The Graduate Organization for the Study of Europe and Central Asia at the University of Pittsburgh is hosting their 19th annual graduate student conference virtually on February 25th to 26th. They invite submissions related to this year’s theme, “Deconstructing the Past, Reconstructing the Future,” as well as those focused on Russia, Eastern Europe, or Central Asia. The deadline to submit papers is 11:59 p.m. on January 15th, 2022.
Russia, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia have often been conceptualized as a single geopolitical unit due to the significance of the Soviet Union and its eventual disintegration. However, the twenty-first century has challenged essentializing conceptions of the region thanks to breakthroughs in technology and medicine, new regional conflicts, and globalization. Transformations in daily life, prompted by climate change and disaster, paradigm shifts in thought, and sweeping political revolution have molded individuals, nations, cultures, languages, and disciplines, and provoked intense social construction and reconstruction.
For their 19th annual conference, GOSECA invites presentations exploring the themes of reconstruction and deconstruction, whether political, economic, linguistic, social, cultural, artistic, or any other kind. Potential questions include, but are not limited to:
- What does this theme mean for Russian, Eastern European, and Central Asian studies?
- Theoretically or methodologically, what does it mean to deconstruct or reconstruct entire fields of study or objects of inquiry in research on Russia, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia?
- How have state institutions of knowledge and power (e.g., universities, governments) adapted to reflect changing realities for scholars, constituents, workers, and even the general public?
- How and why have attempts to reconstruct succeeded or failed? How have failed attempts to reconstruct shaped individuals, communities, and institutions?
- What can examples of reconstruction and deconstruction reveal about the marks these processes leave behind or the histories from which they emerged?