Conference "Cracks in the Canon: Modernism and Censorship in Eastern Europe"
Du 05/09 au 06/09/2022
by Dennis Ioffe & Kamila Kociałkowska
Exploring art, literature, film, and the complex censorial apparatus surrounding their creation from the late nineteenth century to the 1960s, this conference explores how both ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ censorship operated as a formative force within modernist culture.
The institutions of censorship and modernism are often typecast as battling forces within twentieth-century culture. They are routinely situated at opposing ends on the spectrum of communication: the creative effort to expand language versus the oppressive effort to curtail it; the individual versus the establishment; the advance of art versus its elimination. Yet, recent research problematises these binaries, revealing a more nuanced and reciprocal relationship between exponents of modernism and agents of cultural control. Eastern European history provides rich case studies for this topic, albeit ones which are still regularly reduced to stereotype.
Exploring art, literature, film, and the complex censorial apparatus surrounding their creation from the late nineteenth century to the 1960s, this conference explores how both ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ censorship operated as a formative force within modernist culture. Drawing on the methodological tools and approaches of the New Censorship Theory, we aim to break simplistic binaries and condemnatory categories in order to challenge notions of top-down, state repressive force in favour of more productive conceptions of censorship that increasingly see it as integrated and secondary to impersonal, structural forms, such as the market. Repositioning ‘state censors as actors internal to communication networks, and not as external, accidental features’ invites opportunities for revisiting entrenched stereotypes of both official and unofficial censorship.
This conference ultimately seeks to recast censorship in the Eastern Europe not as a crushing boot stamping out the rich potential of modernist creation but as a messy companion to it, kicking along content, crafting meaning, complicating things.
Download the full program of the conference
Monday 5th & Tuesday 6th September 2022, 9.45AM - 5PM
Building R - Level 5 - Room R.5.110
Avenue F. Roosevelt 42
Contact: Dennis Ioffe