What can be considered as cultural heritage is the result of not only a multitude of negotiations by a broad spectrum of actors that affect self-understanding as well as positioning in the world, but also of changing sociopolitical orders. In reflecting on this perspective, this workshop focuses on the multifaceted history of the cultural heritage of Eastern Europe.
Cultural heritage in Eastern Europe has often been studied for individual countries in the region. Moving beyond this singular focus, we intend to look at its construction and (re)presentation from a comparative and transregional point of view.
In a longue durée perspective, ranging from the 18th century to the present, we focus on various themes, forms, and practices of cultural representations (art, crafts, music, and science) and examine the respective constellations in which cultural heritage has been perceived, defined, exhibited, and communicated.
We are guided by the assumption that increasing global interconnections and transfers have played a formative role in the understanding of cultural heritage in the region.
Considering the multiple changing and overlapping sociopolitical orders in Eastern Europe, we explore the interplay of imperial, national, and international constellations in debates and practices of cultural heritage under the global condition.
The workshop also addresses the question of how states, nationalities, and smaller social groups in Eastern Europe have represented themselves in the world and thus positioned themselves in global contexts. We will discuss whether the construction and representation of cultural heritage for the region in the 19th century was particularly important for the nations without a state as well as to what extent transnational and global references have (also implicitly) played a role. Delving into the participation of Eastern European countries in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) World Heritage Programme also opens up a central dimension of cultural internationalisation processes.
One aspect of the long history of cultural heritage, which becomes increasingly important to consider owing to Russia’s ongoing war against Ukraine, concerns the issue of protecting cultural heritage that is in danger of destruction in times of conflict. Currently, sites of cultural heritage in Ukraine are under threat – a situation that is similar to other parts of the world both past and present. Many artists and cultural workers are fleeing from war-ridden Ukraine or are facing enormous political pressure in Russia. Therefore, we would like to bring the consequences of war for sites and activists of cultural heritage back into focus.
Therefore, we invite scholars from culture, art, and music studies, history, geography, and other fields to submit proposals addressing, among other similarly related foci, the following topics:
– changing perceptions of the self and the associated notions of cultural heritage and its forms of representation;
– the nexus between cultural, political, and economic interests;
– the interconnectedness of the respective local, regional, imperial, or national actors and their respective networks and strategies;
– specific projects of cultural representation, their performative aspects and narratives, and the selection process (e.g. the inclusion or exclusion of exhibits);
– the tension between national competition and transnational cooperation (or even inspiration), together with the national or imperial repercussions of internationalism, for example in the form of sociopolitical transformation processes and tourism;
– the participation of representatives from Eastern Europe in international debates on (world) cultural heritage; and/or
– the precarious status of cultural heritage and its representatives during times of war.
Please send your abstract (300 words max.) and a short biography (1,000 characters) to Katja Castryck-Naumann (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Yvonne Kleinmann (email@example.com).
Abstract submission Deadline: 15 December 2022