Graduate School for East and Southeast European Studies

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Cultural Hegemonies in Spaces of Diversity

The second Annual Conference of the Graduate School for East and Southeast European Studies took place in Regensburg on May 7-9, 2015. This conference was interested in the production and erosion of cultural hegemony. One of the major goals of the conference was to elucidate the relationship between cultural hegemony and political change in Eastern and Southeastern Europe.

More than eighty years ago, Antonio Gramsci developed the concept of cultural hegemony in his Prison Notebooks. For him, cultural hegemony was a way to understand the relationship between culture and power under capitalism and, in particular, to reveal and deconstruct the production of consent by the dominant “fundamental group”. The concept of cultural hegemony has become hugely influential, aiding scholars to understand how legitimacy is not only produced but also undermined by anti-hegemonic practices.

Eastern and Southeastern Europe as a region is characterized by substantial ruptures in the 19th and 20th centuries. It is an area of large scale political, economic and cultural experimentation as well as a site of frequent regime change. It has a long history of both dictatorship and revolution. Nowhere else in Europe have so many new states emerged, and existing ones disappeared, in the 20th century. At the same time, the region is a space of great cultural, linguistic, confessional, socio-political, and regional diversity; this situation creates particular challenges for those who strive to achieve cultural hegemony.

This conference was interested in the production and erosion of cultural hegemony. Conference contributions discuss the relationship between cultural hegemony, social organization, institutional order, and political practice. What strategies and practices can be identified that serve to establish or maintain cultural hegemony but also to subvert and ultimately replace it? One of the major goals of the conference was to elucidate the relationship between cultural hegemony and political change in Eastern and Southeastern Europe. This includes the discussion of transnational transfers of dominant ideologies and of their local implementation and appropriation. Cultural hegemony also has important implications for language use: it attributes specific rights and prestige to particular languages (or dialects), while marginalizing others.

You can find the program of the Annual Conference here.

See also the Conference Report of H-Soz-Kult. See also the Review in the Annual Report 2015 of the Graduate School.


Thursday, May 7

18:00 – 18:30 Opening 

Ulf Brunnbauer (Regensburg) and Martin Schulze Wessel (Munich)

18.30 - 20:00 Keynote 1

Irina Prokhorova (Moscow): Defying the Hegemony of Cultural Nationalism: History as Overlapping Diasporas

Chair: Riccardo Nicolosi (Munich)

Friday, May 8

9:00 - 10:15 Keynote 2

Johanna Bockman (Washington D.C.): The Socialist Worlds of 1989: Galaxies against Hegemonies

Chair: Ulf Brunnbauer (Regensburg)

10.30 - 13.00 Performing Counter-Hegemony in the Arts 

Rusem Ertug Altinay (New York): Kemalism's Dark Pleasures. BDSM as Anti-Hegemonic Practice in Turkey

Maria-Alina Asavei (Prague): Resisting the Hegemonic Regimes of Representation: Critical Art by Roma Artists from Eastern Europe

Lousia Avgita (Tessaloniki): Activist Art and Over-Identification Artistic Strategies in Southeastern Europe: A Critical View

Wiebke Gronemeyer (Hamburg): Curatorial Practice as Counter-Hegemonic Commitment

Chair: Ada Raev (Bamberg)

14:00 - 16:00 Creating Socialist Culture

Andru Chiorean (Birmingham): A Culture of Censorship? Cultural Construction and Practices of Censorship in Post-War Communist Romania

Albert Doja/Enika Abazi (Lille): From the Communist Point of View: Cultural Hegemony and People's Cultural Manipulation in Albanian Studies under Socialism

Adela Hincu (Budapest): The Sociology of Mass Culture in Socialist Romania, 1970s-1980s

Chair: Irina Morozova (Regensburg)

16.30-18.30 Crisis, Political Change and Ideology

Vassilios Bogiatzis (Athens): Struggling for Cultural Hegemony in the Shadow of the Catastrophe: the Quest for New Beginnings during the Greek Interwar Period

Andrea Talabr (Florence): National Days in Changing Regimes: Czechoslovakia and Hungary in the 20th century

Clemena Antonova (Vienna): Bolshevik Cultural Policy on Religion: A Model of Cultural Hegemony under a Dictatorship of Proletariat

Chair: Martin Schulze Wessel (Munich)

Saturday, May 9

9:00 - 11:00 Cultural Policies and State Domination

Ivan Sablin (Heidelberg/ St. Petersburg): Printing Modernities: Book Culture in late Tsarist and early Soviet Siberia

Maria Hadjiathanasiou (Limassol): Cultural Propaganda Agencies in Colonial Cyprus and their Policies, 1946-1960

Jaromír Mrňka (Prague): (Trans-)Formation of Hegemonic Discourses and Post-War Czech Society between Nationalism and Socialism, 1945-1960

Chair: Peter Zusi (London)

11:30 - 13:00 Language Policies

Andrew Hodges (Zagreb): Contesting Linguistic Hegemonies in the Classroom? Teaching in Croatian in Subotica/ Serbia

Antonina V. Berezovenko (Kiev): Rise and Fall of the Soviet Hegemony in the Linguistic Realm

Chair: Björn Hansen (Regensburg)

14:00 - 16:00 Youth and Subversion

Maxim Alyukov (St. Petersburg): Hegemony and Heterogeneity in the 2013-2014 Crisis in Ukraine: between National and Local Identity

Zornitza Draganova (Sofia): Competition and Detachment: A Case Study of Two Active Youth Groups in Sofia

Marko Ilić (London): "What is the Alternative?" Ljubljana's KUC (Student Culture & Art Centre)

Chair: Peter Bugge (Aarhus)

16.30 - 17.30 Concluding Discussion