‘Access All Areas’ PGR and ECR Symposium

Throughout our seminar series “Access All Areas: Area Studies After 2020”, we explored various topics of Area Studies, from Trans/Multilingualism, to Border Media, and Transnational (Socialist) Art, our members and invited guest speakers explored the ways that Area Studies is being re-imagined and re-worked in various fields and disciplines. Each seminar was recorded and is accessible through the link above. These conversations were 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.

Does Area Studies still matter? How do we define Area Studies in the context of our research practice? What ethical challenges or problems does the Area Studies paradigm present to our fields? What potentialities for creativity or innovation might it hold?  How can Area Studies researchers address the tension of the local and the global in their work? Can Area Studies survive in a world of increasingly complicated and inequitable border regimes?

Our Symposium is a chance for PG students (Masters and PhD candidates) and Early Career Researchers to offer their perspectives on these questions, and to sketch their own ideas about Area Studies and its potential futures.

The Symposium is being held completely online via Microsoft Teams. We recommend using a browser such as Chrome or Internet Explorer; Teams may not work properly if you are using Safari. To join the Symposium, click the hyperlink ‘Day One/Two’ for either day of the Symposium. If you cannot attend the full programme, but are interested to listen to individual panels, as a courtesy to our presenters, please join 5 minutes before the panel is due to start and join with your microphone muted. Please note that all times indicated below are BST (UTC+1). Please also note that some of our panels, particularly the ‘Decolonising Area Studies’ workshop, may be recorded; however we will announce which panels/workshops will be recorded in time for you to switch your camera off if you do not wish to be recorded.

Symposium Programme

1st July – Day One

Opening Remarks – 12:00-12:15

Thomas Reid (University of St Andrews)


Critical Area Studies Workshop – 12:15-13:15 

Dr Michal Murawski (University College London) (TBC)

Dr Victoria Donovan (University of St Andrews)


BREAK (13:15-13:30)


Panel 1: ‘Post-Soviet Urbanisms and Modernities’ – 13:30-15:00

Moderator: Dr Victoria Fomina (University of Toronto)

Viktoriia Grivina (Lviv Centre for Urban History)

Kharkiv. A German story (Харків: Німецька Історія) – a stop-motion animation short by Viktoriia Grivina and Viktoriia Ivanova”

Yana Nikolova (University of East London)

“The conflict of difference or a conflicting difference in the ‘Europeanisation’ of the Balkans”

Dr Leyla Sayfutdinova (University of St Andrews)

“Remembering Baku’s oil barons through architecture”


BREAK (15:00-15:15)


Panel 2: ‘Formation of Identities through Literature and Art’ – 15:15-17:00

Moderator: Dr Victoria Donovan (University of St Andrews)


Olga Grochoswka (University of Oxford)

“The Vanished Others. Metafiction in Stefan Chwin’s Hanemann and Olga Tokarczuk’s Dom dzienny, dom nocny

Hannah Schroder (University of Vienna)

“Pop-culture oligarchs and their online reception”

Angelos Theocharis (University of Edinburgh)

“The global turn in Russian studies: Conceptualisation of a new paradigm”

Egle Tuzaite (Lithuanian Social Research Centre)

“The Soviet past through the lens of art: young generations and post-memory”


Day One Closing Remarks – 17:00-17:15


2nd July – Day Two

Panel 3: ‘Gender Identity and Narratives’ – 12:00-13:30

Moderator: James Gregg (University of St Andrews)


Alina Kamalova (University of Edinburgh)

“Development of identities in family conversations: discourse analysis in Russian talk shows”

Sam Osborn (University of St Andrews)

“Struggling to find a place: Destinies of Women, the German Democratic Republic, and the Soviet Union”

Thomas Reid (University of St Andrews)

“Gender Politics in Leningrad’s Eksponat and its parody videos”


BREAK 13:30-13:45


Panel 4: ‘Central and Far East Asian Literary and Visual Cultures’ – 13:45-15:15

Moderator: Dr Filippo Costa Buranelli (University of St Andrews)


Kamila Akhmedjanova (University of Oxford)

“Sadriddin Ainī – creator of modern Tajik literature as a separate phenomenon”

Sarah King (University of St Andrews)

“The representation of an imagined China and Chinese literature in anniversary editions of Soviet children’s magazines”

Matilde Morales (Erasmus Mundus Crossways: Universities of St Andrews and Adam Mickiewicz, Poznan)

“The Artistic Sovietisation of Baku’s Oil”


BREAK 15:15-15:30


Decolonising Area Studies Workshop, 15:30-c.16:40

Dr Emily Finer (University of St Andrews)

Ahmed Abozaid (University of St Andrews

Elodie Phillips (University of St Andrews)


Day Two Closing Remarks, and Wine Reception, c.16:40-onwards

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