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CONFERENCE: Protagonists of Political Mythology
Sat 25 March 2017, 09:15 – 17:00 GMT
We are excited to introduce you to the conference:
Protagonists of Political Mythology: How Do Individuals and Collectives Become History?
This is a two-day event. Here you will find details for the first day (on Saturday 25th March), which takes place in the Strangers' Dining Room of the House of Commons and includes lunch in the Pugin Room.
*Please arrive by 9.30am to allow time to pass through security*
You are welcome to also join us for the second day of the conference, which takes place at the University of Westminster on Sunday 26th March. Tickets for the second day cost £10 and do not include lunch.
The concept of mythology relies not only on the content of mythic narratives, but also on the functions they perform. Within the political dimension, myth is a part of an ideological model, one that monopolises the meaning of the past by providing a retrospective, unilateral version of global, collective or individual history. Such mythological storytelling provides an identifcation pattern in which the narratives fascinate, instigate and then incorporate people through mimetic mechanisms of reproducing the content of their imagination. Such patterns of receiving, cognizing and reproducing can generate consciousness of the past within the present in order to implement a certain rendition of the future. As discredited states and governments have gradually lost their monopoly for myth forging, another type of mythic narrative emerges: conspiracy theories. This conference aims to elucidate the themes of myth and conspiracy in the world of politics and beyond.
Saturday 25th March
9.15 - 10.00 Registration and Refreshments
Please arrive by 9.30am to allow time to pass through security
10.00 Introduction and Keynote Roundtable
Narratives of Dissolution: The Collapse of the Soviet Empire from Four Insider Accounts
Chair: Prof. Alena Ledeneva
(University College London, UK)
Sir Rodric Braithwaite
(British Ambassador to the USSR and Russian Federation in Moscow, 1988-1991)
Dr. Gennady Burbulis
(Secretary of State of Russia, 1991-1992)
Dr. Andreas Meyer-Landrut
(West German Ambassador to the USSR in Moscow, 1980-1983; 1987-1989)
Prof. Stanislav Shushkevich
(First Head of State of Independent Belarus, 1991-1994) 12.15 - 13.15 Lunch
13.15 - 15.00 Panel 1.
Evolution of National Myth: From Soviet Past to Russian Present
Chair: Prof. Robert Service
(University of Oxford, UK)
Prof. Linda Cook
(Brown University, USA)
The Soviet Social Contract and its Contemporary Legacies
Dr. Philip Boobbyer
(University of Kent, UK)
The Bolshevik Myth and the Collapse of the Soviet Union
Prof. Mark Bassin
(Södertörn University, Sweden)
Lev Gumilev and the Soviet Roots of Historical Mythology in Russia
Prof. Mark Fenster
(University of Florida, USA)
From Hiss to Trump: Russian Conspiracy in the American Imaginary
15.00 - 15.15 Break and Refreshments
15.15 - 17.00 Panel 2.
Appropriating Identifcation: Spatial and Temporal Strategies
Chair: Prof. Chiara Bottici
(Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts, USA)
Dr. Helen Roche
(University of Cambridge, UK)
“Ultimate Palingenesis”? Nazism, Fascism and the Lure of Mythic Antiquity
Prof. Ilia Kalinin
(St. Petersburg State University, Russia)
Mythology of Oil and Historical Imagination in Contemporary Russia
Dr. Céline Righi
(London School of Economics, UK)
Politics of Fear: Imaginary and the Formation of the Nations’ Sense of Historicity
Dr. Simon Kaye
(King’s College London, UK)
Democracy as Mythology?