“Wind of Change? Academic and Artistic Perspectives on Experiences of Change in Southeast Europe”
Conference Committee: Prof. Dr. Daniel Göler, University of Bamberg, and Prof. Dr. Eckehard Pistrick, Gustav Mahler Private University for Music, Klagenfurt
The International Academic Week is the Southeast Europe Association’s (Südosteuropa-Gesellschaft – SOG) annual key event to bring together early-career researchers (MA/ PhD/ Post-Doc levels) and experienced scholars from all over Europe and beyond to present and discuss their research on the region. As always, it will take place in cooperation with the Akademie für Politische Bildung at the beautiful Lake Starnberg in Tutzing from 2 - 6 October 2023.
This year’s conference is hosted by Prof. Dr. Daniel Göler (University of Bamberg) and Prof. Dr. Eckehard Pistrick (Gustav Mahler Private University for Music, Klagenfurt). The International Academic Week 2023 will focus on central as well as supposedly marginal aspects of recent change in Southeast Europe – from large-scale infrastructures to the individual - through selected themes from society, space, the arts, and culture.
The conference follows change and transformation in Southeast Europe from a diachronic perspective through comparative contributions in the three dimensions of time, space, and culture beyond national or ethnic history with reference to the 20th and early 21st centuries.
We consider time/experience of time as a central category which indicates dynamics of change, inspired by Svetlana Boym’s work on the “Future of Nostalgia”, Paul Virilio’s research on the relation of modernity to speed and Zszusza Gille’s/Maria Todorova’s volume on post-communist nostalgia. Time is discussed as an instrument of social control, as a component of projects of political progress, as an instrument of structuring and disciplining everyday life as well as a collectively effective instrument of emotionalized contemplation of the past and the future.
From a spatial perspective, the event tackles the diversity of transformative processes in rural and urban areas, the tensions between centre and periphery, aspects of economic transition and its social consequences. Further contributions (potentially with a post-colonial approach) highlight the intended and unintended effects of transformation, the emergence of power asymmetries as well as the role of informality in socialism and post-socialism.
Throughout the academic week presentations and artistic interventions will analyze and discuss the impact of culture and media on socio-political change. On a first level, the role of "culture" as a legitimizing instrument of power in the hands of authoritarian regimes is considered. On a second level, we discuss media (radio, television) and their networks as agents of change. On a third level, we examine the role of artists, musicians and intellectuals from the region as agents of change. In this context, social and economic crises are not presented as artistic crisis situations, but as situations of self-empowerment that induce alternative societal ideas as well as visionary creative action guided by utopia.
Upon invitation only.