[Aaus-list] CFP: The Black Sea in the Socialist World, Birkbeck College, UK, February 6-7, 2015

Chernetsky, Vitaly A vchernetsky at ku.edu
Mon Oct 27 11:17:26 EDT 2014

Dear Colleagues,
Please see the CFP below.

Best wishes,
Vitaly Chernetsky

Vitaly Chernetsky
Associate Professor & Director of Graduate Studies
Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures
Associate Director, Center for Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies
University of Kansas
2140 Wescoe Hall & 320G Bailey Hall
Lawrence, KS 66045
(785) 864-2359
vchernetsky at ku.edu
From: Johanna Conterio (j.conterio at bbk.ac.uk)
Date:  Monday - October 27, 2014 12:36 AM

CfP: The Black Sea in the Socialist World
Birkbeck College, University of London, February 6-7,

In May 1962, shortly before the Cuban Missile Crisis,
Soviet premiere Nikita Khrushchev toured Bulgaria.
Under banners declaring “Forward, to Communism!”
at a mass meeting in Varna, a Bulgarian health resort,
Khrushchev lauded the Bulgarian people for the way
in which they had developed the Black Sea coastline.
Model health resorts like Varna, which drew visitors
from all over the world, were the pride of the Bulgarian
people, he claimed. These resorts demonstrated the
commitment of the socialist states to the health and
welfare of the people. He contrasted the health resorts
on the socialist side of the Black Sea to the NATO
missile build-up across the sea in Turkey. The health
resorts of the Black Sea demonstrated the peace-loving
nature of the socialist states to the world. “The Black
Sea should be a sea of peace and the friendship of
the peoples,” he argued.

While interest in the place of the Black Sea in the
history of tourism, public health and architecture has
grown rapidly in recent years, leading to ground-breaking
studies, these works have treated each topic and national
context in isolation. Works on Cold War diplomacy, too,
have not taken into full consideration the position of the
Black Sea as a site of cultural and political diplomacy in
the socialist world. This workshop seeks to bring together
historians studying the Black Sea or whose work involves
the Black Sea from a variety of perspectives and both
historians of the Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc. The
objective of the workshop is to develop the idea of the
Black Sea littoral as an international meeting place of
the socialist world.

As Khrushchev’s words suggested, the idea of the
socialist Black Sea was closely linked to ideas of health
and welfare during times of peace. The Black Sea
littoral became a favoured health retreat of the political
elite and soon became a setting for high politics and
diplomatic negotiations. With the Yalta conference
(February 4-11, 1945), the place of the Black Sea as
a site of East-West diplomacy was formalized. But the
Black Sea also became a place of less formal international
exchange. From international children’s camps to
delegation visits to sanatoriums serving an international
clientele, at the Black Sea people from the socialist
world introduced visitors from all over the world to the
socialist way of life, in a Cold War contest fought over
standards of living.

Participants are sought to present papers which may
but will not necessarily fall into the following themes:
The divided sea in the Cold War; the political context
of Soviet-Turkish, East-West and socialist relations;
ideas of Europe; international law; mobility, migration
and tourism; commodities; socialist design and urban
planning; environmental health; cultural and social
history of medicine and health; international congresses
and festivals, and environmental history. Papers relating
to all countries of the Eastern Bloc and the USSR, and
which emphasize transnational and international
components, are welcome.

Please send paper titles and abstracts (around 300
words) by November 15, 2014 to j.conterio at bbk.ac.uk.
Workshop papers will be pre-circulated and are due
January 15, 2015. Student and early-career travel
bursaries are available to attendees who are members
of the Society for the Social History of Medicine.

Contact Details
Dr Johanna Conterio, conference convener
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Birkbeck College, University of London
Department of History, Classics and Archaeology
26-28 Russell Square
London, United Kingdom, WC1B 5DQ
j.conterio at bbk.ac.uk

Sponsored by the British Association for Slavonic and
East European Studies and the So


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