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CONFERENCE: Protagonists of Political Mythology

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University of Westminster

309 Regent Street



United Kingdom

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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 second day (on Sunday 26th March), which takes place in the Boardroom of the Univeristy of Westminster.

You are welcome to also join us for the first day of the conference, which takes place in the Strangers' Dining Room of the House of Commons on Saturday 25th March. Tickets for the first day cost £50 and include lunch in the Pugin Room.

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.


Sunday 26th March

9.30 - 10.00 Registration and Refreshments

10.00 – 11.45 Panel 3:

From Martyrs to Elites: Individuals and Groups Make History

Chair: Prof. Judith Pallot

(University of Oxford, UK)

Dr. Iain Lauchlan

(University of Edinburgh, UK)

The Death of Felix Dzerzhinsky: Conspiracy and Martyrdom in the USSR

Dr. Sarah Thieme

(Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Germany)

The Martyr of the National Socialist: How Dead SA-Troopers Became History

Dr. Uilleam Blacker

(University College London, UK)

Urban Martyrology in Kyiv and Warsaw: Meaningful Deaths, Public Space and the Other in the Cultures of Poland and Ukraine

Dr. Dina Gusejnova

(University of Sheffield, UK)

Let Bygones Be? The Influence of Non-Governing Elites in Times of Transition (Germany, 1918-33, and Russia, 1991-2000)

11.45 - 12.45 Lunch (Lunch will be provided for Chairs and Presenters)

12.45 – 14.15 Keynote Interview

The End of an Empire and the Birth of a Country:

An Interview with the First President of Ukraine

Mr. Leonid Kravchuk

(1st President of Ukraine 1991-1994)

Prof. Robert Service

(University of Oxford, UK)

14.15 – 14.30 Break and Refreshments

14.30 - 16.30 Panel 4:

Conspiracy Theories: Reason and Belief in the Construction of Oppositional Narratives

Chair: Prof. James Fallon

(University of California Irvine, Dept Psychiatry, School of Medicine, USA)

Dr. Andrew McKenzie-McHarg

(University of Cambridge, UK)

Conceptual Uncertainty: Conspiracy Theories or Conspiracy Myths?

Prof. Dmitry Kaledin

(Independent University of Moscow)

Collapse of the USSR: Conspiracy and Hard Science

Mr. Matthew Blackburn

(University of Glasgow, UK)

The Russian Collective Memory: Golden Eras of Stability and the Trauma of Collapse

Dr. Ilya Yablokov

(University of Leeds, UK)

"The Triumph of Russia's Enemies": The Conspiratorial Myth of The Soviet Collapse in post-Soviet Politics

Prof. Joseph Uscinski

(University of Miami, USA)

American Conspiracy Theories: Epistemology and Conspiracy Panics, 1776 – 2017

16:30 – 16:45

Closing Speech by Prof. Jan Kubik

(University College London, UK)

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University of Westminster

309 Regent Street



United Kingdom

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