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Conference ' The 1990s: The Social History of Russia '

Event ended

On June 24-25, 2019 the conference 'The 1990s: The Social History of Russia' will be held at HSE' The event is organised by the International Centre for the History and Sociology of World War II and its Consequences at the Higher School of Economics and the Boris Yeltsin Presidential Center Foundation. 

Call for Papers

The era of the 1990s in Russia has long been subject of social science research. Political scientists and social anthropologists have written extensively on the post-Soviet transition and entry into the market, the weakening of the state and the increase in freedoms, the destruction of former Soviet infrastructure and invention of new lifestyles, and the redistribution of property and restructuring of the social. But now this period has become history, and thus, it should be studied as such. In inviting researchers from different (inter)disciplinary spheres to discuss the social dimension of the 1990s, the conference organizers contend that the study of this now-historic period demands new sources, analytical languages, and historiographical models. We seek to bring together specialists in a range of disciplines in search of answers to the following questions:

  • How can we comprehend and empirically define the boundaries of the 1990s?
  • What changes took place in terms of social stratification? What language do we need to describe these transformations?
  • What happened to social connections, networks, and communities?
  • What determined whether old infrastructure and cultural and behavioral codes fell apart or remained intact? How were new ones created and developed?
  • How did former Soviet citizens navigate changes and react to new circumstances? What values did these changed circumstances endow?
  • How did the population of Russia react to economic changes? How did people enter the market and adapt to hyperinflation, the closing and conversion of enterprises, and the collapse of the planned economy?
  • How can we describe the criminological profile of the 1990s? What criminal offenses best characterize the transitional era? What methods were developed to deal with them?
  • How were reforms in housing policy, medicine, and education implemented? How did different social groups perceive these reforms?
  • How did increased mobility and the ability to travel abroad affect the behavioral practices of the population?
  • How do we understand the media policy of the 1990s? To what extent did Russian television, radio, and print journalism create new social realities? How did audiences adapt to new media formats?
  • What is cultural policy in the 1990s? How can it be described?
  • How did Russian citizens react to the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union? How did they perceive and reconsider the Soviet past?
  • What regional identities emerged in the 1990s? How did processes differ at the center and the periphery?
  • What new and traditional sources can be used to study the social and cultural transformations of the 1990s?

Specialists in history, sociology, cultural studies, and other closely related disciplines are invited to participate. Although the conference will focus on the decade of the 1990s, we interpret this chronological period broadly, including Perestroika and the early 2000s.

Working languages of the conference are Russian and English.

We anticipate publishing conference materials.

Applications for the conference will be accepted in English and Russian until April 1, 2019. Participants will be notified of the results of the competitive selection process by April 15, 2019.

Applications should include: (1) the name, institutional affiliation, position, postal address, and email address of the speaker, (2) a CV (2–3 pages), (3) a short cover letter describing how the speaker’s research connects to the conference topic, and (4) an abstract of no more than one page. Applications will be accepted for both individual papers and panels. All applications and questions for the organizers should be addressed to worldwar2@hse.ru

Foreign participants will be provided with visa support (an invitation). The conference organizers will provide meals during the conference (coffee breaks, lunches). A limited number of grants are available to cover accommodations and transit (in whole or in part). Those requiring financial support should indicate this in their application.

Program Committee of the Conference

  • Oleg Budnitskii, Professor of History, and Director of the International Center for the History and Sociology of World War II and Its Consequences, National Research University Higher School of Economics
  • Michael David-Fox, Professor of History, Georgetown University, and Academic Advisor, International Center for the History and Sociology of World War II and Its Consequences, National Research University Higher School of Economics
  • Galina Iankovskaia, Professor at the Department of Russia’s Contemporary History, Perm State University
  • Oleg Khlevniuk, Leading Research Fellow, International Center for the History and Sociology of World War II and its Consequences, and Professor of History, National Research University Higher School of Economics
  • Rudolf Pikhoya, Leading Research Fellow at the Institute of Russian History, Russian Academy of Sciences, Editor of the Journal “Rossiiskaia Istoria” (Russian History)
  • Nikita Sokolov, Deputy Executive Director for Scientific Work, the President B. Yeltsin Center Foundation
  • Liudmila Telen, Professor at the Faculty of Communications, Media, and Design, National Research University Higher School of Economics, and Deputy Executive Director, the President B. Yeltsin Center Foundation
  • Vera Tolz, Sir William Mather Professor of Russian Studies, University of Manchester

The conference is part of a continuing series of large international conferences organized by the International Centre for the History and Sociology of World War II and its Consequences at the Higher School of Economics, including the “"A ‘Memory Revolution’: Soviet History through the Lens of Personal Documents” (2017), “Soviet Encounters with West and East” (2018), and others.