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Cfp: East-West Cultural Relations: Interplay of Arts and Cultural Diplomacy, 1945-2017.

East-West Cultural Relations: Interplay of Arts and Cultural Diplomacy, 1945-2017
February 24-25, 2017, University of Jyväskylä, Finland

Keynote lectures by
Boris Gasparov (Columbia University) and Giles Scott-Smith (Leiden University)

Scholars and practitioners interested in cultural diplomacy are invited to submit proposals for papers and for panels that address East-West cultural relations—either from historical or contemporary points of view. In this conference, ‘East’ and ‘West’ are broadly understood as the Eastern and Western parts of Europe, Russia and the Soviet Union.

East-West Cultural Relations seeks to strengthen the research of cultural exchanges across national borders. It explores and raises awareness of the state of cultural relations and diplomacy between Eastern and Western Europe. The conference aims to reflect on the East-West cultural connections from the Second World War to today. Its main focus is on artistic movements and exchanges between (and possibly within) the East and West.

Important background information is revealed through the current situation in which cultural exchanges are becoming more difficult—especially under strained relations between Russia and the EU. Furthermore, facilitating the transnational mobility of artworks and artists at a time of diminishing public support is increasingly challenging, underlining the need to reflect on the development of cultural interactions in Europe. The rise of nationalist discourse throughout Europe also challenges the shared cultural heritage and history of Eastern and Western Europe, which calls the benefits of cultural exchange into question.

The primary goal of this two-day conference is to serve scholarly needs, but also to encourage collaboration and foster dialogues between scholars and cultural diplomacy practitioners. We invite proposals for papers, panels, seminars and workshops that address themes including but not limited to:
•       How have artistic relations evolved in Europe since the beginning of the Cold War?
•       How has cultural diplomacy developed in an East-West setting since the beginning of the Cold War? What are the aims of cultural diplomatic actions?
•       What is the state of cultural relations between the East and West today? What are the current challenges and needs? Are there any historical precedents for the current situation?
•       What kinds of relationships or dialogues have existed between cultural diplomacy and artistic interactions and art practices in the East and West?
•       How can scholarship on cultural exchanges help practitioners—e.g. diplomats, administrators and art professional?

Over the course of this two-day conference, scholars will share their research findings, offer examples of cutting-edge approaches and engage in dynamic discussions that will help nurture intercultural dialogue and bridge scholarly and practical question.

Learn more: ewcr2017.wordpress.com also in twitter: #EastWest2017

Proposal materials must be submitted by 24.10.2016. Please send all materials to ewcr2017@gmail.com. Accepted proposals will be notified by 4.11.2016. Materials intended for pre-circulation should be received no later than 31.1.2017. The conference has no participation fee. Also, few scholarships will be offered for presenters arriving from countries of lower income. Contact ewcr2017@gmail.com for any questions.

Conference is hosted by Simo Mikkonen, the Department of History and Ethnology, University of Jyväskylä. Conference is part of the project Trauma & Revival coordinated by the Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels (BOZAR) and receives EU-funding from Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA).

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