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Accepted Paper:

Fascism and antifascist struggle in Eastern Europe: Speaking from movements and within broader geographies  
Erin McElroy (University of Washington) Mary Taylor (CUNY)

Paper short abstract:

With war again threatening Eastern Europe, we, as scholar activists who accompany antifascist and anticapitalist movements, consider traditions and contemporary practices of antifascism that have evolved against a shifting backdrop of fascism, imperialism, ethnonationalism, and anticommunism.

Paper long abstract:

Eastern Europe is simultaneously associated with the social, political and economic tendencies that brought about the Shoah, as well as those that fostered State Socialism. As war once again threatens the region, here we consider traditions and contemporary practices of antifascism, as well as processes that bring about ethnonational personhood. Drawing upon our individual and collective research, we approach fascism and antifascism here not solely as outside observers, but rather as scholar activists who accompany regional antifascist and anticapitalist movements.

We are interested in placing the current struggles in Ukraine, Russia, and the wider region within a constellation of work being done to undo and organize against imperialism. On one hand, Eastern Europe has seen populist fascist movements proclaim a nationalist nativism that renders the enemy Western empire; on the other, antifascist organizers and scholars are parsing out how an interlocking of multiply existing empires–both those of the West and Russia–are responsible for the current moment. Meanwhile, liberal anticommunist and anti-corruption movements have been quick to link socialism to authoritarianism and even fascism, reducing complex histories of actually existing socialism (and other historical socialisms) and communist internationalism to a retrograde stain on Western progress. In this paper we explore the rearrangement and reinterpretation of historic fascist, imperial, and racial contexts in the postsocialist present. We also think through how contemporary antifascist and anti-imperial scholar-activism is pushing back upon simplistic, reductive understandings of these histories and questions, interrogating liberal assumptions and transitional narratives.

Panel P162a
Can There Be an Antifascist Anthropology? [ANTHROFA Network Panel]
  Session 1 Friday 29 July, 2022, -