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COST Actions

New Exploratory Phase in Research on East European Cultures of Dissent

COST Association COST Action CA16213
Resistance and dissent in former socialist Europe 1945-1989 constitutes a remarkable chapter of Europe’s recent past, which not only informs in a decisive way the identities of post-socialist societies but has also reshaped the continent as a whole and still provides an important reference for contemporary social movements worldwide.The proposers of this Action believe that, after a period of growth and consolidation, this field of study and the respective domain of cultural heritage have stalled and fell short of its true significance. This state of affairs results from (1) the inheritance of Cold War-era conceptual distinctions, (2) confinement of research within national silos and (3) neglecting the problem of access to original archival sources for digitally enabled research due to both their heterogeneity and uneven investment in research infrastructures.The main aim of the Action is to trigger the next discovery phase of this legacy through forging a new, reflexive approach and providing a platform for incubating networked, transnational, multidisciplinary and technology-conscious research with creative dissemination capacities.The Action will create a valuable interface for communication between three communities of practice: researchers and archivists, art and cultural heritage curators and IT experts with humanities and social sciences expertise in order for future research to be technologically advanced and better disseminated. The Action will enable participant researchers to train with cutting-edge digital tools, and to increase their capacities for creative dissemination through engaging in productive dialogue with art and cultural heritage curators, proposing best practices of cooperation between those three communities of practice.

New Materialism: Networking European Scholarship on ‘How Matter Comes to Matter’

COST Actions – Individuals, Societies, Cultures and Health (ISCH) – IS 1307
Scholars presently exploring “how matter comes to matter” call themselves new or neo-materialists. They do radically interdisciplinary research based on the conviction that the current economic, ecological and political crises as well as technological advances and everyday practices do not allow a conception of “matter” as (an) object(s) that could be captured along traditional disciplinary lines. Stock market crashes, earthquakes and the increasing complexification of political and social systems (and their breakdowns) demonstrate active interventions of materials previously regarded mute or socially constructed. Meaning-making “to matter” does not occur only in the linguistic frameworks academic research applies to phenomena and crises in a retrograde move. The current European new materialist scene is vibrant but remains largely dispersed compared to the U.S.A., which dominates discussions at the moment. This Action wants to network European new materialisms: how do they look, and what can they innovate?

2014 – 2018.

Populist Political Communication in Europe: Comprehending the Challenge of Mediated Political Populism for Democratic Politic

COST Actions – Individuals, Societies, Cultures and Health (ISCH) – IS1308
This Action brings together researchers to investigate populist political communication and its impact on democratic political life across Europe. This is necessary not only in light of recent populist backlashes in many democracies against governments and political and economic developments, but also in respect to changes in national media and communication systems. In order to comprehend this poorly understood aspect of contemporary political communication this Action will examine three interconnected but distinct aspects of populist political communication: First, populist political communicators and their strategies. Second, the media and populist discourses and frames. Third, citizen’s engagement with populist political messages and the effect of these messages. This Action will provide a thorough critical review of existing knowledge, much improved research co-ordination, widen co-operation between scholars, bridge gaps in existing knowledge and strengthen dialogue with various societal stakeholders, benefiting media organizations, NGOs and policy actors as well as the wider scientific community.

2014 – 2018.

In search of transcultural memory in Europe (ISTME)

COST Actions – Individuals, Societies, Cultures and Health (ISCH) – IS1203
This Action aims to go beyond the nationally oriented memory studies that tend to reify the bond between culture, nation and memory. Instead we investigate the transcultural dynamics of memory in Europe today. Studying how memories of the troubled twentieth century are transmitted and received across Europe, the Action explores the tension between attempts to create a common European memory, or a unitary memory ethics, on the one hand and numerous memory conflicts stemming from Europe’s fragmentation into countless memory communities on the other.

Drawing on recent theoretical insights that point to the importance of memory migration, mediation and new media the Action seeks to develop new methods for studying and comparing effects of memory transmission over cultural borders. The Action aims to develop European memory studies theoretically and methodologically by focusing on transculturality, agency and reception – and to contribute to finding ways of accommodating memory conflicts.

2012 – 2016.

 Investigating Cultural Sustainability

COST Actions – Individuals, Societies, Cultures and Health (ISCH) – S I1007
Due to its broad definition and understanding “culture” can be regarded as a fundamental issue, even a precondition to be met on the path towards Sustainable Development (SD) that is necessary to get to grips with in our various European societies. Yet the theoretical and conceptual understanding of culture within the general frames of sustainability remains vague. Consequently, the role of culture in the political framework of sustainable development is poorly operationalised. Therefore, the ultimate goal of this proposed COST-Action is to increase understanding of and determine the role of culture in SD based on multidisciplinary principles.

2011 – 2015.