April 8-10, 2010
Central European University
Nádor utca 9, Budapest
How do things stand with respect to the fate of the alternative? Branded and normativized, incorporated into a whole ensemble of mainstream discourses, and no longer the threat it once posed to capitalist and communist states alike, the political and social force of the alternative seems to have faded away. And yet the dream of the alternative continues to inspire political and social movements, artists, theorists, and all kinds of creative practices. How might we begin to situate and think of alternativity as a global phenomenon at this precise conjuncture in world history? What is alternative about culture today? And how is the study of it changing as different models of cultural analysis intersect and collide?
THURSDAY, 8 APRIL
9:30 – 9:45 INTRODUCTION BY THE ORGANIZERS
9:45 – 11:15 MEDIA ALTERNATIVES I: WHAT HAPPENS NOW?
Moderator: Kate Coyer (Central European University, Hungary) bio
Kate Coyer is the Director of the Center for Media and Communication Studies (CMCS) at Central European University (CEU) in Budapest, and teaches in the Departments of Public Policy and Political Science of the CEU. Previously, she held a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship with the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. Kate has also taught at the University of California, Berkeley, and Goldsmiths College, University of London, where she received her PhD. Her current research projects include a study of community broadcasting practices and policies in Europe, the measurement and evaluation of media development, and the role of civil society in policy-making processes. In this capacity she co-convened a European Science Foundation Exploratory Workshop on the impact of digitalization and convergence on community and local media. Besides her academic work, Coyer has produced radio programs and organized media campaigns for the past twenty years. She has helped build community radio stations, trained volunteers and organized production workshops with the Prometheus Radio Project, and is actively involved in advocating for expanding public access to the airwaves.
Helena Popović (University of Zagreb, Croatia), A Rite of Passage: From Resistant to Coopted Media bio
Helena Popović is a teaching assistant at the Department of Journalism, Faculty of Political Science, University of Zagreb. She graduated from the Department of Sociology, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Zagreb, and holds an M.A. in Sociology and Social Anthropology from Central European University in Budapest (2005). She is a PhD candidate at the University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Social Science, Department of Communications in Ljubljana, Slovenia, where she is working on her thesis ‘Audience, Text, Context: Television Comedy and Social Critique’. Her research interests include media audiences, media genres, representation in the media, media and popular culture, alternative media, and media and democracy.
Arne Hintz (McGill University, Canada), Mainstreaming the Alternative? Transformations of Alternative Media
Dzmitry Karenka (European Humanities University, Lithuania), New Media as Tools for Creative Social Criticism: Between 'Nihilism' and 'Fun'
11:15 – 11:30 COFFEE
11:30 – 13:00 MEDIA ALTERNATIVES II: DEMOS IN CYBERSPACE?
Moderator: Balázs Bodó (Budapest University of Technology & Economics, Hungary)
Linus Andersson (Södertörn University College, Sweden), Constituents of an Alternative Television: Accessibility, Democratization, Dialogue and Critique
Stefania Milan (European University Institute, Italy), Embodying the Alternative through Prefigurative Action: Utopias in Cyberspace
Elena Trubina (Ural State University, Russia), On Mass Amateurization and its Discontents
13:00 – 14:15 LUNCH
14:15 – 15:45 ALTERNATIVE ART & ARCHITECTURE I: INHABITINGS
Moderator: Petra Rethmann (McMaster University, Canada)
Sam Cooper (University of Sussex, UK), British Situationism and the Alternative to the Alternative
Karin Reisinger (Vienna University of Technology, Austria), Grass without Roots: Constructing Communities in Search of a Remedy
Bernadett Ball (International Alternative Culture Center, Hungary), The ’56 Square: An Ever Changing Space?
15:45 – 16:00 BREAK
16:00 – 17:30 ALTERNATIVE ART & ARCHITECTURE II: RECORDINGS
Moderator: Benjamin Cope (European Humanities University, Lithuania)
Sarah Blacker (University of Alberta, Canada), Institutional Purlieus and Archival Collapse: Aby Warburg's ‘Mnemosyne Atlas’
Keith O’Regan (York University, Canada), Viewing History Alternatively: Imbert’s ‘No Pasarán’ and the Politics of the Now
Jeff Taylor (Central European University, Hungary), Graffiti: Alternative Art as Censorship
FRIDAY, 9 APRIL
9:00 – 10:30 MEDIA ALTERNATIVES III: NEW MODES OF EXPRESSION
Moderator: Arne Hintz (McGill University, Canada)
Svetlana Poleschuk (European Humanities University, Lithuania), Alternative Photography: from Everyday Practices to New Forms of Art, Teaching and Research
Valentina Marinescu (Bucharest University, Romania), Cultural ‘Foggy Mirrors’ or Alternative Spaces? The Use of Blogs as Means for Shaping Romanian Popular Literary Criticism
Nazan Haydari (Maltepe University, Turkey), Feminist Politics and Video Production as a Tool for Alternative Representations in Turkey
10:30 – 10:45 COFFEE
10:45 – 12:15 KEYNOTE ADDRESS
Petra Rethmann (McMaster University, Canada)
LENIN AS IMAGE AND KITSCH
Looking at two postcards featuring the mummy of Vladimir Illich Ulianov, better known as Lenin, this talk asks about what Czech-French writer Milan Kundera and Russian cultural critic Svetlana Boym have called political concerns with kitsch. Although it does not deny what Russian historian Nina Tumarkin has identified as a ‘morbid fascination’ with Lenin’s corpse, in the end I argue that the ongoing display of Lenin’s mummy says perhaps less about its melancholic appeal than about a desire for national esteem and pride.
12:15 – 14:00 LUNCH
14:00 – 15:30 CULTUROLOGY AND CULTURAL STUDIES
Moderator: Gábor Sonkoly (Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary)
György Túry (Budapest College of Business & Communication, Hungary), ‘Culturology’ in a Satellite Country: Cultural Studies in Hungary Before and After the Transition
Aleksandra Kleschina (Ural State University, Russia), The Problem of the ‘Culturological Canon’ in the System of Undergraduate Humanities Education: The Story of One Non-Metropolitan University
Ksenia Polouektova-Krimer (Hebrew University, Israel), Translating Knowledge: Holocaust Education and Scholarship in post-1991 Russia: An Intellectual Ghetto?
15:30 -16:00 BREAK
16:00 –18:00 ROUNDTABLE I: SOUND (ART) RESISTANCE
Moderator: Marsha Siefert (Central European University, Hungary)
Benjamin Cope (European Humanities University, Lithuania), Sound and the Production of Social Spaces
Aleksandr Soloviev (Ryazan State University, Russia), Sound Art in the Information Society
Natalia Kononenko (State Institute of Arts Studies, Russia), Musical Emblem in the Epoch of the ‘Iconic Turn’: One Baroque Theme
Nina Sosna (Russian State University for Humanities, Russia), Sound Mediality
Pavel Niakhayeu (European Humanities University, Lithuania), Space of Musical Experience
SATURDAY, 10 APRIL
10:00 – 11:30 ROUNDTABLE: THE ALTERNATIVE CULTURE OF STUDIES NOW: (POST-SOVIET) CULTUROLOGY
Moderator: Mikhail Uvarov (St. Petersburg State University, Russia)
Kateryna Ruban (Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Ukraine), Culturology in the Turn to Suspended Topics
Serhiy Klymko (National Institute for Strategic Studies, Ukraine), The Specter of the Analyst: Oscillation of the Alternative
Anna Kravets (Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Ukraine), Culturology: A Particular Value
Lesia Kulchynska (National Academy of Sciences, Ukraine), Post-Soviet Culturology: the Case of a Fluid Disciplinary Canon
Nazarii Sovsun (Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Ukraine), Victim Studies
11:30 – 11:45 BREAK
11:45 – 13:45 THEORETICALLY, THERE IS AN ALTERNATIVE
Moderator: Jessie Labov (Ohio State University, USA)
Hajrudin Hromadzić (University of Zagreb, Croatia), Cooptation of Alternatives: An Omnipresent Phenomenon?
Dmitry Golynko (Russian Institute of Art History), Alternative Economics as the Tools of E-governance: On the Specificity of Autonomous Cooperation in Contemporary Russia
Kevin Humbert (University of Minnesota, USA), Second-World Literature and the East-Central European Subaltern
Gašper Kralj (Independent Researcher, Slovenia), Precarious Alternative
13:45 – 14:00 CLOSING REMARKS
The conference is organized by the International Alternative Culture Center (Hungary) and the University of Alberta (Canada), with support from the Curriculum Resource Center at Central European University and the Open Society Institute’s Higher Education Support Program (Hungary)
Jessie Labov (Ohio State University, USA)
Sarah Blacker (University of Alberta, Canada)
and Olga Zaslavskaya (CEU/IACC, Hungary)