Facebook Mail Twitter





CBEES Annual Conference 2021 - With and After Empire: Enduring Pasts Across the Local and the Global

Welcome to the 7th Annual Conference of the Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES) Södertörn University, Sweden, Stockholm! The event will be conducted online.

Ever since World War I spelled the end of the old imperial order in much of today’s Europe and dramatically redrew its political map, there has been a widespread assumption that empire—as a major organizing framework of power relations—was doomed to give way to a model of international arrangements based on the principle of national self-determination.

As newly emerged successor states eagerly dissociated themselves from all things “imperial”, the idea of “nation” came to dominate the political lexicon of following century. Still, throughout much of the 20th century, the global space continued to be dominated by old empires and saw the emergence of new ones.

Moreover, as many scholars contend, hegemonies, inequities, networks, imaginaries, and idioms embedded in imperial visions and practices of the past endure in our ostensibly post-imperial, post-colonial, and national present. As Ann Laura Stoler suggested, imperial pasts are not just “leftovers”, “traces”, and “legacies”, but “durabilities” that are very much alive in the modern world.

The year of 2021 is as a symbolic occasion on which to talk about the relevance of “imperial” for Baltic and East European studies. It marks three hundred years since the proclamation of the Russian Empire and thirty years since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, regarded by many scholars an imperial formation. With this double anniversary in mind, the conference aims to revisit the complex histories of Eastern and East Central Europe, the Baltic Sea region, the Caucasus, and Central Asia and better understand their no less complex present, by looking at both the historical experiences of multi-ethnic imperial formations, such as those of the Russian, Habsburg, German, Ottoman, Qajar, or Soviet, and at the tangible and intangible effects they continue to have on the present.

10.00 – 10.10: Welcome address by Joakim Ekman and Mark Bassin

10.10 – 12.00: SESSION 1: Post-imperial imperialism in the Cold War era

Chair: Mark Bassin (Södertörn University)

  • 10.10 – 10.30: Ivan Sablin (Heidelberg University), “Constitution-Making in the Informal Soviet Empire in Eastern Europe, East Asia, and Inner Asia, 1945–1955”
  • 10.30 – 10.50: Yulia Gradskova (Södertörn University), “From ‘emancipation of woman of the East’ to the rights of ‘women of the whole world’? Women’s International Democratic Federation advertising Soviet achievements with modernization in Central Asia”
  • 10.50 – 11.10: Anna Eva Grutza (Central European University), “Figures of the Third in-between Cold War Empires: Polish Defectors and Informants at the Epistemic Edges of Imperial Formations”
  • 11.10 – 11.30: Paulina Rytkönen (Södertörn University), “The global expansion of the Soviet Food Regime – geopolitics, food aid and the technical assistance to Africa, the Caribbean and Latin America”

11.30 – 12.00: Panel discussion

10.10 – 12.00: SESSION 2: Revolutions and memories

Chair: Tora Lane (Södertörn University)

  • 10.10 – 10.30: Irina Seits (Södertörn University), “Breaking (with) the Empire: renaming industrial heritage in the post-revolutionary Petrograd”
  • 10.30 – 10.50: Nelli Manucharyan (Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of the National Academy of Sciences of Armenia), “The Reflection of Communist Ideology in the Street Renaming Policy in Soviet Yerevan (1921-1939)”
  • 10.50 – 11.10: Anna Yanenko (National Preserve „Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra”), “Imperial experiments with the ‘ideological front weapons’: Kyiv museums in the 1930s”
  • 11.10 – 11.30: Nadezda Petrusenko (Södertörn University), “A Mind-Liberating Soviet Legacy? Uses of Revolutionary Myths in Russian Protest Art

11.30 – 12.00: Panel discussion

12.00 – 13.00: LUNCH BREAK

13.00 – 14.50: SESSION 3: Technology at great powers’ service

Chair: Julia Malitska (Södertörn University)

  • 13.00 – 13.20: Katarzyna Jarosz (International University of Logistics and Transport, Wroclaw), “Bridging East and West. Railway as a driver of sociocultural development in the Ottoman Empire”
  • 13.20 – 13.40: Roman Khandozhko (Higher School of Economics, St. Petersburg), “How Crimea did not Become Nuclear: An Environmental History of the Kazantip Atomic Energy Station”
  • 13.40 – 14.00: Achim Klüppelberg (KTH Royal Institute of Technology), “Energy Complexes as Moscow’s Way to Develop the Soviet Periphery”
  • 14.00 – 14.20: Elena Kochetkova (Higher School of Economics, St. Petersburg), “Scientific-technological integration of Comecon in Europe: Institutions, Inequalities, and Motivations”

14.20 – 14.50: Panel discussion

13.00 – 14.50: SESSION 4: Representing (post)imperial

Chair: Ramona Rat (Södertörn University)

  • 13.00 – 13.20: Viktoriya Sukovata (Kharkiv National University), “‘Imperial Discourse’ in the Soviet Spy Films: Widening the Boundaries of the Empire”
  • 13.20 – 13.40: Natalya Khokholova (Yeoju Technical Institute, Tashkent), “Dead Sisters Dark Waters: Stealing, Killing, Haunting at Saysary Kyelge and The Gold of Vitim”
  • 13.40 – 14.00: Martina Zagni (University of Greifswald), “The Transformation of the Empire: De-Stalinization and its Reception in Evtushenko’s Poetry”
  • 14.00 – 14.20: Iuliana Matasova (Taras Shevchenko National University, Kyiv), “Sirens out of a (post)imperial void: The case of Ukrainian women singer-songwriters of the 1990s”

14.20 – 14.50: Panel discussion

14.50 – 15.10: COFFEE BREAK

15.10 – 16.40: SESSION 5: Practices of empire

Chair: Oleksandr Polianichev (Södertörn University)

  • 15.10 – 15.30: Hanna Filipova (National preserve "Kyiv-Pechersk lavra"), “The Case of Tsarevich Alexei and the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra: the shadow of the Mazepian opposition”
  • 15.30 – 15.50: Mariia Dolgova (Higher School of Economics, Moscow), “The origin of ladies-in-waiting of the Russian imperial court during the reign of Nicholas I (1825-1855)”
  • 15.50 – 16.10: Alexander Orlov (European University at Saint Petersburg), “Nation-building and religious dissent in the Russian Empire in the middle of the 19th century”

16.10 – 16.40: Panel discussion

15.10 – 16.40: SESSION 6: Diplomacies and entangled histories

Chair: Francesco Zavatti (Södertörn University)

  • 15.10 – 15.30: Roman Kushpeta (Ivan Krypiakevych Institute of Ukrainian Studies of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine), “One nation - two empires: The image of Ukrainians in the Austro-Hungarian and the Russian Empire on the pages of The New York Times (the last third of the 19th century)”
  • 15.30 – 15.50: Rosario Napolitano (University of Latvia / Riga Stradins University), “The Italian cultural diplomacy in Estonia during the interwar period: from the de jure recognition to the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact (1921-1939)”
  • 15.50 – 16.10: Olesia Koval (Mykhailo Kotsiubynskyi State Pedagogical University, Vinnytsia), “‘Safe Harbor’ of the Ukrainian Revolution: the Diplomatic Mission of the Ukrainian People’s Republic in Scandinavia (1918-1921)

16.10 – 16.40: Panel discussion

16.40 – 17.00: COFFEE BREAK

17.00 – 18.30: KEYNOTE LECTURE by Michael Khodarkovsky (Loyola University Chicago), “Eurasian States and their Imperial Antecedents”

Complimentary registration to get a Zoom link for the conference sessions Länk till annan webbplats, öppnas i nytt fönster.

10.00 – 11.50: SESSION 7: After the Great War

Chair: Florence Fröhlig (Södertörn University)

  • 10.00 – 10.20: Konstantin Tarasov (Saint Petersburg Institute of History of the Russian Academy of Sciences / Saint Petersburg State Electrotechnical University "LETI" / Higher School of Economics, St. Petersburg), “Corporatism in the Russian Revolution of 1917: from the Estates Structure to Individual Citizenship?”
  • 10.20 – 10.40: Aleksandr Korobeinikov (Central European University), "In the future, the Yakut Region is a Gold-Producing Country": Socioeconomic Visions and Knowledge Production in the Post-Imperial Yakutia, 1915-1930
  • 10.40 – 11.00: Ioannis Lainas (University College London), “Postwar state-building: the case of Yugoslavia”
  • 11.00 – 11.20: Francesco Magno (Independent researcher), “Legislative Unification in Greater Romania between Nationalism and Imperial Legacies 1918-1927”

11.20 – 11.50: Panel discussion

10.00 – 11.50: SESSION 8: Narratives and Legacies after the fall of the Soviet Union

Chair: Andrej Kotljarchuk (Södertörn University)

  • 10.00 – 10.20: Fernando Alejandro Remache-Vinueza (University of Glasgow), “Connections and interactions between official and alternative narratives of identity: The case of Lithuania”
  • 10.20 – 10.40: Viktorija Rimaite-Beržiūnienė (Military Academy of Lithuania), “With and After Empire: political monuments in Lithuania and national identity”
  • 10.40 – 11.00: Valeria Chelaru (Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca), “When post-imperial legacy meets nationalism: Moldova`s struggle to accommodate its past”
  • 11.00 – 11.20: Nurlan Aliyev (University of Economics and Human Sciences in Warsaw), “The Legacy of the Soviet Union in Contemporary Russia’s Security Policy”

11.20 – 11.50: Panel discussion

11.50 – 13.00: LUNCH BREAK

13.00 – 14.30: SESSION 9: Military histories

Chair: Katharina Döring (Södertörn University)

  • 13.00 – 13.20: Ilmari Käihkö (Södertörn University / Swedish Defence University), “The legacies of empire in the Finnish interwar military”
  • 13.20 – 13.40: Vytautas Petronis (Lithuanian Institute of History), “Humanism with a Sword: German Masonic Military Loges in OberOst, 1915-1918”
  • 13.40 – 14.00: Andrii Posunko (Dnipropetrovsk National Historical Museum), “Cossacks as Grenzers, Grenzers as Cossacks: Transfers of population and knowledge between the borderland militaries of the Habsburg and Russian Empires in the early nineteenth century”

14.00 – 14.30: Panel discussion

13.00 – 14.30: ROUNDTABLE: Post-Soviet Authoritarianism: Post-imperial and newly colonial condition?

Moderators: Olena Podolian and Oleg Antonov (Södertörn University)


  • Marlene Laruelle – Director, Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies at the George Washington University; Director, Illiberalism Studies Program; Director, Central Asia Program; Co-Director, PONARS-Eurasia; Research Professor of International Affairs
  • Bo Petersson – Professor of Political science and International Migration and Ethnic Relations, the Vice-Chancellor on Doctoral Studies and Research, and co-Director of the RUCARR, at the Malmö University
  • Ingerid M. Opdahl – Head of the Centre for Security Policy at the Norwegian Institute for Defence Studies (IFS) at the Norwegian Defence University College

14.30 – 14.40: COFFEE BREAK

14.40 – 16.10: KEYNOTE LECTURE by Klaus Richter (University of Birmingham), “National Empowerment in Empires and Nation States: East Central Europe from the 19th century to Today”

Moderator: Per Anders Rudling (Lund University)

16.10 – 16.20: COFFEE BREAK

16.20 – 17.00: Concluding remarks and discussion

Complimentary registration to get a Zoom link for the conference sessions Länk till annan webbplats, öppnas i nytt fönster.

We will be sending the programme with Zoom links approximately three to five days before the conference starts.

The call for application is now closed!

We would like to explore these questions alongside other aspects of enduring imperial pasts, with regards to the histories, politics, economics, and cultures of the region. How do these imperial sediments affect social, political, and cultural relations? How are they embedded in media and communication technologies? What kind of appeal does the term “empire” now have and to what ends it is being invoked? Are there different histories, mythologies, and memories to be told, as opposed to national instrumentalizations of history?

With the emphasis on ruptures, continuities, echoes, reproductions, and other forms of endurance, the conference suggests bringing both local dimensions and global entanglements with regards to imperial histories and imperial afterlives into consideration. We are interested in durabilities, mutations, translations, migrations, reciprocities, and coexistence across time and space.

The conference welcomes historians, political and social scientists, anthropologists, cultural theorists, and specialists in other fields of knowledge to discuss manifestations—hidden or apparent—of imperial endurances in:

  • nature and culture interactions, environments and commodities, production and consumption;
  • economies and technologies;
  • ethnic, social, political, and religious solidarities and identifications;
  • ideologies and politics;
  • transfers of knowledge, ideas and information;
  • international relations and security;
  • imageries, memory, and heritage;
  • minorities and diasporas, dialects and languages;
  • artistic expressions.


Michael Khodarkovsky is a Professor of History at Loyola University Chicago. He specializes in the history of the Russian empire, with a broader interest in comparative imperial and colonial history. His books include Russia’s 20th century: A Journey in 100 Histories (Bloomsbury Academic, 2019), Bitter Choices: Loyalty and Betrayal in the Russian Conquest of the North Caucasus (Cornell University Press, 2011), and Russia’s Steppe Frontier: The Making of a Colonial Empire, 1500-1800 (Indiana University Press, 2002).

Klaus Richter is a Senior Lecturer in Eastern Europe at the University of Birmingham and Director of the Birmingham Research Institute for History and Cultures (BRIHC). His scholarly interests include, among others, the history of nationalism, ethnic conflict, and displacement. He is the author of Fragmentation in East Central Europe: Poland and the Baltics, 1915-1929 (Oxford University Press, 2020) and Antisemitismus in Litauen: Christen, Juden und die ‘Emanzipation’ der Bauern, 1889-1914 (Metropol, 2013).

• Professor Mark Bassin,
• Julia Malitska, Ph.D.,
• Oleksandr Polianichev, Ph.D.,
• Kirill Kozhanov, Ph.D.

Can I submit the application also via email?
We want to ask applicants to use solely the online form Länk till annan webbplats, öppnas i nytt fönster. instead of an email application.

The application form is open from 23 April, 6.00 (CEST) until 15 June, 23:59 (CEST)

What is the planned format of the presentations? 20 min is allocated for incdividual presentation, followed by questions form audience.

Do you plan to hold the conference on-site if the situation allows this? We are taking into account varying situations when it comes to travel restriction in Sweden and other countries. We do not currently plan to have the on-site conference format. However, we have reservations for the eventual change of the format.

Is there any conference fee?
No, the conference and participation in it are free of charge. Please register in the online form Länk till annan webbplats, öppnas i nytt fönster. so we can send you a programme with Zoom links to conference sessions.

Where can I find the programme?
It will be published later on this website.

I want to discuss a proposal for a panel. Who can I contact?
Please contact

Conference poster
Tid och plats

25 november 09:00 - 26 november 16:00




Arrangeras av

Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES)



Facebook Mail Twitter

Sidan är uppdaterad