27th January 2014

Consumption and Economic Crises: Post-Socialist Experiences

 Call for papers

Abstracts are invited for a workshop to be held October 9th-10th 2014 at the National Research University, Higher School of Economics, on experiences of the global financial crises in post-socialist countries. This conference explores Russian and post-socialist experiences of consumption, economic life and consumer cultures in the first decades of the 21st century, focusing on three aspects of urban post-socialist consumer cultures: contemporary consumption practices and economic lives; how these practices are shaped by migration and access to new financial services and institutions; and Russian experiences and understandings of global, regional and local economic crises. Post-socialist countries, and Russia in particular, are home to fully articulated consumer cultures that are configured differently from those of American and European consumer capitalist cultures. One of the goals of this conference is to explore disjunctions and continuities between consumer cultures and experiences of ‘crisis’ within and between post-socialist countries, and post-socialist and other countries.

We are pleased to announce our keynote speakers: Alya Guseva (Boston University) and Olga Shevchenko (Williams College). Alya Guseva is the author of Into the Red: The Birth of the Credit Card Market in Postcommunist Russia (Stanford University Press, 2008) and coauthor of Plastic Markets: Constructing Markets for Credit Card in Eight Postcommunist Countries (Stanford University Press, 2014). Olga Shevchenko is the author of Crisis and the Everyday in Postsocialist Moscow (Indiana University Press, 2009).

Possible paper topics include, but are not limited to:

  • what constitutes a ‘crisis’, global or local, in countries with decades of economic turbulence
  • changing notions of ‘the good life’ and luxury
  • youth consumer cultures, both emerging ones and those linked to Soviet pasts
  • migrant labour and local economies
  • money recirculation, remittances and budgeting
  • ‘suitcase trade(s)’ and informal transport of goods across borders
  • intersections between ethnicity, gender and economic life
  • local framings of credit and debt or use of new and old financial services and institutions
  • informal finance and business, social networks and ‘corruption’

Submit abstracts of 450 words by March 15th 2014 to


We aim to notify those who have submitted abstracts before April 5th.

For further details: www.everydayeconomies.net/workshop