What was Post-socialism, and What Comes Next?
With the proliferation of anthropological studies on post-socialism conducted in the recent decades there comes also a growing need for reflexivity – both on the theoretical underpinnings and on the methodological tools of anthropology as practiced today in Central and Eastern Europe. After the enthusiasm associated with the 1990s paradigm shift from positivist ethnology to constructivist social and cultural anthropology has noticeably subsided, and after the problematic concept of ‘transition’ has been left behind, new concerns over the theoretical utility and the heuristic value of the term ‘post-socialism’, and more generally over the future of ‘anthropology of post-socialism’, have recently come to the fore: Is ‘post-socialism’ still relevant and useful as an analytical concept today? Has the meaning and the content of the term changed, or is it still temporally and spatially bounded? What alternative terms are there to use? Has the anthropology of post-socialism reached a dead-end, as some claim, or, on the contrary, it has made a perceptible impact on anthropological theory at large? Has the anthropological study of post-socialism firmly established itself as a sub-discipline, or it has simply become a kind of ‘area studies’?
Picking up on the recent debates over the uncertain future of the anthropology of post-socialism, the upcoming issue of Anthropology Journal seeks original contributions addressing some of the following and other correlated issues:
- Post-socialism as a topic of anthropological inquiry; ‘new anthropological scholarship on post-socialism anthropological scholarship on post-socialism
- The theoretical legacies of the anthropology of post-socialism; diversity of theoretical approaches; new theoretical concepts
- The influence of the recent theoretical turns in the study of culture, the reflexive turn in particular, on anthropological practice in Central and Eastern Europe
- Anthropology of post-socialism and the post-colonial turn; the utility of drawing parallels between post-colonialism and post-socialism – similarities, differences, critique; anthropology and geopolitics
- Power relations and ‘hierarchies of knowledge’ in the anthropology of post-socialism; the concepts of ‘center’ and ‘periphery’ in anthropological thought; the metaphor of ‘self-colonization’
- Practicing anthropology as cultural critique (Marcus and Fischer 1996) in the post-socialist context; the potential of (politically, socially, environmentally, etc.) engaged anthropology in the ‘Global East’
- Methodological challenges in the anthropological study of post-socialist societies; new objects of anthropological research and new fieldwork methodologies
Deadline for manuscript submissions: July 1, 2024.
Deadline for publications: October 2024.
Papers are reviewed anonymously.