In Transition: Cultural Identities in the age of Transnational and Transcultural Flux

International, Interdisciplinary Conference

Ekaterinburg, Russia


National Center for Contemporary Art, Ekaterinburg, Russia
Academy of Contemporary Art, Ekaterinburg, Russia
Ural State Gorky University, Ekaterinburg, Russia
NeMe, Cyprus

Call for Participation

This interdisciplinary conference aims to contribute to the ongoing discussion concerning the realities, dilemmas and responses of people facing displacement or insecurity because of social, environmental and political instability, both global and local. The main objective of the conference is to contribute to the further analysis of such important issues of contemporary world as:

  • migration and discrimination
  • economic, political, religious, and gender displacement
  • the destiny of “imagined communities” of the nation-state and formation of transcultural “imagined worlds”

Established and emerging researchers in such fields of knowledge as philosophy, sociology, cultural and political studies, ethnology, geography, demography, art history, linguistics and cultural producers are welcome to apply for participation in the conference.

The conference will focus on but is not limited to the following topics:

  1. Displacement, Diaspora and Geography.
    • Contemporary geopolitics and its relationship to war, environmental disasters and displacement.
    • Displaced space: lost paradise and the urban ghetto. Assimilation and alienation of dissolving borders.
    • Deterritorization and the politics of cultural difference.
  2. Transculturalism
    • Hybridity and Multiculturalism in the construction of identity.
    • Suppressed difference: the marginality of the majority in the culture industry.
    • Social inclusion or cultural displacement? Media networks as social structures.
  3. Appropriation of language: language as an instrument of geo-economic domination.
    • Semantic structure of language as a source of identification self-positioning and survival in the antagonistic geo-economic environment;
    • Language as a medium of violence and resistance;
    • “Placelessness” (Displaced Space): diminishing the boundaries of language;
  4. Reflection, Resistance and Reclamation.
    • Exploring spaces as creative resistance, alternative art practices and their ethical implication.
    • Alternative media and social networks on behalf of resistance and/or reclamation. Social networking and cultural levelling.
    • ‘Privatization’ and ‘consumption’ as debatable strategies of the mainstream culture industry.

The Conference will include a selection of papers submitted via this call, artist’s talks, a number of invited speakers including international theorists who will present keynote lectures. There will also be a series of round table discussions providing a forum for greater audience participation.

Please note: Invited speakers from this Call for Participation will be responsible for their own costs including air fares and accommodation. NeMe, the Academy and the University would be happy to write a letter confirming your invitation to present your paper in order to help you secure funding.

A publication of selected conference contributions will be printed after the conference and distributed to the participants.

At this stage, we only require abstracts of the proposed paper which may be submitted in either Text, RTF, Word or PDF formats. Should you wish to submit relevant images to support your text, please ensure that these images are restricted to low resolution jpegs.

Only applications submitted with a completed entry form will be considered.
Please download the entry form in your desired format.

  • Adobe Acrobat: conference-application.pdf
  • Microsoft Word: conference-application.doc
  • Plain/Simple Text: conference-application.txt

Abstracts and your personal details, including queries should be submitted via email
Languages of Conference: English and Russian (simultaneous translation will be available)

Chair and Key Speakers

  • Chair
    • Professor Sergei Kropotov
      • Director, Academy of Contemporary Art, Ekaterinburg, Russia
  • Key Speakers
    • Dr. Zvereva Galina (Russia)
      • Professor Galina Zvereva is a Dean of the department of History and theory of culture, Faculty of Art History, Russian State University for Humanities. Among her academic interests are: theory and history of culture, gender studies, nationalism studies and national / ethnic identities in the post-Soviet Russia. She is teaching such courses as “Cultural Studies: Theory and Practice”, “Cultural Studies in the system of social science and humanities”, “History and methodology of Cultural studies”. Galina is an author of more than 120 publications which include “Discursive reality: culture of knowledge in the information society “, “Morphology of the Social History”, “The language of political history at the end of the 20th century, “Reality and Historical narrative: the problem of self-reflection of the new intellectual history”.
    • Dr Michael Haerdter (Germany)
      • Dr. Michael Haerdter is a dramaturg, curator, writer, as well as Founder and Director of Berlin’s center for performance and visual arts, K├╝nstlerhaus Bethanien (1974-1999), and Founder and President (1993-2000) of Res Artis – International Association of Residential Arts Centers, a network of eminent artist-in-residence centers and programs with over 300 members in more than 40 countries world-wide. He served as assistant to Samuel Beckett for his production of Endspiel (Endgame) in the Berlin Schiller Theater in 1967 and edited the Rehearsal Diary for this production.
    • George Alexander (Australia)
      • George Alexander works as coordinator of Contemporary Art Programmes at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. He is currently writing a regular column about Australian art for two quarterlies: Art & Australia (Sydney), and Art AsiaPacific (Hong Kong/New York) Since the early 1970s he has worn a diagonal path between literature and the visual arts, writing for performance, radio, and the printed page, as well as a diverse array of art criticism, including book-length monographs on the Australian artists Julie Rrap, Robert Owen, and Rosemary Laing. He was editor of Working Papers (Feral Press) from 1978-1982, advisory editor of Art & Text from 1988-1995, and editor of Photofile 1995-1996. He has published three literary texts: The Book of the Dead, Switch Press, Sydney (1985); Sparagmos, Experimental Art Foundation, South Australia (1989); Mortal Divide (The Autobiography of Yirogos Alexandroglou), Brandl & Schlesinger, Sydney (awarded the NSW Premier’s Award, 1999). Alexander’s work has been translated into French, Italian and German,(Il Libro della Morte e Sparagmos, Supernova Edizione, translated by G.& P. Rizzo, Venezia, Italia. His novel Mortal Divide, is currently being translated into French by Marie Gaulis).
    • Dr. Drobizheva Leokadiya (Russia)
      • Dr. Drobizheva is one of the leading Russian sociologists, one of the founders of Ethno-sociology in Russia. From 2000 she is a director of Institute of Sociology of the Russian Academy of Science. She is also a head of the Centre for Studies of International Relations. The field of her academic activity includes structures of ethnical identities, post-communists nationalisms, and the issue of civil and ethnic identity. Main publications: “History and Sociology”, “Democratization and the images of nationalism in the Russian Federation”, “Ethno-sociology”, “Social inequality of the ethnic groups: representation and reality”, “Social and cultural distance” and others.
    • Dr. Alexei Yurchak (Russia)
      • Alexei Yurchak is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley. His areas of primary interest are linguistic anthropology and post-Soviet Russia and Eastern Europe, forces of globalization (in business, mass media, communication technologies, transportation) and social processes of domination and resistance, division and unification, continuity and change, and the local responses to them. More generally his theoretical interests include the analysis of human agency and its interplay with language and discourses of power. His was awarded a Winner of the 2007 AAASS Wayne S. Vucinich Book Prize, American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies for his book “Everything Was Forever, Until It Was No More: The Last Soviet Generation”.
    • Dr. Yiannis Papadakis (Cyprus)
      • Yiannis Papadakis is a social anthropologist, Associate Professor at the Department of Social and Political Sciences, University of Cyprus. His publications include “Echoes from the Dead Zone: Across the Cyprus Divide” ( I.B.Tauris 2005), co-editing of “Divided Cyprus Modernity. History and an Island in Conflict” (Indiana University Press, 2006) and editing a special issue of Postcolonial Studies (2006) on Cyprus, along with numerous journal articles and book chapters. His work has focused on nationalism, social memory and ethnic conflict. He is currently researching migration.
    • Boris Kagarlitsky (Russia)
      • Boris Kagarlitsky works as a senior research fellow at the Institute of Comparative Political Studies at the Russian Academy of Sciences. He is the author of The Thinking Reed, The Dialectic of Hope, and The Mirage of Modernisation. When in 1987-88 non-Communist Party political activities became legal, he was among the first leaders of the so-called “informal groups” – the Federation of Socialist Public Clubs and later a coordinator of the Moscow People’s Front. In 1990 he was elected to the Moscow Soviet (provincial parliament) where he served until the coup in 1993 when local Soviets were dissolved. He has also been arrested twice for his activism, once in 1982 under Brezhnev, and in 1993 under Yeltsin.
    • Oleg Reut (Russia)
      • Oleg Reut is a visiting fellow at The Nixon Center. He is a research fellow in the International Relations Department at Petrozavodsk State University, Russian Federation, as well as a senior lecturer in the Department of Economics at the University. He is a member of the Board of Directors at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO) Center for Internet Politics and a core group member at the research workshop of the Russian Political Science Association on New Political Spaces and Methods of Study (2006-2009). Dr. Reut is currently working on a scholarly monograph exploring the nation-state as a basic unit of international relations theory, the decline of the nation-state paradigm, and processes of desovereignization. As a visiting fellow at The Nixon Center (April – July 2007), Reut was conducting research on American and Russian counterterrorism discourses, through a joint project with Center Executive Director Paul J. Saunders. The project is part of the U.S.-Russia Experts Forum, a project administered by IREX and supported by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State.


There is no fee.


  • Deadline for abstract submission (up to 300 words): March 20, 2008. extended to March 30, 2008.
  • Deadline for full text submission by selected participants (up to 2000 words): June 1, 2008.
  • Conference dates: October 16-18, 2008
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