суббота, 20 апреля 2013 г.

Memory of Everyday Collaboration with the Communist Regimes in Eastern Europe

Memory of Everyday Collaboration with the Communist Regimes in Eastern Europe

Hungarian Academy of Sciences; European Network Remembrance and Solidarity
21.10.2013-24.10.2013, Budapest (Hungary)   Deadline: 15.05.2013

In the past 15 years two distinct research traditions have evolved
concerning collaboration with the communist regimes in Eastern Europe in
the second half of the 20th century. One of them concentrates on the
proliferation of public history, highlighting the experiences of
specific victims and perpetrators, and discusses the complex issues of
building and interpreting narratives about secret agents and the hunt
for them. The other more recently emerging perspective emphasizes the
nature and multitude of memories of these experiences, and the routine
and extraordinary everyday forms of collaboration and resistance. By now
it is clear that one cannot understand the stories of resistance without
the stories about collaborators and denouncers, but it still seems
difficult to surpass the normative kind of interpretation of the
"agent-hunting" stories.

One of the aims of this conference is to develop a new interpretation of
'collaboration' with the communist regimes by using the terms
'cooperation' and 'political participation', but also to find new
directions for a field that is often disrupted by the politically
charged atmosphere in which stories of cooperation are revealed. It
promises to reveal not only a wealth of 'local' and comparative
information about cooperation hitherto unknown, but also seeks to
interrogate the ways in which post-socialist cultures produce knowledge
about 'collaborators' or 'political participants', and draw a
distinction between 'extraordinary' and 'ordinary' histories. By
intertwining the questions of knowledge production and the writing of
the history of cooperation, the conference will yield methodologically
sophisticated insights into how we construct such a past. The aim is
also to better understand the often neglected national differences in
East-Central Europe, instead of simply considering the Soviet bloc as a
uniform entity.

The conference will focus on the micro-historical and the comparative, a
combination that will offer in-depth understandings of the different
ways in which the processes of cooperation played out in different
socialist societies. These comparative everyday approaches have been
carried out for Fascist and Nazi regimes, but not in a similarly
systematic fashion for the communist ones, and a broader comparative
history of the ways in which these regimes were experienced on the
everyday level is still missing. The conference hopes to elicit papers
that explore issues which focus on the everyday experiences of
collaboration (e.g. socio-historical biographies of everyday secret
agents and analyses of communities surrounding them).

The other important question to be addressed is who is a collaborator?
The papers will investigate the role of collaboration in shaping the
everyday life of people during the socialist period. To what extent did
the totalitarian system influence the private and public life of
ordinary members of society? The conjecture of the conference is that
not only the private life stories and community networks were
transformed, but also the modes of resolving conflicts, interest-based
negotiations and the way of representing memories. Given the vast
abundance of richly detailed archival evidence and living testimonials,
the selected papers will try to construct a different and dynamic
context of private and public life using the biographical and the
micro-level perspective.

Two main sets of questions are central in this conference:
1) the function, social representation and history of national
institutions, secret police archives and institutes of national memory
studying the history of collaboration with the communist dictatorships
(for example the BStU in Germany, the Institute of National Remembrance
(Instytut Pamieci Narodowej - IPN) in Poland, or the secret police
archives in other East-Central European countries). We welcome papers
that address any of the following questions concerning the history of
these institutions and debates on collaboration in the last twenty
years: What kinds of memory of collaboration with the communist regime
are regionally specific? What are the differences between the narratives
concerning the collaboration in different Eastern European countries?
How and why do the practices of forgetting and remembering collaboration
develop? What were the effects of collaboration on everyday life and how
was it represented in regional memories? How do the memories of
collaboration influence national historiographies, and how do historians
interpret collaboration? How does public culture represent the
collaborators? And finally, how do the local national narratives of the
past incorporate the public history concerning collaboration during the
communist period?

2) the social and micro-historical use of secret police documents; life
histories or case studies of individuals or small groups of individuals
who were once connected to the institutional infrastructure of Communist
dictatorships ('collaborators' or 'cooperators' with the communist
regime). The conference will focus on three important sections of the
party-states that used to be instrumental in the routine everyday
functioning of these regimes: a. local rank-and-file party organizations
(e.g. party members as cooperators), b. professional 'think-tank'
institutions in economics, public policy and education, c. civil
'collaborators' with the secret services.

The objective is not simply to take into account the differences and
similarities, but to understand their cultural and social consequences
and how they were perceived by citizens of the former Eastern bloc.
Speakers are invited who carry out research on memories and
collaboration during the communist period in Eastern Europe, and/or
study the establishing process of secret police archives and institutes
of national memory. We seek original research papers devoted to key
issues of regional histories that apply a micro-historical or
comparative perspective.

Language of the conference: English.

The organizers will pay the travel expenses, and provide both
accommodation and meals for the conference speakers.

We will publish a volume based on the conference by a distinguished
international publisher in English. We will provide proofreading for
those who are not native speakers.

Please send an abstract of no more than 300 words and a short
biographical statement together with a brief biography (CVs not
accepted). The conference organizers will ask the authors of selected
papers (max. 10 000 words) to submit their final conference papers a
month before the conference to allow for distribution to chairs and

Deadline of sending abstracts: May 15, 2013.
Proposals should be submitted to the organizers by email:
Sándor Horváth
Head of Department for Contemporary History, Institute of History,
Research Centre for the Humanities, Hungarian Academy of Sciences

The conference organizers:
The conference is a joint initiative of the Institute of History at the
Hungarian Academy of Sciences (http://mta.hu/english/), and the European
Network Remembrance and Solidarity (http://www.enrs.eu/en/). The
conference will take place in Budapest (Hungary) between 21 and 24
October 2013, and will be hosted by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
The attendance at the conference is limited to a maximum of 20

A scientific committee of representatives of the organizing institutes
will evaluate and select the papers. The members of the organizing
Sándor Horváth (Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Péter Apor (Hungarian
Academy of Sciences, Research Centre for the Humanities, Institute of
History), Pawel Sowinski (Polish Academy of Sciences, Institute of
Political Studies), Marína Zavacká (Slovak Academy of Sciences,
Institute of History), Matej Spurný (Czech Academy of Sciences,
Institute of Contemporary History), Zoltán Novák (Romanian Academy,
Gheorghe Sincai Institute for Social Studies and the Humanities, Târgu
Mures), Georg Herbstritt (Office of the Federal Commissioner for the
Records of the State Security Service of the former GDR), Stefano
Bottoni (Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Research Centre for the
Humanities, Institute of History).

Sandor Horvath
Institute of History, Hungarian Academy of Sciences

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