Event 1

How do we talk about ‘other’ geographies in/of Europe?
Decolonial perspectives on Central & South-East Europe

Co-organised with Špela Drnovšek Zorko (University of Warwick) 

23 September 2020, 4-6pm BST via Zoom. Free to attend. Please, register HERE.

Speakers: Prof. Hana Červinková, Dr Piro Rexhepi, Dr Claudia Snochowska-Gonzalez and Prof. Ivan Kalmar

Questions about the position of “Eastern Europe” in relation to European and global geographies have long preoccupied scholars both within and outside the region. Long considered an “other” or peripheral European geography, the region is highly diverse with changing histories of dependence, domination, and ambivalent entanglements in global colonial relations.

Over the past few years, and in the current context of the pandemic, questions about the rise of the far-right, increased migrations, economic inequality, and the urgency of decolonial projects have gained new impetus in the region. At the same time, theoretical perspectives on the region have long grappled with the meaning of “postsocialist”, “postcolonial”, or “postdependence” geographies, and the extent to which these concepts can help illuminate its relational dynamics.

The aim of this event is to explore the potential of using decolonial frameworks to researching Central-East Europe (CEE) and South-East Europe (SEE), and to discuss analytical value in collectively conceptualising these relational geographies through the movement of people, spatial imaginaries, and forms of border-work.

The event brings together scholars who work on CEE and SEE to explore the following questions:

1. How can we conceptualise CEE and SEE in research?

2. (How) do postdependence, postcolonial, and decolonial approaches to the region help usdefine, re-orient, or build resistance in and across CEE/SEE geographies?

3. How can we use postdependence, postcolonial, and decolonial approaches to respond to some of the challenges in the region (e.g. epistemic inequalities between East and West, anti-migrant and xenophobic politics, the right-wing co-optation of postcolonial terminology)? What are their potential and limitations?

SPEAKERS:

Prof. Hana Červinková (Maynooth University) is educational and urban anthropologist with a geographic focus on East and Central Europe.

Dr. Piro Rexhepi (Independent Scholar) works on the politics of (post)socialist sexuality in Kosova and Bosnia, LGBTQ activism in post-Yugoslavia, Islam in Eastern Europe, orientalism and homonationalism.

Dr Claudia Snochowska-Gonzalez (Polish Academy of Sciences) researches postcolonialism in Polish contemporary literature and volkist inspirations in Polish public life.

Prof. Ivan Kalmar (University of Toronto) focuses on Islamophobia and populism in post-socialist areas of the European Union, and the relationship between Islamophobia and antisemitism.