CFP: Workshop: Transnational Contacts in the Socialist World

Call for papers, deadline 7 January 2015

In 1961, Nikita Khrushchev hailed the development of a "world socialist system," which he defined as "a social, economic, and political community of free, sovereign nations [. . .] united by common interests and goals, by the close ties of international socialist solidarity." This day-long workshop will bring together an interdisciplinary group of early-career scholars to examine the socialist system from a global and transnational perspective. Among the questions to be discussed: how did transnational cultural, interpersonal, and economic contacts between socialist countries contribute to the construction of the "world socialist system"? How did this system impact the everyday lives of ordinary citizens? How did national histories and cultures shape transnational relations in the socialist world? How does the theory and methodology of transnational history apply to the study of socialist countries?

Paper proposals are welcome from historians, anthropologists, and literary and film scholars in the early stages of their careers (advanced graduate students, recent Ph.D.s, and junior faculty). Papers can examine any aspect of cultural, social, and economic contacts between socialist countries in the postwar period, or between socialist and non-aligned countries during the Cold War. Topics can include (but are not limited to): transnational cultural production; cultural and educational exchanges; tourism; sports; transnational organizations; transnational marriages and friendships; and official and unofficial commercial contacts between socialist countries.

Papers will be pre-circulated in advance of the workshop; participants should come prepared to discuss each other's papers in detail, as well as how their own research contributes to a broader history of the socialist world.

Please send a paper proposal of no more than 500 words (including a description of how the paper fits into a broader research project) by January 7, 2015 to

Selected participants will be notified by January 21, 2015. Papers (15-20 pages) should be submitted for pre-circulation by March 6, 2015.

Limited funding is available from the Mellon Foundation to contribute toward travel to Tufts University and up to two nights accommodation in the Boston area, however participants are asked to use funds from their home institutions when possible. If you will need help with funding, please submit an estimated budget for transport and lodging along with your proposal.