International conference "Eurasia 2.0: Post-Soviet Geopolitics and New Media"
Date: 3-4 November, 2014
Place: Museum Gustavianum and Main University Building
This conference aims to start a research project on the media and geopolitics in post-Soviet space. It inquires into ways in that the media, especially the ‘new media’, based on the ‘Web 2.0’ technologies of the Internet communication, negotiates geopolitical identities and fosters spatial collectivities in Russia and other post-Soviet countries.
Scholars and policy-makers have always been aware of the role of the media in shaping our perception of space, borders, center-periphery relations, and national affinities. The media coverage considerably affects ways in which geopolitical conflicts unfold, and provides great leverage for those in power for the purpose of propaganda, ‘soft-power’ and re-branding of a country.
However, the interaction between the media and geopolitics is much more complex than simply instrumentalization of the media for geopolitical purposes; this interaction is not unidirectional, and it goes on deeper levels of identity-making. The Internet-based communication technologies may be instrumental in hands of the ruling elites, but they have their own dynamic, agency and potential to nurture autonomy, de-centralization, and participation. If the broadcast television is often criticized for transforming society into a loosely connected agglomerate of passive spectators, the web-based social media can mobilize civic activism and create an unprecedented geopolitical environment, in which borders are porous, identities hybrid and multiple, national affinities contested and deterritorialized.
What makes the conference especially innovative is its focus on the mediated geopolitics in the post-Soviet space. Specificity of the post-Soviet ‘case’ consists in persistence of the imperial legacy in organization of space and territory in this region. This imperial ‘debris’ includes an enormous Russian-speaking diaspora which is estimated to be up to 27 million people worldwide, extraordinary cultural heterogeneity, colossal territorial expanses, relative weakness of national identities and nation-state coherence, and abundant supplies of imperial memories and nostalgia.
The conference was organized with generous financial support from the Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences (Riksbankens Jubileumsfond).
International conference "Kazakhstan Beyond Economic Success. Exploring Social and Cultural Changes in Eurasia"
Date: 13-14 June, 2014
Place: Gamla torget 3, Uppsala University
In a single decade, Kazakhstan has become one of the showcases of Central Asia, sometimes even of the entire Eurasian space. The country’s burgeoning economy is impressive; it produces two-thirds of the GDP of all of Central Asia, is not far behind Russia in terms of GDP per inhabitant, and has successfully branded itself on the international arena. The country has adopted a so-called multi-vectorial foreign policy, including a strategic alliance with Russia, a growing partnership with China, and good relations with the United States and Europe. Paradoxically, whereas Kazakhstan is enjoying time in the limelight on the international stage and arouses the interest of business communities in Europe and the United States, scholarly research on Kazakhstan remains less visible than that existing on some other Central Asian countries, such as Kyrgyzstan or Uzbekistan. No conference has ever been organized in order to update the state of research on Kazakhstan, and scholars have no platform on which to exchange their ideas and hypotheses. This conference filled this gap by providing a space for peer-discussion, and consolidated a cohort of young and mid-career experts who have the capacity and intellectual networks to renew policy communities and standards of practice, improve training and generate innovative research.
The conference was arranged with generous financial support from Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (RJ).
The conference was arranged in cooperation with IERES. Organizors: Johan Engvall and Marlene Laruelle.
International conference "Translation in Russian Contexts: Transcultural, Translingual and Transdisciplinary Points of Departure"
Date: 3-7 June, 2014
Place: University Main Building and Museum Gustavianum
This conference explored the theory, practice and history of translation in various Russian contexts. By bringing together leading scholars within the fields of Slavic Studies and Translation Studies, the conference transcended traditional disciplinary boundaries and aimed to illuminate the many aspects of Russian translation from a variety of scholarly perspectives.
The field of Translation Studies has recently seen a broadening of geographical frameworks. Attention has shifted from largely Eurocentric concerns to non-European areas and traditions. However, only recently have Russia and Eastern Europe – Europe’s ‘internal Other’ – been recognized as a distinct ‘translation zone’ with complex historical and social contexts, transcultural and translingual mediations and formative processes. Much work remains to be done, particularly in relation to the vast space successively occupied by the Russian empire, the Soviet Union and the Russian Federation – a geographical area that has seen multifaceted, large-scale translation activities, as well as a long history of sophisticated theoretical reflection, both of which are little known outside its boundaries. This blind spot within Translation Studies has its counterpart within the field of Slavic Studies, where phenomena related to translation and their significance for cultural production remain understudied. This conference set out to fill this gap by focusing on translation in Russian contexts from a variety of theoretical perspectives.
The conference also explored the phenomena of translingualism and transculturality in relation to various practices and theoretical conceptions of translation. This is of particular relevance due to the heterogeneous ethnic makeup of authors writing in Russian and to the successive waves of emigration to the West. On the basis of Russian-related material, the conference examined the implications of translingual literature and transculturality for the field of Translation Studies.
Conference otganizors: Julie Hansen and Susanna Witt.
For further information, please visit conference website.
Symposium "WTO and Russia; What Can We Expect? Economic, Legal and Political Implications"
Datum: 3 april, 2014
Plats: Brusewitzsalen, Gamla torget 6, 3 vån, kl.09:00-16:30
After 18 years of negotiations Russia has finally become the member of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Russia is an important trading partner for many countries, especially for Europe and Scandinavia. The aim of this symposium is to discuss Russia's WTO membership from economic, political and legal perspective. Issues to be discussed include, for instance, how Russia’s membership affects its foreign trade in general, its exports of oil and gas, and the possibility of foreign investments in Russia. An overarching issue is whether the WTO can serve as a catalyst for change within Russian bureaucracy and legal system. Speakers at the symposium will discuss these and other issues from both practical and theoretical perspectives.
Symposiet arrangerades av UCRS och Juridiska institutionen vid Uppsala universitet. För mer information, vänligen kontakta arrangören Kaj Hobér firstname.lastname@example.org.