Konferenser 2017

International Conference "QUO VADIS UKRAINE? Taking Stock of a Quarter Century of Disappointment"

Date: 18-19 May, 2017
Place: Östra Ågatan 19, Brusewitz Hall, Uppsala University              

The purpose of the conference is to provide a multi-disciplinary outlook of Ukraine’s socio-economic and political development over its quarter-century independence history. Leading political scientists, historians, economists and sociologists from around the globe will draw on state-of-the-art research to explain driving forces, obstacles, and prospects of Ukraine’s state-building, democratic consolidation and economic restructuring.

Extremely rich endowments of natural and human resources, geographic location at a hub of East European exchanges, well-developed infrastructure and other valuable assets gave reasons to expect that an independent Ukraine would be well equipped for attaining post-Soviet prosperity. In reality, however, oligarchic capture, corruption and weak institutions, compounded by Russia’s recent hostile acts, severely obstructed Ukraine’s progress towards a viable market democracy. Several windows of opportunities, opened by achieving independence in 1991 and by the two Maidan Revolutions, in 2004 and 2014, have failed yet to produce functional economic and political institutions necessary for sustainable development.

The conference will explore the interplay of history, institutions, and society as factors shaping Ukraine’s past and present, and will build on such analysis to develop an informed and evidence-based outlook of the country’s future, reflecting successes and failures of the Ukrainian reforms up to date. 

The conference will be a unique opportunity to learn from distinguished social scientists and who’s who in Ukrainian studies about a country in the heart of Europe with a 45 million population, which has become critically important for stability, security and democratic development in Central and Eastern Europe and beyond.

Programme Day 1
Programme Day 2

For more information contact conference organizers Stefan Hedlund stefan.hedlund@ucrs.uu.se, Leonid Polishchuk  leonid.polishchuk@ucrs.uu.se or Igor Torbakov igor.torbakov@ucrs.uu.se

Admission is free of charge and open to the public.

The conference is arranged by the Uppsala Centre for Russian and Eurasian Studies with financial support from the Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences.  

International Conference "Conservatism in the Post-Soviet Context: Ideology, Worldview, or Moral Choice?"

Date: 8-9 May, 2017
Venue: UCRS, Gamla Torget 3, 3 floor, UCRS Library

Russian intellectual history has long been associated with right- and left-wing extremities, but in the last years Russia has become a showcase of a relatively moderate conservative and right-wing populist ideas. It might be a stretch to identify an originally Russian conservative ideology, but one can certainly speak of the ubiquity of the conservative political culture in present-day Russia. The conservative turn became especially visible during Vladimir Putin’s third presidential period, when the Russian leadership and intellectual elite explicitly point at conservatism as their ideological source of inspiration, and eagerly draw on ‘Political Orthodoxy’, discourses about traditional values, and unique Russian civilization. This conservative turn has not happened overnight but had been prepared by decades of the ideological work of the right-wing and pro-government think tanks and groups of intellectuals. Besides, there has always been an indigenous conservative tradition in Russia, which is being unearthed and recycled in our days. Russian conservatism does not exist in an intellectual vacuum; by contrast, there has always been a transit of conservative ideas from the West, or rather a dialogue between Russian and Western conservative intellectuals. Today, this dialogue boomerangs in a way, that has made Russia a major exporter of conservative concepts and visions across the globe.

Grounding on the empirical research in Russian intellectual history, the conference aims to refining our understanding of the ideology of conservatism by situating it within three planes of interpretation: history of ideas, popular visions, and moral-political reasoning. The conference will specifically discuss how conservatism as an ideology mediates the dilemma between modernization and authenticity; how the Russian Orthodox Church is contributing to the conservative ideology; how today’s conservative intellectuals make sense of the conservative tradition, formulate the conservative ideological canon, refer to Russian and Western conservative classics. By so doing, the conference will approach a theoretical examination of how conceptual constructs of Russian conservatives challenge the theoretical framing of an ideology.

Conference programme
Abstracts and bios

For more information contact conference organizer Mikhail Suslov mikhail.suslov@ucrs.uu.se

Admission is free of charge and open to the public.

The conference is arranged with financial support from the Uppsala Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Uppsala Forum on Democracy, Peace and Justice and the University of Innsbruck, the project ‘Postsecular conflicts’, financed by the Austrian Science Fund FWF START GRANT 2015 Y919 G22, and by the European Research Council ERC STG 2015 676804 (principal investigator Kristina Stoeckl)

International Symposium "The Gulag in Writings of Solzhenitsyn and Shalamov: Fact, Document, Fiction"

Date: 20-21 April, 2017
Place: Clasohnska gården, Uppsala

Alexander Solzhenitsyn and Varlam Shalamov are two of the best-known Gulag writers. After a short period of personal acquaintance, their lives and views on literature took different paths. Solzhenitsyn did not see a literary program in Shalamov’s works, which he describes as “a result of exhaustion”. By understanding the text as a “result”, Solzhenitsyn critically touched on a concept of evidence, which Shalamov several times emphasized as important to his own works. Instead of the text being a re-presentation, it should be an extract from or substitute for the real or the factual. At the same time, Solzhenitsyn, viewing his own task as one of restoring historical experiences of the Russian people, assumed the dual role of writer and historian, which inevitably raises the question of what characterizes the borders between ”fact” and ”fiction” in his works. It also raises question about dichotomies of historical and fictional truth.

This symposium aims to bring together Shalamov and Solzhenitsyn scholars in order to address a number of key themes and concepts such as fiction and fact, document and trace, memory, evidence, and authenticity.

Conference programme Day 1
Conference programme Day 2

Conference organizers: Fabian Heffermehl fabian.heffermehl@ilos.uio.no and Irina Karlsohn irina.karlsohn@ucrs.uu.se

An international conference organized by Uppsala Centre for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Dalarna University and University of Oslo with support from Sven och Dagmar Saléns stiftelse and Vera Sagers stiftelse.

International Conference "‘Russian World’ and Other Imaginary Places: (Geo) Political Themes in Post-Soviet Science Fiction and Utopias"

Date:  23-24 March, 2017
Venue: Museum Gustavianum, Auditorium Minus, Akademigatan 3

This conference looks at the post-Soviet Russian political culture through the prism of the utopian narratives, including various genres of science fiction, anti- and dystopias, fantasy, and utopias proper. Contemporary Russian fantastic fiction continuously expresses anxiety about territorial right-sizing of Russia, losing or regaining its imperial greatness, turning into the colony of the ‘West’ or redeeming the sense of historical importance and political prominence. Utopian imagination condenses political myths, metaphors, concepts and emotions, thereby giving us a better understanding of the Russian political culture. Indeed, Russian literary utopias have existed in symbiosis with such ideological projects as the ‘Russian World’, Eurasianism, and the idea of the ‘Russian civilization’. On a more ominous note, these visions spilled over purely literary fantasies and become implemented by armed hands in ‘Novorossia’. Utopian narratives dwell on Russia’s greatest selling points: territory, history, and language (culture at large). These components have become instrumental for post-Soviet Russian imperial thinking and political projecting, so in most cases, utopias offer visions of alternative territorial planning, alternative history, alternative language or a combination of them.

Conference programme Day 1
Conference programme Day 2
Abstracts and Bios

For more information e-mail Dr. Mikhail Suslov mikhail.suslov@ucrs.uu.se

Admission is free of charge and open to the public.

The conference is arranged by the Uppsala Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies with financial support from the Swedish Research Council.

International conference “Gender Shifts and Resource Politics in the Arctic”

Date: 21-23 February, 2017
Venue: Museum Gustavianum, Auditorium Minus, Akademigatan 3

Gender asymmetries and their manifold impacts have been the subject of debate among local communities, scholars, politicians, and international organizations. Empirical descriptions of gender asymmetries have thus far been local (or at best regional) and do not yet build up to a coherent circumpolar synthesis. A major goal of this conference is to consider each particular situation from a global Arctic perspective as well as to seek parallels outside the Arctic. Conference participants will investigate cases of gender asymmetries with diverse historical, environmental, political, social, religious and cultural characteristics. The conference aims to provide an understanding of the complex intersection of such processes in different locations, including the global and local forces influencing them, in order to build a comparative analytical framework.  

Conference programme Day 1
Conference programme Day 2
Conference programme Day 3

For more information contact Dr. Vladislava  Vladimirova vladislava.vladimirova@ucrs.uu.se 

The conference is organized by the Uppsala Centre for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology, Centre for Gender Studies, and Universität Hamburg. 

The conference is arranged with financial support from the Swedish Research Council and the Riksbankens Jubileumsfond.