Conference focuses on issues of sovereignty and identity in Russia and Eastern Europe

The Fourth Annual Tartu Conference on Russian and East European Studies on 9-11 June will bring nearly 250 researchers from across the world to Tartu for a discussion over the contemporary challenges to states and communities in Russia and Eastern Europe.

This academic conference is organised for the fourth consecutive year at the initiative of the Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies and the Centre for EU-Russia Studies (CEURUS) of the University of Tartu. This year’s conference theme is Communities in Flux: Rethinking Sovereignty and Identity in an Era of Change.

The main conference organiser, UT Professor of EU-Russia Studies Viacheslav Morozov, explains the selection of the theme: “As a result of processes of globalization and changing security environment, also the current international norms as well as political practices are being re-evaluated. We need to understand how countries in the Eastern European region are affected by it.”

In the 46 panel sessions of the conference, 215 scholars from around Europe, the US, Canada, Russia and elsewhere are presenting their research. Topics will range from political science and security to governance and law, and from literature and translation studies to cultural and identity politics in Russia and Eastern Europe as well as from an international perspective.

The conference will open on 9 June with a keynote address by Professor Gerard Toal, distinguished political scientist from Virginia Tech, who will discuss the role of conspiracy theories in geopolitics. The day after, Nancy Condee, professor at the University of Pittsburgh, will talk about the end of sovereignty in the third decade of postcommunism (2009–2019). The conference will also feature a roundtable dedicated to the centenary of the University of Tartu and a special session about funding opportunities of the European Research Council.

In addition to panel sessions and plenaries, the conference programme also includes a documentary by Marianna Yarovskaya, entitled Women of the Gulag (2018). The film tells the compelling and tragic stories of six women as last survivors of the Gulag. In 2019, it was shortlisted for the Oscars’ best documentary short subject award. The entrance to the screening is free.

The full conference programme is available here.

The conference is co-organised by the Uppsala Centre for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Uppsala University and the School of Politics and International Relations at the University of Kent. The conference is generously supported by the Estonian Research Council, the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Tartu, Tartu City Government and the US Embassy in Tallinn.

For more information, please contact Ms Maili Vilson, co-organiser of the conference and research communication specialist at the Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies at or by phone at +372 737 6584.