Entangled Transitions Special Issue in Contemporary European History

As a result of our successful conference on Entangled Transitions, the Contemporary European History journal has published a special issue...

Programme now available for our conference on State Socialism, Heritage Experts and Internationalism

State Socialism, Heritage Experts and Internationalism in Heritage Protection after 1945 21-22 November 2017 Location: Reed Hall, University of Exeter,...

Secret Agents and the Memory of Everyday Collaboration in Communist Eastern Europe

Professor James Mark’s co-edited volume Secret Agents and the Memory of Everyday Collaboration in Communist Eastern Europe is now available through...

Join us for our next conference on State Socialism, Heritage Experts and Internationalism in Heritage Protection after 1945

Join us in Exeter for our conference exploring the rising contributions of socialist and non-aligned actors to the development of heritage...

The Future of the Past: Why the End of Yugoslavia is Still Important

By Ljubica Spaskovska A new socialist model is emerging in the western Balkans. Can its political vocabulary transcend the ethno-national dividing...

Writing Human Rights into the History of State Socialism

By Ned Richardson-Little The collapse of the Communist Bloc in 1989-1991 is viewed as one of the great triumphs of...

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Category: Latin America

Programme now available for our conference on State Socialism, Heritage Experts and Internationalism

State Socialism, Heritage Experts and Internationalism in Heritage Protection after 1945
21-22 November 2017
Location: Reed Hall, University of Exeter, UK

Join us for our conference exploring the rising contributions of socialist and non-aligned actors to the development of heritage at both domestic and international levels.

CONFERENCE SYNOPSIS

Histories of heritage usually perceive their object of study as a product of western modernity, and exclude the socialist world. Yet, understood as a cultural practice and an instrument of cultural power, and as a “right and a resource”, heritage has played important roles in managing the past and present in many societies and systems. In the postwar period, preservation became a key element of culture in socialist and non-aligned states from China, the Soviet Union, and the Eastern Bloc to Asia, Latin America and Africa. Attention paid to the peoples’ traditions and heritage became a way to manifest the superiority and historical necessity of socialist development. However, the contribution of socialist states and experts to the development of the idea of heritage is still to be fully excavated.

The conference aims to understand the rising contributions of socialist and non-aligned actors to the development of heritage at both domestic and international levels. This phenomenon was in part the result of country-specific factors – such as a reaction to rapid industrial development; the destruction of both the Second World War or wars of national liberation; and the necessity to (re)-invent national traditions on socialist terms. But it was also due the growth of a broader international consensus on international heritage protection policies – in which socialist and non-aligned states and their experts played an important role. To this end, the conference will also address the relationship between socialist conceptions of heritage and those found in the capitalist world: to what extent can we discern the convergence of Eastern and Western dynamics of heritage discourses and practices over the second half of the twentieth century? To what degree did heritage professionals from socialist states play a role in the formation of the transnational and transcultural heritage expertise? To what extent did heritage still play a role in Cold War competition? Socialist states claimed that their respect for progressive traditions and material culture distinguished their superior methods of development from that of the capitalist world. Non-Aligned countries often attempted to blend aspects of socialist and capitalist logics of cultural heritage politics.

CONFERENCE PROGRAMME

Day 1 – 21 November

08.45-09.15    Registration

09.15-09.30    Introduction

09.30-10.30   Panel 1: Transnational Circulations of Heritage Concepts and Ideas (Part 1)
Chair James Mark
Discussant Michael Falser

Nikolai Vukov (Bulgarian Academy of Sciences) Ethnographising the Past, Ideologising the Present: Traditional Heritage as an Ideological Resource and International Asset in Eastern Europe after 1945

Yao Yuan (Nanjing University) International Factors in Shaping Chinese Heritage Conservation Policy

10.30-10.45    Refreshment Break

10.45-12.00    Panel 1: Transnational Circulations of Heritage Concepts and Ideas (Part 2)
Chair Corinne Geering
Discussant Nelly Bekus

Marko Spikic (University of Zagreb) Between Exceptionalism and Internationalism: Ethics and Politics of the Conservation System in People’s Republic of Croatia of the 1950s

Pablo Gonzalez (University of Lisbon) A Rebel Heritage for the Cuban Revolution: Socialist Internationalism, Art and Soviet Influence

12.00-13.00    Keynote Lecture: Stephen Smith (University of Oxford) Heritage in Contention: the Soviet Union and China after 1945   

13.00-14.30    Lunch

14.30-16.00    Panel 2: International Organisations and Socialist Heritage
Chair Kate Cowcher
Discussant Nikolai Vukov  

Nelly Bekus (University of Exeter) Tracing Multiple Logics in Soviet Heritage-Making: Pan-Soviet, National and International Agencies of Cultural Power

Corinne Geering (Justus-Liebig-University Giessen) World Heritage beyond UNESCO: Soviet Approaches to World Heritage before 1988

Emanuela Grama (Carnegie Mellon University) International mediations: UNESCO visits to Romania at the end of the Cold War or heritage as a right to place

16.00-16.15    Refreshment Break

16.15-17.15     Panel 3: South East Asia and Socialist Heritage
Chair Natalia Telepneva
Discussant James Mark

Michael Falser (Heidelberg University – Université Bordeaux-Montaigne) Cold War and non-aligned heritage politics in South and South-East Asia

Alicja Gzowska (University of Warsaw) One man’s dream? Polish conservation experts in Vietnam

19.00    Drinks Reception – Devon and Exeter Institution

20.00    Conference Dinner – Rendezvous

Day 2 – 22 November

09.00 – 10.30    Panel 4: The Development of Socialist Ideas of Heritage in Africa (Part 1)
Chair Nelly Bekus
Discussant Paul Betts

Kate Cowcher (University of Maryland) Origin Myths and Incarcerations: Ethiopia’s National Museum amidst socialist revolution

Piotr Marciniak (Poznan University of Technology) From Warsaw to Faras. The Polish School of Reconstruction and Conservation of Monuments and Sites: People, Doctrine and History

Natalia Telepneva (University of Warwick) The Soviet-Somali Archaeological Expedition and the Global Struggle for the Horn of Africa

10.30-10.45    Refreshment break

10.45-11.45    Panel 4: The Development of Socialist Ideas of Heritage in Africa (Part 2)
Chair Michael Falser
Discussant Marko Spikic

Nadine Siegert (University of Bayreuth) (Re)activated heritage. State-sponsored socialist propaganda and architecture in the Luanda cityscape

Nina Díaz Fernández (University of Ljubljana) Yugoslav Experts and the Protection of Monuments in the Third world

11.45-13.00    Round Table

Paul Betts (University of Oxford)

Michael Falser (Heidelberg University – Université Bordeaux-Montaigne)

James Mark (University of Exeter)

13.00    Farewell Lunch

 

Conference Convenors:

Professor James Mark and Dr. Nelly Bekus, University of Exeter and 1989 after 1989

 

Dr. Michael Falser, Cluster of Excellence Asia and Europe in a Global Context, Heidelberg University

Dr Ezster Gantner, Herder Institute

Conference programme available: Transnational and Global Dimensions of Justice and Memory Processes 8-9 June

Interested in transnational and global dimensions of justice and memory processes? Would you like to hear papers from three of our 1989 after 1989 academics covering topics such as transnational perspectives on the Kurapaty Memorial Site and transnational advocacy networks and corporate liability for international crimes?

The conference Transnational and Global Dimensions of Justice and Memory Processes in Europe and Latin America will be held in Paris on 8-9 June and the programme is now available.

The conference is organised by the University of Paris Nanterre, the Institut des Sciences sociales du Politiques (CNRS) and the University of Exeter, within the framework of the AHRC funded project The Criminalization of Dictatorial Pasts in Europe and Latin America in Global Perspective.

Transnational and Global Dimensions of Justice and Memory Processes in Europe and Latin America

June 8-9, 2017
Institut culturel roumain
1 rue de l’exposition, Paris

Justice and memory processes that had accompanied the “third wave of democratisation” have been the subject of a large body of academic literature. These works have commonly taken certain approaches. Some have analysed these processes within national borders or by providing comparative accounts of countries seen as discrete units, disconnected from transnational or global developments. Others, by contrast, have tried to account for the criminalization of dictatorships and conflicts in terms of the emergence of international norms based on an ethics of human rights and a “cosmopolitan memory” – often driven by a decontextualized remembrance of the Holocaust. This scholarship has however tended to overgeneralize global trends without always grasping the complexity of local attempts at dealing with the past. In the last ten years, a third approach, focusing on specific transnational entanglements, has gained ground. This emerging literature has started to analyze empirically transnational activism, exchanges of knowledge and expertise at bilateral, regional or international levels, the impact of legal and mnemonic narratives outside their countries of origin, and the role of international organizations and NGOs in dealing with mass violence.

Focusing on Europe and Latin America, this conference aims to take stock of this transnational turn in justice and memory studies and to develop a socio-historical analysis of the circulation of norms, repertoires of collective action and models adopted to deal with the legacies of authoritarian regimes and armed conflicts. It seeks to trace the interconnections and mutual influences of these processes both within Europe and Latin America and between the two regions, as well as the mobilizations of European and Latin American actors in international institutions, global NGOs, or at venues on other continents.

Conference Programme: Transnational and Global Dimensions of Justice and Memory Processes in Europe and Latin America

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Join us for our conference on the “Other Globalisers”, Exeter 6-7 July 2017

The Other Globalisers: How the Socialist and the Non-Aligned World Shaped the Rise of Post-War Economic Globalisation

Location: Exeter University, UK
Date: 6-7 July 2017

Abstract Deadline: 18 March 2017

Papers are now invited for our exciting conference addressing how the socialist and non-aligned world shaped the rise of post-war economic globalisation. This conference is the second in a series of events exploring how processes and practices that emerged from the socialist world shaped the re-globalised world of our times.

CONFERENCE SYNOPSIS

In the wake of the Second World War, the world economy began to ‘reglobalise’ – following the disintegrative processes of the interwar period. This story has most often been told as the final triumph of a neoliberal international order led by the West. Recent research, however, suggests that the creation of our modern interconnected world was not driven solely by the forces of Western capitalism, nor was it the only model of global economic interdependence that arose in the second half of the twentieth century. This conference aims to rethink the histories of postwar globalisation by focusing on the socialist and non-aligned world, whose roles in the rise of an economically interconnected world have received substantially less attention.

This conference aspires to address a wide variety of processes, practices and projects – such as efforts to create alternative systems of international trade, new business practices, through to theoretical conceptualisations of economic interconnectedness – and examine a broad range of actors, such as e.g. governments, experts, international institutions, and business ventures. It will also explore whether such initiatives were alternative at all: as recent research has suggested, actors from these worlds could be contributors to the emerging neoliberal consensus, as well as to other forms of regional economy and global trade that survive to this day. We also hope to encourage an interdisciplinary dialogue between scholars using different approaches to global interconnectedness, and/or working on a variety of regions (e.g. Latin America, Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union).

Abstracts of 300-500 words, together with an accompanying short CV should be submitted to Natalie Taylor (N.H.Taylor@exeter.ac.uk) by 18 March 2017.

The selected participants will be notified by the end of March 2017.

Funding opportunities for travel and accommodation are available, but we ask that potential contributors also explore funding opportunities at their home institutions.

This event is kindly supported by Exeter University’s Leverhulme Trust-funded project 1989 after 1989: Rethinking the Fall of State Socialism in Global Perspective.

The full call for papers is available on our conference page

→ Download the Call for Papers The Other Globalisers

 

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CFP: State Socialism, Legal Experts & the Genesis of International Criminal & Humanitarian Law after 1945

Humboldt University of Berlin
The University of Exeter, the Leipzig Centre for the History and Culture of East-Central Europe (GWZO), and the Humboldt University of Berlin
24 – 26 November 2016

Call for Papers Deadline: 15 June 2016

State Socialism, Legal Experts and the Genesis of International Criminal and Humanitarian Law after 1945

In the history of international law, the socialist bloc has been generally relegated to the role of roadblock to the fulfillment of the ideals of Western liberalism. Scholars of international criminal law (ICL) and international humanitarian law (IHL) have often dismissed the contributions of socialist legal initiatives as little more than Cold War propaganda and thus irrelevant to understanding the historical evolution of judicial norms and the modern international system. The establishment of different international tribunals since the collapse of the Soviet Union has only reinforced the notion that the socialist world was little more than an impediment to progress. Nevertheless, the American-led global war on terror has done much to call into question Western commitment to the laws of war.

This conference seeks to explore the role of state-socialist intellectuals, experts and governments in shaping the evolution of ICL and IHL since the end of the Second World War. Actors from Eastern Europe, the USSR, and East Asian and African socialist states actively participated in international debates regarding international legal norms, the meaning of state sovereignty, and in the negotiation of all major ICL and IHL conventions after 1945. In various cases the socialist bloc was often more enthusiastic, and timely, in supporting and ratifying international legal agreements than Western governments, even if these initiatives were inseparable from political agendas. Although they systematically opposed the creation of international tribunals, experts from socialist countries led the way in many areas, such as the codification of crimes against peace and Apartheid or the elimination of statutory limitations for major ICL offences. The socialist world participated also in debates over the international legal status of drug conflicts and revolutionary groups funded by narcotics trafficking. Deliberations on the criminalization of terrorism and the regulation of armed conflicts were closely linked to the politics of “wars of liberation” by socialist forces in Africa, South-East Asia, and Latin America. Socialist legal experts were active participants in transnational epistemic communities and engaged in broader global projects, initiatives, and mobilizations across the Cold War divide.

We encourage proposals on the following topics, and from scholars working on socialist regimes, experts and movements across the world. You are welcome to submit proposals on other themes related to this topic.

  • The contributions of the socialist countries and experts to debates on the general principles of ICL and IHL (the relationship between municipal and international law; the sources of ICL; the relationship between state sovereignty, ICL and IHL etc.).
  • Socialist challenges to western liberal humanitarian doctrines and conventions (i.e. Peace proposals as alternative to new Geneva conventions, rejection of equality of nations before the law in cases of aggressive war, etc.)
  • The role of socialist elites, legal experts, and courts in the development of specific fields of international crimes such as war crimes, genocide, crimes against humanity, and to acts of transnational criminality, such as terrorism, illicit drug trafficking, the arms trade, smuggling of nuclear materials, and trafficking in persons and slavery. The evolution of ICL and IHL discourse, ideas, and initiatives in state-socialist countries.
  • The role of the Red Cross and other humanitarian NGOs in the socialist world (i.e. North Vietnamese rejection of ICRC protection for US POWs, the creation of local Red Cross organizations in the Eastern Bloc, etc.)
  • Assessments of the continuing legacies and contributions of state socialist traditions of engagement with ICL and IHL on justice processes after 1989/91.

Abstracts of 300-500 words, together with an accompanying short CV should be submitted to Natalie Taylor (N.H.Taylor@exeter.ac.uk) by 15th June 2016.

The selected participants will be notified by 1st July 2016. They are then expected to submit their papers by 1st November 2016.

FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

Funding opportunities for travel and accommodation are available, but we ask that potential contributors also explore funding opportunities at their home institutions.

The conference is organized by the University of Exeter, the Leipzig Centre for the History and Culture of East-Central Europe (GWZO), and the Humboldt University of Berlin.

This event is kindly supported by Exeter University’s Leverhulme Trust-funded project 1989 after 1989: Rethinking the Fall of State Socialism in Global Perspective, and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

Organizers: Raluca Grosescu (Exeter), Dietmar Müller (Leipzig), Marcus Payk (Berlin), Ned Richardson-Little (Exeter), Stefan Troebst (Leipzig), and Natalie Taylor (Exeter).

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