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>From: "Sara Jones" <[log in to unmask]>
>Subject: Cfp Writing under Socialism - Nottingham July 2008
>
>Call for Papers: Conference:
>Writing under Socialism Past and Present: A Comparative Approach
>
>Papers are invited for an international conference entitled Writing under
>Socialism to be held at the University of Nottingham on 11-12 July 2008.
>
>Using a comparative approach that crosses disciplines and continents, this
>conference asks for a re-evaluation of the position of writing under
>socialist states past and present using new material, theories and
>methodologies that have come to light since 1989. We invite contributions
>from researchers working on literary production in China, Cuba, the GDR,
>the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, in order to initiate a dialogue
>between researchers working in very different fields.
>
>In contrast with literary production under capitalist regimes, writers
>living under socialism have had to negotiate a role for themselves and
>their writing within an institutional framework defined by a specific
>political and ideological value-system and entirely administered by the
>state. Whilst socialist regimes tend to place a high value on literary
>practice, they also find it a source of potential subversion, and it is
>the nature of this contradiction that has attracted the attention of
>numerous researchers in the past.
>
>However, writing under socialism involves more than the traditional
>dichotomy of mind versus power and instead includes complex relationships
>between the different actors, institutions and policies that together form
>the context of literary production in a given state. By asking for fresh
>perspectives on writing in a range of socialist countries, this conference
>aims to draw out some of the commonalities and differences in these
>complex relationships, which we envisage will both cross national
>boundaries and highlight their continued importance.
>
>Of particular interest is the opportunity to bring together research into
>post-Cold-War socialist states, in which writers are still living the
>experience of socialism after the historical caesura of 1989, and post-
>Cold-War analyses of states which collapsed in 1989, allowing access to
>previously restricted material.
>
>Possible areas for discussion include, but are not restricted to:
>
>Interaction of writers with Party functionaries.
>Role of publishers, periodicals, booksellers and literary critics as
>mediators between the state, writer and reader.
>Role of Writers' Unions as mediators between state and writer.
>Methods of censorship and the interaction of external and internal
>pressures on the censorship of texts.
>Socialist cultural policy in theory and in practice.
>(Changing?) Definition of writer/intellectual under socialism.
>Role of mass cultural movements in literary production and consumption.
>Success of mass cultural movements and their effect on participants.
>Writing outside of the state apparatus: underground and unofficial
>literary movements.
>Theoretical approaches to the study of writing under socialism.
>
>Papers focusing on writing under any socialist state are welcome,
>including, but not restricted to: Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, GDR, Cuba,
>Nicaragua and China.
>
>Professor Michel Hockx (SOAS) will give the keynote address
>entitled: "Print Culture and the New Media in Post-Socialist China".
>
>The language of the conference will be English. Publication of selected
>papers is envisaged.
>Please send abstracts of no more that 200 words to Sara Jones
>([log in to unmask]) and Meesha Nehru ([log in to unmask]) by 1
>February 2008.

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