Om Södertörns högskola/ Konferenser

Conference facts

When: 2014-12-04 08:00,2014-12-05 18:00

Where: Different rooms at Södertörn University. For details, look at the programme.

Organiser: The Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES), Södertörn University

Event language: English

Research linked to the Baltic region and Eastern Europe: Ja

Baltic Sea Region and Eastern Europe: A new generation on the move

CBEES Annual conference 2014, December 4-5

2014-12-04 08:00,2014-12-05 18:00
The overall theme of the conference is to draw attention to contemporary processes and challenges, and to the role of the new generations that have emerged in Central and Eastern Europe and the Baltic Sea area 25 years after the systemic change 1989.

Om konferensen

CBEES Annual conference 2014, December 4-5

Key Note Speakers

Professor Madina Tlostanova
Professor Andrzei Nowak
Professor Johan Fornäs

For programme with papers, see link to the right or download the programme as pdf-file here:

Programme [pdf-file, 83 kB]

1989 is an important date in the history of Central and Eastern Europe. Since the collapse of state socialism this date has become a marker for a break in historical continuity and a starting point for a whole range of research on processes and developments labeled as 'post-socialist', in 'transition' or 'transformation'. The point of departure for this multidisciplinary conference is the different processes—economic, social, cultural, political and ecological—that have been taking place in the area since the collapse of state socialism. In particular, it seeks to focus on the present, by looking closer at the past and forward to the future.

A striking feature, 25 years after 1989, is the persistent diversity of political systems, cultural norms and social values right across the region. Alongside adaption to EU norms and standards, for example, nationalist, chauvinist and xenophobic sentiments continue to flourish. Civil society itself has become a major social actor in this period, with different constituencies mobilizing and operating in different ways and toward different ends. Environmental problems, such as the protection of ecosystems in the Baltic Sea, have become ever more complicated and continue to resist solution.

The overall theme of the conference is to draw attention to contemporary processes and challenges, and to the role of the new generations that have emerged in Central and Eastern Europe and the Baltic Sea area 25 years after the systemic change. We seek to shift the emphasis from 'post-socialist' development or 'transition' as such to a concern with shared experiences and memories of socialism among the new generations. What changes are to be observed in the social, economic, political, cultural and environmental processes of today's 'post-socialist' societies? Can we still speak about socialist legacies, and in what way? Is there a generational change underway and what role does the emerging new generation have for the processes studied?

Key Note Speakers

Professor Madina Tlostanova will give a talk entitled 'Coloniality of someone else’s memory? The post-Socialist “midnight children” and the post-dependence sublime'.

In the speech, she is going to reflect on the nature of the post-Socialist imaginary, on why in the last twenty five years no separate critical discourse for the analysis of the post-socialist world and subject has been shaped, whereas the post-Socialist people have never actually started to speak. Today when the community of the immediate socialist dependence is gone, exiled into the sphere of memory, when it seems to have taken its place on the museum shelf, a strange transference phenomenon has emerged, a revival of dependence, but this time from someone else’s distorted memory, when young people are either nostalgic about socialism that they never experienced or demonizing socialist life in a caricature way. This is their own specific version of the midnight children who were born and raised already after the collapse of the world socialist system. This problematic and metaphoric is particularly graphic in contemporary art, fiction and cinema. What can or cannot link the post-Socialist midnight children? Language? Images? Metaphors? Concepts? Sensibilities? What is the future of the post-Socialist as a vanishing community and what are the future geo-cultural and geo-political trajectories of our midnight children? In my talk she will attempt to offer some answers to these questions.

Madina Tlostanova is a professor of Philosophy at the School of Public Policy within the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (Moscow), a trans-diasporic scholar with mixed ethnic origins (Circassian, Tatar, Uzbek) living in Moscow but extensively teaching abroad. Trained in Moscow State University as an American Studies major focusing on US Southern fiction, she gradually drifted to multiculturalism and transcultural aesthetics to finally shift to post/ decolonial interpretation of the post-soviet space, subjectivities, literature and the arts. Tlostanova has authored 8 scholarly books and over 200 articles on contemporary culture and art, social theory, alter-globalism, postcolonial and decolonial discourses, many of which were published in Europe, Latin America and the US. The most recent are Gender Epistemologies and Eurasian Borderlands (New York, Palgrave Macmillan, 2010) and Learning to Unlearn: Decolonial Reflection from Eurasia and the Americas (co-authored with Walter Mignolo, Ohio State University Press, 2012). Currently she is working on a book on decolonial aesthetics, contemporary art and the post-socialist imaginary.

Professor Andrzei Nowak will speak on the subject of 'Communism and Imperial factor in Eastern European memories'.

Andrzej Nowak is Polish historian, professor of Eastern European History in Jagiellonian University (Kraków) and chair of Imperial and Eastern European Studies in the Institute of History, Polish Academy of Sciences (Warsaw), author of more than 20 books on Eastern European political and intellectual history such as:

- Imperiological Studies. A Polish Perspective, Societas Vistulana, Krakow 2011, pp. 240;
– (ed.) Imperial Victims/Empires as Victims: 44 Views, Institute of History, Polish Academy of Sciences and Institute of National Remembrance, Warsaw 2010, pp. 640;
– History and Geopolitics: A Contest for Eastern Europe, Polish Institute of International Affairs, Warsaw 2008, pp. 363;
– (ed.) Russia and Eastern Europe: applied „imperiology”, ARCANA, Krakow 2006, pp. 528.

Professor Johan Fornäs will give a talk with the preliminary title "A New Narrative for Eastern Europe Too?", in which he will discuss the ambivalent intersection between the new narratives of Eastern Europe and the so-called new narrative for Europe at large.

Johan Fornäs is a professor of Media and Communication Studies at Södertörn University, and editor-in-chief of the open access Culture Unbound: Journal of Current Cultural Research. His research has a focus on culture and identity, and besides the "Narratives of Europe" project, he is also engaged in studying and theorising mediatisation, critical hermeneutics and popular music.

Conference home page

Organizing committee:

Research Leader Nicholas Aylott
Professor Mark Bassin
Professor Joakim Ekman
Research Leader Monica Hammer
Researcher Carl Marklund
Researcher Dominika Polanska.


Södertörn University, located in the southern Stockholm area, has professional, creative research environments that range over many disciplines and fields. The research has a contemporary focus united with an active and critical approach to the past. Many of the research groups and research projects strive to achieve a high level of contemporary and social relevance.

Research into the Baltic Sea Region and Eastern Europe has a special position at Södertörn University.

The Centre for Baltic Sea Region and East European Studies (CBEES) is a multidisciplinary research centre focusing on the Baltic Sea region and Eastern Europe. Besides working internationally through networks, conferences and workshops, the centre's task is to coordinate, strengthen and develop the university's research, postgraduate education and other activities that focus on the Baltic Sea region and Eastern Europe, with the aim of being an academic leader in this area.

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