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"Twenty Years After: Central and Eastern European Communist Regimes as a Shared Legacy"

CAS 15/05/2009


* Date: October 6-7, 2009
* Venue: Nostitz Palace, Prague, Czech Republic
* Conference languages: Czech, English

* Academic partners: Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes, Czech Republic, Institute for the History of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, Hungary, Institute for the Investigation of the Crimes of Communism, Romania, Historical Institute of the Slovak Academy of Sciences, Slovakia, Hannah Arendt Center in Sofia, Bulgaria, Institute for Contemporary History, France (t.b.c.), London School of Economics and Political Science, Cold War Studies Centre, Great Britain (t.b.c.)

The conference focuses on the legacy of the non-democratic past of Central European countries. Unlike the more common approaches stressing the radical nature of ruptures accompanying the demise of communist regimes in the region, twenty years after the fall, both the scientific community and Central and Eastern European societies are probably ready to accept a more detailed account of prevailing – but also of transformed – social and political practices.

The conference is based on an interdisciplinary or multi-disciplinary approach towards the late communist period of the 1980s and its legacy to the present day. It will offer uncommon methods and topics to the wider academic community as well as to the interested public. An institutionalized coming to terms with the past, as the key panel of the conference, will be presented through the comparative prism of transitional justice, a field well known in Western social sciences but less known terrain in the East.

The Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes of the Czech Republic is organizing the conference in association with partner institutions in other countries.

We invite papers with topics relevant to one of the following panels:

1. Transitional Justice - Dealing with the non-democratic past from criminal prosecution through public discussion and symbolic acts – vetting, truth commissions, institutionalization of memory

2. “Old” Networks in Post-Communist Settings - Social networks after decades of systematic attempts at social engineering (politics and the public sphere, family networks, clientelism)

3. Transformation of the Security Forces - Transformative process of one of the key pillars of the (post-) totalitarian order to supporting the democratic rule of law

4. Conceptualization of History in Primary and Secondary Education during the (Post-) Totalitarian Period - History as a tool of official governmental policies, political education, education in history and literature serving as indoctrination

5. Lifestyle(s) and Culture of Everyday Life Under Late Communism - Pop-culture, advertisement, gastronomy, fashion and art in the late communist period and its recent reflections

Applications (consisting of an abstract no longer than 500 words and a short academic CV relevant to the subject of the conference) should be sent to . The deadline for applications is July 10, 2009.

All submissions satisfying the basic requirements will be subject to a review. Only papers of sufficient academic quality will be accepted. Successful applicants will be informed of the acceptance of their proposal by July 24, 2009.

Light refreshments and lunch will be provided.

For further questions contact please: .

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