Conference Programme: Cracks in the Canon: Modernism and Censorship in Eastern Europe

Kamila Kociałkowska's picture
September 5, 2022 to September 6, 2022
Subject Fields: 
Cultural History / Studies, Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Film and Film History, Russian or Soviet History / Studies, Eastern Europe History / Studies

We are pleased to announce the programme for our forthcoming conference: 

Cracks in the Canon: Modernism and Censorship in Eastern Europe

Université libre de Bruxelles. Département d’enseignement de Langues et Lettres, ULB-Faculté de Lettres, Traduction et Communication.

Brussels, 5-6. September 2022
ULB, Campus du Solbosch, Building R42, Auditoire BERHEIM

Organised by: Prof. Dennis Ioffe (Associate Professor, Université libre de Bruxelles) and Dr. Kamila Kociałkowska (Foundation Wiener-Anspach Postdocotral Fellow, Université libre de Bruxelles).


Monday 5 September


Prof Petra James & Prof Dennis Ioffe:
- Welcome remarks. Presenting inauguration of a new interdisciplinary ULB research centre “MODERNITAS" (Maison des Sciences Humaines MSH-ULB) (focusing on interdisciplinary research of modernity and modernism).

Dr Kamila Kociałkowska: Censorship studies: an overview of the field


10.20- 11.30
Panel 1: Eastern European Art History and political censorship

1 - Molly Pucci (University of Dublin):
Culture and avant-garde in the communist movement in Czechoslovakia in the 1920s

2 - Kamila Kociałkowska (ULB)
Kazimir Malevich’s Mimetic Resistance: Censorship as Spur to Suprematism.

3 - Katia Denysova (Courtauld Institute of Art):
Censorship Internalised: From Neo-Byzantinism to Socialist Realism in Ukrainian Monumental Art of the 1920s-30s.

11.30-11.50 Coffee Break


11.50- 13.00
Panel II. Eastern European censorship at the crossroads

4 - Györgyi Földes (Research Centre for the Humanities, Institute for Literary Studies, Hungary): Double conflict, double repression – the story of the Hungarian Avant-garde and the communists.

5 - Andru Chiorean (New Europe College Institute for Advanced Studies, Bucharest):
Seeing Like a Communist Censor: Socialist Cultural Policy, Censorial Relations In Communist Romania, 1945-1989.

6 - Edina Eszenyi (HEI Pegaso International Malta, University of Kent Canterbury): Fort Knox and the Angel: The Homecoming of the Holy Crown.

13:00 LUNCH

13:50 - 15.00
Panel III: Polish Modernism and censorship

7 - Robert Looby (Catholic University of Lublin): Polish Modernism for the Foreign Market.

8 - Kajetan Mojsak (The Polish Academy of Science, Warsaw):
Censorship, modernism and the delusions of grandeur: The conflict and coexistence of cultural paradigms in the Polish culture of the 1950s and 60s.

9 - Krzysztof Boroda & Katarzyna Kościewicz (University of Białystok):
Persuasion and oppression. The early medieval beginnings of the Polish state in the historical policy of the People's Republic of Poland in the years 1945-1966.

15.00 Coffee break


15:20 - 16.30
Panel IV: Eastern European Film and censorship

11 - Claire Knight (University of Bristol):
Censoring Stalin: The Stalin Cult on Screen and Shelf.

12 - Alina Popescu (University of Bucharest):
Too Much and Not Enough: An Institutional Paradox of the Censorship of Foreign Films in Communist Romania.

13 - Oleksii Isakov (European University Viadrina Frankfurt Oder, Germany):
“Film Adaptation of Works not on the Topic of Soviet Reality”: New Forms of Representation of Pre‐ soviet Reality in the Ukrainian Poetic Cinema around 1960s.

16.30 - 17.00 Discussion.


Conference dinner TBC


Tuesday 6 September

10:00 - 11.10

“Roundtable: The Mechanisms of Censorship”.

Group discussion exploring the practicalities and procedures of historic censorship systems across different media.

Claire Knight: ‘Editor or Censor, Artist or Accountant? The Many Quandaries of Late Stalin-era Film Censorship’

Judith Devlin: ‘Artists and Censors under Stalin’
Kamila Kociałkowska: ‘Looking for the lost GlavLit archives’

11.10: Coffee Break


11.30 - 12.40

Panel V: Culture, musicology, and political repercussions

14 - Zuzana Rihová (Institute of Czech Literature of the CAS): Paper title tbc

15 - Libora Oates-Indruchova (University of Graz):
Censorship, Agency and Authorship in Czech Academia post-1968

16 - Elina Viljanen (University of Helsinki):
Modernist Political Strategies of Culture: the Case of Musicology and Soviet Censorship.


12:40 Lunch


13.30 - 15.00
Panel VI: Russian Avant-garde and censorship

17 - Evgeny Pavlov (University of Canterbury):
Rhythm of the Time under Censorship: Key Concept of Andrei Bely’s Anthroposophy in his Late Soviet Writings.

18 - Aljona Grigorasch (MPGU, RUDN, HSE, Moscow):
Alphabets for adults in the USSR and the problem of interpreting the alphabet by Sergei Merkurov (1931)

19 - Elena Penskaia (HSE, Moscow):
Transfer to censorship. The concept of censorship in the aesthetics and practice of the Second Russian Avant-garde: Vsevolod Nekrasov and his circle.

20 - Oshank Hashemi (UGhent):
Instrumentalization of culture and media by Putin's government: The organization of “media events” in Luzhniki (2022). A public ritual to glorify the “Unity of the country”.


15.00 Coffee


15.20 - 16.30
Panel VII: Systems of Art Censorship

21 - Johana Lomová (Academy of Art Architecture and Design in Prague):
Art critic as censor and vis a versa. New censorship theory in a cultural field of actually existing socialisms.

22 - Arūnas Streikus (Vilnius University):
‘Quiet Modernism’? On the particularities of the art censorship in the Soviet Baltic republics.

23 - Jakub Dąbrowski (Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw):
Producing aesthetics, producing subject. On selected aspects of censorship in visual arts during the “Thaw” in Poland.


16: 30 Concluding remarks