Research Committee on the History of Sociology Interim Conference
Warsaw, 6-8 July 2016
ORGANIZERS AND FUNDING SUPPORT
International Sociological Association, Research Committee on History of Sociology
Institute of Sociology, University of Warsaw
Faculty ‘Artes Liberales’, University of Warsaw
Polish Sociological Association
Peter Baehr, Janusz Mucha, Jennifer Platt, Antoni Sułek, Stephen Turner, Raf Vanderstraeten, Per Wisselgren
Marta Bucholc, Jarosław Kilias, João Marcelo Ehlert Maia, Jakub Motrenko (Secretary), Joanna Wawrzyniak
ADDITIONAL FUNDING SUPPORT
Faculty of Philosophy and Sociology, University of Warsaw
Rector of the University of Warsaw
University of Warsaw Foundation
Ministry of Science and Higher Education, Republic of Poland
CALL FOR PAPERS
During three days of conference proceedings in Warsaw, a hectic building site of collective memory since the 1989 breakthrough, we would like to discuss the memory of social sciences, and we suggest “Monuments, relics and revivals” to be the main themes of our meeting.
Monuments are figures, works, concepts and ideas which are impressive and overwhelming, but no longer alive. Nevertheless, they continue to occupy a substantial area of our understanding of the history of social science. We leave that area untouched for fear of trespassing. We let the monuments be, because our theoretical habits and research practices evolve around them. Their centrality endows them with a splendour of uncontested timelessness. We invite you to think about monuments in various sociological traditions, the ways in which they are erected and demolished, their stubborn resistance to time and their volatile, malleable meanings.
Despite their semantic flexibility, sometimes monuments are wrecked and their traces wiped out. But they may also linger, useless but not quite forgotten. The reasons may vary from intellectual laziness, conservative mindset of subsequent generations, political demands of the moment, retrospective affirmative actions in the history of thought and many others. The result, however, is always the same: in every époque of social thought, there are relics. They might be holy relics, sanctified by a long standing common practice or raised to sacrum in a spur of a moment. They might be monuments of old, just deprived of their centrality by a new turn of the tide. But they may also be leftovers of previous ideas, which we do not incorporate into our own, but which we are reluctant to get rid of completely.
However, besides monuments and relics, which are residual, there are also ideas and theories which we find in the past precisely in order to grant them new vitality by including them in our present. Revivification of the old is a constant process in any academic practice. But those revivals which are consciously planned and carried out may best demonstrate the multiple potential of sociological tradition. From a historian’s point of view, a revival is usually both preposterous and anachronistic. Nonetheless, in every revival, the historical perspective comes to the fore. We believe that our times are marked by a general tendency to revive portions of our intellectual past and to reinterpret them in the spirit of contemporary debates, and would welcome your insights on this intellectual tendency.
While sessions and talks related to monuments, relics and revivals will be particularly welcome during this conference, we also invite all talks on topics related to the RCHS activities, and we do not set any limitations on the subject of thematic sessions or papers.
CONFERENCE PROGRAMME AND BOOK OF ABSTRACTS
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