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Våren 2017

Plats: Gamla Torget 3, tredje våningen, biblioteket
Tid: Tisdagar, 15.15-17.00 (om inget annat är meddelat)

24 jan Maxim Demin (S:t Petersburg): “The Philosophy in Transition: the Professional Identity of Late Soviet and Post-Soviet Philosophers”. Ordförande: Elena Namli. Språk: engelska

The situation in philosophy as an academic discipline in post-Soviet era seems to be paradoxical. The official Soviet philosophy that played a very specific role in the Soviet system of science and education has been discredited. This process is very obvious when you look at the changes of the curriculum. The philosophy teaching increased dramatically. According to statistics, the number of universities in the Russian Federation that offer educational programs in the field of philosophy increased to 2011 almost 10 times in the post-Soviet period: from 5 to 47.

The goal of the project is to collect and to analyze a case of self-presentation and self-description of those who was in charge in field of professional philosophers during 1980-2010. I will focus on the way of describing of near past and current situation in philosophy in Russian and Western philosophy. It is interesting to see how a dichotomy of domesticated/foreign, ideology engaged/professional autonomy is conceptualized. Maxim Demin aims to analyze the understanding of relations between professionals in philosophy, political authority and public interest by post-Soviet philosophers.

Maxim Demin is Associate Professor at St. Petersburg School of Social Sciences and Humanities, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Russia. His areas of interest are the history of academic communities and studies in the field of higher education.

31 jan Judith Pallot (University of Oxford): “Remembering the Gulag: Official versions”. Ordförande: Stefan Hedlund. Språk: engelska  

Vladimir Putin’s recent call in his December 1st speech to the Federal Assembly for  ’conciliation’ to be the theme for the hundredth centenary of the 1917 Revolution, reflects a position that has underpinned official constructions of the Soviet past for the past twenty years and that, latterly,  has been growing in confidence.  In her presentation, Prof. Pallot will compare how Stalin’s Gulag is remembered in state institutions, not as the centre, but in the peripheries.  Prof. Pallot takes her examples from regional prison authorities and regional (краеведческие) museums funded by local authorities and examines how the gulag is incorporated (or not) into their histories and to what extent they reproduce (or contest) official narratives emanating from the centre.

Judith Pallot, is Professor Emeritus at the University of Oxford. She has been researching The Soviet Union and Russian Federation since the early 1970s publishing on the pre-revolutionary peasantry, Soviet spatial planning, post-Soviet rural survival strategies and latterly, the Russian Prison System. She has written numerous articles in scholarly journals on imprisonment in Russia and the former Soviet Union and has published two books:    'Gender, Geography and Punishment: Women's experiences of Carceral Russia' (OUP, 2012) with Laura Piacentini  and "Waiting at the Prison Gate: Women, Identity and Punishment in Russia" (IB Tauris, 2016) with Elena Katz.  She is currently President of the British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies.

1 feb (OBS! kl. 12:00) Boklansering där Professor Judith Pallot diskuterar Leo Granbergs and Ann-Mari Sätres nyutgivna bok "The Other Russia: Local Experience and Societal Change" (Routledge). Språk: engelska 

Please inform Jevgenija Gehsbarga ( by 30 January if you would like to attend. As this seminar discussion will be held over lunchtime, registered participants will be offered a sandwich.

Most recent research seeks to explain contemporary changes in Russia by analysing the decisions of Russian leaders, oligarchs and politicians based in Moscow. This book examines another Russia, one of ordinary people changing their environment and taking opportunities to provoke societal changes in small towns and the countryside. Russia is a resource-rich society and the country’s strategy and institutional structure are built on the most valuable of these resources: oil and gas. Analysing the implications of this situation at the local level, this book offers chapters on resource use, local authorities, enterprises, poverty and types of individual, as well as a final chapter which places local societies within the framework of the Russian politicised economy.

Based on extensive empirical data gathered through more than 400 semi-structured interviews with entrepreneurs, teachers, social workers and those working for the local authorities, this book sheds light on the role of local activity in the development of Russian society and is essential reading for students and scholars interested in Russia and its politics. For more information about the book please visit publisher’s website.

Leo Granberg is Professor of rural studies in social sciences at the University of Helsinki 2005-13. Prof. Granberg is scholar at the Finnish Centre of Excellence in Russian Studies, University of Helsinki, and visiting researcher at the UCRS. He has studied rural development in former socialist countries.

Ann-Mari Sätre, Associate Professor in Economics, is specialized in the structure and performance of the Soviet/Russian economy. Her current research focuses on poverty, local development and women’s work in Russia.

7 feb Andrej Kotljarchuk (Södertörn högskola): ”National Heroes, Fighters for Europe? Belarusian Waffen-SS and BKA veterans and their legacy in the West during the Cold War”. Ordförande: Matthew Kott. Språk: engelska  

One group of Eastern European Diasporas that has been especially successful in passing on its symbolic capital during the Cold War is the Waffen SS veterans. The ambition of this presentation is to bring a light on the post-war memory efforts of Belarusian Waffen SS and BKA veterans that had left an enduring legacy. This is due, not least, to the cold war that was right for an active promotion of their myths in the West. Post-war Belarusians in exile established veterans’ association and monthly journals and have written much-read books that kept the cult of pro-Nazi martyrs alive. Their narratives, symbols and ideologies began to be adopted after the long division of the cold war by the right-wing politicians in today’s Belarus. The focus of this paper in looking at how the collaborators’ symbolic capital was memorialized, translated, codified, re-invented and ritualized kept in the Diaspora during the cold war. Special focus is on the internal discussions within Belarusian Diaspora on how to avoid the connection to the genocide and the affiliation with SS.

Andrej Kotljarchuk is Associate Professor in History at Södertörn University.

14 feb Alla Anisimova (Novosibirsk): ”Siberian regional identity: self-perception, solidarity or political claim?”. Ordförande: Elena Namli. Språk: engelska  

The presentation will discuss spatial, cultural and socioeconomic premises of Siberian identity formation, and analyze the manifestations of Siberian identity in the forms of cultural peculiarities, local solidarities, and political action.

Alla Anisomova is a Senior lecturer in Sociology at Novosibirsk State University, and a researcher at the Far Eastern Federal University. Her resent research focuses on Siberian regional identity.  She has published the book “Siberian identity: premises of formation, contexts of actualization” (Novosibirsk: Novosibirsk State University, 2012) (in collaboration with Olga Echevskaya) and a number of articles on methodology of regional identity analysis and on socio-economic and political origins and implications of Siberian regional identity. Anisimova is also interested in studies of the impact of industrial development (mainly in energy sector) on Russia North and Far East regional identities.

16 feb Adrian Wanner (Pennsylvania): “Post-Soviet Diaspora Fiction and the Culture of “Global Russians” Ordförande: Elena Namli. Språk: engelska  

Since the turn of the millennium, an increasing number of Russian-speaking émigrés, many of them of Jewish descent, have become successful writers in multiple languages, making “Russianness” a sought-after commodity in the global literary market. At the same time, a certain weariness seems to have settled in among some of the writers who are providers of this brand. Following the “classic” trailblazers of Russian immigrant literature in France, Germany and the U.S, a new kind of post-Soviet cultural production has arisen that challenges the established stereotypes of ethnic fiction. This talk will pay particular attention to the bilingual oeuvre of Soviet-born and U.S.-educated journalist, novelist, and screenwriter Michael Idov (b. 1976). While reflecting the cosmopolitan self-fashioning and multicultural and multilingual orientation that one can find among other “Global Russians” (and which, in fact, has been a feature of Russian elites since the 18th century), Idov goes further than most in his embrace of an individual cosmopolitanism that constructs itself out of the shards and pieces of various cultures and locations.

Adrian Wanner is Liberal Arts Research Professor of Slavic Languages and Comparative Literature at Pennsylvania State University. He is the author of Baudelaire in Russia (1996), Russian Minimalism: From the Prose Poem to the Anti-Story (2003), and Out of Russia: Fictions of a New Translingual Diaspora (2011). In addition he has published six editions of Russian, Romanian, and Ukrainian poetry in his German verse translation.

21 feb Magnus Feldmann “Three Generations of Research on Post-Communist Capitalism: A Critique”. Ordförande: Stefan Hedlund. Språk: engelska

This presentation analyses the development of academic debates surrounding post-communist economic reforms and capitalist institutions since the early 1990s. Whilst acknowledging the complexity and diversity of research in this field, the presentation identifies three generations of research on this topic over the past 25 years. It shows that these generations correspond to distinctive research programmes and explores how they relate to broader research traditions in economics, sociology and political science. It shows that each of these research programmes partly reflects key challenges associated with the post-communist reform at specific times. It analyses the main theoretical contributions and blind spots of these research programmes and assesses their empirical usefulness in relation to Russia and some Central and East European economies. The presentation concludes with some reflections on the broader significance of these debates about post-communist capitalism.

Magnus Feldmann is a lecturer in politics at the University of Bristol, UK and is visiting UCRS from 6 February until 6 March 2017. His research interests include a variety of topics related to political economy and Russian, Eurasian and East European politics, and he is particularly interested in post-communist capitalism and institutions. While at UCRS he is working on a survey article that analyses different approaches to post-communist capitalism as well as a longer-term project on the Russian political economy.

21-23 feb Internationell konferens “Gender Shifts and Resource Politics in the Arctic”. Plats: Museum Gustavianum. Besök konferenens hemsida för mer information. 

23 feb  Ekaterina Grishaeva (Yekaterinburg): “What does it mean to be Orthodox believer in Russia” as Orthodox mass media presents believers’ identities”. Ordförande: Elena Namli. Språk: engelska. In cooperation with research seminar in Sociology of Religion.                     

After the collapse of the USSR, religion has gained a significant impact on public sphere in Russia. Even if, in Russia the majority of population considers itself as Orthodox believers (62% according to national survey data), the society keeps a commitment to secular values as the legacy of Soviet past. The research carried out by the Dr. Grishaeva is aimed to examine which kinds of identities Orthodox community elaborates in order to adapt itself to desecularized society. The results of the research are based on the “naturally occurred data”, collected from Orthodox highly ranked web-sites and from national and local faith-based newspapers.

The seminar based on the results of this media analysis will present two different models of Orthodox identity building. The first one, conflict model, puts at the core strict adhesion to religious values, promotes commitment to Orthodox monastic ideal in mundane life. Secular modernity is presented as hostile, corrupted by sin, non-spiritual, and individualistic. The desire to transform a secular society into an Orthodox one explains strong political element in this model. According to the second model, model of collaboration, Christian love is a key element of Orthodox identity. It distinguishes, but does not separate Orthodox believers from other citizens. Moreover, it stimulates an active civic position. Important attention is paid to activism in such fields as education, health care, help to socially vulnerable groups, etc.

Ekaterina Grishaeva is lecturer at the Department of Philosophy at Ural Federal University. She holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from the Ural Federal University. She was a junior fellow in the Institute for Human Science (Vienna, Austria), and a postdoctoral fellow at the Jagiellonian University (Krakow, Poland). During 2015-2016 Dr. Grishaeva worked on a project Traditional Religions and Religious Identity in Post-Secular Society aimed at investigating how Orthodox believers invent their identities in post-Soviet conservative society.   

28 feb Vasil Navumau (Bremen/UCRS): "The After-life of Ploshcha: Analysis of Discourse of Silent Actions in Belarus, 2011". Ordförande: Matthew Kott. Språk: engelska 

The events of the so-called ‘Ploshcha’ [Square] in 2006 made some of social theorists predict the revival of civic protest in Belarus. Those assumptions, however, proved to be wrong: rather, we witnessed that same trend of slow decay in both number and intensity of activism and protest, reproducing the patterns established in the 1990s. Yet, in the last five years, activists started using new techniques for the organisation of protests, inventing new slogans and coming up with more creative ideas. Author reflects on the emergence of new practices and in which way they make obsolete traditional assumptions, concepts and political answers, such as the focus on ‘street struggle,’ as well as the lack of attention to the symbolical dimension of protests. In particular, the author analyzes emerging forms of collective protest such as so-called ‘Silent Actions’ through the lens of Laclau’s and Mouffe’s discourse theory and concludes on the subtle connections between Ploshcha discourse and that of the Silent Actions."

Vasil Navumau completed his PhD at the Graduate School for Social Research at the Polish Academy of Sciences in 2014. He is an author of the book The Belarusian Maidan in 2006: A New Social Movement Approach to the Tent Camp Protest in Minsk. Currently he is a guest researcher at the Research Centre for East European Studies at Bremen University. His research interests focus on the ways information and communications technologies influence the transformation of repertoire, scope and ideology of social movements and the ways they can contribute to the formation of more transparent, participative and inclusive government.

7 mar Sergei Chapnin (Moscow): ” The Church revival: strength and weakness of the Russian Orthodoxy”. Ordförande: Elena Namli. Språk: engelska.

What began in Russia in the late 1980s is usually called a time of Church Revival. Millions were baptized, tens of thousands of churches opened, thousands of new ones built. If the numbers were all that mattered, then indeed those metrics are simply astonishing. But is that all that we can say about it?

Sergei Chapnin is a chief editor of ‘Dary’ (The Gifts) magazine and co-chairman of ‘Artos’ Creative Arts Fellowship. In 2016 he launched an international project ‘Saints of the Undivided Church’ to promote better understanding between Christians based on common heritage of the first millennium of the Church history. In 2009-2015 Sergei Chapnin was a chief editor of the official magazine of the Russian Orthodox Church Zhurnal Moskovskoy Patriarhii (The Journal of the Moscow Patriarchate) and the official newspaper Tserkovny Vestnik (The Church Herald). He also served as a secretary of the Commission on Church, state and society of the Inter-Conciliar Board of the Russian Orthodox Church and as a deputy chief editor of the Publishing house of the Moscow Patriarchate.

INSTÄLLT! 14 mar Mykhailo Minakov (National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy): ”Experiment after Experiment: Post-Soviet Political Creativity”  Ordförande: Stefan Hedlund. Språk: engelska.

Prof. Minakov will report about political and economic experiments with democracy, national states, capitalism and market in post-Soviet societies. He will try to explain how the current Eastern European and Western Eurasian dictatorships, resultless revolutions, systemic corruption, and wars between sisterly nations were planted already in early 1990s.  

Mykhailo Minakov, President of the Foundation for Good Politics (Krupp Fellow: 2013-2014; Fulbright Kennan Fellow: Wilson Center-Harvard-2012-13; Fulbright Fellow: Harvard-2013; Shklar Fellow: Harvard-2010; UKMA Alumnus: 1998) received his Doctor of Sciences in philosophy in 2007 from the Institute of Philosophy, Kyiv, and is Associate Professor at the Department of Philosophy at the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy. Author of three books and over 70 articles in philosophy, political analysis, history and culture, he also runs a peer-reviewed Ideology and Politics Journal as Editor-in-chief. He also works outside academia as political consultant to politicians in Ukraine, Germany and EU and is a President of the Foundation for Good Politics. More info is available at:

21 mar Slawomir Kapralski (SCAS): "Remembering Jews and the Holocaust in the Polish countryside in the 1990s: What people do when we think they recall the past?". Ordförande: Matthew Kott. Språk: engelska.

The argument focuses on the reception of the globalized narrative of the Holocaust in Poland. It is argued that this narrative has not been successfully integrated into the local memory, partly because of the narrative’s own deficiencies and partly due to the specific nature of the way in which local memories have been produced. Instead, it has contributed to the split of collective and social memories as well as to further fragmentation of each of these two kinds of memory. In result we may say that in post-communist Poland the Holocaust has been commemorated on the level of official institutions, rituals of memory, and elitist discourses, but not necessarily remembered on the level of social memory. It is claimed that to understand this phenomenon we should put the remembrance and commemoration of the Holocaust in the context of the post-communist transformation, in which the memory of the Holocaust has been constructed rather than retrieved in the process of re-composition of identities that faced existential insecurity. The non-Jewish Poles, who in the 1990s experienced the structural trauma of transformation, turned to the past not to learn the truth but to strengthen the group’s sense of continuity in time. In this process many of them perceived the cosmopolitan Holocaust narrative as an instrument of the economic/cultural colonization of Eastern Europe in which the historical suffering of the non-Jewish East Europeans is not properly recognized. Thus the elitist efforts to reconnect with the European discourse and to critically examine one’s own identity has clashed with the mainstream’s politics of mnemonic security as part of the strategy of collective immortalization that contributed to the development of antagonistic memories and deepened social cleavage.

Slawomir Kapralski, Professor of Sociology at the Pedagogical University of Kraków and a recurrent visiting lecturer at the Centre for Social Studies operated by Lancaster University and Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw. He graduated from the Jagiellonian University in Krakow where he also received his Ph.D. in Sociology and started his academic career. Then for many years he has been associated with the Central European University (Prague, Warsaw, Budapest). In 2013-2014 he was Senior Fellow at the Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies, and in 2016-2017 he is Senior EURIAS Fellow at the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study in Uppsala. His research focuses on nationalism, ethnicity and identity, collective memory, antisemitism and the Holocaust, and the Roma communities in Europe. He is a member of the Gypsy Lore Society, the European Association for Holocaust Studies, and the European Academic Network on Romani Studies. Among others, he is the author of a monograph A Nation from the Ashes. The Memory of Genocide and Roma Identity (2012).

23-24 mar Internationell konferens "The languages of utopia: Geopolitical identity-making in post-Soviet Russian speculative fiction". För mer information se konferensens hemsida.

28 mar Igor Torbakov (UCRS): ”Nationalist Frenemies? Russian Ethnonationalists' Critique of Eurasianists”. Ordförande: Elena Namli. Språk: engelska.

The seminar’s discussion will be based on Igor Torbakov’s essay that was recently published in the edited volume The Politics of Eurasianism: Identity, Popular Culture and Russia’s Foreign Policy, ed. Mark Bassin and Gonzalo Pozo (London; New York: Rowman and Littlefield, 2017).

The presentation will explore how the issue of Russian identity is being contested in the debates involving Russian ethnic nationalists and Eurasianists focusing primarily on the ethnic nationalists’ critique of Eurasianism as well as on their efforts to craft a “true” Russian nationalism.

Igor Torbakov is a Senior Fellow at UCRS and Associate Fellow at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs. A trained historian, he specializes in Russian and Eurasian history and politics. He was a Research Scholar at the Institute of Russian History, Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow; a Visiting Scholar at the Kennan Institute (Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars) in Washington, DC; a Fulbright Scholar at Columbia University; a Visiting Fellow at Harvard University; a Fellow at the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study; a Senior Fellow at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs in Helsinki; and a Visiting Fellow at the German Council on Foreign Relations in Berlin.

4 apr Tor Bukkvoll (Norwegian Defence Research Establishment): “Why Putin went to war: ideology, interests and decision-making in the Russian use of force in Crimea and Donbas” Ordförande: Stefan Hedlund. Språk: engelska.

11 apr Barbara Lehmbruch (UCRS). Titel: TBA. Ordförande: Matthew Kott. Språk: engelska.  

18 apr Georgios Vlantis (Munich): “Orthodoxy and aesthetic antiwesternism: Leonid Uspensky, Philip Sherrard and Christos Yannaras”. Ordförande: Elena Namli. Språk: engelska.  

25 apr Mikhail Suslov (UCRS): “The Interpretation of Russian Geopolitical Culture: Mimesis, Rivalry and Recognition”. Ordförande: Elena Namli. Språk: engelska.

2 maj Matthew Kott (UCRS): "The History of Antiziganism in Latvia: The Case of the Police, 1900–1945". Ordförande: TBA. Språk: engelska.

8-9 maj Konferens om nutida konservatism i Ryssland. Mer information kommer.

18-19 maj Internationell konferens “QUO VADIS UKRAINE? Taking Stock of a Quarter Century of Disappointment”. Mer information kommer.

23 maj Uku Lember (UCRS): "Historical memory in "inter-regional" marriages in Ukraine and Russian-Estonian marriages in Estonia". Ordförande: Matthew Kott. Språk: engelska

30 maj Mer information kommer.

13 jun Ales Michalevic (UCRS): “Asylum-seekers from the CIS countries in Sweden and Poland: A Comparative Study of the Decision-Making Process in Migration”. Ordförande: Matthew Kott. Språk: engelska.