Keywords: communist regimes, dissidence, political opposition, political surveillance, dissident political thought, intellectual history, protests, revolutions.
Fields: history, sociology, political sciences, anthropology, cultural studies.
After the Second World War, the Central and East European region was integrated into the Soviet sphere of influence. The active construction of communism across the region during the Stalinist period (1945-1950s) had a number of far-reaching consequences, which arguably transformed the East European region. In the cultural sphere it meant the spreading of Stalin’s cult of propaganda, the imposition of Marxist ideology and the persecution of any perceived opposition or alternative world-views. The economic sphere was marked by the liquidation of private property, collectivization of agriculture and rapid industrialization under the Soviet-style system of central planning. In the political sphere, the shift to a one-party state meant that all non-communist parties and organizations were liquidated and the power of the communist party was secured through mass repression and police surveillance. While the post-Stalinist period led to some liberalization within certain Eastern bloc countries, the limits to reform and relaxation were periodically reinforced, for example in 1956 (Poland and Hungary); 1968 (Czechoslovakia) and 1981 (Poland).
The realities of life under communism provoked a multifaceted response among individuals and groups within East European societies between 1945-1989, ranging from support for, complicity with, dissent from and resistance to communism, as people struggled to navigate and negotiate the new parameters of their existence. This conference has two broad aims: (1) to analyse the various methods and experiences of communist control over Eastern Europe and (2) to examine different coping methods and strategies of resistance employed by those who lived under communist rule.
The organizers aim to explore possibilities for the publication of selected conference papers as a special journal issue or an edited collection.
Please send paper proposals consisting of paper title, a brief (250 words) abstract and presenter’s details to Prof. Krzysztof Brzechczyn (email@example.com) and Dr. Kelly Hignett (K.L.Hignett@Leedsbeckett.ac.uk).
Institute of National Remembrance, Poznań Branch
The Centre for Culture and the Arts, Leeds Beckett University, UK
Institute of Philosophy, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań
Polish Philosophical Society, Poznań Branch.