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"Political Mythology and History"

CAS 23/02/2009

International Conference
2-4 April 2009, Sofia

Organised by the University of Sofia “St. Kliment Ohridski” –
Faculty of History, Faculty of Philosophy,
Centre for Doctoral and Post-doctoral Research “Dialogue Europe”
with the support of WAZ Media Group

Venue: Sofia University, 15 Tzar Osvoboditel blvd., North Wing, 2nd Floor, New Conference Hall

Thursday 2 April 2009

13.30 – 15.30
Myth-making and Political Uses of Art

Chair: Alexander Kiossev

Katharina Van Cauteren (Katholieke Universiteit, Leuven): “The Great Albert will be our Great Apollo” – Myth-Making at the Brussels’s Court: A Case-Study by Hendrick De Clerck

Ateş Uslu (University of Paris 1 / Eötvös Loránd University of Budapest): National Mythology and National Heroes in Ferenc Erkel’s Operas

Dimitar V. Atanassov (Sofia University): Widescreen Kosovo

Zornitza Grekova (Sofia University): Literature and Mythology in the Political Mythology of the People’s Republic of China

Nicola Hille (Tübingen): Political Mythology and Media. East and West German Propaganda Posters during the First Years of the Cold War Period

Coffee break

15.50 – 17.30
Mythologisation and Legitimation: Communist Regimes in Search of a “Useful” Past

Chair: Stefan Troebst

Ivaylo Znepolski (Sofia University): Can We Read Through the Book of the Past?

Lutz Niethammer (Friedrich-Schiller-Universität, Jena): The Mythological Potential of the Soviet Special Camps in Germany (1945-1950) During the Cold War and Since: The Attempt at Historical Clarification in a German-Russian Cooperative Project, and Its Limits

Barbara Könczöl (University of Cambridge): The Sacralisation of the Party – Political Myth-Making in the GDR

Grigorii Shvedov (Memorial Society, Moscow): The Myth of Stalin: Order vs. Democracy in the Looking Glass of Traditional and New Media

Coffee break

17.50 – 19.20 ч. Evening session

Chairs: Daniela Koleva and Kostadin Grozev

Welcome by Professor Ivan Ilchev, Rector of Sofia University

Address by WAZ Media Group, Mr Axel Schindler, CEO of Newspaper Group Bulgaria

Marк Kramer (Harvard University) The Perils of Historical Forgetting and Whitewashing: The Former Soviet Bloc in Comparative Perspective

Friday 3 April 2009

9.00 – 10.40
Using Myths in Politics and History

Chair: Ivaylo Znepolski

Chiara Bottici (Università di Firenze): Towards a Philosophy of Political Myth: Myth or History?

Ivaylo Ditchev (Sofia University): The Conspiracy Myth: Theory and Practice

Roumen Daskalov (New Bulgarian University/Central European University): Mythologisations in Historiography: Bulgarian Examples

Borislav Gavrilov (Sofia University): Historical Myths and the “Useful” Past

Coffee break

11.00 – 12.40
Historical Concepts and the Politics of History

Chair: Diana Mishkova

Albena Hranova (Plovdiv University): The Concept of “Yoke” in Bulgarian Culture (Literature and Historiography)

Raymond Detrez (Ghent University): Delusion or Treason. On the Myth of the “Double Yoke”

Dessislava Lilova (South-West University, Blagoevgrad): The Names of the Homeland: Constructing the Bulgarian Territorial Identity in the Last Decades under Ottoman Rule

Anelia Kassabova (Institute of Ethnology, BAS): The Zadruga – Myth or Reality? On the Realities Engendering Myths and the Myths Engendering Reality

12.40 – 14.00 Lunch break

14.00 – 15.40
Mythologisations and History Writing

Chair: Borislav Gavrilov

Todor Popnedelev (Sofia University): Myth in the Thinking of the Historian

Svetla Baloutzova (New Bulgarian University): Revolution or Evolution? The Social Politics of Bulgaria in the Historical and Political Discourse

Lily Grozdanova (Sofia University): Political Myths in the Roman Empire: The Case of Philip the Arab (AD 244-249)

Wolfgang Knapp (Leopold Franzens Universität Innsbruck): Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité vs. Für Gott, Kaiser, Vaterland

Coffee break

16.00 – 17.40
Nations and Mythologisations: Balkan Perspectives

Chair: Ivan Parvev

Evelina Kelbecheva (American University in Bulgaria, Blagoevgrad): How Myths Produce Falsifications

Valery Kolev (Sofia University): Independence and National Unity (1908)

Virgiliu Tarau (Babes Bolyai university, Cluj):10th or 9th of May. Metamorposes of the Independence Day in Romania

Blagovest Nyagulov (Institute of History, BAS): The Demythologisations of the National Histories of Bulgaria and Romania: Comparative Aspects

Saturday 4 April 2009

9.00 – 10.40
Reading the Legacies of World Wars in the Context of Cold War

Chair: Kostadin Grozev

Attila Pók (Institute of History, Hungarian Academy of Sciences): The Political Uses of Historical Myths and the Fabrication of Hatreds. A 20th-century Hungarian Perspective in Context

Maria Deenitchina (Sofia University): Mythology of the Enemy – Secret Files and their Messages

Stefan Troebst (Leipzig university): (Post-)Communist Politics of History vs. Global Culture of Remembrance: The International Debate on the Fate of Bulgaria's Jews in World War II, 1967-2008

Spasimir Domaradzki (Andrzej Frycz Modrzewski Krakow University College): In Pursuit of the Historical Truth – Implications for the Political Life in Poland after the End of the Cold War

Coffee break

11.00 – 12.40
Doctrines of Power: Cold War Myths and Realities in Eastern Europe

Chair: Mark Kramer

Douglas Selvage (Federal Commissioner for Stasi Records in Berlin.): Ulbricht Doctrine, Gomulka Doctrine, Brezhnev Doctrine: Myths and Realities in the Warsaw Pact, 1967-1970

Jordan Baev (Cold War Research Group Bulgaria): War Games and Covert Actions: Warsaw Pact Cold War Myths

Nadia Boyadjieva (Plovdiv University): Myths and Realities in International Relations in the 20th Century

Csaba Békés (Cold War History Research Center, Budapest): Real and Apparent Crises of the East–West Relations during the Cold War

12.40 – 14.00 Lunch break

14.00 – 16.00
Political Mythology in the Media

Chair: Lutz Niethammer

Ferhat Kentel (Bilgi University, Istanbul): The New Source of Turkish “Secular” Nationalism: The “Sacred Blood” of Turks

Georgi Lozanov (Sofia University): The Pseudo-Heroic Epics of the Bulgarian Transition

Rossen Yankov (24 Hours Daily, Sofia): The Sports Idols of the Transition

Mitsos Bilalis (University of Thessaly, Volos): Historiography and Political Mythologies of Cyberculture (1980-1995)

Orlin Spassov (Sofia University): The Cyrillic or the Latin Script: The Bulgarian National Identity on the Internet

Кафе пауза/ Coffee break

16.20 – 18.00
History as Social Memory

Chair: Daniela Koleva

Nadege Ragaru (CERI, Paris): The Political Uses and Social Lives of “National Heroes”: Controversies over Skanderbeg’s Statue in Skopje

Liliana Deyanova (Sofia University): The Continuity of National Pedagogical Mythology (Bulgarian History Textbooks Before and After 1944)

Anamaria Dutceac Segesten (Lund University): Mirrors of Myths, Reflections of History: An Analysis of History Textbook Covers in Romania and Serbia

Margarita Jeliazkova (University of Twente): Democracy, Values and Tradition: Attitudes of Dutch Teachers Towards Civic Education

18.00-18:20 Closing

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