[csaa-forum] [ Seminar ]
transforming.cultures at uts.edu.au
Tue Jun 14 11:34:48 CST 2005
Special Transforming Cultures Seminar. Friday August 5th, 2005.
Room: 7065 (Building 2)
Time: 4.00 - 5.30pm
Constructions of the "West" in Recent Cultural Debates in Postsocialist
Dr. Anna Szemere
Portland State University USA
Chair: Tony Mitchell
Can one talk of a coherent notion of the West in the discourse of
postsocialist Europe? The very act of carving out a space between East
and West and calling it Central Europe by Hungary, the Czech Republic
and Poland suggests that the West-East mapping of Europe is inadequate
in the post-Cold War era. Neither has the idea of the West remained
unchanged in this period. The political controversies of the Bush
administration with its traditional European allies, France and Germany
and its unconcealed attempts to re-divide a Europe by mustering support
from former East European nations are evidence of the cartographic and
strategic re-configuration of the West.
There is a great deal of semiotic confusion about the signifier
“Europe” as well. While the West is being reconstrued almost daily, so
is the East. The new European identity is defining itself not only by
‘generously’ incorporating much of Central and Eastern Europe but by
creating the Turkish, the Russian, and the Balkan Other. Are the
wealthy Western nations seen as civilizers or colonizers of local
cultures? How such constructions are made and challenged in and through
the realm of cultural production? My talk will look at the discursive
construction of the West in Central Europe through using the example of
recent cultural debates in Hungary.
Anna Szemere teaches cultural sociology at Portland State University.
She has published numerous articles and book chapters on popular
culture issues and politics in Eastern Europe. Her book Up from the
Underground: The Culture of Rock Music in Postsocialist Hungary came
out in 2001. She served on the Executive Committee of the International
Association of Popular Music (1997-99) and on the International
Advisory Board of Popular Music (1986-96).
transforming cultures centre
university of technology sydney
po box 123
broadway nsw 2007
ph +61 2 95142309
UTS CRICOS Provider Code: 00099F
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