CFP: National identities versus ethnic identities – dealing with cultural trauma, Tallinn University, Estonia, June 8-9, 2012

Call for paper proposals

“National identities versus ethnic identities – dealing with cultural trauma”

June 8th – 9th 2012, Tallinn University, Estonia

Organized by Center for Contemporary Cultural Studies (Tallinn University, Estonia) in cooperation with The Network for Research on Multiculturalism and Societal Interaction (University of Turku, Finland)

The organising committee invites proposals for presentation at the workshop “National identities versus ethnic identities – dealing with cultural trauma”.

Resonating the notion of cultural trauma and conceptualized by leading social scientists of our time (P. Sztompka, J. Alexander, N. Smelser, R. Eyerman), it seems to be relevant to consider the series of value conflicts provoked by the abrupt political and economic changes, sociocultural transformations of recent two decades. The metamorphosis of culture as the mental structure of social life is slow and requires the rooting and adaptation of the changed norms, values etc. for everyday life. Category of cultural trauma allows to analyze the processes of reality by ordering a variety of meanings and practices associated with the collective and individual experience of emotions and its consequences.

Cultural trauma as a process that manifests itself in the collective consciousness of the community through a sense of involvement in the common traumatic past, will remain forever in the collective memory of the group, permanently altering its (future) identities. The aim of the workshop is to find out the fields of effect of a cultural trauma and, consequently, the mechanisms of coping with it through practices of identity constructions, thus creating possibilities for achieving social coherence through the emergence of new (national or ethnic) identities.

Keynote speakers:

The confirmed keynote speakers of the workshop are Prof. Laura Assmuth (University of Eastern Finland, Department of Social Sciences) and Dr. Soc. Sc. Aili Aarelaid-Tart (Tallinn University, Center for Contemporary Cultural Studies).

Paper proposals dealing with the following themes are particularly welcomed:
– Societies in transition and national/ethnic identities
– Cultural trauma and collective identities
– Political generations and nationalism
– Social cohesion and minority rights
– The politics of recognition and management of diversity

PhD students dealing with these and similar topics are encouraged to send an abstract that can be based on an article/chapter draft of PhD dissertation, or other scholarly paper in progress. The papers will be commented upon by leading scholars in this field. The short abstracts (max. 150 words) should be sent to national contact persons (see

Key dates and deadlines:
Deadline for abstracts: April 15th, 2012
Acceptance notification: April 30th, 2012

With funding received from Nordforsk, the organizers announce the application for travel grants for PhD students enrolled in Nordic/Estonian universities. This grant covers the travel and accommodation expenses due to participation in the seminar. For detailed information see the Mcgen network’s homepage:

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