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October 29, 2012

CFP Conference: The Varieties of Russian Modernity: Rethinking Religion, Secularism, and the Influence of Russia in the Modern World

Deadline: December 1, 2012

Paper proposals of approximately 750-1000 words are invited for an international and interdisciplinary symposium on the topic of The Varieties of Russian Modernity: Rethinking Religion, Secularism, and the Influence of Russia in the Modern World. The symposium will take place under the auspices of the Center for Russian Studies at the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA) in Moscow, Russia over the weekend of June 7-9, 2013. It will bring together approximately 15 scholars in the humanities and social sciences for a series of intensive roundtable discussions around emerging interdisciplinary theoretical approaches to religion, secularization, and modernity. The symposium’s organizers, Alyssa DeBlasio (Russian, Dickinson College), Ana Siljak (History, Queen’s University), and Christopher Stroop (History, RANEPA), hope to facilitate the exploration of this broad topic from a variety of perspectives.

Contributions focused on areas such as art, literature and culture, as well as philosophy, religion, sociology, and politics, are welcome. Proposals should also address at least one of the following five sub-themes:
- The Religious and the Secular in Imperial Russia
- The Soviet Experience
- The Russian Emigration
- Modern Russian-Jewish Experience
- The Religious and the Secular in Post-Soviet Russia.

The primary goal of the symposium is to bring the varieties of modern Russian experience to bear on the flourishing interdisciplinary literature on religion and secularism that has emerged in the wake of decades of critical engagement with the sociological secularization thesis. Many of the leading contributors to this literature, including the philosopher Charles Taylor and the sociologist José Casanova, have suggested that in order to better assess religion and secularization, serious engagement with non-Western experience is necessary. The organizers intend the symposium and projected conference volume to be, in part, a response to this call. Scholars in the humanities and social sciences who draw on modern Russian experience to enrich the above-mentioned discussions of religion, secularization, and secularism are invited to apply.

The Russian experience can help to advance these discussions in part by testing what is and is not exclusive to the historical experience of the Latin West. This comparative and contextualized approach can also help us investigate both Western influence on Russian developments and the little explored Russian religious and intellectual influences on the modern West (including the influence of the Russian emigration after 1917).

Invited participants will be required to submit their papers to all other participants by May 7, 2012, so that all participants will be able to read all papers before the symposium takes place. After the symposium, the participants will be asked to revise and resubmit their papers for publication in a projected conference volume to be placed with an academic press and co-edited by Ana Siljak and Christopher Stroop. The working languages of the conference will be English and Russian, but the organizers strongly encourage the submission of papers in English, as the projected volume will be published in English. Once the final list of participants has been established, the organizers will provide a bibliography of relevant theoretical readings to be read by all participants before the symposium. These steps will ensure fruitful discussions and facilitate the production of a more coherent volume of essays.

RANEPA will provide participants with accommodations for the duration of the symposium and with visa support as necessary. In addition, in the absence of other sources of funding, a limited number of travel awards of up to $1000 are available for invited early career scholars traveling from outside Russia for whom travel expenses would represent a financial hardship.

Proposals should specify which of the five sub-themes listed above the projected paper will engage. It is possible to transcend the boundaries between these categories, and papers that are relevant to more than one sub-theme are welcome. The sub-themes will be used, however, to place participants on panels for roundtable discussions, and will also potentially be used to organize the projected conference volume. Please send your cv along with your proposal. Selected participants will be notified in December 2012. Proposals and cvs should be sent to all three organizers:

Alyssa DeBlasio (deblasia@dickinson.edu)
Ana Siljak (siljaka@queensu.ca)
Christopher Stroop (cstroop@gmail.com)

Deadline for Paper Submissions for Accepted Participants: May 7, 2013.

Posted by jychai at October 29, 2012 12:16 PM

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