Petrozavodsk Soulajgora, Tomasz Kizny 2007

NANO seminar: Nature(s) & norms

Organizers: Mateusz Chmurski (CEFRES)
Where: Prague, Paris, Warsaw
When: One Friday per month, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Language: English

The project “Nature(s) and Norms” implemented in cooperation between the Institute of Polish Culture and the UMR 8224 EUR’ORBEM, in partnership with the French Centre for Research in Social Sciences in Prague is embeded into the Research Program SAMSON (Sciences, Arts, Medicine and Social Norms). It intends to conduct a series of seminars and workshops, the guiding principle of which is to analyse the process of formation of social norms. The aim is to examine the normative order of modernity, the representations and concepts of which will be explored at the intersection of art, literature, social and natural sciences, and medical discourse. The focus is on Central and Eastern Europe, including Russia and its normative processes in a period of intensive modernisation. The studied period is a crucial one for the development of European modernity, from the second half of the 18th century to the second half of the 20th century.

The peculiarities of modernisation processes and their understanding and description in the above-mentioned fields escape the commonly accepted categories of aspiration and imitation, backwardness and recovery. Although liberal democracy was never a strong point of these cultural areas, this does not mean that they did not develop ideas and social practices of a counter-hegemonic modernising nature: initiating and following emancipation movements and their political emanations, forming ideas of co-operativeness and co-operative movement, conceiving horizontal networks as relevant for the process of democratisation, and – finally – opening up new directions in art as well as in the social, natural and medical sciences. We assume the hypothesis that attitudes and texts formed under deeply authoritarian conditions (and this is the case in the fields we are interested in in the 19th and 20th centuries) could foster processes of social change, create alternative models of rules of social life and together constitute an interesting response to the capitalist model of culture and its various consequences. Within this framework, the members of the project will explore both the development of state policies, individual scientific and artistic practices, the birth and evolution of networks that favour the dissemination of ideas resulting from modernisation in these areas of culture, as well as work in the field of the history of ideas.

The research project will be implemented through seminars and workshops around two main questions: How did the interaction between important fields of modernisation (art, medicine, social and natural sciences) shape the framework of social norms in Central and Eastern Europe? And conversely, how did well-established social norms, albeit differentiated by region and class, influence the directions of development of scientific and artistic practices?

Program of the Seminar in 2022–2023

October 21st | SAMSON Nature(s) & Norms #1
Astrid Greve KRISTENSEN (CEFRES – Sorbonne University)
E(co)schatological Entrypoints: The Abject and the Anthropocene in Bianca Bellová’s novel Jezero [The Lake]
Matylda SZEWCZYK, PhD (University of Warsaw)
On Darkness and Light: Images of Nuclear Power and Reproduction” – Matylda SZEWCYK

November 25th | SAMSON Nature(s) & Norms #2
Weronika PARFIANOWICZ, PhD (University of Warsaw)
TBA

December 16th | SAMSON Nature(s) & Norms #3,
TBA

Featured image: Petrozavodsk Soulajgora, Tomasz Kizny 2007

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