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Call for Papers: “Between History and Past: Soviet Legacy as the Traumatic Object of Contemporary Russian Culture,” Deadline: June 1

Call for Papers


Workshop at the University of Sheffield (UK), 30-31 October 2010

The workshop will address the relationship between contemporary Russian
culture and Russia’s Soviet past, the relationship characterized by profound
ambiguity. Almost two decades after the collapse of the Soviet Union Russian
society and culture is increasingly dependent on its Soviet heritage, which
is upheld and rejected, often simultaneously, in practically all fields of
symbolic production, from state ideology to architecture, from elitist
literature to mass culture. The aim of the workshop is to navigate the array
of discourses in order to trace the ways in which Soviet past functions not
as a self-contained object, however complex and ambiguous, but rather as a
space of projections, displacements and symbolizations, as a symptom whose
affective charge betrays the urgency of its underlying problematic.

The main impetus behind the workshop is to look at the Soviet past through
the traumatic contradictions of the present. Contemporary Russian culture is
suspended between the unstable historical narrative of the new nation’s
emergence from the ruins of the USSR and the legacy of Soviet culture, whose
models, revolutionary or Stalinist, no longer work. The resultant
impossibility of symbolic structuration creates a tangible traumatic void at
the core of contemporary Russian culture which its subjects try to fill with
their inconsistent, emotional, and ideologically charged interventions.
Whether praised or vilified, likened to the present of contrasted with it,
the Soviet past is influenced by Russia’s current predicament in no lesser
degree than it itself influences Russia’s present.

We invite papers from an open variety of disciplines that will be neither
purely historical (i.e., tracing the actual historical transformation of
Soviet culture into contemporary Russian one) nor purely immanent (i.e.,
approaching the Soviet past as a fantasmatic image pertaining to the Russian
present) but rather address the gap between historical genealogies and
immanent perceptions, the gap conditioned by the traumatic impossibility to
merge narratives of Russian history and the fantasmatic visions of the
Soviet past.

The workshop will be coordinated with Russian Aviation and Space: Technology
and Cultural Imagination workshop that will be held at the University of
Leeds, UK, on 29 October 2010 (for more details please visit Sheffield and Leeds are within a short
train ride from each other.

Please, send your abstracts /300 words/ accompanied by a CV to the workshop
organizers, Evgeny Dobrenko and Andrey Shcherbenok, at
by 1 June 2010.

Posted in: Calls for Papers and Upcoming Conferences
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Masterclass in Experimental Methods in Linguistics, University of Sheffield, Deadline: February 1

Experimental Methods in Linguistics
Obtaining and using experimental data in linguistic research

to be held at the University of Sheffield
Thursday-Sunday, April 8-11, 2010

This Masterclass aims to provide linguists with a hands-on introduction to the basics of experimental design and statistical data analysis. Our two masterclass facilitators are Dr Ewa DÄ…browska from Northumbria University (UK) and Professor Harald Baayen from the University of Alberta, Edmonton (Canada).

Ewa DÄ…browska, editor-in-chief of Cognitive Linguistics, has worked extensively within the framework of experimental Cognitive Linguistics. She will be introducing the masterclass participants to experimental thinking and teaching the basics of experimental design.

Harald Baayen is an authority when it comes to statistical analysis of linguistic data. The author of Analyzing Linguistic Data: A Practical Introduction to Statistics Using R, published by Cambridge University Press, he will teach statistical analysis techniques to accompany the experimental set up (April 9-10), and run a workshop on multilevel modelling (April 11).

Details of the program and instructions for registration can be found at

The application form (deadline: February 1, 2010) can be found at

Masterclasses such as this one provide valuable opportunities for professional development in research skills that will serve both a more senior generation of linguists interested in obtaining new skills as well as a new generation of current PhD students.

Posted in: Resources (Funding, Study Abroad, Internships, etc.)
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