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REVISITING STATE SOCIALISM VII

March 28, 2024, 7 pm.
tranzit. ro/Cluj, 16 Napoca str., Cluj-Napoca

We invite you to join our series of conferences at tranzit.ro/Cluj partnered by Babeș-Bolyai University in Cluj under the project Philosophy in Late Socialist Europe: Theoretical Practices in the Face of Polycrisis.

The seventh meeting is chaired by Siyaves Azeri.

Una Blagojević
„Post-War ‘Crisis of Marxism’: Insights from Yugoslav Marxist Revisionists”
In my talk, I discuss the ‘crisis of Marxism’ and ‘crisis of socialism’ by looking at the example of Yugoslav Marxist Revisionists. Their discourses of crisis encompassed debates on the crisis of epistemology, the crisis of subjectivity, and the crisis of philosophy taking place in Western European intellectual circles. The disorientation and atomization of the human being—phenomena they adopted and adjusted from the analysis of Western technological societies—inevitably led to a disintegration of Yugoslav society, alongside the latent growth of ethnonational affirmations in the early 1970s. I point out how their conceptual framework of crisis facilitated the adoption of integral ethnonationalist philosophical and political positions.

Martin Küpper
„How to invent a science? Aesthetics in the GDR”
In the 1980s, Wolfgang Heise asked a question that was quite remarkable – "What problems need aesthetics?" This question is significant because it helps to define the purpose of a science or academic discipline, as well as determine its subject matter. When Heise posed his question to his colleagues in the Cultural Studies/Aesthetics section at Humboldt University in Berlin, they were perplexed. This is because aesthetics had already existed as an independent academic discipline for almost 20 years, with its teaching materials, monographs, essays, review system, teaching staff, and academic cadres. Aesthetics was closely linked to the arts and cultural studies, and even artists and writers dealt with the results of aesthetics in various forms. However, Heise's question was still irritating because it seemed to suggest that the previous search for what makes aesthetics unique had come to a dead end. Did the scientists not know what they were doing and why? Or had the focus merely shifted or evaporated? Was aesthetics now just a purely academic, theoretical-abstract mind game without any practical purpose, which the GDR afforded itself to keep up internationally? In light of Heise's question, this lecture will explore the problems that led to the founding of aesthetics in the 1960s, as well as how aesthetics attempted to resolve them institutionally and academically.

This program was created in the framework of the "Philosophy in Late Socialist Europe: Theoretical Practices in the Face of Polycrisis" project, financed by the European Union – NextgenerationEU and the Romanian Government, through the National Reconstruction and Resilience Plan for Romania, contract nr. 760044//23.05.2023, code PNRR-C9-I8-CF104/15.11.2022, through Component 9, Investment I8 of the Ministry of Research, Innovation and Digitalization.

The main partner of tranzit.ro is ERSTE Stiftung.

More information at:
Stefan Baghiu
stefan.baghiu@ulbsibiu.ro
Alex Cistelecan
altcistelecan@gmail.com