[spectre] CFP: Temporality and Material Culture under Socialism (online, 1-2 Jul 21)

Andreas Broeckmann broeckmann at leuphana.de
Mon Mar 8 06:59:07 CET 2021

From: Rafael Ugarte Chacón
Date: Mar 6, 2021
Subject: CFP: Temporality and Material Culture under Socialism (online, 
1-2 Jul 21)

online / Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz – Max-Planck-Institut, 
Eingabeschluss: 16.04.2021

Temporality and Material Culture under Socialism
Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz – Max-Planck-Institut

This conference focuses on the relationship between temporality and 
material culture in twentieth-century socialist regimes. We are 
primarily interested in looking at case studies from the USSR and 
Europe, but also from other geographical contexts such as Asia, Latin 
America, and Africa, especially from a comparative perspective.

In the last decades, “time” has increasingly become a research topic in 
itself: theoretical studies of changing experiences, perceptions, and 
conceptualizations of past, present, future (and even eternity) have 
taken off. These studies have spawned a wide-ranging discussion on the 
modern and postmodern temporalities, on the so-called “régimes 
d’historicité” (Hartog 2003), spanning several disciplines and national 

Researchers of socialist societies have been no strangers to this boom. 
Temporality figures as an important theme in recent scholarship on 
socialist culture, including architecture, painting, literature, 
photography, and cinema. One of the common pieces of reference of many 
of these works is Vladimir Paperny’s concept of “Culture Two”. However, 
as in Paperny’s study of Soviet architecture, socialist temporality 
typically figures as only one theme among many, rather than a subject 
proper. As a result, for instance, scholarship often draws upon clear 
dichotomies between past and future, without a rigorous critique of 
these categories themselves.

Accordingly, this conference seeks to foreground the analysis of 
socialist temporality as the main object of study. All the same, we 
believe that material culture provides a particularly effective “entry 
point” into the problem of time. Following the ideas developed by the 
“spatial turn”, especially in memory and cultural studies, this workshop 
emphasizes the fact that experiences of time are hardly separable from 
experiences of space. Thus, tackling the issue of temporality through 
the lens of material culture, we intend to ground the discussion of 
often-abstract concepts into their spatial and tangible incarnations.

We welcome interdisciplinary contributions dealing with the intersection 
of temporality and architecture, public art, urban planning, design, and 
other spheres of material culture.

We are particularly interested in, but not limited to, the following 
themes and questions:

●    What was specific about the experience and conceptualization of 
time under socialism? Did it follow (or not) “Western” or global trends 
in the changing “regimes of historicity” and “temporality”? How does 
material culture reflect, embody, and represent this specific 
relationship to time under socialism?

●    How do experiences and conceptualizations of time vary (or not) 
between socialist regimes in the 20th century? How did the circulation 
of material culture contribute to the circulation of representations, 
perceptions, and conceptions of “socialist time”?

●    What was unique about the way temporality under socialism affected 
material culture? How was this relationship mediated by creators/artists?

●    How did socialist material culture inform and participate in users’ 
experience and perception of time?

●    How did the memorialization and heritagization of socialist 
material production reflect ideas about time?

We seek to foster an interdisciplinary conversation to tackle a central 
issue in the study of socialism – temporality – from new perspectives. 
We particularly encourage submissions from advanced graduate students 
and early career researchers.

This conference will take place on 1–2 July 2021 over Zoom. The working 
language will be English. Please send a short biographical statement and 
an abstract of up to 250 words to julie.deschepper at khi.fi.it by 16 April 
2021. Decisions on the conference program will be made within two weeks 
of the deadline.

Organized by

Julie Deschepper, Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz – 
Antony Kalashnikov, International Center for the History and Sociology 
of World War II and Its Consequences, NRU Higher School of Economics, Moscow
Federica Rossi, Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz – 
Max-Planck-Institut / Università degli Studi di Firenze

Reference / Quellennachweis:
CFP: Temporality and Material Culture under Socialism (online, 1-2 Jul 
21). In: ArtHist.net, Mar 6, 2021. <https://arthist.net/archive/33534>.


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