Mainstream! – conference...
Programme of the “Mainstream! Popular Culture in [more]
Programme of the “Mainstream! Popular Culture in [more]
Call for Papers “Mainstream! Popular Culture in [more]
is a non-profit organization established in 2009. Its [more]
Call for Papers “Mainstream! Popular Culture in Central and Eastern Europe”
5th conference of Centre for the Study of Popular Culture
with the support of National museum of Czech Republic, Faculty of Arts of Charles University
and the German Historical Institute Warsaw
29 October – 31 October 2020, Prague
Mainstream media representations of celebrities remain problematic, as excited discussions regarding the recent funeral of singer Karel Gott have demonstrated. The appraisal of his long-term career has been divided into two extreme positions: uncritical admiration for the idol who spread joy under different political regimes on one hand and condemnation of his kitschy art associated with his selling out under these regimes on the other. What the overall debate has confirmed, is that stars and celebrities of popular culture can become symbols of any given period.
The focus of the conference is on mainstream culture, which can be defined as the most popular, widespread, most accessible and understandable cultural expressions across society. Following Gramsci’s and Hall’s approaches, it is the mainstream that is considered the essential sphere where ideological hegemony is negotiated.
The aims of the conference are twofold : firstly, in its role of capturing the ‘spirit of the time’ (Zeitgeist), the conference plans to examine mainstream culture as a vital source of knowledge for unveiling social values and (attempted) changes and secondly to critically explore Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) as a specific phenomenon thereof. Recently, CEE has featured in public debates due to its common hostile responses to EU migration and asylum policies, the ridiculing of climate change movements, the promoting of “traditional” family values and attempts to introduce illiberal democracy. While some social sciences and humanities have paid extensive attention to these issues, culturally oriented research has dealt with the distinctive features of Central and Eastern Europe to a much smaller degree.
To address this shortfall the conference would like to ask the question whether popular culture in CEE manifests any specific values and beliefs inherent in these respective societies. What exactly are they? Do these values and beliefs come from any particular long-term regional legacies? How do local and regional CEE mainstream media productions interact with cultural imports from wider world (or globalizing) cultures? What kind of impacts can be identified?
This conference is explicitly opening up the discussion and inclusion of all research perspectives on mainstream cultural production. Since the CEE is a regional label rather than a geographical notion, the delimitation of the examined area is not strictly given. Comparative studies and papers from other regions focusing on the mainstream in the (semi)peripheral global variations or in relation particularly to the CEE region are positively encouraged. Equally, there are no limits on the historical period of research interest as long as it is clearly related to the establishment and/or functioning and forms of mainstream culture in the region. An ideal contribution should include a comparative element running across the researched area.
Nevertheless we would also like to invite case study analyses of particular local popular works, genres, media (their content, production and reception), key authors and producers (both contemporary and past) that contributed to the dissemination of values, beliefs and practices through negotiation of ideological hegemony. Inter- and transdisciplinary as well as varied conceptual frameworks and methodological approaches from different academic fields and traditions are also very welcome.
The conference will be divided into four streams. Possible questions for each include but are not limited to the following:
I. Spaces of the Mainstream/ Mainstream Spaces
II. Mainstream Values and Beliefs
III. Mainstream Production
IV. Transferring the Mainstream
Submission of panel proposals: 15th May 2020.
Submission of paper abstracts: 10th June 2020.
Notification on acceptance: 30th June 2020.
Conference registration opens 30th June 2020.
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. A maximum of five papers in English can be submitted in a panel proposal. If three 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 the 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) as well as title, author, author affiliation, and the name of each paper to be presented in the panel.
Paper/panel submissions will be subject to peer review.
Submissions and contact email
All submissions must be made exclusively via email to firstname.lastname@example.org
The organizers intend to put together a themed monograph, in which selected papers will be published as full-length chapters.
20 € Early Bird (until 15th July 2020)
30 € Main Registration (until 30th August 2020)
50 € Late Registration (until 30thSeptember 2020)