CFP: ‘She is made of stone’. Women in the Socialist and Post-Socialist Public Space
2–3 April 2020
European University Institute, Florence (Italy)
In partnership with the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz
Abstracts submission deadline: 17 February 2020
The goal of this conference is to open up a multidisciplinary conversation about representation, memory and monumentalization of women within the socialist and post-socialist public spaces. While gendered approach to socialism has already been given some attention from scholars, the topic of this conference, arising from the recently structured research field of socialist heritage, is yet to be thoroughly disseminated in the academia.
The stone-carved and sculpted portrayals still persist today in post-socialist (as well as still-socialist) spaces: the sculpture groups portraying the worker-warrior women, the colossal sculptures of female
figure allegories of people’s struggles, the busts of individual female revolutionaries, and memorial
plaques carrying the names of resistance fighters and emancipators. However, unlike ‘eternally lasting’ stone, used as material for many of these monuments, the discourses around them, their political and social impact, and their state of conservation are more susceptible to change. They are subject to new readings, reinterpretations, erasure, as well as acts of historical revisionism and material iconoclasm.
The conference calls for a common reflection among scholars from across disciplines and backgrounds including history, art history, archaeology, heritage studies, urban studies, sociology, political sciences, anthropology, environmental history, etc.
We invite participants to explore topics including (but not limited to):
• Specific case studies and/or comparisons exploring the specificity of women’s representation in
the socialist space; representation of the socialist femininity; socialist representation of nation,
wars and victories
• Heritage management, conservation, displacement, destruction and vandalization of women’s
• National, regional and local specificities in the representation of women in the socialist space
• Representations and memorializations of womanhood, as opposed to everyday life of women
inhabiting socialist (and post-socialist) spaces
• Material histories of memorialization projects: uses of materials, conservation/decay
• Differences in the representation of women by male and female artists
• The new and emerging readings of these monuments given their new political contexts
• Readings of socialist representations of womanhood in non-socialist contexts
• New discourses on women versus their representations in the urban space
• Contemporary art and women’s monumentalization
We particularly encourage the proposals from researchers in the early stages of their engagement, and we wish to warmly encourage researchers from all backgrounds to participate.
Please send a 250–300 word abstract along with a short bio to firstname.lastname@example.org and
email@example.com by February 17, 2020.
The proceedings of the conference might be published in a special issue.