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November 12, 2013

CFP: "Russia, in Theory," a graduate conference at UPenn, March 7, 2014

Deadline: January 14, 2014

Russia, in Theory
A graduate conference presented by
The Program in Comparative Literature and Theory, Slavic Languages and Literatures, and Slavics Without Borders, a Graduate Student Colloquium
Friday, March 7, 2014
University of Pennsylvania
Keynote Speaker: Boris Groys (NYU, SHG Karlsruhe, EGS)

The “end of history” in 1991 was, in many ways, a Russian affair. Seemingly overnight, Russia was transformed from "the most progressive society on earth" into the defeated arch-nemesis of the free world, thus ushering in a new era of post-history—quite an accomplishment for a country that supposedly entered “world history” only in the eighteenth century. Of course, Fukuyama’s cosmic, geopolitical vision was hardly the first time that Russia has been cast in such a grandiose role. Since Peter the Great’s heavy-handed transformation of “medieval” Rus’ into a Western-styled Empire, Russia has presented a tempting playground for theorizing and applying European conceptions of history, enlightenment and progress. Over the course of the nineteenth century, Russian intellectuals, influenced by German Idealist philosophy of history, fought over the place of the “Russian Idea” in the civilizational economy of the world. In the twentieth century, generations of European thinkers struggled to understand the meaning of the Soviet experiment. Finally, in our ostensibly post-historical twenty-first century, the experience of post-socialist Russia continues to pose meaningful questions for the ideologues of the Western political, economic and social establishment, as well as for those who wish to resist their hegemony.

Our conference aims to examine and complicate the idea of “Russia” and its role in both local and global philosophical discourse. What place does Russia hold in the imaginations of Western philosophers, from Hegel and Marx to Žižek and Badiou, and how did it come to do so? What meaning does standing with or apart from the West hold among ideologues of the so-called “Russian Idea,” from Gogol’ to Limonov? Finally, what does Russian philosophy, art and political practice, from Chaadaev to Podoroga, from Karamzin to Pussy Riot, from Catherine to Lenin, to Surkov— have to contribute to our understanding of the past, the present and the future states of world history and its discontents?

We are interested in submissions from all humanitarian disciplines, including, but not limited to philosophy and critical theory, literature, history, anthropology, political science, culture and media studies, which may in some way tackle the following general topics:

—Europe or Asia? Empire or Periphery? Russia’s place in the geopolitical and social imaginary
—The place of Russia in religious, mystical and eschatological thought
—What is to be done? Russia and the idea of radical politics
—Russia and the theoretical discourse of modernity & post-modernity
—Shklovsky, Kojève, Jakobson: the Russian turn in continental philosophy and aesthetics
—Mimesis, montage and the Kino-Eye: the impact of Soviet film theory
—Dreamworld, phantasm and catastrophe: Russia in the utopian and dystopian imagination
—The Russian poet as a prophet? The place of Russia in the world literary canon
—To reach and overtake decaying capitalism? The Soviet experiment— theory, reality and memory wars
—Tsarism, capitalism and socialism with a human face: Russia’s place in the discourse of the human
—“Three worlds” theory: the contest of socialism and the West across the globe
—Everything was forever, until it was no more: making sense of post-Soviet Russia

Please send your 300 word abstracts in the body of an email with “Russia, in Theory submission, LASTNAME” in the title to Pavel Khazanov and Alex Moshkin at slavicswithoutborders@gmail.com, by January 12, 2014. Submissions should include the paper title, author’s name, affiliation, and email address.

Posted by sarayu at November 12, 2013 12:41 PM