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CfP: “Crossing the Line: Negotiating Borders in the Russian and Soviet Context”, University of Virginia, Abstract Deadline January 12

Crossing the Line: Negotiating Borders in the Russian and Soviet Context

The Society of Slavic Graduate Students at the University of Virginia is pleased to announce the Second Annual Slavic Forum, to be held in Charlottesville, VA, on February 5th, 2011, at the Jefferson Fellows Center.  This conference will address the concept of borders – geographical, temporal, cultural, literary, linguistic, and others – from an interdisciplinary perspective.  We invite participants to examine the different ways in which borders have been imagined and treated in such diverse spheres as politics, history, culture, literature, art, language, and philosophy.  How are borders set up, transgressed, negotiated, and dissolved?  What are some of the ways that demarcations change the way we perceive Russia and “Russianness”?  In what ways do borders constitute in-between spaces and thresholds that problematize the notion of clear-cut distinctions?  These are some of the questions the conference will consider.

Possible topics include (but are not limited to):

  • Russia vis-à-vis the Other: Russia’s relationship with the various groups that constitute the cultural, social, and national Other;
  • Russia’s changing dynamic with its former satellite states;
  • Literary boundaries: the development, canonizing, and blurring of literary systems, genres, and schools;
  • The boundaries of and within language – both literary and nonliterary (verbal, visual, etc.): the limits of language, as well the multilayered structure of language and the crossing of these internal borders in the movement from one layer to another;
  • Watershed events (historical, political, literary, and otherwise) as both constituting boundaries and dissolving them;
  • The transgression of the boundary between private and public sphere;
  • Rites of passages, liminal states, and rituals which mark such events as coming of age, marriage, birth, death, etc.
  • Law and morality: constitution and crossing of legal and ethical lines.

Papers should be no more than 20 minutes in length.  Abstracts of no more than one page should be submitted as attachments to John Lyles at no later than January 12th, 2011.

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