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Graphic element for CBEES - the Centre for Baltic and East European StudiesThe Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES) is tasked with stimulating, coordinating and developing Södertörn University’s research and doctoral education. It has a particular focus on studies of the Baltic Sea region and Eastern Europe and conducts its own research.

Since it was founded in 2005, CBEES has become a strong and thriving multidisciplinary research environment. The centre is a hub for cooperation throughout the Baltic Sea region and Eastern Europe, organising international conferences, seminars and workshops. The researchers’ expertise is in demand both within academia and in public debate. Research in the area is reflected in the international Baltic Worlds journal.

Many international visiting researchers have passed through the centre of the years, and more than 70 doctoral students have studied at BEEGS, the Baltic and East European Graduate School.

CBEES Newsletter

Header CBEES' Newsletter

September 2017

Professor Joakim Ekman, Director of CBEES.Letter from Professor Joakim Ekman, Director of CBEES.

Dear reader,

You can tell for sure that the autumn has arrived, not only because of the grey clouds and the rain, the autumn leaves, and the cooler air. At CBEES, autumn always comes with new faces, as new people are joining the centre. One of them is Julieta Rotaru, who will work as a research leader at CBEES, helping Professor Kimmo Granqvist to develop Romani Studies at Södertörn University. Another is Julia Malitska, who will be responsible for the CBEES Advanced Seminars. Welcome, Julieta and Julia! Also, we are happy to welcome Gilda Hoxha, a doctoral student in political science supported by the Swedish Institute (SI). Furthermore, the administration at CBEES has been strengthened with the arrival of Natalia Durkalec – we are glad to have you here, Natalia!

Needless to say, we are also very happy and excited to welcome all the new BEEGS and project-based doctoral students who will spend their first academic year at Södertörn University right here. You are all warmly welcome, and I hope you will have a productive time at CBEES while at the same time contributing to a lively atmosphere at the Centre! I am looking forward to learn more about your doctoral projects within the next few months. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Anne Kaun, Director of Studies for BEEGS, for organising the introduction.

As we are happy to see new faces at CBEES, we are sad to see others disappear. Kazimierz Musiał is leaving us, after two years of successful work as a research leader at CBEES. Among other things, Kazimierz has been instrumental in the success of the summer universities that CBEES has organised with the support of the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS). Thank you Kazimierz! We will miss you, but this is not goodbye. The University of Gdańsk is not far away, and we will continue to work together in different ways.

In short, we have an interesting autumn ahead of us, with new staff, new doctoral students, seminars, workshops, conferences and events. Welcome to CBEES!

Joakim Ekman, Director of CBEES

Advanced seminars

11/09/17 Introduction of BEEGS doctoral students

12/09/17 Resisting Images: Representation VS Revolution

18/09/17 The Other Russia: Local Experience and Societal Change

02/10/17 Commemorating the Glorious Past, Dreaming of the Happy Future. WWII Burial Places and Monuments as Public Places in the Postwar Ukraine

16/10/17 New and old institutions within Russian media system

The autumn programme for the CBEES Advanced Seminars.

Public defence of thesis

22/09/17 Gustav Strandberg: Politikens omskakning – negativitet, samexistens och frihet i Jan Patockas tänkande

29/09/17 Maarja Saar: The answers you seek will never be found at home. Reflexivity, biographical narratives and lifestyle migration among highly-skilled Estonians

06/10/17 Lovisa Andén: Litteratur och erfarenhet i Merleau-Pontys läsning av Proust, Valéry och Stendahl (In Swedish only)

CBEES Conferences and workshops

14-16/09/17 Nuclear Legacies: Community, Memory, Waste and Nature

04/10/17 Bakhtinian Theory. Postcolonial and Postsocialist Perspective

19-21/10/17 1917-2017: Hundred Years of Russian Revolution in Art and Aesthetics
Direct link: www.sh.se/1917russianrevolution

See all the upcoming CBEES conferences and workshops here.

Open lectures and other seminars and conferences

12/09/17 Christine E Evans: Several hours in the Motherland: Vladimir Putin’s Priamaia Liniia broadcasts in historical perspective

28/09/17 Yuri Andrukhovych's open discussion on "Central-Eastern Europe: Brief History of Mutations"

11/10/17 Presentation of the book: “Civil Society Revisited: Lessons from Poland”

New publications

Phenomenological bioethics - book covEmerging medical technologies are changing our views on human nature and what it means to be alive, healthy, and leading a good life. Reproductive technologies, genetic diagnosis, organ transplantation, and psychopharmacological drugs all raise existential questions that need to be tackled by way of philosophical analysis. Yet questions regarding the meaning of life have been strangely absent from medical ethics so far. This book brings phenomenology, the main player in the continental tradition of philosophy, to bioethics, and it does so in a comprehensive and clear manner.

Starting out by analysing illness as an embodied, contextualised, and narrated experience, the book addresses the role of empathy, dialogue, and interpretation in the encounter between health-care professional and patient. Medical science and emerging technologies are then brought to scrutiny as endeavours that bring enormous possibilities in relieving human suffering but also great risks in transforming our fundamental life views. How are we to understand and deal with attempts to change the predicaments of coming to life and the possibilities of becoming better than well or even, eventually, surviving death?

Svenaeus, Fredrik (2018), Phenomenological Bioethics, Medical Technologies, Human Suffering, and the Meaning of Being Alive, London, Routledge.

Let them not return - book coverThe mass killing of Ottoman Armenians is today widely recognised, both within and outside scholarly circles, as an act of genocide. What is less well known, however, is that it took place within a broader context of Ottoman violence against minority groups during and after the First World War. Among those populations decimated were the indigenous Christian Assyrians (also known as Syriacs or Chaldeans) who lived in the borderlands of present-day Turkey, Iran, and Iraq. This volume is the first scholarly edited collection focused on the Assyrian genocide, or “Sayfo” (literally, “sword” in Aramaic), presenting historical, psychological, anthropological, and political perspectives that shed much-needed light on a neglected historical atrocity.

Gaunt has written the Introduction and the article "Seyfo Genocide: the Culmination of an Anatolian Culture of Violence". The book had its official release at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London on July 8.

Gaunt, David, Atto, Naures and O. Barthoma, Soner, (eds.) "Let Them Not Return. Sayfo - the Genocide against Assyrian, Syriac and Chaldean Christians in the Ottoman Empire", Vol. 26:2017 in Studies on War and Genocide Series, general editors Batrov, Omer & Moses, Dirk, New York & Oxford: Berghahn.

Defending Culture - book coverThis book concerns the implications and interrelations of key concepts of culture, defending an updated communicative notion of culture as meaning-making against a series of current challenges. The first part of the book distinguishes four main concepts of culture, presenting their histories, uses, limitations and mutual contradictions, which else often tend to be neglected. The second part scrutinises neomaterialist and posthumanist critics’ antihermeneutic efforts to escape the spirals of interpretation and meaning. Learning from such contestations, the third part summarizes the arguments and in five theses reconstructs a contemporary and comprehensive agenda for cultural studies, based on creative imagination and communicative mediation in the dynamic interface between meaning and materiality. This thus provides a survey of fundamental concepts and theories of culture for students and scholars in the humanities and social sciences, while simultaneously also serving as an introductory guide to the contemporary debate in this field.

Fornäs, Johan (2017): Defending Culture: Conceptual Foundations and Contemporary Debate, Basingstoke/New York: Palgrave Macmillan. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-57810-1

Politics of visibility and belonging - book coverIn this book, Edenborg studies contemporary conflicts of community as enacted in Russian media, from the ‘homosexual propaganda’ laws to the Sochi Olympics and the Ukraine war, and explores the role of visibility in the production and contestation of belonging to a political community. The book examines what it is that determines which subjects and narratives become visible and which are occluded in public spheres; how they are seen and made intelligible; and how those processes are involved in the imagination of communities. Investigating the differentiated consequences of visibility, Edenborg discusses what forms of visibility make belonging possible and what forms of visibility may be related to exclusion or violence. The book maps and analyses the practices and mechanisms whereby a state seeks to produce and shape belonging through controlling what becomes visible in public, and how that which becomes visible is seen and understood. In addition, it examines what forms contestation can take and what its effects may be.

Edenborg, Emil (2018): Politics of Visibility and Belonging: From Russia's "Homosexual Propaganda" Laws to the Ukraine War. London: Routledge.


Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES) at Södertörn University, Stockholm, Sweden
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