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>Leisure and Luxury in Socialist Europe after 1945 (working title)
>
>Call for papers
>
>Leisure and Luxury in Socialist Europe after 1945 will be the third in a
>series of edited volumes exploring the material culture and the spaces of
>socialism in Eastern Central Europe (Style and Socialism. Modernity and
>Material Culture in Post-War Eastern Europe, Berg, 2000; and Socialist
>Spaces. Sites of Everyday Life in the Eastern Bloc, Berg, 2002 - see
>www.bergpublishers.com). With a focus on the texture and material of
>everyday experience, these books have tested the conventional models and
>explanations of Soviet-type societies. They have brought together the
>work of scholars from different disciplines including anthropology,
>social and economic history, art history and cultural geography.
>
>The roles of leisure and luxury in Soviet-type societies have yet to
>receive thorough analysis, yet it is clear that both played central parts
>in the relations between authority and people. The essays in Leisure and
>Luxury in Socialist Europe after 1945 will debate the self-image of
>eastern Bloc states as societies driven by production and principles of
>social justice, as well as by Cold War projections which emphasised
>shortage and scarcity and corrupt luxury in the Bloc. Leisure was
>sometimes claimed as a licensed and organised product of socialist
>economics whereas, at other times, it was tolerated as an 'emollient' in
>a society rent by shortage and social tensions. The material signifiers
>of luxury - not least highly symbolic commodities like furs and imported
>clothes - required careful ideological negotiation to explain their
>presence and function in socialist societies. This book will interrogate
>the public discourses of leisure and luxury and the ways that they
>changed between the 1940s and the 1980s.
>
>A particular emphasis of this book is on the material and visual
>qualities of artefacts and spaces associated with leisure or identified
>as luxury. Leisure and luxury were not simply matters of rhetoric and
>discourse: they were materialised in things and in practices. We need to
>know more about their production and consumption. How, for instance, can
>we account for the particular forms of socialist advertising or
>socmodernist hotels? And what were the regimes of signification? What
>materials or design, for instance, signaled an imported product and what
>value was attached to such foreign things?
>
>What were the social, political and cultural effects of leisure and
>luxury? What impact, for instance, did the limited but growing
>opportunities to travel within the Bloc through the period have on those
>who enjoyed this form of leisure and on their hosts? What were the
>effects of dacha ownership on the individual and on society?
>
>We welcome proposals of papers dealing with any aspects of leisure and
>luxury in Central/ Eastern Europe in the post-1945 period. Papers can
>deal with specific historical and social settings or offer comparative
>analysis across location and time. We are particularly interested in
>receiving contributions that emphasise the role of material things and
>spaces in the discourses and practices connected with leisure and luxury.
>
>The following bullet points indicate some of the areas that we would like
>to feature in the volume. This list is in no sense an exclusive register
>of subjects.
>
>* Moral and ideological campaigns / discourse to shape consumption and
>leisure;
>* Theories of leisure or luxury generated within the Bloc during the period;
>* Socialist advertising;
>* Representations of shortage and/or excess abroad;
>* Retailing whether in the form of street markets, hard-currency shops, or
>'yellow curtain' shops for nomenclatura / party members;
>* Fashion, whether literally in terms of modish dress or more generally as
>'positional consumption';
>* Ritualised luxury such as weddings and funerals;
>* Gifts such 'grace and favour' housing and prizes awarded for productivity;
>* Materials identified with luxury;
>* Practices around luxury food consumption, for instance, tort [gateau];
>* Dressing up;
>* Dacha / chata life;
>* Socialist tourism, with a focus on the artefacts and spaces associated
>with it such as cruise ship cabin design, what to wear at the seaside,
>souvenirs, postcards;
>* The reception / consumption of television and other forms of popular
>entertainment;
>* Sites of organised leisure and culture such as cultural houses, hotels and
>theatres.
>
>We are soliciting contributions of no more than 7,000 words that could be
>submitted in 12 months time. If you are interested in contributing to the
>volume, please send an abstract of 200-400 words by 29th February 2004.
>
>Please address proposals or queries to:
>
>Dr. Susan E. Reid
>Department of Russian and Slavonic Studies
>University of Sheffield
>Arts Tower
>Western Bank
>Sheffield
>S10 2TN
>t: 0114 222 7400
>f: 0114 222 7416
>e: [log in to unmask]
>
>David Crowley
>Humanities
>Royal College of Art
>London SW7 2EU
>t: 0207 590 4485
>f: 0207 590 4490
>e: [log in to unmask]


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