Dialoguing ‘Between the Posts’: Workshop and Panel Discussion

Faculty​ ​of​ ​Media​ ​and​ ​Communications,​ ​Belgrade,​ ​22-23​ ​September​ ​2017

Dialoguing ‘Between the Posts’: Post-socialist and post-/decolonial perspectives on domination, hierarchy and resistance in South-Eastern Europe

Preliminary program available here
There is no participation fee, but please register

Post-socialist and post-/decolonial theory designate distinct forms of critical inquiry into the prolonged effects of systemic domination. Yet while their concerns arguably intersect, a full-on dialogue “between the posts” is yet to take place. Much of the post-socialist critique from the left continues to zone in on the labour-capital conflict in the metropolitan centres, relegating other struggles and axes of domination (around race, ethnicity, religion, or gender) to a secondary or derivative status. In turn, as it foregrounds the 'logic of coloniality'as the underside of the 'rhetoric of modernity', de- and post-colonial theorizing often side-lines its mutual relationship with the reproduction of capitalism and anti-capitalist struggle. As a result, the anti-capitalist critique might be tempted to read the problematics of multiculturalism and internal colonialism as derailing strategies by capital, while the postcolonial theorist might overlook the deployment of an anti-Western/imperialist rhetoric in defence of increasingly authoritarian regimes. Thus even though 'thinking between the posts' (Chari and Verderi 2009) has already produced a rich and growing literature in South-Eastern Europe, a complex and politically relevant articulation of these two bodies of work still remains to be undertaken.

This workshop seeks to bridge this gap by extending the dialogue between postsocialist and post- and decolonial scholarship to discuss possible ways of analysing power, domination, and resistance in South-Eastern Europe. It aims to bring together academics, activists, and practitioners from this region and beyond in an effort to deconstruct imperial and Cold War hierarchies and to examine their contemporary manifestations. The conversation is intended to take stock of past and current debates and serve as a platform for identifying new avenues for action and research along the following lines:

1) What patterns of hegemony, hierarchy and domination can be observed in (South-)Eastern European societies, and which empirical lenses and methodological approaches are well suited to uncover them? What are the potentials and limitations of under-explored methodologies such as ethnography, activist research, and others? How can we rethink the region and its connections and embeddedness through approaches such as global histories and connected sociologies?

2) What are the implications of using analytical concepts like (self-) colonisation, coloniality of power, decolonising strategies, and others proposed in post- and decolonial scholarship? Do such framings overstate the imperial legacies and intellectual heritage of the region and under what conditions do they help to better understand the latter?

3) What is the relation between analytical framings and the subjects and objects of analysis? Do intellectual debates on hierarchy and privilege in (South-) Eastern Europe mirror the polyphony of discourses circulating in this region, and what needs to be done to better accommodate the latter within the former?

4) How can resistant practices and counter-hegemonic discourses be articulated under the contemporary (neo-) colonial and neoliberal condition? Can critical practices developed around the two ‘posts’ communicate across the conceptual and political gulf that separates them? What ‘work of translation’ needs to be done, for such a ‘dialoguing’ to become possible and desirable?


Keynote Panel: Post-Socialism and Post- and Decolonial Approaches in Southeastern Europe: A Nascent Dialogue? 

Friday, September 22 at 3:30 PM, Faculty of Media and Communications (Room 8, 4th Floor, Karadjordjeva 65, Belgrade)

Chair/Discussant: Dr Nikolay Karkov, Michigan State University


• Prof Marina Gržinić, Institute of Philosophy, Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Ljubljana 

• Prof Dušan Bjelić, Department of Criminology, University of Southern Maine

• Ovidiu Tichindeleanu, Editor of IDEA arts + society and CriticAtac


The event is funded by the British International Studies Association (Colonial/Postcolonial/Decolonial Working Group and South East Europe Working Group) and the Max Planck Research Group ‘Empires of Memory: The Cultural Politics of Historicity in Former Habsburg and Ottoman Cities’, and co-organized by New Left Perspectives and the Centre for Comparative Conflict Studies at the Faculty of Media and Communications.