Paper short abstract:
Old questions about representation and orientalism may be dealt with best through collaborative research and training. Perhaps we need to question whether a postsocialist Europe 'region', is still a relevant category for the current generation of anthropology students?
Paper long abstract:
There seem to be several sets of questions embedded here, which could be untangled through discussion. One is concerned with the region of 'eastern Europe', and old debates about representation, othering, and orientalism (who can and should 'speak for' whom?). A second strand of questions, with more of a practice bent, follows research training, collaborations, and the object of research itself, in the area. Some very important and critical questions can be raised in this context about methods and training, and about collaborations across disciplines and countries. The third general problematic, which in some
ways I find the most intellectually interesting, is concerned with appropriate tools of analysis for the the history and political economy of the region: is postsocialist still an appropriate term, or do arguments coming from postcolonial studies have as much or more to say? Or is it perhaps time to stop thinking in terms of local histories and lived worlds which must always be defined in relation to some ideological past?
Eastern Europe as a field of anthropological enquiry (roundtable)