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Discourses of Hate

Discourses of Hate, Old and New, in East Central Europe

Intolerance, exclusion and various other forms of group politics are universal features of societies. Since the rise of the mass society, it has often been argued, such practices have taken on novel forms with both the intensity and the extent of political violence – physical or structural – potentially increasing with technological change and increasingly robust machineries for deploying power in society. Despite the quasi-omnipresence of political violence and extremism across regions and eras, Central Europe no doubt is a region of the world meriting special investigation due to being at the same time a composite of relatively developed states and at the same time the site of sustained periods of intense political violence and oppression in the 20th century. Also, as it is becoming apparent, in East Central Europe, right wing populism advocating state or private violence against parts of society has gained a renewed lease of life.
The workshop is structured around the broad question of how the matrix of discourses of hate and political violence has manifested itself in the political and social history, as well as the present, of the region. More specifically, are there continuities between forms of exclusion and violence across eras? Are we seeing, in investigating contemporary phenomena, a recurrence of past logics of hate from the previous century? What was the impact of four decades of state socialism and its radical enlightenment ideology on political imaginaries of the right and of the left? And finally, how are we to interpret current radicalisms native to the region in terms of political potential? Panelists, who represent different fields of expertise, seek to contribute to an answer to these questions.
Balázs Ablonczy, director, Hungarian Cultural Institute, Paris, former Ranki Chair of Hungarian Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington.
The 1930s New Right in Hungary, regional and national characteristics and the validity of parallels with the present
György Dragomán, author, winner of the Jan Michelski Prize in 2011 for his novel The White King
The conundrum and legacy of nationality and state socialism in the Eastern Bloc
Attila Pók, István Deák Visiting Professor, Columbia University

The discourse and logic of scapegoating in political imaginaries
Sylvana Habdank-Kołaczkowska, project director, Nations in Transit, Freedom House

The re-emergence of right wing radicalism in former Eastern bloc countries after 1989

Standing reception to follow.


Sep 19.
- Sep 19.
Atelier Walks: Disney Sculptures
Online (HCCNY Facebook)


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