CfP: Integrating the Rural World. Economy, Society and Politics in Central and Eastern Europe, 1848–1939 (11/2023, Sibiu); by: 31.03.2023

Executive Unit for Financing Higher Education, Research, Development, and Innovation, Romania; Lucian Blaga Univ. of Sibiu; Central European Univ. Vienna; Alexandru Ioan Cuza Univ. of Iași; and Univ. of Bucharest

Time: 02.-05.11.2023
Venue: Sibiu, Romania
Proposals due: 31.03.2023

Central and Eastern Europe has a strong rural tradition, with peasants playing – oftentimes just ‘discursively’ – an important role in the economic, social, political and cultural life of local but also national communities. The constant concern of intellectuals to define the peasantry as a social actor and to understand the socio-economic or family relations within the rural world, regarded as a cultural universe in itself, has generated an extremely diverse literature, scientific and fictional alike. Superimposed on the development of modern urban-bourgeois societies, the process of nation-building led to the ‘rediscovery’ of the peasant by the political, cultural and academic elites. From a marginal and dismissive character of the process of social transformation, the peasant became in the 19th and 20th centuries the epicenter of research, a subject to be ‘examined’ and ‘mapped.’ However, approaches to the village were almost invariably ideologized: analyzed from a conservative perspective, the peasantry was placed outside modernity, in an idyllic socio-cultural universe, governed by traditions and customs; in the critical reading grid of progressive, liberal or socialist ‘realism,’ rural life was marked by an irrational resistance to the ‘new’ and by material and educational ‘backwardness,’ which allegedly condemned the village to chronic underdevelopment.
The conference aims to open a forum of reflection and debate on how national elites in Central and Eastern Europe have related to the peasantry in the process of building the modern state and a democratic political system, and the way political integration took place, by … read more and source (Web).