University of Bremen, 15-16 May 2017
Symbols speak directly to emotions and without them the political realm loses its power to appeal to and mobilize the masses. Symbols are therefore crucial to politics, helping to construct collective identities, defining boundaries, mobilizing for a cause, or serving as a tool of inclusion and exclusion.
The recent political developments in Poland have shown an ideological shift that exploits the symbolic realm to a long-unseen degree. At the same time, the polarization of political visions, the perspectives on Poland’s future and the narratives about its past have taken the form of an embittered war of symbols, that both recycles old, historically charged political iconography and invents it anew. Symbols of “structure” and “anti-structure” clash against a background of an ongoing revival of the national, which reverberates in the popular culture, producing phenomena such as: patriotic fashion, historical re-enactments, but also creative forms of subversion and resistance to the dominant narrative.
This interdisciplinary conference looks at symbolic wars in Poland’s modern history, tracing the genealogy of the key political symbols in the incessant cycle of protest, ritualization and contestation. Questions of political dissent, so-called polityka historyczna, intergroup conflict, emancipation, symbolic inclusion and exclusion are of interest.
The key-note speaker at the conference will be Prof. Jan Kubik (University College London).
Please send an abstract of up to 250 words to: warsofsymbols[at]gmail.com by 1 December 2016.
For more information, contact:
Prof. Dr. Magdalena Waligorska,
University of Bremen
Contact Email: email@example.com