Kääriku Winter School, 4-9 February 2019

The Johan Skytte Institute of the University of Tartu invites graduate and post-graduate students to apply for the winter school “Bio-, Geo- and Ethnopolitics of the Post-Communist Transformations: 30 years after the fall of the Berlin wall”. This event is part of a series of winter schools hosted by the University of Tartu in cooperation with the international project “Escapes from Modernity” since 2011. The winter school is going to happen in Kääriku, Estonia, 4-9 February 2019


In February 2019, the school will keep exploring different dimensions of bio-, ethno- and geo-power and relate them with domestic and foreign policy changes in a group of post-Soviet and post-socialist countries triggered by the fall of the Berlin wall and the end of the Cold War 30 years ago. This year we shall particularly focus on juxtaposing, comparing and unpacking various facets of transformation dynamics in Central and Eastern Europe, Baltic states, South Caucasus and Central Asia, and discuss them through the people-centric / biopolitical prism, along with ethnic and territorial lens.

The tentative plan of classes includes a number of nodal topics:

  • 1989-2019:  Experiences and Trajectories of Multiple Transitions
  • Baltic Sea Region(s): Spatial Constructs beyond Geography
  • Borderlands and borderscapes in Eastern and Central Europe
  • Post-Soviet biopolitics: migrations, displacements, citizenships
  • Bodies in transition: performative artwork

The learning process consists of lectures and interactive classes based on students’ inclusive participation, including topical presentations and group-based debate. Basic knowledge in social, cultural and / or political theories, along with skills in comparative and critical analysis, as well as independent thinking are welcome and strongly encouraged.


The venue of the School is Kääriku Leisure and Sports Centre of the University of Tartu, situated in a beautiful area in Valga County, about 40 km south of Tartu, near the Otepää winter resort. The Centre provides comfortable accommodation, full board, free Internet access and numerous sports and outdoor opportunities, including a gym, indoor basketball and volleyball courts, cross-country skis for rent, and will be able to use 150km of cross country ski tracks, starting right outside the Centre.


Participants are expected to cover their board and lodging expenses (double room accommodation) and to arrange their travel to and from Kääriku by themselves. The Johan Skytte Institute will provide travel information and advice, as well as issue visa invitations for those requiring a Schengen visa (normally visas are free of charge for students participating in exchange programmes).


The working language is English. Participation is equal to 4 ECTS credits, which will be confirmed by a certificate awarded to each student upon successful completion of the School.

M.A. and PhD students interested to learn more about different facets of geo-, ethno- and biopolitics and partake in discussions are asked to submit their CVs and motivation letters explaining their interest in the topic and its relevance for the applicant’s future career. The deadline for submission is November 20, 2018. Applications should be sent to: Olena Solohub (University of Tartu) – olena.solohub@ut.ee


This activity has been funded with support from the European Commission under the Jean Monnet Module “on the EU’s engagement with Russia and post-Soviet neighbors”.