Annual Conference
27-30 June 2024

Re(kn)own: Region(s) from Within

Carpathian Mountains, Ukraine

The RUTA Association for Central, South-Eastern, Eastern European, Baltic, Caucasus, Central and Northern Asia Studies in Global Conversation invites proposals for research paper presentations, panels, roundtable discussions, and other forms of knowledge exchange for its inaugural conference, to be held in the Carpathian Mountains, Ukraine, 2730 June 2024. 

In response to Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine and as part of the reckoning with its horrific violence, new connections of solidarity and knowledge exchange have emerged. RUTA’s annual conference aims to build on this historical moment and to uphold the emerging debates, inquiries, and collaborations. 

With an aim to develop these rich debates across disciplines, RUTA recognises that it is inadequate to use a single unifying label (whether ‘post-Soviet’, ‘post-communist’, ‘post-socialist’, ‘Eurasia’, ‘New East’, ‘Global East’ among others) when addressing this sociohistorically and demographically diverse and dynamic space. Thus, we refer to the ever-changing area shaped by imperial, colonial, and national violences as well as solidarity, transnational ties, and cultural exchanges as the region(s)

The founding of RUTA and its inaugural conference aims to transform the region(s) from an object of study to an active and visible epistemic agent. This year’s conference is entitled Re(kn)own: Region(s) from Within. ​​The event strives to reclaim the process of knowledge-making in and about the region(s) and place the region(s) at the centre of epistemic debates. 

By basing the Association and its annual conference in Ukraine, RUTA examines how the practice of knowledge-making is inherently rooted in our region(s), bodies, material, and lived realities. We welcome presentations that engage the region(s) in its cultural and geographical diversity. We are especially interested in transnational and comparative approaches that situate the region(s) in global conversations.  

Our conference welcomes proposals from diverse academic, artistic, and community practice backgrounds. We invite researchers from the humanities, social sciences, area studies, and interdisciplinary fields, as well as practitioners in community organizing, media, journalism, environment, national and international law, museums and other memory institutions, archives, the performing and visual arts. Exhibitions, film screenings, talks, plays, and other contributions to the conference are also welcome. 

We particularly encourage transregional panels that foster conversations among scholars both from within and outside the region(s).

We also invite engagement with, though not only, the following questions in relation to the conference theme:

    • How can we initiate, strengthen, and sustain new academic and community networks in the region(s) and beyond?
    • How can we collectively look for solutions to epistemic challenges of the region(s), such as inaccessible archives, unacknowledged epistemicides, and issues of area studies?
    • How can we advance socially responsible, non-extractivist and epistemically reparative research methodologies and practices within and beyond the region(s)?

The Conference encourages proposals to include, but not limited to the following research areas:

    • learning from mistakes;
    • permanent existential and military threat and knowledge-making;
    • transnational industries (military, agriculture, pharma, culture, etc.);
    • imperial and military histories;
    • de/anti-coloniality in the region(s) and globally;
    • non-conventional forms of knowledge;
    • artistic research;
    • inter- and trans- disciplinary approaches to study of the region(s);
    • de-imperialising knowledge production;
    • global climate emergency;
    • environmental impacts of wars;
    • environmental histories and their legacies;
    • history of science;
    • nuclear industries and their legacies;
    • survival strategies;
    • critical infrastructure;
    • architecture;
    • food access and food security;
    • pollution and health impacts;
    • science-humanities interdisciplinary dialogues;
    • art institutions and public practitioners;
    • archives and counter-archives;
    • popular culture;
    • language;
    • heritage preservation;
    • literature and translation;
    • film studies;
    • cultural restitution;
    • memory;
    • history of emotions;
    • epistemic reparations;
    • transitional justice;
    • transnational solidarity and resistance;
    • national and international law;
    • media platformisation and journalism;
    • journalism in the context of war;
    • disinformation and propaganda;
    • transnational communities and diasporas;
    • race, racialisation, and whiteness;
    • gender and feminist critiques;
    • social justice;
    • healthcare and mental health;
    • disability studies;
    • medical humanities;
    • securitization, borders and citizenship;
    • new political imaginations;
    • global order;
    • security and threats in the region(s);
    • occupation and de-occupation;
    • boycott and sanctions;
    • local and international markets;
    • labour rights and migrant labour.

The conference will take place in the Carpathian mountains in a location with on-site air raid shelters. All state and local guidelines regarding safety and security will be strictly adhered to throughout the conference. For safety and security reasons, the venue and logistics pertaining to the conference will be disclosed to registered participants close to the conference date. 

Proposals of panels and roundtables must be submitted by 15 March 2024. Confirmations of acceptance will be communicated no later than the end of March 2024. 

Preference will be given to transregional panels that bring region(s) into conversation. 

Submissions  that discuss the RUTA region(s) in the global context are highly encouraged. 

Individual Papers

  1. Paper abstract (300 words max.);
  2. Biography (100 words max.).

Panels (consisting of three papers) and roundtables (with a maximum of six participants) 

  1. Panel abstract (300 words max.);
  2. List of participants with presentation titles and paper abstracts (each 300 words max.);
  3. Biography of each participant (100 words max. per participant).

Artistic Engagements

  1. Project description (500 words max.). Please include information about the necessary equipment and setting requirements. Priority will be given to projects that meet the criteria of feasibility. 
  2. Biography of each participant (100 words max. per participant).

Conference registration fee: 20 euros 

There will be a limited number of travel grants that participants in need of financial assistance and without institutional funding can apply for.

Ukrainian citizens currently residing in Ukraine will be exempt from conference fees in 2024.

Please send your enquiries to: 


About RUTA 

The RUTA Association for Central, South-Eastern, Eastern Europe, Baltic, Caucasus, Central and Northern Asia Studies in Global Conversation

RUTA promotes and supports Central, South-Eastern, Eastern Europe, Baltic, Caucasus, Central and Northern Asia studies. It centres and builds on the knowledges, scholarly traditions and expertise of scholars, artists and social justice advocates in the region(s). The Association grows from epistemic communities and solidarity networks formed in response to Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. RUTA fosters awareness and engagement with the concerns of diversity, equity and justice in academia and research. The Association strives to lead and amplify debates on issues concerning the region(s), making them accessible to local scholars and strengthening their connections with academics and institutions globally. RUTA promotes critical research on ongoing imperial and colonial legacies that have shaped the region(s), relying on the expertise and experiences of affected societies, and stimulating social responsibility. The Association will contribute to debates leading to epistemic and cultural reparations and restitution.