Call for Submissions | Nationalism from Below: Popular Responses to Nation-Building Projects in Bessarabia, Transnistria, Moldova

(Press release of the Leibniz Institute for East and Southeast European Studies (IOS))
Date of the event: 1-2 October 2021
Venue: The workshop is intended to be a ‘hybrid’ event (in-person with a ‘virtual’ component); a part of it will take place in-situ at the IOS, Regensburg, and will be broadcast online, and another part of the event will be held online through the Zoom platform.
Administrative support: the Leibniz Institute for East and Southeast European Studies (IOS) (in partnership with Plural Forum for Interdisciplinary Studies, Republic of Moldova)
Main language of the workshop: English
Expected participants: Regional and international scholars in history and social sciences, specializing in Moldova and the CEE region.
Outcome: a published collective volume or special issue in an academic journal. 

Please send your abstracts (200-300 words) and short bios to:  Deadline for sending paper titles, abstracts and bios: 1 July 2021.
Rationale The workshop aims to bring together a group of scholars to reflect and exchange their works and approaches on the topic of popular responses to nationalizing and state-building projects with a special focus on two historical regions – Bessarabia and Transnistria –, which at different times during the 20th century belonged to different polities (Russian Empire, Romania, USSR). The two regions currently constitute the Republic of Moldova. In 1991, an unrecognized Dniester Moldovan Republic has been formed in Transnistria. Moldova represents a fertile ground for comparative and longitudinal case studies which would examine the responses of the population to the successive and/or concomitant strategies and interventions of the states aiming to shape distinct national communities. As in the case of other Eastern European nation-states, few in-depth analyses of popular responses to various nation-building projects were undertaken in Moldova. Top-down studies, some of them remarkable due to the effort and complexity of the analysis, are still dominant. This workshop aims to compensate for this imbalance by approaching the “Moldovan case” from a “bottomup” perspective, based on the perceptions, discourses and practices of “ordinary” people as a response to the nation- and state-building projects, implemented simultaneously and successively by the political and intellectual elites and state structures. The internal comparison will reconnect Bessarabia and Transnistria with the wider geographical and political areas within which the two regions have existed over the past two centuries. Taking into account the successive, and often conflicting, regimes established in Bessarabia and Transnistria will highlight social and political differences, especially in terms of national identification options of the local population, perpetuated over time between the two regions which today constitute the Republic of Moldova.  The workshop’s outcomes will be of interest both for the scholarly community and for the civil society interested in Moldova and the CEE region and will result in the publication of a collective volume or a special issue in a peer-reviewed academic journal. 
Questions and topics to be discussed: Bottom-up approaches to the nation- and state-building in Bessarabia and Transnistria under the Russian Empire, Romania, the USSR, the current Republic of Moldova and the nonrecognized Transnistrian Republic; Perceptions, discourses and everyday enactments of nationalism and nationhood in Bessarabia and Transnistria in the 19th-21st centuries; Popular responses and “national indifference” towards nation-building and state-formation through schooling, high culture, mass media, and the army; Social conflicts and forms of interethnic solidarity; Popular movements and ethnic / national mobilization in the late Soviet period; Models of acculturation, survival tactics/strategies and cultural resistance in the context of nationalization projects; Nation-building projects reflected in biographical narratives; Everyday performing and consumption of national symbols and narratives;  Questioning and reproduction of mainstream / canonical national narratives in popular and samizdat settings and texts; The gender roles assigned to women and men in various national narratives; Gender-based status, ethnicity, class, and age differences in the everyday contexts of staging nationhood.
The workshop organizers: Dr. Petru Negură, Humboldt Fellow, IOS Regensburg Dr. Svetlana Suveică, affiliated researcher, IOS Regensburg Dr. Andrei Cușco, researcher, “A.D. Xenopol” Institute of History of the Romanian Academy, Iași, fellow at the Imre Kertész Kolleg, Jena, Germany

Website of the IOS
Call as PDF