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Soyuz: The Research Network for Postsocialist Cultural Studies

Soyuz is broadly conceived as a group of anthropologists and other scholars working in postsocialist studies. It is formally constituted as the Post-Communist Cultural Studies Interest Group of the American Anthropological Association (AAA) and is also recognized as an official unit of the Association for Slavic, East European Studies and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES, formerly AAASS). We gather at AAA and ASEEES meetings in North America and here on the web to distribute information on our projects.

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Announcements are posted from messages sent to the Soyuz listserv. To post an additional announcement, please email Soyuz webmaster Dafna Rachok (darachok [at] iu.edu).

 

Socialism, Capitalism, and Childhood: Material Lives and Mutual Imaginations

PORTAL NOW OPEN FOR SUBMISSIONS

In the contemporary United States and beyond, emotional pedagogies aimed at children construct subjectivities that are suited to neoliberal visions of productivity and self-management, even as journalists ponder why some young people find the notion of “socialism” to be ever more appealing in the era of Trump. In 20th century Europe, visions of childhood were vital to socialist discourses about the good life, and they undoubtedly figure prominently in efforts to remake the fabric of postsocialist everyday lives and economies. Indeed, constructions of childhood, youth, and familial politics are integral to the ways researchers and laypeople routinely understand what capitalism and socialism mean and are – why they are desirable or repulsive, respectively, and how they may yet transform – in a lived and immediate sense.

“Socialism, Capitalism, and Childhood” is part of a larger, multi-sited conference project on childhood memories from the Cold War to the Anthropocene, which will feature gatherings at 5 world hubs on October 20-21, 2021: Tampere Universities (tuni.fi).The Atlanta hub seeks to bring together researchers working in capitalist, socialist, and/or postsocialist settings, past and present, and across the social sciences and humanities, to illuminate how childhood and the experiences of children, youth, and parenting define the meanings of socialism and capitalism in highly material and often implicit ways.  Topics of discussion might include:

  • material and sensory aspects of children and parents’ engagements with commodities, social media, and other aspects of political economy;
  • specific uses of childhood to define socialism, capitalism, and their distinct visions of prosperity – whether separately or in relationship to one another;
  • articulations of emotionality, affect, and selfhood in relation to contexts/concepts of neoliberalism and/or postsocialism;
  • children and childhood in Cold War imaginings of East and West;
  •  youth politics and representations of capitalism and/or socialism/postsocialism.

Projects can be comparative across time and space, but need not be; rather, we imagine that locally specific observations and theorizations will contribute to our broader, collective project of comparison and inter-articulation. We welcome conventional academic papers as well as visual (photographic, video, etc.) projects and other creative proposals. Relevant fields of study include but are not limited to:  anthropology, sociology, history, cultural studies, education, cultural geography, art history, philosophy, women’s/gender/sexuality/queer studies, performance studies, and childhood studies.

LOGISTICS:

-Abstracts (300 words maximum) should be submitted through the conference hub at: Abstract submission | | Tampere Universities (tuni.fi). The site will be open for submission from February 1 through May 1, 2021.  Registration (due upon acceptance to the conference) is $50.

-Papers can be submitted individually (plan for 15-20 minutes presentation time) or as panels (2 hours maximum).

-Participants will have the choice to present on-site (COVID-19 precautions allowing) or virtually.

-Contact Jennifer Patico ([email protected]) with any queries about the Atlanta conference hub.

-Please forward to your relevant collegial networks and listservs!

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CFP: “Baltic Musics After the Post-Soviet,” Amherst College, Virtual, January 21-23, 2022

Deadline: April 1, 2021

“Baltic Musics After the Post-Soviet” is an international conference hosted virtually at the Center for Humanistic Inquiry at Amherst College (Massachusetts, USA) on January 21-23, 2022. The conference will bring together scholars and artists working in the Baltics (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and areas connected by the Baltic Sea) and with Baltic musics to document and understand emerging worlds and narratives of Baltic music. The three-day event will focus on questions of creative and scholarly practice after the “post-Soviet”: What happens as processes of return, reunion, restoration, revival, and reconciliation characterizing “post-Soviet” life in the Baltics give way to new emergencies and urgencies? What happens as generations less impacted by the experience of Soviet occupation and coloniality create sounds and spaces beyond the “post-Soviet”? For Baltic musicians, musical publics, and scholars working to decolonize national culture, critically rethink ethnolinguistic and racialized identities in musical life, and make scenes and traditions sustainable, the certainty of the “post-Soviet” as “that which we no longer are” is also its limit—always once occupied, once colonized.

Confirmed keynote speakers and presenters are:
Kevin Karnes (Emory University)
Rūta Stanevičiūtė (Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre)
Laura Jēkabsone (Composer/Arranger, Latvian Voices)

We invite music- and sound-centered papers and presentations of creative work that address Baltic musics after the “post-Soviet” from practice-based, ethnographic, historical, and comparative perspectives. For papers, please submit a 250-word abstract along with a 150-word biography. For maker and performer presentations, please submit either a 250-word description of your presentation plan or a prospective program with a 100-word description of relevant themes, topics, or connecting threads. All maker and performer proposals should include 1-3 links to audio/visual/other if relevant materials that are representative of the proposed presentation. All materials should be submitted in PDF format to [email protected] by April 1, 2021


For more information, please see the conference website here:
https://bit.ly/3t5SrdJ

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SOYUZ (Postsocialist Cultural Studies Network) Board Elections

The Postsocialist Cultural Studies Network (SOYUZ) is opening up elections to re-elect members of its board. Soyuz is broadly conceived as a group of anthropologists and other scholars working in postsocialist studies. It is formally constituted as the Post-Communist Cultural Studies Interest Group of the American Anthropological Association (AAA) and is also recognized as an official unit of the Association for Slavic, East European Studies and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES, formerly AAASS). We gather at AAA and ASEEES meetings in North America and here on the web to distribute information on our projects.
The following board positions are currently opening up for re-election.

Convenor: The duties of Convenor will be to provide leadership and an agenda of activities for Soyuz. The Convenor convenes business meetings in advance of the conventions of AAA and/or ASEEES. The Convenor will handle official Soyuz correspondence. The Convenor will call for elections.

Webmaster: The Webmaster will maintain all aspects of the Soyuz website and list-serve.

Secretary: The Secretary will maintain records of Soyuz meetings and post them on H-Soyuz for members to view. The Secretary will maintain the Soyuz membership list. The Secretary will maintain a record of Soyuz history for institutional membership. The Secretary will serve as a resource for in-coming officers regarding responsibilities and on-going projects in order to ensure a smooth transition.

Programming Coordinator: The Programming Coordinator will work with the organizers of the yearly Soyuz Symposiums. The Programming Coordinator will supervise the process by which Soyuz’s sponsored panels at ASEEES and AAA are selected. The Programming Coordinator will work with the Student Representative when appropriate to plan mentoring and social events at AAA, ASEEES and other conferences.

Book Review Editor: The Book Review Editor will provide a monthly digital round-up of book reviews relevant to Soyuz interests. The Book Review Editor will post the round-up to Soyuz electronic forums.

H-Soyuz Editor: The H-Soyuz editor serves as an ex-officio member of the Executive Committee. The H-Soyuz editor will maintain all aspects of the H-Soyuz list. Per H-Net’s Policies, the H-Soyuz editor is approved by the H-Soyuz advisory board (which is separate from Soyuz Executive Committee) and certified by the H-Net Executive Council.

Anthropology News (AN) column editor (2 positions):  The AN column editor will be responsible for ensuring that a column is submitted to Anthropology News six times each year. The AN column editor may solicit contributions from Soyuz members.

SOYUZ members can nominate themselves or someone else to apply for any of the positions listed above. Prior service on the SOYUZ board does not preclude one from running. If you would like to nominate yourself or someone else, please contact tatiana.chudakova [at] tufts.edu. If nominating yourself, please include a CV and a brief biosketch. Current board members will answer any question you might have about the process and expectations.