Humanities Research Institute, University of Sheffield, May 2nd–3rd 2014


This two-day workshop will bring together members of academic and cultural institutions from across Europe and Russia in order to discuss key concepts, individuals, organizations and turning points that comprise the history of design in post-war Eastern Europe. In recent years, study of design has emerged as a unique way of understanding socialist culture due to the way it links societal ideals with economics, scientific and technological progress, consumption, the material practices of daily life, the imagined West and broader artistic culture. Continue reading

“Visions and Foundations” conference–April 11-12, 2014

The “Visions and Foundations” conference of the Second World Urbanity project will be held April 11-12, 2014 at Georgetown University. For the conference schedule and directions to conference locations see the program and links below.


Map and directions to MSFS Conference Room in the ICC.

Map and directions to the Mortara Center.

Socialist Internationalism Workshop, April 11-12, 2014, UC Berkeley

The Socialist Internationalism Workshop will take place April 11-12, 2014 at the University of California, Berkeley.

The workshop explores the social and cultural legacies of Cold War Socialist internationalism. Recent scholarship has focused on the ties between so-­called Second and Third World countries since the 1950s and their prominence in international organizations, Continue reading

Second World Urbanity conference–Visions and Foundations, Georgetown University, April 11-12, 2014

Please see the conference program below for the “Visions and Foundations” conference of the Second World Urbanity project. (Click on each image for a larger view.) If you have not already done so, RSVP directly to Steven Harris (sharris@umw.edu) if you wish to attend the conference. Thank you!

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Seminar: Contested Memory Sites in Post-Socialist Capitals

Contested Memory Sites in Post-Socialist Capitals

American Comparative Literature Association

March 21-23, 2014, New York University

This seminar investigates physical memory sites across the capital cities of postsocialist Eurasia, an enormous territory that includes capital cities from Berlin to Bishkek.  Common challenges of the post-Soviet condition and the contested politics of cultural memory continue to shape the capital cities of these now very disparate political entities with their emergent postcolonial, nationalist, and transnationalist strategies for narrativizing the past. Continue reading

Comparative Strategies and the Elusiveness of Modernism

Agata and Elidor offer a series of very insightful reflections on my book, and I am grateful to both of them for their careful and generous reading of the manuscript. I would also like to thank Steve and Daria for including my book together with the excellent new books that have been discussed in this forum so far. Continue reading

Tulips and Concrete

Virág Molnár’s Building the State is compelling, and it aptly demonstrates why there has been such a high degree of academic interest in the built environment and material culture of the former socialist world. Like the best works on the subject, Molnár’s work is firmly situated in distinct locales (East Germany and Hungary, in this case) but it also takes seriously international dynamics that go beyond the Eastern bloc. Continue reading