Call for Papers
Poland 1989: Negotiations, (Re)Constructions, Interpretations
October 23-25, 2019, Aleksander Brückner Center for Polish Studies, Halle (Saale)
The year 1989 and its consequences are the subject of heated debates in Poland. Nineteen eighty-nine evokes various linguistic and emotional associations, and also functions symbolically, as a social and political code. The international conference Poland 1989: Negotiations, (Re)Constructions, Interpretations takes the 30th anniversary as an occasion to address this phenomenon. It will examine historical debates, representations in memory politics and culture, and past research. The focus of the conference is thus on the discursive analysis of the Polish transformation, which requires interdisciplinary approaches. It will concentrate on three issues:
1. How can a political compromise be defined? Who is entitled to participate in its negotiation, and who is excluded? What modes, functions, and borders direct the course of social and political negotiations? Under which circumstances would a compromise be perceived as a betrayal against the nation?
2. How can trust in defective, compromised state institutions be restored by argumentation and discursive strategies? In which ways are structural, personnel, and argumentative continuities and shifts in the state apparatus explained and communicated to the public? What did it actually mean to vote in 1989? By which means could social mobilisation be initiated and made credible?
3. How was the process of political transformation evaluated historically by different social groups, and how is it evaluated today? What cultural semiotic attributions are attached to it? Which functions do the various attempts at interpretation assume in public and political space? Can they be considered specifically Polish, or are there elements that can be identified in the socio-political transformation of other countries?
With these questions, we want to put the year 1989 in a larger discursive context of transformation and thus foster multi-dimensional reflections while avoiding simplified interpretations.
We especially encourage contributions from Cultural Studies, Linguistics, Contemporary History, and the various Social Sciences on any of the outlined themes. Ph.D. students as well as advanced scholars are invited to present their current research. Please send your proposals and a short CV (max. 300 words) to firstname.lastname@example.org by March 30, 2019.
The conference languages are German and English. Travel and accommodation costs for active participants will be covered by the organisers (provided adequate institutional support).
Organisers: Aleksander Brückner Center for Polish Studies (Halle), in cooperation with the European Center of Solidarność (Europejskie Centrum Solidarności) in Gdańsk.
E.Abderhalden-Str. 26-27, 06108 Halle (Saale)