15.10.2021 in Canada, Canada

Canadian Slavonic Papers special issue on "The History of Emotions under Soviet & East European Communist Regimes"

  • 15.10.2021
  • Event language: English
  • Canadian Slavonic Papers
  • Type of Event: Call for Articles

Link to this post: https://www.pol-int.org/en/node/9624

Analysis of emotion is still a relatively novel approach to studying the past. It is now recognized that aspects of emotion are culturally and temporally contingent, and that emotions in turn influence political, economic, and cultural processes. The potential of this approach to yield insights in the history of Communist regimes remains to be fully realized, however. Canadian Slavonic Papers / Revue canadienne des slavistes therefore invites contributions to a special issue on the history of emotions in societies that experienced Communist rule in central/eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. We welcome contributions that investigate how emotions were experienced, debated, and mobilized in state-socialist societies at the time of their establishment, across their decades-long existence, and during their disintegration and aftermath. We are especially interested in papers exploring the role of emotions in the following fields:

1) The mobilization of emotions

Communist regimes in the Soviet Union and central/eastern Europe often mobilized emotions to foster support for their policies. Which media and semantics did they use to address people at an emotional level? How did societies and individuals respond to such mobilizational strategies? In which ways were such emotional appeals appropriated, redefined, or perhaps rejected? How were emotions mobilized in oppositional movements against state socialism?

2) Emotions in uprisings and revolutions

Appeals to emotions were especially frequent in phases of revolutionary upheaval. What was the place of feelings in revolutions and uprisings, e.g. in Russia in 1917, in Hungary in 1956, in Gdańsk in 1980, or across the Eastern Bloc in 1989/91? Which emotions were mobilized against and for Communist regimes? Did this happen in particular phases of the revolutionary dynamic? How did emotions become part of the staging and performativity of revolutionary action? In which ways were revolutions and uprisings experienced as sensual events? How did emotions enter the narratives and the memory culture of revolutions?

3) Emotions in particular social groups

Numerous studies in the history of emotions have analyzed the role of emotions in the habitus of particular social groups. We welcome contributions that follow this path and apply it to state-socialist cases. Which emotions were ascribed to social groups such as party members and workers? Which styles of emotional display were seen as appropriate, e.g. in the case of women in different age groups? How was a Communist partisan expected to feel during combat? Which handling of emotions did sons and daughters have to learn to act in conformity with their social roles?

4) Emotions and expertise

Different groups of experts in fields such as psychology, biology, pedagogy, and criminology focused their attention on emotions and their regulation. Their work influenced practices in institutions of public health, social policy, education, and justice. How, for example, did psychologists address the theme of emotions among spouses and how did this shape the practice of marital counselling in state-socialist societies? Contributions in this field could address the production of knowledge on emotions as well as its dissemination and application in different spheres of policy and social practice.


The special issue will be published in 2022, and the normal peer-review process will apply. Manuscripts may be written in English or French and should normally not exceed 10,000 words (including footnotes and bibliography). Please consult the journal's website (https://slavists.ca/ journal/submissions/) for submission and style guidelines. Guest editors for the special issue will be Dr. Franziska Davies (Ludwig-Maximilian University, Munich) and Dr. Jan Arend (University of Tübingen).

Questions may be directed to the journal editor, Prof. James Krapfl, at james.krapfl@mcgill.ca. Prospective authors are encouraged to contact the editor at their earliest convenience to express intention to submit. The deadline for submissions is 15 October 2021. Manuscripts should be submitted electronically at https://www.editorialmanager.com/rcsp/default.aspx.

Canadian Slavonic Papers / Revue canadienne des slavistes, founded in 1956, is a quarterly, interdisciplinary journal of the Canadian Association of Slavists, publishing in English and French. It is devoted to the study of central/eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, providing a forum for scholars from a range of disciplines: language and linguistics, literature, history, political science, sociology, economics, anthropology, geography, philosophy, and the arts. CSP/RCS is one of the major journals in the field, with an international readership and subscribers.


Guillaume Sauvé