CfP: Emotions and the Disintegration of Communism in Europe, ca. 1970 to 2000

Call for papers, deadline: 15 August 2017


Few would dispute the fact that the revolutions of 1989/91 which brought about the downfall of communist regimes in Central and Eastern Europe were emotionally charged events. Historical studies of the events of 1989/91, however, have focused mostly on presumably “rational” politics rather than the role of emotions. While historians are gradually claiming the revolutions of 1989/91 as a field of study long dominated by the social and political sciences, they still do so primarily with a focus on political interests. This workshop aims to amplify existing research on the political history of 1989/1991 by taking up a perspective inspired by recent work in the history of emotion and adjacent fields such as the history of subjectivities and the body. The workshop will follow an interdisciplinary approach, therefore we are also looking forward to proposals from anthropologists and sociologists and other neighboring disciplines.
We encourage works that explore such issues as the emotional vocabulary of revolutionary rhetorics, the role of emotions as a contagious force of political mobilization, embodied practices and emotional displays of resistance etc. We are also interested in the emotionally charged perceptions of revolutionary change in communist Europe in the “West”.
The workshop aims to explore longer term perspectives on the changes in emotional regimes leading up to and resulting from the events of 1989/91. We therefore welcome proposals focusing on “transformations before transformation” beginning approximately in the 1970s as well as accounts of post-socialist developments up to the present. In sum, the workshop aims to explore ways in which a perspective on emotional dynamics may enrich our understanding of the events of 1989/91 and the post-communist era in Europe.

Applicants are asked to send an abstract (1-2 pages) and a CV (no more than 2 pages) to and until the 15th of August 2017. Applicants will be notified by the 31th of August 2017. The Ludwig-Maximilians-University will reimburse travelling and accommodation costs.