REEES organizes the annual Princeton Conjunction, an interdisciplinary and international conference that brings together 25 – 30 scholars from around the world and aims at determining new directions in Russian, East European, and Eurasian studies. The conference program committee issues an open call for papers each year, participants are selected in early February. The conference is typically held the second weekend of May.
Romantic Subversions of Soviet Enlightenment: Questioning Socialism's Reason
May 9-10, 2014
Romantic Subversions of Soviet Enlightenment: Questioning Socialism’s Reason continued the series of annual interdisciplinary conferences that took place at Princeton University in the last few years. The conference proposed to view sotsromantizm as an autonomous (and relatively coherent) form of historical imagination.Thispolitico-poetical configuration brought together dispersive impulses, anarchic inclinations, psychological introspection, and metaphorical structuring in order to repudiate the basic Soviet conventions of normative rationality and mimetic sotsrealism. In short, this conference approached the romantic imagination in the late Soviet period as a form of critical engagement with “actually existing” socialism .
While many recent studies of late socialism are structured around metaphors of absence and detachment, the conference suggested an analytical shift to concepts, institutions, spaces, objects, and identities that enabled (rather than prevented) individual and collective involvement with socialism.
Sotsromantizm offers a ground from which to challenge the emerging dogma that depicts late Soviet society as a space where pragmatic cynics coexisted with useful idiots of the regime. The romantic sensibility sought to discover new spaces for alternative forms of affective attachment and social experience; it also helped to curtail the self-defeating practices of disengagement and indifference.
Serguei Oushakine, Chair (Princeton University)
Marijeta Bozovic (Yale University)
Helena Goscilo (The Ohio State University)
Mark Lipovetsky (The University of Colorado at Boulder)
Vera Tolz-Zilitinkevic ( The University of Manchester)
Past Princeton Conjunction conferences:
May 10 – 12, 2013
Illusions Killed by Life: Afterlives of (Soviet) Constructivism
May 4 – 6, 2012
Objects of Affection: Toward a Materiology of Emotions
May 20 – 22, 2010
Sots-Speak: Regimes of Language under Socialism
May 15 – 17 2009
Totalitarian Laughter: Cultures of the Comic under Socialism
May 9 – 11, 2008
The Pain of Words: Narratives of Suffering in Slavic Cultures.