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Call for Papers
A New Journal
Kontradikce /Contradictions: A Journal for Critical Thought

We are seeking submissions of scholarly articles and theoretical essays that skirt the disciplinary boundaries of political philosophy, social theory, and cultural critique. This peer-reviewed journal, based in Prague, aims to critically revive and update Central and Eastern European traditions of radical thought, bringing them to bear on the historical present and bringing them into international discussions of the theoretical problems involved in emancipatory social change.

The journal is therefore especially interested in 1) articles that delve into the often overlooked or forgotten history of radical left thought in our part of the world and assess this legacy’s contemporary significance; 2) articles that describe and develop related and parallel traditions of thought originating in other regions, bringing these traditions into conversation with the traditions of Central and Eastern Europe; 3) articles that analyze Soviet-type societies and their troubled relationship to historical and contemporary movements for social emancipation; and 4) articles that critically engage with the ideological assumptions and social conditions of “post-communism,” that is, of the discursive association of the communist project with Soviet-type societies and, thus, with a “failed” and irretrievable past.

With these thematic problems in mind, we ask what specific contributions to critical social theory can arise out of the post-Communist experience—that is, out of the historical conflation of communism (the idea and project) with Communism (the party and party-run states) and the subsequent de-legitimation of the former along with the latter. Our focus is thus both geographically specific and global, as we aim to bring together the specific intellectual legacy of those parts of Europe formerly under Communist Party rule with w orldwide reflections of the “fall” of communism as a leading political and intellectual force. Out of this situation, we ask what new visions can emerge.

The journal will be published once a year as a double issue in multilingual format, with one part in English and one part in Czech and Slovak. Submissions are welcome in any of these three languages (English, Czech, or Slovak).

The first issue, with a submission deadline of October 31, 2015, will focus thematically on assessing the current moment and the state of critical social—and in particular Marxist—thought a quarter century after the fall of governments in Central and Eastern Europe that officially sanctioned Marxism while also constraining its development as a tradition of social critique. Submissions are encouraged, but not required, to take this focus into account.

Articles are welcome in the following categories:

· “Studies” and “essays”: These may be articles of a more or less traditional academic character, but with an emphasis on the social significance of the material presented and on original and provocative argumentation. But we also welcome more essayistic contributions that break with some of the conventions of scholarly form. We are interested in rigorously theoretical essays, works of high scholarly value but which might not find a place in other scholarly journals. In this kind of writing, insightful generalization and shrewd observation will be given more weight than an exhaustive accounting for “existing literature” or a detailed description of research methodology. In other words, we have in mind essays that continue in the genre of most classic works in the modern history of ideas, from Rousseau’s Discourses through Benjamin’s “Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” and Karel Kosík’s Dialectics of the Concrete. More traditionally scholarly articles should be about 4000-9000 words long. Essays can range from 3000 to 10,000 words.

· “Translations” and “materials”: Here we include important contributions to Central/Eastern European social thought that can be brought to international attention in English translation; internationally important works in new Czech or Slovak translations; and previously unpublished or long-unavailable “materials,” accompanied by annotation that presents the materials’ significance to contemporary readers (these may be submitted in English, Czech, or Slovak). 3000-10,000 words.

· “Reviews” of recent publications in critical social thought. Reviews may be brief (500-2000 words) or may constitute longer “review studies” (2000-5000 words).

Send all submissions to
Further information available on
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Crisis in Ukraine

Crisis in Ukraine


Debatte Conference

November 2014

Call for Papers

The year 2014 marks twenty-five years since the end of Communism in Central-Eastern Europe (CEE) and ten years after the enlargement of the European Union into the region. To mark this event Debatte: Journal of Contemporary Central and Eastern Europe is planning to hold a conference on 22-23 November at Warsaw University entitled ‘Crises and Resistance in Central and Eastern Europe’.

These anniversaries are significant landmarks in the history of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and the continent as a whole. However, even more importantly, they occur during a time of intense economic and political difficulties in Europe. The economic crisis has brought a prolonged economic downturn that has worsened the living standards of its populations and brought political uncertainty and instability. The crisis has hit CEE particularly hard, shaking the neo-liberal economic model that has dominated over the past quarter of a century, and s parking a wave of instability as well as resistance that has spread throughout the region. The most notable events have taken place in Ukraine from November 2013 onwards but we have also seen significant unrest in countries like Bulgaria, Romania, Slovenia and Bosnia-Herzegovina among others. On the other hand, in some countries such as Poland and the Baltic States neo-liberal commentators have claimed that a relatively strong economic recovery has taken place which shows the strength of the region’s economic model

It is in this context that we have planned this conference and invite anyone interested in participating to submit a paper or a proposal for a session. Debatte is a journal published by Taylor and Francis that seeks a radical critical analysis that is sympathetic to democratic, labour, feminist and ecologist movements in CEE.  In 2009 we organised a successful conference in London on the twentieth anniversary of the fall of Communism. We ho pe our 2014 event will provide a forum for bringing academics and activists together to discuss the current economic and political climate in the region, look at how progressive social and political movements are responding to it and map out alternatives to the neo-liberal order.

Among the areas that we plan to discuss at the conference are:

  • Economic crisis and alternatives
  • The role of social movements in the region
  • Gender and feminism
  • Historical politics
  • Migration, multi-culturalism and the struggle against racism and the far-right
  • The nature of left parties in the region
  • Ecology and the environment
  • Welfare and poverty
  • Education
  • Health
  • Ten years of European Union membership
  • The balance sheet of the transition from Communism
  • Culture
    The geo-political context of Central and Eastern Europe.


The conference will consist of two plenary sessions together with a series of workshops held in parallel. If you would like to propose a panel or offer a paper for a workshop then please contact as soon as possible.

Proposals for panels and abstracts of proposed papers must be received by 1 July 2014. Abstracts should be 300 words or less. When sending an abstract or proposal please include an e-mail address for correspondence.

We plan to publish at least one special issue of Debatte based on papers presented at the conference. If you would like your paper to be considered for publication in the journal please submit a full draft by 1 October 2014

The languages of the conference will be English and Polish and we will be arranging translation between these two languages at the conference. Abstracts and papers should be submitted in one of these two languages.

We want the conference to be accessible to as many scholars and activists as possible from the region. The Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, which is supporting the conference, has provided funds to help with travel and accommodation costs specifically for those coming to the conference from Central and Eastern Europe (including Poland apart from Warsaw itself). These funds are limited and will be allocated on the basis of need. If you would like to apply for help with such costs then please do let us know at the address above.

Admission to the conference will be free but we will be asking those with institutional support to pay a fee of £80

Further information about the conference can be found on the Debatte web-site at


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Eleventh Annual Historical Materialism London Conference – 6-9 November 2014 – Vernon Square, Central London

Thematic stream organised in cooperation with Praktyka Teoretyczna/Theoretical Practice (

The years 2014 and 2015 mark the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Soviet Bloc happening between the first open parliamentary elections in Poland in June of 1989 and the destruction of the Berlin Wall in autumn of 1990. These dates delimit the end of what was called “real socialism” and the beginning of a ruthless neoliberal transformation. Alain Badiou, writing in 1991, called these events “an obscure disaster” and envisioned their profound consequences not only for the region, but also – or even primarily – for the so called West as such. After a quarter of a century, it is clear that the fall of the “socialist alternative” was far from being only a regional event and contributed to shaping of the contemporary capitalist world.

The stream at 2014 Historical Materialism conference aims at exploring this political, social and ideological legacy of the regime change that happened 25 years ago in Central and Eastern Europe. Its ambition is to construct such a critical, Marxist perspective on the historical development in the region that could effectively counter the mainstream liberal and conservative narratives of totalitarianism, Gulags, the fight for freedom, the triumph of market reforms etc.

We are looking for contributions addressing primarily the following issues:
– Reassessing achievements and failures of “really existing socialism”.
– Marxist theories of “real socialist states” and explications of their failure.
– The fall of “real socialism” as an event in the development of contemporary capitalist world-system.
– Marxist perspectives on de-industrialization, re-industrialization, privatization and transfer of property.
– Ideologies and discursive justifications of neoliberal transformation in Central and Eastern Europe.
– Class (re)formation in Central-Eastern Europe after 1989.
– New developments in Central-Eastern European Marxism.
– Left wing political movements and social struggles in Central and Eastern Europe after 1989.
– The place of Central and Eastern Europe in contemporary capitalism.
– Critical Marxist perspectives on the enlargement of the EU.
– The legacy of trade unions (with a special emphasis on Poland’s “Solidarity”).
– The Third Way and possible alternative histories of Central and Eastern Europe.
– Critical perspective on the rebirth of fascism and anti-Semitism in Central and Eastern Europe.

We welcome abstract proposals of 200 words on these themes in all disciplines and from all perspectives within Marxism. The deadline for proposals is 1st June 2014. For this specific panel please make sure to submit twice:
1. Send the abstract directly to the stream coordinators to
2. Register your abstracts additionally through general HM website:
General call for HM 2014 and other general info could be found here:

Apart from the ongoing possibility to submit outstanding after-conference research papers to Historical Materialism Journal, we plan to publish a separate issue of the journal Praktyka Teoretyczna/Theoretical Practice in 2015, dedicated solely to the aforementioned problems. The details about the journal and author’s guidelines could be found here:

Stream coordinators: Wiktor Marzec (Central European University in Budapest), Jan Sowa (Jagiellonian University, Kraków, Poland)



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Debatte: Journal of Contemporary Central and Eastern Europe is looking for new members to join its core editorial team. We would like people to fill the following roles
Articles Editor – This would involve organising peer review of submitted articles and preparing issues of the journal for submission to the publishers. It could also involve other intiatives such as planning special issues or symposia.

Commissioning Editor – This would involve commissioning topical articles and collecting documents for publication from the countries covered by the journal for our `Forum’ section. It would be based on liaising with the various editorial board members who have contacts and interests in those countries.

Managing Editor – This would involve organising editorial board and editorial working group meetings, circulating minutes and liasing with the publishers Taylor and Francis with regard to promoting the journal. This role might suit a graduate student wishing to gain experience in academic journal production.
The editorial board meets three times a year inLondon with three further editorial working group meetings scheduled in the intervening months.

Debatte seeks to provide a radical critical analysis that is sympathetic to democratic, labour, feminist and ecologist movements of contemporary economic, social, cultural and political developments in the region bounded by Germany in the west and Russia in the east. For further details about the journal see

If you are interested in any of these roles (the exact distribution of responsibilities can be adjusted if necessary) then please contact the current editor Andy Kilmister at


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Russian Revolution



War, Revolution, Civil War: Eastern Europe 1917-23
25-26 March 2011

Venue: Clinton Institute, Seminar Room
University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland
Friday, 25 March 2011

13:00 Registration
13:30  Welcome and Introduction

13:45 – 15:30   Panel 1: The War as Imperial Challenge – Russia
Chair: Nikolaus Katzer (German Historical Institute Moscow)

Semen Gol’din (Hebrew University Jerusalem): The Jewish Policy of Military and Civilian Authorities as a Case Study of the Systemic Crisis in the Russian Empire, 1914-1917

Alexander Semyonov (Smolny Institute St. Petersburg/ Ab Imperio) World War as the Civil War and Civil War as the World War: The Radicalization of Political Visions in the War Time Russian Empire

Boris Kolonicky (European University St. Petersburg) “Nicolas the 3rd”: Images of the Commander in Chief Grand Duke Nikolaj Nikolaevich (1914-1915)

15:030– 16:00   COFFEE BREAK

16:00 – 17:30 Panel 2:  Revolution and Civil War – Russia
Chair: Katja Bruisch (German Historical Institute Moscow)

Vladimir Shishkin (Institute of History, Russian Academy of Sciences, Novosibirsk) WWI as a factor of Russian Revolution and Counterrevolution

Yulia Yurievna Khmelevskaya (Center for Cultural History Studies, South Ural State University, Chelyabinsk) A la Guerre com a la Guerre: the American Relief Administration and experience of the First World War in Fighting the famine in early Soviet Russia, 1921-1923

Dmitrij Simonov (Institute of History, Russian Academy of Sciences, Novosibirsk) Russia’s Military Potential in 1918

19:30 DINNER

Saturday, 26 March 2011

09:30 – 11:00   Panel 3: The Baltics and Finland
Chair:  Tomas Balkelis (University College Dublin)

Juha Siltala (Helsinki University) Terror in the Finnish Civil War

Aldis Minins (University of Latvia) Manifestations of the Civil War in Latvia, 1918-1920

Taavi Minnik (Talinn University) Terror and Repressions in Estonia, 1918-1919

11:00– 11:30 TEA / COFFE BREAK

11:30 -13:00  Panel 4: Poland
Chair: Julia Eichenberg (University College Dublin)

Frank Golczewski (University of Hamburg): The Wars after the War. The Fight for the Polish Eastern Border 1918-1920

Jan Snopko (Białystok University): The influence of the Russian revolution on the policy of Joseph Pilsudski and the fate of the Polish Legions (1917-1918)

Rüdiger Ritter (Free University Berlin): Germans and Poles fighting against regional identity: The Confrontations in Upper Silesia after World War I from the perspectives of participants, the regional, national, and international public

13:00– 13:30 LUNCH BREAK

13:00 – 14:30  Panel 5:  The Balkans
Chair: John Paul Newman (University College Dublin)

Mark Biondich (Carleton University) Preliminary title: The Balkans Revolution, War, and Political Violence

Alexander Korb (University of Leicester) “Terrorists interned” Ustasha nationalists, revisionist powers and the breakup of Yugoslavia

Uğur Ümit Üngör (University of Utrecht) A Ten-year War? Post-war Violence in the Ottoman-Russian Borderlands

Dmitar Tasic (Institute for Strategic Research, Department of Military History) Some Common Attributes of Political Violence in Albania, Yugoslavia, and Bulgaria


15:00 – 16:00  Rountable Discussion
Chair: Robert Gerwarth (University College Dublin)

For information about attendance, contact:


‘I believe in the afterlife.

It starts tomorrow,

When I go to work’

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Pink Curtain

Pink Curtain



Winter Colloquium: Beyond the Pink Curtain? Eastern European Sexualities, Homophobia and Western Eyes

22nd January 2010

Birkbeck Institute for Social Research

Sexualities, as aspects of identity and as part of the public language of nation, are a controversial feature of post-communist transition in Central and Eastern Europe. Radical political changes have led to the emergence of new social actors, such as the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) movement, the airing of new discourses about sexuality, as well as the eruption of new social conflicts and divisions.

This interdisciplinary Colloquium will  bring together scholars in the social sciences, history, Slavic and other area studies, as well as activists from LGBT communities, to examine the relationships between gender, nation and sexuality. How, for example, did the emergence of revised national identities after 1989 relate to new conceptions of non-normative gender and sexuality? What were the local dimensions of the ‘lesbian and gay question’, and why did they develop? How did queer sexualities in this region evolve historically? And what influence does that historical legacy have today? What are the specificities and particularities of Central and Eastern European sexual identities, within the region and compared with Western and other non-Western formations?

There will be a screening of the film “Beyond the Pink Curtain” (2009) and a discussion with Director Matthew Charles at 3pm on Thursday 21st January in the Birkbeck Cinema, 43 Gordon Square.

Numbers are strictly limited, so please register early.

Cost, includes vegetarian lunch:  £25 Standard, £10 Birkbeck staff and all students.
Payment is by credit/debit card – Standard Booking Form   Birkbeck Staff & all Students
Friday 22nd  January 2010, Room 541, Birkbeck College Main Building, 9.30am – 5pm (Registration 9.30 in Room 538)

Film screening – Thursday 21st  January 2010  Registration for the free film screening – email Julia Eisner

Detailed program and abstracts:


Organiser: Robert Kulpa (

All the best,
Robert Kulpa

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1989-2009: The East European Revolutions in Perspective

Conference announcement and call for papers and panel proposals

“1989-2009: the East European revolutions in perspective”

Organised by “Debatte: Journal of Contemporary Central and Eastern  Europe”

Location and date: University of London Union, 17-18 October 2009

Keynote speakers: Boris Kagarlitsky, Caroline Humphrey, Gáspár Miklós Tamas, Peter Gowan, Alex Callinicos, Catherine Samary, Bernd Gehrke

Abstracts and panel proposals, by end June 2009, to:

For further info:



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