Past Events

Previous Seminar Series



In the last year and a half, we have sharply refocused on the body and how the body frames us as researchers, while also framing the research itself. Starting by considering the role that embodied practice can play in area studies, this seminar series engages two related topics: collaborative research and rethinking the corpus. By reflecting on researchers as embodied persons we are forced to reconsider how we work with the people and texts that make up our research and teaching. In particular we reflect upon the ways that we work with our research participants, and the possibility of a locally generated corpus in area studies. Can we think of our research participants as research collaborators? How would this alter the kind of research we are doing? how might reflecting on embodiment help us to rethink decolonising our curriculums? Can a locally generated corpus lead to new ways of teaching languages, literature, and cultural practises?



This academic year, CRSCEES members and invited guests from across the UK and beyond explored the ways that Area Studies is being re-imagined and re-worked in various fields and disciplines through new research into trans/multi-lingualism, peripheral urbanisms, border media, transnational art practices, and the environmental and energy humanities. Our events took place as online conversations curated by CRSCEES members with contributions by St Andrews and invited scholars. These conversations are intended to showcase new directions in Area Studies research, but also to reflect on the ethical challenges and political problems that Area Studies can present for contemporary research practice. You can catch up on our recorded events by watching them on our YouTube Channel.

1-2 July 2021: PG and ECR ‘Access All Areas’ Symposium, Organised by Thomas Reid. This Symposium concluded the seminar series by inviting Postgraduate students and Early Career Researchers to offer their own perspectives on questions raised throughout the series. For more information, click here.




Hannah Schroder (University of Vienna, co-supervised by Achim Hölter and Victoria Donovan): Representing Russia in Contemporary Culture: Performative Approaches to National Identities, 16 September 2019

Darya TsymbalyukMemory of Coal: From the Carboniferous Period to Industrialisation, 25 September 2019, (organised together with the Cultural Memory Research Group)

Mikhail Vodopyanov: Construction of Memory of Soviet Past in Contemporary Russian Nonfiction, 30 October 2019,(organised together with the Cultural Memory Research Group)

Early Career Researcher Workshop on Slavic Studies and the Public Humanities: Slavic Studies Go Public, organised by Dr Victoria Donovan and Darya Tsymbalyuk, funded by the British Academy, 23-24 January 2020, Bell Pettigrew Museum (for more information click Public Humanities Workshop)



Dr Andrea Gullotta (University of Glasgow): Beauty in Hell: The Challenges of the Digital Representation of the Gulag, 8 October 2018

Dr Sofya Gavrilova (University of Oxford, Moscow Higher School of Economics): Digital Humanities Knowledge Production in Russia: Between Academia and NGO, 26 November 2018 (re-scheduled date TBC).

‘Donbass Odyssey’: Sharing Stories of Displacement through Art, 30 January 2019  (discussion)

Exhibition dates 30th of January – 13th of February, The Byre Theatre

Dr Claire Whitehead in Conversation with Carol Adlam: Lost Detectives: Adapting Old Texts for New Media, 23 April 2019, 5 pm, Parliament Hall

Dr Iryna Sklokina (Centre for Urban History of East Central Europe): Engaging the City: Digital (Un)Archiving as a critical tool in public humanities, 29 April 2019, 4 pm, Buchanan 312

Dmitry Chepurnoy (IZOLYATSIA. Platform for Cultural Initiatives): From Donbas with Love: Brief History of Izolyatsia and Displaced Cultural Spaces, 9 May 2019, 4 pm, Arts Seminar 2



Professor Dina Iordanova (St Andrews): Screening and Discussion: ‘I Even Met Happy Gypsies’director Aleksandar Petrovic (1967) 3 October 2017

Vladimir Averin (Radio Vesti FM, Mayak, Moskva FM): The Representation of Minorities in Russian Media (in Russian), 17 October 2017

Dr Jesse Gardiner (St Andrews): Scapegoats and Masks: Stalin’s Anti-Cosmopolitan Campaign, 22 November 2017

Professor Tomasz Kamusella (St Andrews): The Forgotten 1989 Expulsion of Turks from Communist Bulgaria, 13 February 2018

Monika Szydlowska (Na Emigracii) in Conversation with Dr Emily Finer, 14 February 2017

Dr Greta Matzner-Gore (USC): From the Corners of ‘The Brothers Karamazov’: Minor Characters in Dostoevsky’s Last Novel, 28 February 2018

Professor Motoki Nomachi (Slavic-Eurasian Research Center, Hokkaido University, Japan): The Breakup of Serbo-Croatian and the Gorani of Kosovo

Leonid Parfenov: Screening and Discussion: ‘Russian Jews’ (2014-2016) 27 April 2018



Franak Viacorka: Screening and Discussion: ‘A Lesson of  Belarusian’, 28 September 2016

Pr Steve Smith (All Souls College, Oxford): Writing the History of the Russian Revolution a Hundred Years On, 11 October 2016

Ihor Poshyvailo (Maidan Museum): Stronger than Arms: Artistic Expressions of the Maidan Revolution, 25 October 2016

Dr Margarita Vaysman (St Andrews):  Men and Steamships: Russian Literary Classics after the Revolution of 1917, 8 November 2016

Dr Victoria Donovan (St Andrews) & Susan Edwards (Glamorgan Archives) Revolutionary Rumblings in the Letters of Welsh Migrants to the Donbass: the Hughesovka Story, 7 March 2017

Shaun Walker (The Guardian): The Long Hangover: Memory and Revolution in Ukraine and Russia’, 4 April 2017

Andrei Kurkov (‘Ukraine Diaries: Dispatches from Kiev’) in conversation with Dr Emily Finer,  18 April 2017

Iryna Clark (St Andrews)Mediating ‘Civil Society’ in the Belarusian Press: The Colour Revolutions 25 April 2017

Katya Rogachevskaya (British Library)Revolution on Display: 1917 at the British Library 23 May 2017



Shura Collinson (The Moscow Times): Parliamentary Pyrotechnics and the State Circus: How Russian state bodies distract and the media helps them to do so 1 October 2015

Prof. Elena Mariushakova (Leverhulme Visiting Professor in History, St Andrews): Roma Culture in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe, 22 October 2015

Dr Caron Gentry (St Andrews): The Politics of the Macabre in the Reporting on Chechen Terrorism, 3 December 2015

Peter Pomerantsev  (‘Nothing is True and Everything is Possible’) in conversation with Dr Boris Dralyuk, 27 January 2016

Dr Jeffrey Murer (St Andrews): The Aesthetics Of Hate: Anti-Semitic, Anti-Roma, and Anti-Immigrant Violence in Contemporary Hungary as Spectacle, 1 February 2016

Dr Vlad Strukov (Digital Culture, Leeds): Russian spectacle of patriotism: What will we see if we turn off the TV?, 29 February 2016

Pr Amy Bryzgel (University of Aberdeen): Out)-performing the Society of the Spectacle: Strategies of Resistance in postcommunist performance art in Central and Eastern Europe, 28 March 2016

Pr Dina Iordanova (St Andrews): Breaking Through Walls and Discourses: History for Losers, 11 April 2016

Dr Mitja Velikonja (University of Ljubljana): ‘Rock’n’Retro’: Yugoslav and Partisan Motifs in Contemporary Slovenian Music, 5 May 2016

Previous Postgraduate Reading Groups


Russian Literature From the Margins, 2019-2020

This reading group addressed the concept of ‘margins’ both physically and metaphorically by examining texts on the fringes of canonicity. Potential topics include texts written by non-Russian authors, war memoirs from the GDR and the works of neglected female writers. The titles included Julia Voznesenskaya’s collection of short stories The Women’s Decameron and Nadezhda Mandelstam’s Hope Against Hope.

Previous Conferences

Between Federalism, Autonomy and Centralism: Central and Eastern Europe in the 20th and 21st Centuries, 2015

In memory of Dr Oliver Smith (1979-2013), 2014

Red Laboratories: Exchanges Between Science and the Arts and Culture in Eastern Europe and Russia, 2013

Orthodox Ecclesiology and Modernity, 2012

The Class of 2011: Questions of Education in Post-Soviet Russia, 2011. The conference was jointly organised by History, Art History and Russian. The conference was supported by a £2000 School of History Conference Support Grant

The Caucasus: Imagining Freedom, Negotiating Dominion, 2010. The conference was awarded a £12870 Conference Support Grant by the British Academy.

Postcommunist Visual Culture and Cinema, 2009. The conference was supported by a £2000 AHRC Student-led Initiative grant.

Putin, People and Power: Elections in Russia, 2008. The Conference was supported by a £2000 donation from Glasgow CRCEES

Translating and Mistranslating Russia: The Cultural Aspect, 2007

Post-Soviet Borderlands, 2006

1905 – Russia in Revolution, 2005

Chekhoviana: One Hundred Years Since the Death of Anton Chekhov (1860-1904), 2004

The 300th Anniversary of the Foundation of St Petersburg, 2003

Eurasia’s Changing Security, 2002

Russia in Retrospect: 10 Years Since the End of the USSR, 2001

The Geography and Geopolitics of the New Eastern Europe, 2000

“By Force or by Will”: The Art of External Might and Internal Passion, 1999

Ideology and National Identity in Post-Communist Foreign Policies, 1998

Politics and Culture in Central and Eastern Europe, 1997

Language and Society in Eastern Europe, 1996

Russian Avant-Garde Art and Literature, 1995

Nations and Nationalism in Russia and Eastern Europe, 1993

Censorship in Eastern Europe, 1992

Democratic Traditions of Central and Eastern Europe: A Re-appraisal, 1991

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