About us / Centres


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.

Visiting researchers

CBEES welcomes visiting researchers.

External visiting researchers 2017

Alisa ZhabenkoAlisa Zhabenko

Date of visit: 13 March – 13 May, 2017

Alisa Zhabenko is Doctoral Student at University of Helsinki, Gender Studies and a junior research member of the Academy of Finland funded research project “Contrasting and Re-imagining Margins of KinshipCoreKin” (CoreKin, 2016-2020). Her work is on lesbian motherhood in Russia, put in historical and legal perspective through researching three generational cohorts of lesbian mothers from the last Soviet era to the contemporary period. She has published several journal articles in English, Finnish and Russian. She received her MA from European University at St Petersburg, and worked closely with the LGBT Network and organization “Coming Out” in Saint Petersburg.

During her research visit at Södertörn Univesity Alisa Zhabenko is going to continue working on her research and analyse the data and collaborate closely with colleagues from Centre for Baltic and East European Studies and project “Queering Kinship in the baltic region”.

Agata StasinskaAgata Stasinska

Date of visit: 13 March - 30 April, 2017

Agata Stasińska, psychologist and sociologist, is a PhD candidate at the Institute of Applied Social Science (University of Warsaw), Research Assistant at the Institute of Psychology (Polish Academy Of Sciences) and lecturer at the University of Social Sciences and Humanities (Poland). She was a Research Officer on “Families of Choice In Poland” research project (PI: Joanna Mizielińska). Recently she had submitted her PhD dissertation on intimate life of non-heterosexual people living in Poland. During her academic stay at Södertörn University she will be presenting some of the results of her research on intimacy (during the workshop ’Queer(y)ing Kinship in the Baltic Region’ held at Södertörn University on 24-25 April 2017). Together with Joanna Mizielińska she will be preparing a paper on lesbian motherhood.


Antu SorainenAntu Sorainen

Date of visit: 15 February - 12 May, 2017

Dr. Antu Sorainen, PhD, is an Academy Fellow and Docent in Gender Studies at the University of Helsinki. She has MA in Cultural Anthropology and Law, and PhD in Women's Studies. She studied queer legal history and co-authored a book on conceptual history of Sittlichkeit in Finland.

Antu holds a Academy Fellowship for “Wills and Inheritance Practices in Sexually Marginalised Groups” (2014-2019) and directs an Academy of Finland funded research team “CoreKin – Contrasting and Re-Imagining Margins of Kinship” (2016-2020).

Her expert research field is queer will-writing and inheritance practices. While in Södertörn, Antu will be focusing on the age gap as a decisive difference in lesbian relationships together with Joanna MIzielinska, as well as starting a survey on Nordic legal experts and queer wills.

Joanna MizielińskaJoanna Mizielińska

Date of visit: 15 February - 30 April, 2017

Joanna Mizielińska,holds DSs (habilitation) in sociology, University of Warsaw and a PhD in Women’s Philosophy, Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of Polish Academy of Sciences.

She works as an Associate Professor at the Institute of Psychology of the Polish Academy of Sciences. Her interests are queer kinship and queer families, queer theory and sociology of gender, sexuality and families. Her past research centred on the politics of translation of Anglo-American queer theoretical approaches/concepts into other geo-political contexts and the question of exclusion. She was a Principal Investigator of the project “Families of Choice in Poland” (2013-2016), and currently is a Co-investigator with Antu Sorainen in the research project “Queer(y)ing Kinship in the Baltic Region” with Ulrika Dahl as Principal Investigator (Södertörn University, 2015-2017).

She is the author of Sex/Body/Sexuality (2007) and (De)Constructions of Femininity (2004) and co-author of In different voices. Families of Choice in Poland (2017) and Families of choice in Poland. Family life of Nonheterosexual Persons (2015). She is co-editor of De-Centring Western Sexualities: Central and Eastern European Perspective (Ashgate, 2011, Routledge 2016). She has just finished her monograph "Different of ordinary? Families of choice in Poland", based on project findings (forthcoming in late 2017).

While in Södertörn, Joanna will be focusing on the age gap as a decisive difference in lesbian relationships together with Antu Sorainen, as well as preparing a paper on lesbian motherhood in Poland (together with Agata Stasinska). She will help in organising workshop ’Queer(y)ing Kinship in (and beyond) the Baltic Region’ to be held at Södertörn University 24-25 April, 2017.

Julieta RotaruJulieta Rotaru 

Date of visit: 13 February - 15 February, 2017

Julieta Rotaru is Senior Researcher in a research unit of the Metropolitan Library of Bucharest (former Centre of Eurasiatic and Afroasiatic Studies, established in 1990). She is a philologist, with a Degree in Classical Philology, University of Bucharest (1998), M.A. in Sanskrit language and literature, Tilak Maharashtra University, Pune, India (1998- 2000) and PhD in philology, Summa cum laude, from the University of Bucharest-Freie Universität zu Berlin (2004-2008).

Her fields of research are Vedic and Sanskrit language and literature, Vedic and Hindu ritual, text editing, Romani linguistics. Last published books: Vedic Śākhās: Past, Present, Future. Proceedings of the Fifth International Vedic Workshop, Bucharest, 2011, Jan E.M. Houben, Julieta Rotaru and Michael Witzel (eds.), Harvard Oriental Series, Opera Minora 9, Harvard: Harvard University Press, 2016, 1120 p.; Barbu Constantinescu.Cântece țigănești. Romané ghilea. Gypsy Songs; ed. critică, introducere, tabel cronologic, index şi bibliografie de Julieta Rotaru. Editura Muzeul Literaturii Române, București, 2016, ISBN 978-973-167-383-7, 625 pages.

Currently she works on a project of editing unpublished folk material in Romanian Romani language from the nineteenth century at the National Museum of Romanian Literature (MNLR). Julieta Rotaru was instrumental in developing the BA sylabus for the Departament of Romani and Indian Studies at Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literature, University of Bucharest, since 2005, and provided teaching of basic Sanskrit and Introduction to Old Indian Civilisation from 2005 to 2016 as associate Lecturer. She also taught for a decade as a methodist to the summer courses on Romani organised by the Romanian Ministry of Education.