The Peasantry, Nation-Building, and the Social Sciences, 1890-1940
Deadline July 20, 2014
Panel Organizers: Ion Matei Costinescu (University of Bucharest) and Ionuţ Butoi (University of Bucharest)
The mutually constitutive relationship between nationalism and the social sciences is well established in the extant literature. In the Romanian case, there already exists a corpus of works that explore the ways in which the cross-fertilization between various social-scientific disciplines configured the intellectual field of nationalism, shaped policies of social modernization, and articulated the biopolitical dimensions of national construction and consolidation. We believe this is a fruitful approach to illuminating the social history of the period in question, one that remains underexplored despite its potentially large interpretive impact. As such, this panel aims to both revisit and expand upon the scholarship on the subject.
The main objective is to examine the ways in which the interpenetration of national ideologies and the social sciences configured the peasantry both as a privileged political subject essential to the task of national construction and as an object of social and political intervention in the provinces inhabited by Romanians. We thus seek papers that explore the image of the peasantry in relation to the “nation”, the ways in which this image was politically mobilized and institutionalized, as well as the modalities in which the “peasant question” enabled discourses and practices of social modernization in both dominant and counterhegemonic forms. The panel is open to both diachronic and synchronic approaches regarding the processes in question, and we encourage papers that shed light on the social worlds within which the image of the peasantry was generated and contested. Because this image was frequently carved out of transnational materials while simultaneously articulated across ethnic divides, we welcome papers that adopt a comparative perspective and/or engage with the subject of non-Romanian rural populations. Possible topics include, but are not limited to:
Folk-Populism and Populist Movements
Visions of Peasant Agency
The Intellectuals and the Peasantry
Cooperatives and Cooperative Movements
Nation, Peasantry, and Modernization
Alternative Centers, Alternative Peripheries
Nation, State, and Social Reform
The Social Sciences and Interethnic Relations
The Construction, of Class, Gender, Ethnicity, and Race
Submission Guidelines: Interested researchers are invited to submit paper titles, abstracts of up to 250 words, and short CV to the following email address by July 20, 2014: firstname.lastname@example.org.