Rurality, Modernity and (De)Coloniality: Unmaking the Legacies of Empire from Below

photo credit: Luca C.Cosma

Call for Papers

26-27 August 2016

Telciu-Bistrița, Bistrița-Năsăud County, Romania


The 5th Annual Telciu Summer Conference focuses on the intertwined topics of rurality, modernity, and (de)coloniality. The concepts of modernity and rurality remain theoretically and analytically contested. Nevertheless, our premise is that that they are mutually constitutive on both the conceptual and on the concrete socio-economic levels. Rather than opposite ends of a continuum ranging from tradition (associated with rurality, the periphery, and the past) to globalization (associated with modernity, the present, and core power), both the rural and the modern are inherent to and heirs of imperial, colonial and post imperial/postcolonial matrices of power and of the particular configurations of national spaces derived from them. On a conceptual level, therefore, our understandings of these concepts are shaped by power/knowledge mechanisms that also structure fundamental hierarchies of class, gender, race/ethnicity, and nation and create artificial binaries. On the other hand, as variegated and concrete historical phenomena, both rurality in modernity and rurality as the precursor of modernity have been configured by global asymmetries of power and uneven processes of socio-economic development. Against this background, we encourage submissions that engage with these topics both theoretically and in terms of specific historical experiences, across disciplines and on any scale, from the local to the global. Seeking balance between specific case studies and comparative/transnational approaches, we invite contributions engaging with, but not limited to, the following thematic foci:

  • Reconceptualizing Peasantries, Reassessing Modernities
  • Rurality and Transnational Flows
  • Capitalism, Socialism, and Cooperativism in the Rural World
  • Modernities, Temporalities, and Ruralities
  • Vernacular Religion and Peasant Culture
  • Agriculture and Socio-Economic Modernization
  • Folk-Populisms, Nationalisms, and Imperialisms
  • The Countryside and Imperial/Post-Imperial Systems of Rule
  • Projects of Internal Colonialism and Peasant Resistance
  • Thinking from the Rural Periphery
  • Reagrarianization and the “End of History”

To apply for the conference, please send a title and an abstract of your paper (max 300 words) in English to until 30th of April 2016. Romanian scholars are requested to send the abstract also in Romanian. We will inform you about our decision by 15th of May 2016. Accommodation for the speakers will be offered by the organizing committee. Unfortunately we cannot cover the costs for transport.

Organizing Committee:

  • Valer Simion Cosma, University of Pécs, Pécs (Hungary)
  • Manuela Boatcă, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität, Freiburg (Germany)
  • Ion Matei Costinescu, University of Bucharest, Bucharest, (Romania)



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