Academic Advising Symposium

Eighth Estonian Institute of Humanities Symposium in Social and Cultural Theory
Organised in cooperation with Graduate School of Culture Studies and Arts

Revolution: Culture and Politics of Radical Change

Symposium is intended for academic advisors.

Eisma, 25 – 26 July 2012

Revolutions are events that change, or seek to change existing life-worlds in thoroughgoing and radical ways. Engaging with revolutions thus inevitably demands reconsideration of naturalised forms of social organisation, distribution and enactment of power, hierarchies, of the acceptability of the most basic patterns of human interaction.

While the emphasis is often on the innovative quality of the revolutions, it is also important to consider the role culture and memory can play in them. This includes mobilising discourses of shared history of oppression or historical models and ideals of rebellion, but also conventions and doxa that are screened out, which the participants and also the observers may be unaware of, but which nevertheless can have a strong influence on the processes of change.

The symposium focuses on the question how, and to what effect, revolutionary projects are launched, mobilised and influenced by ideas, values, moral judgements, sociocultural idioms and practices. How does culture (both in the broader and the narrower sense) impact on revolutions – and on the scholarly and journalistic interpretations of revolutions? In which ways and to which extent do cultural transformations and political

transformations (in the narrower sense) interact?

The presenters at the symposium include Dr. Christopher Finlay (University of Birmingham), Prof. Tiina Kirss (Tallinn University), Mr. Jüri Lipping (University of Tartu), Prof. Todd May (Clemson University), Dr. Dalia S. Mostafa (Manchester University), Prof. György Schöpflin (MEP (EPP); University of Bologna), Prof. Eric Selbin (Southwestern University).

Format. There will be around 30 people taking part in the symposium, and the idea is to aim for an intense high-level discussion. The symposium is multi-disciplinary, including Comparative Literature, Cultural Theory, History, Philosophy, Politics, and Sociology.

The presenters were requested to send their papers (approximately 2500-3000 words) in advance, in order to allow all the participants to study them. At the symposium, the presenter will summarise the main argument of his/her paper within 5-10 minutes; this is followed by 50-55 minutes of questions and discussion. The papers have a theoretical/ methodological slant (although they may also draw upon case studies) and, on the

other hand, they take it into account that the participants have different disciplinary backgrounds. The aim of the format is to facilitate a more thorough-going and interactive series of discussions than an ordinary conference situation would allow.

Contact: Ms. Piret Peiker

mobile: +372 58095834

Estonian Graduate School of Culture Studies and Arts and the Centre of Excellence in Cultural Theory are funded by the European Union Structural Assistance.