
March 1, 2010. The papers will be pre-circulated among all
participants so that there is ample time to read them before the

The papers will be grouped in thematic panels. Paper presentations at
the conference will be limited to 10 minutes. At each panel one
conference participant will moderate and comment briefly on the
papers, before opening the discussion. The working language of the
conference is Russian.

After the conference authors will rework their papers for publication
in a volume to appear in 2011.

Conference organizers:

Jochen Hellbeck
Department of History
Rutgers University

Nikolai Mikhailov
Institute of History, Russian Academy of Sciences
St. Petersburg

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