International conference «The layered cake of neighbourness: the neighbourness so close, so distant, and so diverse…

On April 18-20, 2019, the Center for Independent Sociological Research with the support of the Koné Foundation (Finland) is holding an international conference dedicated to the phenomena of neighbourhood and neighbourness in their various manifestations and scales. On the one hand, the theme of neighbourhood and neighbor relationships is rather traditional and evokes consistent interest. On the other hand, nowadays this phenomenon becomes more and more complicated and diverse — it acquires new forms (for example, co-living, digital format of communication, etc.), includes new agents and institutionalized intermediaries (insurance companies, rental agencies), and constantly transforms following new arrangements of housing and cohabitation, new life styles, and new technologies. Social research on neighbouring also becomes more attentive and nuanced, bringing to the fore the role of sounds and smells or non-humans (such as cars) in the production of neighbourness. At the conference we hope to reveal and discuss such transformations and address some of the new forms of «the old» theme.

We are in interested in discussing how the cultures and practices of neighbouring has been changing through time in the post-Soviet space; how neighbour relationships and the role of the Neighbour figure has been transforming.

Neighbourness as a phenomenon with an explicit spatial dimension can be observed at different scales. At the conference, we would like to step beyond the scale of ‘close’ co-habitation and discuss neighbourness in the neighbourhoods of various scales: in a village, in a metropolitan city, at a national level (border neighbourness).

The theme of neighbourness is initially interdisciplinary and attracts scholars of different research and disciplinary backgrounds. We invite ethnographers, anthropologists, sociologists, and historians to take part in the conference.

These are some of the themes to be discussed at the conference:

– variety of approaches and conceptual frameworks in the studies on neighbourness: neighbourness as the redefining of public/private boundaries; solidarities and conflicts of neighbourness; social diversity and co-existence/co-habitation/co-presences in a neighbourhood;

– «Help yourself», «Who if not us…»: mobilized neighbourness as a form of civic society;

– contemporary transformation of the phenomenon and new forms of neighbourhoods: digital neighbourhoods, new practices of neighbouring (sharing, co-living), intermediaries in neighbour relationships;

– infrastructure and neighbour economy;

– neighbourness through time: the influence of historic memory on neighbour relationships;

– neighbourness in artistic metaphors and contemporary art.

Please send your paper proposals to bred8@yandex.ru by November, 15, 2018. The proposals should include an abstract (300 words) and a CV (3 pages or less).

The working languages of the conference are Russian and English.

We will be very grateful for your help in circulating this call.