International Conference

*Ethnographies of Class in Central and Eastern Europe*

Bucharest, 28-29 September 2017

SNSPA, Bacaloglu Str. no 2

*Organisers*: The Romanian Society for Social and Cultural Anthropology
(SASC) &

National University of Political Studies and Public Administration (SNSPA),

*Confirmed keynote speaker*: Krisztina Fehérváry (University of Michigan,
Ann Arbor)

Expulsed from mainstream political discourse and deemed irrelevant in many
academic circles, class is coming back with a vengeance. Our conference
addresses the ways in which a return to class in anthropology might help us
better understand the current encounters between, on the one hand, new
mechanisms of surplus extraction, processes of valuation and geographies of
capital and, on the other hand, novel biographical trajectories, processes
of identification and emerging populist rhetorics. We invite scholars who
engage the current economic and political processes, as well as the
transformations of everyday life in Central and Eastern Europe from a class
perspective to participate in our three sessions, which are detailed below.

*Themes.* Panels and papers can draw upon (but are not limited to) the
following themes:

*Class, economic transformation, and biographical restructuring in Eastern
and Central Europe*

This theme explores the reshaping of the life structures of possibility
emerging in the trail of the economic transformations that accompanied the
advance of neoliberalism in Central and Eastern Europe after 1990. We are
looking for papers that investigate the impact of class belonging on
localized trajectories of social mobility, strategies of survival and
thriving, old and new meanings of work and employment, financial
(re)arrangements within the household, (re)configurations of provisioning
systems, or generationally bound possibilities of imagining and sustaining
a future in the context of an increasing precarization of work and
existential fragility.

*Fantasies of middle-classness*

In Central and Eastern Europe, the middle class occupies a prominent
ideological place in political discourses and the mass media. It has become
an aspirational category, with an ever-growing number of people dreaming to
become part of the middle class or identifying themselves as such. This
theme takes these dreams seriously and places the fantasy of
middle-classness at the core of the hegemonic understanding of capitalism
in the region. We invite papers that discuss the social and political
implications of this celebration of middle-classness throughout the region,
including but not restricted to analyses of the new forms of labour,
consumption and lifestyle, the material culture(s) accompanying processes
of middle class subjectivation and identification, as well as the ethical
horizons emerging as part of the middle-class imaginary.

*Populist rhetorics and the logics of class*

This theme addresses the ways in which new populist rhetorics emerging in
Central and Eastern Europe coalesce around the idea of middle-classness as
a form of citizenship. We welcome papers that discuss the rise of social
movements and the increasing level of street mobilization and focus on the
clusters of tropes emerging around the relationship between
middle-classness, meritocracy, anticorruption, civilization and the nation
and on the ways in which these tropes might have been functioning as
critical forms of othering in the recent years.

*Roundtable:* *Anthropology of class in Central and Eastern Europe –
current state of the art and further directions *

*Convenor:* Alina-Sandra Cucu (re:work fellow at IGK Work and Human Life
Cycle in Global History, Humboldt University, Berlin)

In addition, our conference will feature a roundtable around the
epistemological and methodological concerns regarding the various
definitions of “class” and “class belonging” that arise for anthropology in
general and for the research on the region in particular. The roundtable
will bring together the keynote speaker and the participants in our
conference, joined in a common endeavour of opening a space for debating
what class could do for our understanding of the connection between
geographies of capital accumulation, the world of work, and the realm of
social reproduction in the now and into the future.

*Application process: *We accept both individual abstracts and panel
proposals. Panel proposals should have three or four individual abstracts
and a short (maximum 100 words) description. Individual abstracts should
have no more than 150 words. Please send your abstracts and proposals at

*Submission deadline*: August 15, 2017. The results and the preliminary
program will be sent by 5 September, 2017

*Languages*: The language of the conference is English

*Accomodation*: SASC will not provide, but will be able to assist with
finding economy accommodation in a few hostels in Bucharest. The program of
the conference and the paper abstracts will be available on the
association’s website.

*Conference fees*

Non-SASC members: 25 Eur (110 RON)

SASC members: 15 Eur (65 RON)

MA & PhD students: 15 Eur (65 RON)

*Membership fee 2017-2018: 5 Euro (22 RON)*

The conference fees will cover the program, coffee breaks and a buffet to
be held in the last day of the conference.

Contact Info

Canadian Anthropology Society (CASCA)
c/o Karli Whitmore
125 rue Jean de la Londe, #301
Baie d'Urfe (Québec) H9X 3T8