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East/Central European Cultures Inside and Out: Local and Global Perspectives

The USUA 2017 International Conference, Szczyrk, Hotel Meta Resort and Wine Spa, Poland, May 10-13, 2017



Joint Sponsoring Organizations:
Department of American and Canadian Studies Institute of English Cultures and Literatures and School of Polish Language and Culture, University of Silesia in Katowice, Poland


The Wirth Institute for Austrian and Central European Studies, University of Alberta, Canada

The first of the intended series of conferences dedicated to the exploration of the complexity of East/Central European cultures—both at home and in diaspora—is a joint project of the Wirth Institute, University of Alberta, Canada, and the Department of American and Canadian Studies, University of Silesia in Katowice, Poland. As we initiate our cross-cultural academic discussions in a year marking Canada's 150th anniversary of Confederation, this conference focuses on topics relating to Canada and East/Central Europe.

For many decades the cultures of East/Central Europe have been either underrepresented or conspicuously absent from Western critics' discussions. Comparative perspectives on East/Central Europe and Canada have been even scarcer. The discourse of "otherness" has been imposed on East/ Central European literary and artistic productions denying them significance and legitimacy. Citizens of these countries have experienced intense national, cultural and linguistic identity dilemmas. Both East/Central Europe and Canada have been historically multicultural although for many years the governments of these countries denied such representations.

We are interested in this historical multiculturality and the co-existence strategies that evolved or did not evolve within these ethnic mosaics. We cordially invite interested scholars, writers, and artists to submit paper proposals on topics pertaining to the cultures of the region and its diasporas in Canada, as well as to the intercultural and transcultural dialogues between/among these cultures. Analyses of literary and artistic representations and enactments of these complex cultures are encouraged.

We welcome proposals for 20-minute papers from all disciplines, including literature, culture, film, history, anthropology and politics. Interdisciplinary perspectives are encouraged. Comparative papers will be given priority. Submissions from graduate and postgraduate students at any stage of their research are welcome.

The following list of topics should be regarded as neither exhaustive nor prescriptive:

• Multiethnicity in East/ Central Europe: Diachrony and Synchrony

• After 1989: East/Central European Cultures at Home and in East/Central European Diasporas in Canada

• East/Central European Cultures After 9/11: Local and Transatlantic Perspectives

• East/Central European and Canadian Models of Multiculturalism: Comparative Perspectives

• National, cultural and linguistic identity dilemmas in East/Central Europe and Canada

• Minor Cultures in Central and Eastern Europe/Central European Cultures as Minor Cultures in Canada

• Indigenous cultures of East/Central Europe

• Dialogues between East/Central European Diasporas and Indigenous cultures of Canada

• Aesthetics, Ethics and Politics of Representation of East/Central European Cultures at Home and in Diaspora/Aesthetics, Ethics, and Politics of Representation of the Cultures of Canada in East/Central Europe

• Postcolonial, Decolonial, and Postdependence Perspectives: Comparative Approaches to East/Central Europe and Canada

• East/Central European Contribution to Canadian Cultural Canon/The Impact of Cultures of Canada upon East/Central Europe

• Intercultural, Transcultural and Crosscultural Dialogue Inside and Out of East/Central Europe

• Representations of Race and Gender in East/Central Europe and Canada

• Between the Idea of the Open State and Nation State Xenophobia: East/Central Europe and Canadian Models

• East/Central Europe, Canada, and Representations of Islam

• Religion and Identity Discourses in East/Central Europe and in East/Central European Diasporas in Canada
• Literary and Artistic Responses to the Radicalization of Central Europe in the Face of Humanitarian Crises





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