Call for papers: Conference Monuments and monument care in Czechoslovakia and other Central European countries during the second half of the 20th century

Conference

Monuments and monument care in Czechoslovakia and other Central European countries during the second half of the 20th century

Date: 27–28 April 2021
Venue: Academic Conference Centre, Husova 4a, Prague 
Deadline for submission of paper proposals: 30 June 2020 to Dr. Kristina Uhlíková (uhlikova@udu.cas.cz)

The conference will focus on approaches to monuments, the development of monument care, and crucial themes and key personalities in the field of heritage in Central European countries belonging with the Eastern bloc after 1945. In many ways, the post-World War II period was a time of continuation of older concepts, but it was also an era with reconceptualization of approaches to monuments and shifts in meanings attributed to them. In society, law, expert discourse and local contexts, existing mechanisms were applied, along with new thinking about monuments, monument care and access to the past in general. After the experiences of the Second World War and Nazism, the Central European space of Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary and the eastern part of Germany was confronted with limited democracy and, until the end of the 1980s, with communist rule. The main objective of the conference is to place heritage care in historical perspective during the often turbulent political changes of the second half of the 20th century and hopefully draw some comparisons across national borders within the region of Central Europe. Contributions of a more general nature, those with broader interdisciplinary overlap, and works focusing on specific subject areas viewed through individual case studies will be welcomed.
Continuity and discontinuity of cultural heritage of the past after 1945.

Questions of importance for this conference include the following. Which older concepts of monument preservation retained influence in the second half of the 20th century and which did not? How did the state of research on monuments and monument care and its perspectives evolve? How did expert discourses and the ideological background of monument care develop? What changes were made in approaches to the protection of larger territorial units? Which personalities did determine the development of monument care? How did (non-) existent legislation facilitate or complicate the protection of monuments? How can we describe and summarize the approach to cultural heritage after 1945? How did changes in monument care in authoritarian regimes compare to global developments? How did domestic monument care relate to international institutions and documents (e.g. the Venice Charter, UNESCO, etc.)? How have the priorities for the protection of monuments changed from the end of 1945 to 1989? How were these goals achieved and what problems did monument-care authorities face? How did the theoretical or rhetorical realm differ from the practical performance of monument care? How did authoritarian regimes shape the practice of monument care? How did understanding of the social uses of monuments change after 1945? How did access to the cultural heritage of the past as a whole and its individual segments change in this context? What policies of memory and what types of re-labelling did postwar states have in relation to monuments associated with divergent historical traditions (for example: aristocratic castles and chateaus or sacral church objects)? How did the development of technology and the media change representations of monuments for professionals and the lay public? What was the role of monuments in public space? What role did economics play? What do different treatments of immoveable and moveable cultural objects tell us about the history of monuments and heritage care in Central Europe after 1945?

Paper proposals:

To submit a proposal for this conference please send the abstract (up to 1,500 characters) and shorter biography (up to 500 characters) to Dr. Kristina Uhlíková (uhlikova@udu.cas.cz) by 30 June 2020.

The length of paper presentations should not exceed 20 minutes, although it is possible to submit shorter discussion posts (about 10 minutes). The Preparatory Committee of the conference will select papers. Authors will be informed of the acceptance of papers by 31 August 2020. It is anticipated that the papers will be published. The conference languages are Czech and English.

Preparatory Committee of the conference:

Mgr. Jakub Bachtík (Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes), Mgr. Tereza Johanidesová (National Heritage Institute), PhDr. ThLic. Michal Sklenář, Ph.D. et Ph.D. (Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes), doc. Mgr. et Mgr. Matěj Spurný, Ph.D. (Institute for Contemporary History CAS), Mgr. et Mgr. Jan Uhlík, MBA (Institute of Art History CAS), PhDr. Kristina Uhlíková, Ph.D. (Institute of Art History CAS), PhDr. Zdeněk Vácha (National Heritage Institute)

Call for papers