Conference "Privacy outside Its 'Comfort Zone'"

Conference "Privacy outside Its 'Comfort Zone'"

Late Socialist Eastern and East-Central Europe between the Private and the Public

The conference will take place on December 8-10, 2017 at the University of Passau, Germany. It will be jointly sponsored by the Federal Foundation for the Study of the Communist Dictatorship in Eastern Germany and the DFG Research Training Group 1681/2 “Privacy and Digitalization” of the University of Passau.

Conference organizers:
Tatiana Klepikova
Lukas Edeler

“Privacy” is a well-researched yet highly disputed concept in Western scholarship. While most privacy research comes from and concentrates on Western liberal societies, great potential of privacy studies beyond this traditional framework still remains largely unexplored. The framework of Western liberal societies may therefore be seen not only as a “comfort zone” of privacy studies, but also as a barrier that often limits the potential of the research. This conference aims at elucidating the problems and the perspectives of privacy studies beyond the traditional liberal framework by bringing together scholars and PhD students who work on the concept of “privacy” in the context of Late Socialist Eastern and East-Central Europe.

Here you can download a flyer with the program and additional information.

In order to attend the conference, please pre-register by sending an e-mail at no later than November 30.

Conference Program

Friday, December 8                           




Organizers' greetings and opening remarks

17.15-18.45Lewis Siegelbaum, Michigan State University
Kak u sebia doma: The Personal, the Private and the Question of Privacy in State Socialist Societies



Saturday, December 9        
09.00-11.00Fluid Borders between the Private and the Public
Discussant: David Gillespie, University of Bath

Christina Jüttner, Ruhr University Bochum

The Private and the Public in the Life Writing of Soviet Russian Dissenters (1960s-1980s)

Agnieszka Sadecka, Jagiellonian University in Kraków

The Subversive Force of Everyday Life: Private Becoming Public in Polish Reportage from Socialism

Irina Souch, University of Amsterdam

Without Whitnesses: Privacy and the Normal Life in Late Soviet Cinema


Coffee break


Music, Youth and Private Practices

Discussant: Rüdiger Ritter, Chemnitz University of Technology

Andra-Octavia Drăghiciu, University of Graz

When the Private Meets the Public: Youth and Private Life in the Last Decade of the Romanian Socialist Republic

Claudiu Oancea, New Europe College

Rocking Out Within Oneself: Rock and Jazz Music between Private and Public in Late Socialist Romania

Xawery Sta
ńczyk, Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences
'There's No Silence in a Block of Flats': Fluid Border between Private and Public Spheres in Representations and Practices of Punks in Socialist Poland




The State, the Self, and Society: Dynamic Relationships

Discussant: Tatiana Klepikova, University of Passau

Éva Forgács, ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, CA
Passages between Private and Public in Late Communist Hungary

Mirja Lecke, Ruhr University Bochum
Privacy, Political Agency and Construction of the Self in Texts Written by Dissidents

Vytautas Starikovi
čius, Vilnius University
Silenced Disability in Public and Political Discourses in Soviet Lithuania: Law, Ideology and Biopolitics


Coffee Break


Privacy and Identity in Crime and Law Discourses

Discussant: Lewis Siegelbaum, Michigan State University

Lesia Kulchynska, National Academy of Sciences
Construction of Personality Through the Crime Narratives of Late Soviet Cinema

Lucia Moravanská, Masaryk University
Spousal Murders and the Disruption of the Private Sphere in Czechoslovak Criminological Discourse after 1968

Abigail Bratcher, University of Chicago
Comrades' Courts in Khrushchev's Russia: A Gendered Reading

Sunday, December 10                                   
09.00-11.00On Both Sides of Surveillance

Discussant: Natali Stegmann, University of Regensburg

Thomas Goldstein, University of Central Missouri
Privacy as a Weapon? The Mysterious Health of Hermann Kant

Krisztina Slachta, Historical Archive of the Hungarian State Security
Summer in the Socialism: Holiday under Control

Jon Berndt Olsen, University of Massachusetts
Cars, Cottages, and Camping: Tourism and Personal Freedom in East Germany


Coffee break


Roundtable: Late Socialist Eastern and East-Central Europe between the Private and the Public
Lewis Siegelbaum, Michigan State University
David Gillespie, University of Bath
Rüdiger Ritter, Chemnitz University of Technology
Natali Stegmann, University of Regensburg
Juliane Fürst, University of Bristol