W012
'West' and 'East'. Dreaming, writing, imagining, and practicing Europe

Convenors:
Jurij Fikfak (ZRC SAZU)
Maria Vivod (UMR 7367 Strasbourg France)
Location:
R1
Start time:
27 August, 2008 at 9:00
Session slots:
2

Short abstract:

How to imagine, write, and practice Europe and its continually changing borders? What the label 'West' and 'East' mean in European contemporary societies? What is 'West' seen from the 'East' and vice versa? Which are the elements-differences and commonalities between cultural practices and images, of the 'West' and the 'East'?

Long abstract:

The EU constitutional crisis shows how "Europe" is far from being a homogeneous entity. It is a playground of large and small, old and new countries, which perceive and present themselves in different ways, and use different culturally constructed strategies and tactics in relation to imagined 'Europeanness'. The panelists will consider some key themes, such as understanding of the self and of the other regarding the writing the memories, imaginaries of Europe and its continually changing borders. Attention will be paid to the relationships between groups and individuals who are seeking to maintain a cultural link in the recreation of their memories and identities in a Europe seemingly captive of its own myths. The diversity of the new forms of identification through migration is a subject to be explored. We propose three topics to be developed: What the label 'West' and 'East' mean in European contemporary societies? What is 'West' seen from the 'East' and vice versa, and how these positional categories are defined and become 'real' for the social actors? How is the issue of power (economical, cultural, s.f.) and negotiation important in the discourse between 'West' and 'East'. Which are the elements-differences and commonalities between cultural practices and images, of the 'West' and the 'East'? The description of the European anthropologist's experience in writing these topics. The papers presented during the workshop will explore issues relating to the construction of what we might call 'integrative ethnography'.