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CfP: “Affections / Afflictions / Afterlives: 2012 Annual SOYUZ Symposium” University of Michigan

March 23-24, 2012
*The deadline for abstracts is December 15, 2011*

Please send abstracts of 250 words by email to: amlemon@umich.edu

Please include your full name, paper title, and academic affiliation, and please write “SOYUZ 2012” in the subject line.  Papers will be selected and notifications made by January 15, 2012.

We hope to make a limited number of travel subsidies available to graduate students as well as to presenters from outside the United States.

SOYUZ, the Post-Communist Cultural Studies Interest group, invites paper proposals for its 2012 meeting.  The symposium has met annually since 1991, and is an intimate forum where scholars (from graduate students to senior faculty) from across the world can exchange ideas.

The 2012 symposium will ponder the sentiments, the failures, and the successes around making do with those ongoing, productive connections that are afforded by infrastructures and procedures conceived during (or in response to) socialism.

How to speak about what lives “after” without abjecting the “remains”?

Topical foci might draw upon themes current in the humanities and social sciences: biopolitics and biopowers (for instance, bricolage in ways of dealing with affliction, means of training the body, etc.);

knowledge-making or sentiment-forming (e.g. recombination of religious, ethnic-folk, scientific, poetic ideologies and resources); material and narrative repurposing; modes of redistribution or (re)portioning of entitlements.

The 2012 symposium will feature a keynote address by Judith Farquhar, Max Palevsky Professor of Anthropology and of Social Sciences and Chair, Department of Anthropology, University of Chicago.

SOYUZ began in 1991 as a regionally focused group responding to the fall of the Soviet and socialist states. Since then, it has broadened to include scholars working in any region touched by socialism, by the oppositions of socialism to capitalism, or by those phenomena formerly known as “post-socialist.” The 2012 conference organizing committee includes University of Michigan anthropologists working across regions where socialism has figured in important ways: Kelly Askew (Tanzania), Anya Bernstein (Buryatia), Krisztina Fehervary (Hungary), Alaina Lemon (Russia, Romani diaspora), Erik Meuggler (China), Damani Partridge (Germany).

Presentations may work in any discipline (anthropology, history, sociology, literary criticism and film studies, etc.) and may focus on any aspect of social life (religion, politics, kinship, sexuality, exchange, performance, etc.).  At the same time, papers must strive to combine ethnographic evidence with theory.

Sponsors: U-M’s Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies; African Studies Center; Center for Chinese Studies; Department of Anthropology; Institute for the Humanities; International Institute; College of Literature, Science, and the Arts; Office of the Vice President for Research; and Weiser Center for Europe and Eurasia.

Date: 2011-11-14