The Irkutsk Center for Independent Social Research in collaboration Irkutsk State University and Indiana University announces the Sixth International Young Scholars of Siberia Conference: “Rhythms, Structures and Roads of Contemporary Siberia”.

When: May 17-20, 2018
Where: Irkutsk, Listvianka.

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.


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 related to Siberia based upon fieldwork, archival documents, interviews, memoirs, and other oral, written and visual sources about contemporary Siberia and its recent past.

Conference Topics:

The dynamics and variety of social “worlds” in Siberian cities, towns, and villages.

Siberia makes Russia a vast country but Siberia itself is big enough to not be homogenous. People in Siberia live in different spaces and times. For this reason, the transformation of social “worlds” here is necessarily localized. How and where has Siberia changed? How has urban and rural life changed in Siberia?

Strategies and social structures, localities, and mobility.

How did different survival practices in a period of crisis become economic and social strategies? What economic and cultural models emerged independently of the administrative authorities and industrial firms? What are the potentials of these models and how flexible are they? 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 which have been formed? Where are the lines between generations, cultures, and societies? How have new solidarities and communities been formed? Who are the initiators and actors of social change? 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?

Conference format: 10 minutes for a short paper presentation, then each paper will be discussed for an hour by other participants and experts (questions and suggestions to clarify research strategies, recommending research tools and sources, strengthening arguments and preparing texts 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 in our book project and see participants as potential contributors to the book. Articles to be considered for publication should be submitted by December 10, 2018.

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).

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