Conference: Beyond the Café/Pub Split: Interlocking Urbanity and Rurality in the Popular Culture of East Central European Societies

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Beyond the Café/Pub Split: Interlocking Urbanity and Rurality in the Popular Culture of East Central European Societies

30 October – 31 October 2015, Prague

Given the specificity of nation-building processes in East Central Europe, the narrative axis of national movements has linked the city and the village. The linear process of urbanisation has relied on a logic that interlocks rural and urban spaces in this region. Both capitalist and state socialist modernisation brought an influx of rural migrants from the countryside to urban centres on the one hand,
and on the other, gave rise to numerous artistic and social movements which fostered an interest in rural space and culture (eg. folklorism, (agro-)tourism, rural sentimentalism). It is only from this point that we see the emergence of tensions between popular culture rooted in traditional folk culture, cultural activities stimulated by new technologies and the everyday life cultural strategies of urban communities and subcultures. Different political regimes during the 20th century brought to the fore either rural or urban segments of the population, which in turn had a significant impact on popular culture. After the fall of state socialist regimes, transition discourses under the heading of the Washington consensus in economic terms along with European Union accession policies, significantly restructured the interrelatedness of the city and the village.

This conference will focus on a question of in-betweenness that might be dubbed “rurbanity” comprising challenging phenomena that go beyond the simple urban/rural, “café/pub” split.

There are numerous issues that can be addressed at this interface. The following list should not by any means be understood as exhaustive:
– Urban appropriation of rural cultures
– Spread of urban culture and subcultures throughout rural areas and their adaptations
– Cultures of migrant workers in urban space
– Political articulations of the rural/urban split vis-a-vis its overcoming in popular culture
– Images of rural areas in urban cultural production and vice versa
– Spaces of in-betweenness and their cultural expression
– Cultural, social and ecological movements and the escape from the city
– Images of villagers and urban dwellers in art and media
– Re-distributing inequalities, re-shaping social polarisation and cultural hierarchies
– New forms of social cohesion and/or fragmentation

The Centre for Study of Popular Culture is seeking papers which address the interconnectedness of urban and rural themes in the popular culture of East Central European societies. We encourage interdisciplinary approaches as well as applications from those who seek to incorporate audio-visual material into their presentations. The goal of this conference is to offer a space for discussion among the disciplinary discourses of history, anthropology, sociology, cultural geography, musicology, gender, subculture, youth, ethnic, nationalism, labour, literary, film, television, leisure, tourism, sports and food studies. It is intended as an event bringing together scholars from different backgrounds who focus their research interest on East Central Europe.

Conference deadlines
Submission of panel proposals 15 May 2015.
Submission of paper abstracts 10 June 2015.
Notification on acceptance 30 June 2015.
Conference registration will open 30 June 2015.
Full conference papers are due 15 September 2015.
Full version of papers for publication 5 December 2015.

Guidelines for Abstracts
Abstracts should be submitted by email to the contact below and should include:
Author, name and affiliation with full contact details.
Abstracts should not exceed 300 words.

Submission of Panel Proposal
In addition to the regular submission of paper abstracts we also welcome the submission of panel proposals. Maximum 5 papers in English can be submitted in a panel proposal. If 3 or more papers of the proposed panel pass the review process, the panel will be accepted.
Panel proposals should be sent by email and should include:
Panel title, name of proposing organisation / individual, name and full contact details of the contact person, name and affiliation of panel chair, panel abstract (between 200 and 300 words in length) as well as title, author, affiliation of author and name of each paper to be presented in the panel.
Paper/panel submissions will be subject to peer review.
The organizers intend to put together a themed monograph, in which selected papers will be published as full-length chapters.

Submissions and contact email
All submissions must be made exclusively via email

Keynote speaker
Dr. Stef Jansen, University of Manchester, United Kingdom

Conference Fee
20 € Early Bird (until 15 July 2015)
30 € Main Registration (until 30 August 2015)
50 € Late Registration (until 30 September 2015)
All payments will be paid via bank transfer (as identifier please put your family name).
Bank account number for international transfers (Eurozone):
IBAN: SK3983300000002900060868
Czech domestic payments number: 2900060868/2010
Slovak domestic payments number: 2900060868/8330
Visitors/Accompanying Guests: 10 €/250 CZK (on spot)
The conference fee covers coffee breaks, conference materials and an ‘alternative’ city walk.
It does not cover travel, meals, accommodation or insurance.

Program Committee
Prof. Petr Bílek, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic
Dr. Gábor Egry, Institute for Political History, Budapest, Hungary
Dr. Robert Kulmiński, University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland
Dr. Juraj Malíček, Constantine the Philosopher University, Nitra, Slovakia
Dr. Miroslav Michela, Slovak Academy of Science, Bratislava, Slovakia /
Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic
Dr. Reana Senjković, Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Research, Zagreb, Croatia
Dr. Karel Šima, Centre for the Study of Popular Culture, Nový Jičín, Czech Republic
Dr. Martin Škabraha, Palacký University, Olomouc, Czech Republic

Organizing committee
Jiří Almer, Jiří Andrs, Ondřej Daniel, Tatiana Ďuricová, Tomáš Kavka, Zdeněk Nebřenský, Ivana Piptová


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