Socialisms and Postsocialisms in a Global Context forum

Hilary Term 2019 / Thursdays (week 3 & 7), Convened by Dace Dzenovska & Nicolette Makovicky

The Royal Oak, Woodstock Road, Oxford OX2 6HT

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We are pleased to continue our Socialisms and Postsocialisms in a Global Context forum in Hilary 2019.

The forum began in Michaelmas 2017 with the purpose of creating a space of intellectual exchange for those students and faculty members interested in or working on socialisms and postsocialisms worldwide. Our initial aim was to seek out such scholars and students across Oxford's departments and colleges and to create a lose network of shared interest. We ran an informal and lively set of work-in-progress seminars which showcased ongoing research by doctoral, post-doctoral, and senior researchers and opened up for fascinating discussions of African socialisms and postsocialisms, and about the global connections of the Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc during the Cold War. After such intensive discussions, we began the 2018-19 academic year with a film program that took place in Michaelmas 2018.

For Hilary 2019, we would like to roll up our sleeves and get reading. This term we would like to invite participants to come together and discuss recent key texts that engage with socialism and postsocialism over a glass of wine or a pint. That way, we hope to consolidate not only a community of scholars, but an analytical agenda. The sessions are open to both students and scholars, and we’d particularly like to invite Msc, MPhil,and Dphil students from Area Studies, Anthropology, History and other related disciplines to join us.

We propose to begin the Hilary term by reading Katherine Verdery's My Life as a Spy, a book in which Katherine Verdery analyses her own Securitate file and reflects on ethnographic method as a form of spying. The book shows how a socialist perspective can prove analytically useful for thinking about theory and method beyond its immediate context.

Other texts for future meetings might include Mike McGovern's A Socialist Peace? and Heonik Kwon’s The Other Cold War, but we are more than happy to take suggestions from participants.

This approach would require some commitment, and we hope that there will be willing participants among you. We would be very grateful, if you could indicate your willingness to participate by writing to us at and

The first session will take place on Thursday of Week 3 and the second session on Thursday of Week 7. Both sessions will take place at 15:30 in The Royal Oak pub. Please let Dace and Nicolette know, if you'd like to attend.

Nicolette Makovicky, Oxford School of Global and Area Studies (OSGA)
Dace Dzenovska, School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography (SAME)