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Conference: "Mosaics of Change, Revisited: Creating Cultures in the New Europe and Central Asia" (Kraków, June 19-21, 2015)

Academics, artists, performers, and writers explore cultural changes in post-1989 Central and Eastern Europe and former Soviet Republics

We invite a rich, diverse assortment of papers and performances across disciplines for this unique conference.

Much research and public discourse since 1989 and 1991 has been related to the important macro questions of democratic consolidation, state-building, and economic restructuring. But an important level of the transformations that impact these goals and more is that of the cultural sphere. For example:

How are new communications media infusing today’s cultures?

What is the image of the nation that voters are recalling or creating?

What new narratives are being created and disseminated?

How are historical meanings related to feelings about the present?

What beliefs do people hold about ideal economic arrangements?

How do questions of ethnic and gender inclusion impact democratic cultures?

Who is responsible for the arts, what visions do artists project for ideal societies, and how is preservation of artistic artifacts managed?

In this conference, we can investigate and perform the ongoing issues, questions, and assertions that impact these macro processes as lived in both everyday (mundane) and occasional (extraordinary) times.

In 1999, our fascinating conference papers addressed collective memory, education, advertising, music, literature, and economic cultures, among other topics. We watched a theatrical performance of the issue of child sexual abuse together and discussed the emerging public discourse over such private problems, and listened to the strains of Jewish klezmer music.

The 2015 Conference Invitation: For 2015, we invite any and all subjects related to cultural change, from social sciences, humanities, and other related fields, as well as cultural professionals.

Potential panel topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • new communications media (social media, internet, email)
  • the museum world, monuments, cultural landscapes, collective memory (museums in crisis, reconstructing monumentation, new anniversaries, recovered histories)
  • gender (Women’s and LGBT cultures and movements)
  • literature, drama/theater, music, film, new media (arts after censorship, new visions and content, ways of narrating achievements and failures of history )
  • academia (changing role/s of intellectuals, educational norms, new disciplines, alternative developments, cross-national relationships, intellectual trends, primary and secondary education)
  • journalism
  • popular culture, advertising, everyday life
  • political ideologies, nationalism, human rights, citizenship, cultures and civil war / conflict
  • economic cultures, culture of home and housing, neoliberal policies and the new austerity
  • immigration and multiculturalism, cosmopolitanism, transculturalism, diasporic cultures  (ethnic cultures and rights, new cultural mixes, minority cultures and languages)
  • religious communities and expressions, intersections with ethnic cultures and political ideologies
  • indigeneity within European cultures: rediscoveries (context of performance and theater), folklore and folklorism, archeological discoveries

Our intent is to forge a conversation between these diverse subjects and specialties, and across locales, to inspire collaborations and creativity. In fact, a paper that combines two or more of these topics is most welcome. Panels may span more than one of these topics. For academic papers, we seek original empirical research that has not been published, as the conference may result in an edited volume or special issue of a journal. Student papers are welcome. Due to space and funding limitations, this will be a small conference, with ample opportunity to get acquainted with other participants. In order to maintain continuity from the 1999 conference, one place will be reserved on each panel from a participant from that conference.

Application Details and Costs

We invite papers that present new, original research on one of the themes of the conference or a related topic.

To apply for the conference:

Please send Title, Abstract, Author Name(s) and Contact information by email to

Susan C. Pearce, pearces@ecu.edu and Eugenia Sojka, eugenia.sojka@us.edu.pl

by January 19, 2015. Conference participants will be notified of their selection by mid February, 2015.

 Cost: 30 Euros per participant, which includes conference materials, refreshments between sessions, and a reception. Payment is due on April 1, 2014 in order to be listed on the program. There is the possibility of a limited number of scholarships to cover conference fee, depending on funding. If your participation is contingent on a scholarship, please indicate this with your application.

NOTE: It is extremely important for the purposes of conference planning and budgeting that conference participants commit to being present for the full conference or at least 90% of the sessions. Our aim is to have a small, intimate conference where dialog continues across the sessions. If presenters only appear for their individual session presentation, this makes a major dent in attendance figures for other sessions.


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