[MGSA-L] CFP: Shared Spaces and their Dissolution

Rebecca Bryant rbryant2 at gmu.edu
Thu Apr 14 06:38:19 PDT 2011


The Association for Historical Dialogue and Research
and PRIO Cyprus Centre Conference
Nicosia 14-15 October 2011
Shared Spaces and their Dissolution:
Practices of Coexistence in Cyprus and Elsewhere
Reconciliation efforts in Cyprus often refer to a period of ³coexistence²
before the island¹s division as proof that the various communities of the
island have lived together in the past and can live together again.
However, ³coexistence² is a term of broad scope that can refer to practices
of living together separately or antagonistic tolerance, as well as to forms
of closer interaction or entanglement with the lives of members of another
community.  In its root, the word already implies a separation brought
together through spatial practices.  In recent years, social science studies
of conflict have increasingly turned to analysis of the everyday practices
of coexistence in order to ask where such practices may succeed, and where
they may fail or be caused to fail.  In particular, many studies of ongoing
conflicts or post-conflict societies have asked what mechanisms enable
communities to repair ruptures in the social fabric and to re-engage in
coexistence, and what circumstances or factors may disrupt the capacity for
This conference aims to interrogate ³coexistence² in Cyprus and other
related cases and to ask what practices enabled centuries of cooperation and
sharing, as well as how and when such sharing was disrupted.  ³Shared
spaces² may be religious sites with meaning for more than one confessional
group; the market, mine, or other site of economic activity; or the common
space of the mixed village.  Shared spaces may be characterized by
political, economic, or social cooperation or antagonism.  The everyday
cooperative practices that enable the sharing of space may entail friendship
or simple pragmatic accommodation.  Moreover, the sharing of space may be
altered by nationalist practices such as the renaming of sites, or it may
continue unaltered even through episodes of violence.  More importantly,
daily interaction may be shaped by state policy, including more recent
policies that encourage an understanding of coexistence as ³social harmony.²
The conference organizing committee is interested in receiving historical or
ethnographic analyses of particular sites, practices, or events that address
the following and similar issues:
·     Theorizing the texture of everyday intercommunal relations pre-74

·     The ³nationalization² of place and its effects on daily relations

·     Identifying dynamics of cooperation and conflict

·     Local histories of violence and its effect on the sharing of space

·     The effects of state policy on quotidian cooperation, including
resistance to such policies

·     The way that a discourse of ³coexistence² has become implicated in the
conflict context

·     The effects of closed and/or open checkpoints on understandings of
past coexistence

Although our immediate focus is on historical and ethnographic studies of
coexistence in Cyprus, we are also interested in papers that address
comparative cases with relevance for the island.
Please send abstracts of no more than 300 words before May 15, 2011 to
Rebecca Bryant, rbryant2 at gmu.edu  Conference organizers will work to provide
travel costs for presenters coming from abroad but will prioritize graduate
students and recent Ph.D. recipients. Selected applicants will be informed
by May 31, 2011.

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