[UK] Protagonists of Political Mythology: How do Individuals and Collectives become History?

House of Commons, The Palace of Westminster / University of Westminister

25.03.2017 – 26.03.2017

The concept of mythology relies not only on the content of mythic narratives, but also on the functions they perform. Within a 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 identification pattern, in which the narratives fascinate, instigate and then incorporate people through mimetic mechanisms of reproducing the content in their imagination. Such patterns of receiving, cognising and reproducing, can generate a collective consciousness of the past within the present in order to implement a certain rendition of the future.

Among the politicised models of recent centuries, we hear of the figures of a messianic revolutionary proletarian in the Soviet Union, a supreme race of Aryans in national-socialist Germany, and broader senses of transnational, incorporeal, theological capital. As discredited states and governments have gradually lost their monopoly for myth-forging, another type of mythic narrative emerges: conspiracy theories. This widespread means of interpreting the past and foreseeing the future reaches a multiplicity of domains with far-reaching consequences. This conference aims to elucidate the themes of myth and conspiracy in the world of politics and beyond.

Topics of the conference may include but are not limited to:

Religious roots of democratic, communist and national-socialist ideologies
Myth in the foundation and dissolution of unions, states and nations
– Suggestive politics and falsifications of history
– Conspiracy theories from the Middle Ages to Post-modernity
– Spiritual and political minorities: religious dissidents to clandestine parties
– Problem of verification: interpreting events in History and Political Science
– Individual memories and retrospective interpretations of the political past
– Ideologies in the 21st century: another return to neo-archaism?

At this event, there will be a roundtable with some of the politicians and diplomats, who actively participated in the process of the USSR dissolution, or paid witness to it as close observers.

The conference is free of charge. Hotel accommodation will be provided for the presenters and we will also aim to fully cover, or subsidise, travel expenses.

Enquiries should be directed to the organiser, Dr. Charlotte Shaw, at: londonconferences@gmail.com

Applying to Present:

Please submit your proposal of a maximum of 300 words and a short CV to: Dr. Charlotte Shaw at: londonconferences@gmail.com by the deadline of 26th February 2017.

Presenters will be allotted 15 minutes for their presentations.

This event is organised in association with the School of History, University of East Anglia.

Other conferences in this series include:

IMPORT AND EXPORT OF THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION: TRANSNATIONAL EXCHANGE OF IDEOLOGIES, POLITICS, COMMUNITIES

25th – 26th February 2017; London School of Economics and Political Science

ETHOS OF EXTREMISM: SPIRITUAL VALUES AND PRAGMATIC VIOLENCE

29th – 30th April 2017; London

THE FUTURE OF POWER: HIERARCHIES, STATES, WARS, REVOLUTIONS

20th – 21st May 2017; London