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Rhythms, Structures and Roads of Contemporary Siberia

Conference venue: Irkutsk, Listvianka
Period: May 17-20, 2018
Deadline for submitting papers: May 1, 2018

Description of the Conference

Fields: history, sociology, geography, anthropology, political science and other humanities and social sciences.
Participants: graduate students and early-career scholars who are working on research projects on Siberia based upon fieldwork, archival documents, interviews, memoirs, and other oral, written and visual sources about contemporary Siberia and its recent past.

Conference format:
10 minutes for a short paper presentation, then each paper will be discussed for the remained of an hour by other participants and experts (questions and suggestions to clarify research strategies, recommend research tools and sources, strengthen arguments and prepare text for publication).
We are planning to begin working on a collection of articles on contemporary Siberia to be published in 2019, so we consider this conference a first step of the book project and see participants as potential contributors to the book. Articles should be submitted by December 10, 2018.

Eligible topics for the conference

  • The dynamics and variety of the social “worlds” in Siberian cities, towns and villages. Siberia makes Russia a vast country but Siberia itself is big enough not to be homogenous. People in Siberia live in different spaces and times. For that reason the transformation of the social “worlds” here has its local specific. How and where has Siberia been changed? How has urban and rural life changed in Siberia?
  • Strategies and social structures, localities and mobility. How did different survival practices in a crisis become economic and social strategies? What economic and cultural models emerged independently of the administrative authorities and industrial firms? What is the potential of these models and how flexible they are? What social and economic alternatives exist in monotowns [“company towns”]?
  • Networks and solidarity. How have social relations changed in Siberia? What social groupings have disappeared and what ones have been formed? Where is the line between generations, cultures and societies? How have new solidarities and communities been formed? Who are initiators and actors of social changes? How is local identity or subjectivity emerging or changing?
  • Roads and rivers as social resources. How have the functions and roles of the Siberian roads built in the Russian empire and the Soviet Union been changed?  How do these changes relate to new social practices? What are the directions of mobility in Siberia now? What Siberian regions (geographically and socially) are most vibrant now and why?

Guidelines for submission

All participants should submit their papers (a research project description, 10-15 pages) for conference discussion by May 1, 2018.
All texts will be uploaded on the conference webpage and should be read by all in advance.
We will also organize online workshops and webinars for the conference participants from March to December 2018.

Travel grants:
Travel expenses (transportation and accommodation) of participants from Siberian regions will be covered by the Irkutsk Center for Independent Social Research supported by a grant from the Mikhail Prokhorov Foundation. Airfare for other participants will be (fully or partly) reimbursed by Indiana University (travel grants of the Russian Studies Workshop funded by the Carnegie Foundation).
Deadlines: proposals should be submitted by March 1; invitations will be sent by March 5 and papers should be submitted by May 1, 2018.

Please, submit your application (300-500 words in Russian or English) by March 1, including a title and a short description of your research project (research questions, primary sources, preliminary results) and attach a short bio with your contact information.

Conference Organizing Committee:

  • Mikhail Rozhansky. The Irkutsk Center for Independent Social Research
  • Irina Basalaeva, Kemerovo State University
  • Julia Elokhina, Irkutsk State University
  • Tatiana Saburova, Indiana University

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