Polish Studies Bulletin


Date of the event: 03.10.2019 - 04.10.2019
Added on: 01.02.2019

East European Dissent between Agenda & Legacy

Type of the event:

This conference shall analyze the making of the legacy of East European dissent on the local, national and European levels. Interested primarily in the cultural and political aspects of this process, this conference aims to explore the following questions in particular: how have cultural products related to dissent and repression been employed to depict social relations and legitimize political regimes before and after 1989? How have political-ideological, ethnic or gender-related factors impacted what has been included in and excluded from the legacy of dissent? How have the biographies, agendas and roles of ‘post-dissidents’ shaped and been shaped by processes of remembrance and canonization in the decades since 1989? Conversely, how has ‘1989’ and the process of transition been viewed from the perspective of individuals and groups who did not associate any major expectations or fears with them? Last but not least, what is the relevance of communist-era dissent for Europe today?

The Organizing Committee consists of Muriel Blaive (Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes, Prague), Kim Christiaens (KU Leuven), Ibesbald Goddeeris (KU Leuven), James Kapalo (University College Cork), Jessie Labov (Central European University), Ferenc Laczó  (Maastricht University) and Tamás Scheibner (Hungarian Academy of Sciences).

Please send proposals of 300 words alongside a brief CV (max. two pages) by March 28 to Ferenc Laczó (f.laczo@maastrichtuniversity.nl).​ You shall be informed about the decision regarding your application before the end of April.

An edited volume is being planned.

Tentative plan

  • Keynote on “Dissent, its Alternatives and Opposites in Communist and Post-Communist Times”
  • Panel 1: Dissent and Repression in Cultural Production and Political Representation. Approaches beyond Coming to Terms with the Communist Past
  • Panel 2: Post-Dissident Trajectories: On the Biographies, Agendas and Roles of “Former Dissidents” after 1989
  • Panel 3: Visibility and Invisibility in the Remembrance of Dissent
  • Panel 4: The Irrelevance of 1989? On Minority Reports
  • Roundtable on the Legacy of Dissent Today


Related to the event

See also


Cultures of Dissent in Eastern Europe (1945-1989): Research Approaches in the Digital Humanities

This 7-day seminar in digital humanities research methods is designed to expose a new generation of scholars in Cold War history and culture to methods of analysis and discovery involving computational techniques. Designed and run by NEP4DISSENT (New Exploratory Phase in Research on East European Cultures of Dissent), COST Action 16213, the inspiration for the course is built around the transfer of knowledge from technologists and data scientists to humanists.


Memory Studies Association Annual Conference “Convergences”

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