CFP: Giving Voice to Cultures: Practices of Russia-Britain Cross-Cultural Communication in the 21st Century


  • University of Edinburgh

International Conference

The Princess Dashkova Russian Centre, the University of Edinburgh

Friday 12th – Saturday 13th   December 2014

The question of intercultural contact between Russia and Britain in the past centuries has been widely studied across disciplines. However, the 21st century – the epoch of intensified globalisation and transnational mobility – has produced new models of giving voice to cultures intended for exchange and consumption. The contemporary period has put its own mark on the ways of construction and sharing cultural knowledge of a foreign place and facilitated the emergence of new behaviours and subjectivities. A variety of intercultural links between Russia and the UK have grown to include various patterns of migration and tourism as well new forms of business, academic and cultural contacts. This takes place against the unprecedented accessibility of information including a plethora of texts and images and a growing intensity of internet communication. In both countries, spaces of domestication of respectively Russian and British cultures and hybrid cultural forms are emerging.

Contemporary patterns and practices of giving voice to cultures require new approaches to the British-Russian inter-cultural dialogue. The conference sets out to explore practices of cross-cultural communication between Russia and Britain in the 21st century. It focuses on the forms and systems of meaning making in a variety of cultural fields in dialogue. We expect that the conference will address the ways of mutual representations and cross-cultural experiences of the Russians and British expressed in the media, literature, films, theatre; the translation of cultures in art exhibitions, concerts and other art forms; linguistic and cultural exchange in diasporas, digital communities and networking sites; tourism practices and discourses (travel guides, blogs, phrasebooks, etc.); questions of linguistic and cultural commoditization, spaces of cultural exchange, and related themes.

Approaches including socio-cultural linguistics, discourse studies, media and new media studies, cultural anthropology, theatre, film, visual studies, diaspora, tourism studies, and related disciplines are welcome.

The conference will explore (but not exclusively) the following themes:

·         Approaches to the UK-Russian cross-cultural communication in the 21 century.

·         Narratives of Russia and Russianness in Britain / of Britain and Britishness in Russia (national and transnational television, travel programmes, films, theatre, performances, music, art, literature including travel writing, Internet resources, blogs, communities and networking sites, etc.).

·         Literary and non-literary translation as a cross-cultural practice.

·         Sites of cultural exchange and domestication.

·         Migration as linguistic and cultural experience. Russian diaspora in the UK as a site of cultural exchange and cultural hybridity.

·         Holidaying and tourism as forms of cultural exchange (constructing and consuming “authenticity”; experiential tourism; visiting/seeing global events: Olympic games, Championships and festivals, etc.)

·         Discourses of consumption (shopping, dining, souvenir culture, etc.)

·         Linguistic and cultural commoditization.

·         Russia's cross-cultural exchanges with other cultures: differences and similarities to the UK.

We invite proposals for full paper panels, individual papers and roundtables. Proposals including paper abstracts of 250 words accompanied by a short CV are to be submitted here no later than 15 September 2014. Authors of accepted papers will be expected to register for the conference by the pre-registration deadline of 15 October. All participants are expected to submit a full version of their paper by 30 October 2014. 

We expect that we would be able to offer a limited number of travelling grants.

Working languages of the conference are English and Russian.

The conference will take place at The Princess Dashkova Russian Centre, the University of Edinburgh, 14 Buccleuch Place, Edinburgh.