Tartu Conference on East European and Eurasian Studies

Call for panel and paper proposals


Eighth Annual Tartu Conference on East European and Eurasian Studies

Area Studies in Crisis?
In Search of New Approaches in East European and Eurasian Studies 

20-21 June 2024, Tartu, Estonia


The Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies and the Centre for Eurasian and Russian Studies (CEURUS) at the University of Tartu invite proposals for full panels, roundtables, and individual papers for its 2024 annual conference on East European and Eurasian Studies. The Tartu Conference provides an academic forum that brings together scholars from area studies, comparative politics, international relations, economics, history, sociology, anthropology, cultural studies, and related disciplines to discuss the fundamental cultural, social, economic, and political trends and questions affecting all aspects of life in Eastern Europe and Eurasia.

The conference will take place in person at the University of Tartu, Estonia (with opportunities to join online in exceptional cases). The conference will begin in the morning on Thursday 20 June and end in the late afternoon on Friday 21 June. Tartu is also the 2024 European Capital of Culture, so there will be a lively programme of events happening if you wish to take the opportunity to extend your stay to explore Southern Estonia.

The programme will include academic panels, roundtables focused on current issues, and a plenary session followed by a conference dinner on the Thursday evening. The plenary will focus on the topic of ‘Unbounding Central Asia: Geopolitics from Below and Global Connections’, and the keynote speakers will be Asel Doolotkeldieva, a Nonresidential Fellow at George Washington University, based in Kazakhstan, and Natalie Koch, Professor in the Department of Geography and the Environment at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. The organisers expect that, as in previous years, more than 200 scholars will attend the event.

The 2024 Tartu Conference comes at a time of a critical juncture in East European and Eurasian area studies. The imperative to decentralise, diversify, and decolonise the fields has grown louder, driven by the need to confront traditional paradigms that have long shaped the field. The overreliance on the ‘post-Soviet’ lens, which often homogenises vast and diverse regions stretching from the Baltic Sea to Central Asia, has come under increasing scrutiny, as has the term ‘Eurasia’, with which it was often replaced. This urgency has only intensified in the wake of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, which has disrupted institutional cooperation, restricted fieldwork opportunities and access to archives, and raised pivotal questions about the future direction of our discipline.

The Tartu Conference provides an academic venue to discuss new approaches and directions that can enrich and reinvigorate East European and Eurasian Studies. What does the future of East European and Eurasian area studies look like? How can we critically assess the colonial legacies present in the field and address power imbalances and historical biases in our research and teaching? How can we incorporate a wider range of voices, narratives, and methodologies into our work? How can we safeguard academic freedom in an increasingly politicised environment?

The Tartu Conference invites submissions for panels, roundtables, and individual papers addressing the above and related questions, as well as other issues relevant to the development of Eastern Europe and Eurasia. Comparative research focusing on the region and beyond, as well as interdisciplinary perspectives, are especially welcome. The Programme Committee will give careful consideration to all proposals, however, full panel proposals are particularly encouraged.

Each paper proposal must include an abstract of no more than 250 words. Panel and roundtable proposals should list all speakers (as a general rule, 3-4 per panel/roundtable), along with abstracts and, if available, information about the chair and the discussant (alternatively, these can be assigned by the Programme Committee). The deadline to submit proposals is 20 January 2024.

All proposals will undergo rigorous selection by the Programme Committee. Notifications of acceptance will be sent by email by 20 February. Accepted participants will be expected to register by 20 April and pay a registration fee of 100 euros. Students are eligible for a reduced fee of 70 euros. Please see Rules of Participation and Important Dates for other deadlines and requirements.

To facilitate and encourage the participation of Ukrainian scholars, the following measures will be in place for the 2024 Conference:

  • for scholars affiliated with Ukrainian institutions, participation fee will be waived;
  • participants unable to travel because of military hostilities will be able to join the conference online (primarily, this applies to scholars physically based in Ukraine). Due to on-site restrictions, this will apply only to selected sessions. 

All participants should plan to make their own travel arrangements. The organisers will issue visa invitations, where applicable. Practical information regarding travel and accommodation is available on the conference website. If you have any questions, please contact the organisers at info@tartuconference.ut.ee.


Programme Committee 

Catherine Gibson, University of Tartu 
Kara D. Brown, University of South Carolina 
Elias Götz, Royal Danish Defence College 


Download the Call here: