CfP: Re-Inventing Eastern Europe


Re-Inventing Eastern Europe

Belgrade, Serbia, 27 – 28 January 2017

Sixth Euroacademia International Conference

Belgrade, Serbia
27-28 January 2017

Deadline : 15 December 2016

The Sixth Euroacademia International Conference ‘Re-Inventing Eastern
Europe’ aims to make a case and to provide alternative views on the dynamics,
persistence and manifestations of practices of alterity making that take place
in Europe and broadly in the mental mappings of the world. It offers an
opportunity for scholars, activists and practitioners to identify, discuss,
debate the multiple dimensions in which specific narratives of alterity making
towards Eastern Europe preserve their salience today in re-furbished and
re-fashioned manners. The conference aims to look at the processes of alterity
making as puzzles and to address the persistence of the East-West dichotomies.

Not a long time ago, in 2010, a British lady was considered bigoted by Gordon
Brown upon asking ‘Where do all these Eastern Europeans come from?’. Maybe,
despite her concern with the dangers of immigration for Britain, the lady was
right in showing that such a question still awaits for answers in Europe. The
ironic thing however is that a first answer to such a question would point to
the fact that the Eastern Europeans come from the Western European imaginary.
As Iver Neumann puts it, ‘regions are invented by political actors as a
political programme, they are not simply waiting to be discovered’. And, as
Larry Wolff skillfully showed, Eastern Europe is an invention emanated
initially from the intellectual agendas of the elites of the Enlightenment
later found its peak of imaginary separation during the Cold War.

The Economist, explicitly considered Eastern Europe to be wrongly labeled and
elaborated that ‘it was never a very coherent idea and it is becoming a
damaging one’. The EU enlargement however, was expected to make the East –
West division obsolete under the veil of a prophesied convergence. That would
have finally proven the non-ontologic, historically contingent and unhappy
nature of the division of Europe and remind Europeans of the wider size of
their continent and the inclusive and empowering nature of their values. Yet
still, 20 years after the revolutions in the Central and Eastern European
countries, Leon Mark, while arguing that the category of Eastern Europe is
outdated and misleading, bitterly asks a still relevant question: ‘will
Europe ever give up the need to have an East?’

Eastern Europe was invented as a region and continues to be re-invented from
outside and inside. From outside its invention was connected with alterity
making processes, and, from inside the region, the Central and Eastern
countries got into a civilizational beauty contest themselves in search of
drawing the most western profile: what’s Central Europe, what’s more
Eastern, what’s more Ottoman, Balkan, Byzantine, who is the actual kidnapped
kid of the West, who can build better credentials by pushing the Easterness to
the next border. A wide variety of scholars addressed the western narratives
of making the Eastern European other as an outcome of cultural politics of
enlightenment, as an effect of EU’s need to delineate its borders, as an
outcome of its views on security , or as a type of ‘orientalism’ or
post-colonialism. Most of these types of approaches are still useful in
analyzing the persistence of an East-West slope. The region is understood now
under a process of convergence, socialization and Europeanization that will
have as outcomes an ‘ever closer union’ where the East and the West will
fade away as categories. Yet the reality is far from such an outcome while the
persistence of categories of alterity making towards the ‘East’ is not
always dismantled. The discourse on core-periphery, new Europe/old Europe is
rather gaining increasing ground in the arena of European identity narratives
often voiced by the EU.

The conference is organized yet by no means restricted to the following

The Agenda of the Enlightenment: Inventing Eastern Europe ~ Europe East and
West: On the Persistence of the Division ~ Reviewing Alternative Modernities:
East and West ~ Writing About the East in West ~ Writing about the West in
~ The Eastern European ‘Other’ Inside the European Union ~ Mental Mappings
on Eastern Europe ~ People-ing the Eastern Europeans ~ Geopolitical Views on
the East-West Division ~ Post-colonial readings of Eastern Europe ~ Making
Borders to the East: Genealogies of Othering ~ Inclusion/Exclusion Nexuses ~
Myths and Misconceptions on Eastern Europe ~ Core Europe/Non-Core Europe ~
Central Europe vs. Eastern Europe ~ Reading the Past: On Memory and
Memorialization ~ Eastern Europe and the Crises ~ Assessing Convergence in
Eastern Europe ~ Explaining Divergence in Eastern Europe ~ Central and Eastern
Europe and the EU ~ Scenarios for the Future of Eastern Europe ~ Eastern
and Asymmetries of Europeanization ~ Axiological Framings of Eastern Europe ~
Eastern Europe in Western Literature ~ Re-making Eastern Europe: Pushing the
Easterness to the Next Border ~ From the Ottoman Empire to Russia: Cultural
Categories in the Making of Eastern Europe ~ Go West! Migration from Eastern
Europe and Experiences of ‘Othering’ ~ Lifestyles and the Quotidian
Peculiarities of the Invented East ~ Visual Representation of Eastern Europe
Film: From Dracula to Barbarian Kings ~ Guidebooks for the Savage Lands:
Representations of Eastern Europe in Travel Guides ~ Urban Landscapes in
Eastern Europe ~ Changing Politics and the Transformation of Cities ~ Eastern
Europe and Artistic Movements


For on-line application and complete information on the event, please see:

The 300 words titled abstract and details of affiliation can also be sent to with the name of the conference specified in the
subject line. We will acknowledge the receipt of all proposals. In case you
received no confirmation in one day after applying on-line, please re-send
abstract by e-mail as well.

Author: admin

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