Call for Papers
Pop after Communism. The Transformation of Popular Culture after 1989/90
From-To: 15 – 17 Nov. 2023
Deadline: 31 May 2023
The social changes that went along with the political upheaval of 1989/90 in the countries of state socialism were not limited to the political system, economic structures or social conditions. The late phase and the end of state socialism were marked by a far-reaching transformation of popular culture, with global cultural changes becoming an important driver of the post-communist transformation. Up to now, there have been some individual studies on the history of pop in the 1990s and early 2000s with a particular view to the united Germany, the countries of East-Central and South-Eastern Europe and the states that emerged with the dissolution of the Soviet Union, but no comprehensive overview of the globally entangled transformation processes in pop culture. The conference hence aims to bring together researchers in the broader field of “pop history” to examine the overarching tendencies of this fundamental socio-cultural change and the protagonists and institutions that determined it from a comparative perspective. The focus of the conference is on pop music and the entire range of pop cultural forms of expression (e.g. film, fashion, literature).
While both pop music, especially with its subcultural scenes, and youth culture, which became highly differentiated in state socialist societies in the 1980s, are now relatively well researched, only a few studies follow their development through the social transformations that began after the political upheaval of 1989/90. Thus, relatively little is known about how state cultural institutions were dissolved or transformed in order to adapt to the new conditions and which paths their former representatives took after the political upheaval. Significant differences between the individual countries, e.g. with regard to gradual liberalisation tendencies or repressive policies that continued until the end of state socialism, must therefore be taken into account just as the distinctive preconditions for the developments beginning after 1989/90.Continue reading