On April 19-20 was held an international conference “Still post-socialism? Cultural memory and social transformations” in Kazan Federal University. This event was organized on the initiative of the KFU Centre for Post-socialism Cultural Research at the Institute of Comparative Studies of Modernity.
The main objective of the conference was to ascertain the current topicality of post-socialism and how it is possible to combine and use various prospects on vital changes peculiar for post-soviet situation and countries of post-communism coalition. Can we speak of post-socialism as a term bearing a special theoretical meaning or we can only refer it to chronological order in political changes occurred after USSR dissolution?
Conference organizers tried to touch these questions from the interdisciplinary point of view. It is important to understand if social and humanitarian disciplines reach consensus and can they adopt methods and judgments from each other. World famous leading specialists in Social Studies, Social Anthropology, History, Cultural Studies, Philosophy were invited on this conference. Caroline Humphrey (Cambridge), Christopher Hann (Max Plank University), Jan Kubik (Rutgers University), Alexander Atkind (Cambridge).
Work on sections was devoted to cultural memory, social policy, interpretation of socialistic past consequences, borders and migration processes, class and consuming, science and education, methodological questions. Russian and foreign scientists participated in work of sections. During the round table where Irina Kuznetcova (Director of the Institute for the Comparative Studies of Modernity), Pal Tamas (Hungarian Academy of Sciences), John Round (Higher School of Economy, Moscow) were moderators, participants discussed possibilities and borders of post-socialism. During discussion Pal Tamas uttered a remarkable metaphor about “life near volcano” and “volcanology”. In other words he raised a question concerning studying post-socialism within general methodology with the help of various experimental data in the framework of different social and humanitarian disciplines.
More than 50 scientists from seven countries, including representatives of top 100 universities, participated in the conference. In conclusion we may say that holding such a significant for humanitarian science event has caused invaluable impact on keeping up the KFU status as one of leaders in the sphere of social sciences in our country and allowed to enhance dialogue between scientists from various countries.