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October 24, 2013

Call for Papers: "And after Yugoslavia, Yugoslavia! New Histories & New Approaches"

Deadline: November 30, 2013

Call for Papers: "And after Yugoslavia, Yugoslavia! New Histories & New Approaches"

Please send all submissions to Marina Antić: antic@pitt.edu

The last twenty years of scholarship on former Yugoslavia and its
successor states have undergone significant shifts, not least of which
has been the introduction of new theoretical positions and paradigms
(Bakić-Hayden and Hayden, Wolff, Todorova). However, the vast majority
of this new scholarship has struggled to escape the resurgence of
nationalist quasi-historical narratives or the transformation(s) of the
Cold War totalitarian historical paradigm into postsocialist
“transitology.” The latter has served as the ideological correlate of
neo-liberal reforms in Eastern Europe, providing interpretive frames
(justifications) for the rise of the free market economy, electoral
democracy, and the construction of “civil societies,” the three
hallmarks of postsocialism. In this context, transitology has primarily
focused on EU accession as the final conceptual and political frontier
of these now liberalizing societies. In reality, the transition itself
has been not into Europe proper but into a periphery of global capital
(Shields). Moreover, in the wake of the global financial crisis, the
Arab Spring and the radical “left turn” of Latin America, the
“transitology” discourse has increasingly appeared vacuous, fetishized,
a totem of a global order fundamentally premised on what David Harvey
has called “accumulation through dispossession.”

From history to art, economy to literature, political science to
anthropology, scholars have been preoccupied with explaining the violent
end of Yugoslavia and its aftermath via the nationalist and totalitarian
models (Glenny, Kaplan, Malcolm, Alcock, Meier, Wachtel, Bieber, and
others); they have struggled to explain Yugonostalgia and the Yugoslav
legacy that seems not to vane in the region (Todorova and Gille, Djokić,
Wachtel); and many have continued to treat the Yugoslav past as an
aberration and the post-Yugoslav reality as the “natural” state of
affairs. Despite challenges to the “Orientalist” or “Balkanist”
discourse of the region and despite attempts to situate the rise of
nationalism into global realities and socio-economic developments
(Woodward, Gowan, Petras and Vieux), Yugoslav history and the
post-Yugoslav reality have been codified within the old confines of Cold
War history-cum-transitology and nationalist historiography.

At the same time, post-Yugoslav cultural production, social movements,
and cultural and ideological shifts in the region have been telling a
different story. Social opposition to nationalist regimes has only
increased with time in the most troubled post-Yugoslav state – Bosnia
and Herzegovina (JMBG protests, Dosta!) as well as in the most
“Europeanized” one – Slovenia (2012-2013 Maribor protests, ongoing
nation-wide). Film, literature, art, and alternative media productions
have continually challenged simplistic nationalist narratives as well as
the dire, postsocialist realities (Tanović, Žbanić, Stanišić, Rudan,
Veličković, Studio LuDež); and everyday life in the post-Yugoslav states
has challenged “transitology” and its lessons of civil society,
political culture, and free market economics. In the process, the
Yugoslav past remains a central preoccupation of both the nationalist
regimes and its former citizens: from neo-nazi revivals to
Yugonostalgia, the legacy of this common and shared cultural,
socio-economic, and political space continues to influence all spheres
of life in many different ways.

This volume addresses this disjuncture between post-Yugoslav realities
and nationalist historiography and/or the neo-liberal transitology. What
sets this volume apart from a myriad of collections about former
Yugoslavia is a commitment to critically engage, challenge, and advance
beyond nationalist historiography and transitology while reassessing the
Yugoslav legacy and reexamining the Yugoslav past as phenomena
fundamentally relevant to our understanding of the present and, indeed,
our future. In short, this volume (re)considers “Yugoslavia” as a
relevant contemporary political and social phenomenon, rather than
merely a tragic and/or utopian historical moment. Moreover, our
intervention seeks to deliberately reposition the post-Yugoslav space in
the context of the unraveling of the global neo-liberal order. We
explicitly reject the narrative that the only “realistic” (or ideal)
future for (the former) Yugoslavia is membership in a dissolving
neo-liberal monetary and political union—the only facsimile of a
political program advanced by the “transitional” local elites and their
international partners. Our conception of Yugoslavia emerges as against
the EU’s preferred “Western Balkans” and/or “South-East Europe” monikers
and in line with more than a decade of democratic, alter-globalist
eruptions in Latin America, North Africa and the Middle East.

The volume consists of three sections:
1. Post-Yugoslav Realities
This section is devoted to assessment of the current situation in
post-Yugoslav states, analysis of the effects of postsocialist
“transition,” new social movements, as well as the wider, global context
for the social changes that have taken place since the fall of socialism.

2. Post-Yugoslav Culture
This section is devoted to critique and presentation of post-Yugoslav
cultural production in context, including but not limited to new
literature, film, art, popular culture, and other media productions. We
are especially interested in approaches that address the continuities
and discontinuities between the Yugoslav and post-Yugoslav cultural
production in the region.

3. Yugoslav History and Legacy
While the question of Yugoslav legacy is a common thread for the entire
volume, this particular section is devoted specifically to new topics,
contexts, and theories regarding the common history and heritage. From
the origins of the Yugoslav idea in the 19th century to the legacy of
the Non-Aligned Movement in Yugoslavia to an exploration of
Yugonostalgia today, this concluding section seeks to raise new research
questions and suggest new points of departure for studying the region
and its history.

We invite proposals for contributions to any of the above mentioned
topics, while especially encouraging new methodological and theoretical
orientations, interdisciplinary work, and research from across the
humanities and social sciences.

Posted by jmkirsch at October 24, 2013 02:50 PM