Second Featured Panel Confirmed “Genealogies of Anti-colonial Thought in RUTA regions”

March 14, 2024

The Ruta Association is happy to confirm the second featured panel for the Association’s 2024 Annual Conference: RE(KN)OWN REGION(S) from WITHIN, 27-30 June 2024

Genealogies of Anti-colonial Thought in RUTA regions

Speakers: Zaal Andronikashvili (Leibniz-Center for Literary and Cultural Research/Ilia State University), Epp Annus (Ohio State University/Tallinn University), Manuela Boatcă (University of Freiburg), Tamara Hundorova (National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine), Anikó Imre (University of Southern California), Almagul Menlibayeva (visual artist, curator)

Moderator: Darya Tsymbalyuk (Visiting Fellow at New Europe College, Bucharest)

This featured roundtable will invite speakers to recover the anticolonial genealogies of our regions. While many in our area studies may have become aware of decolonisation only after 2022, our regions have a long history of anticolonial resistance, including through cultural production and different forms of writing. What are the “texts” (broadly speaking) and thinkers that form these genealogies? Who were the prominent anticolonial theorists of the 19th and 20th centuries? What is the legacy of these works and intellectuals today? What lessons can we learn, and if these contributions have been forgotten, what can we uncover and gain from revisiting these epistemologies?


Zaal Andronikashvili is a Research Fellow at the Leibniz-Center for Literary and Cultural Research in Berlin and a Professor at Ilia State University, Tbilisi. He studied History and Philology in Tbilisi and Saarbrücken, completing his PhD at the University of Göttingen in 2005. His research interests include Narratology (theory of sužet), small/minor literature(s) – world literature, cultural semantics, political theology, and the cultural history of Georgia within the context of the Caucasus and the Black Sea Region, as well as Soviet and post-Soviet cultural history. He is the author of three monographs: “Die Erzeugung des dramatischen Textes. Ein Beitrag zur Theorie des Sujets” (Erisch Schmied Verlag, 2008); “Landna(h)me Georgien. Studien zur kulturellen Semantik”, with Emzar Jgerenaia and Franziska Thun-Hohenstein (Kadmos-Verlag, 2018); and “Ṗolitiḳuri teologia sakartveloši” [Political Theology in Georgia] (Ilia State University Press, 2024). Currently, he is working on the book project “Literature in Georgia: Between Small Literature and World Literature.”

Epp Annus is Associate Professor at Tallinn University, Estonia. She also lectures at Ohio State University, USA. Her recent books include “Soviet Postcolonial Studies: A View from the Western Borderlands” (Routledge, 2018) and “Coloniality, Nationality, Modernity: A Postcolonial View on Baltic Cultures under Soviet Rule”, ed. by Epp Annus (Routledge, 2018). She is an author or co-author of three monographs and several collective volumes in Estonian. She is currently finishing a manuscript “Environment and Society in Soviet Estonia, 1960-1990” (under contract with Cambridge University Press). In addition to her work as a scholar, she has published two novels, some poetry and several children’s books.

Manuela Boatcă is Professor of Sociology and Head of School of the Global Studies Programme at the University of Freiburg, Germany. She has published widely on world-systems analysis, decolonial perspectives on global inequalities, gender and citizenship in modernity/coloniality, and the geopolitics of knowledge in Eastern Europe, Latin America, and the Caribbean. She is the co-editor of “Decolonizing European Sociology” (Routledge, 2010, with E. Gutiérrez-Rodríguez and S. Costa) and the author of “Global Inequalities Beyond Occidentalism” (Routledge, 2016) and of “Laboratoare ale modernității. Europa de Est și America Latină în (co)relație” (IDEA, 2020). Together with Anca Parvulescu, she recently co-authored “Creolizing the Modern. Transylvania Across Empires” (Cornell University Press, 2022), which received the René Wellek Prize for best monograph from the American Comparative Literature Association and the Barrington Moore Award for Best Book in Comparative and Historical Sociology from the American Sociological Association in 2023.

Tamara Hundorova (a.k.a. Gundorova) is the Principal Research Fellow at Institute of Literature, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine and an Associate Fellow at Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute. Currently she is a Visiting Professor at Harvard University. She is a member of PEN Ukraine. Tamara Hundorova is the author of “Lesia Ukrainka. Knyhy Syvilly” (2023), “The Post-Chornobyl Library. The Ukrainian Postmodernism of the 1990s” (2019), “Tranzytna kul’tura. Symptomy postkolonial’noi travmy” (2013), “Kitsch i Literatura. Travestii”  (2008), “Franko i/ne Kameniar” (2006); “Femina melancholica. Stat’ i kul’tura v gendernij utopii Ol’hy Kobylians’koi” (2002) and others as well as many articles and chapters on modernism, postmodernism, feminism, postcolonial studies, and history of Ukrainian literature. Tamara Hundorova taught at Princeton and Harvard Universities, Toronto University, Greifswald University, Kyiv-Mohyla, and Kyiv National Universities. She is a former Fulbright Scholar, Visiting scholar of Monash university, and a recipient of Jacyk Distinguished Fellowship, Foreign visitors fellowship (Hokkaido University), and Fellowship of Philipp Schwartz-Initiative of Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung.

Anikó Imre is a Professor in the School of Cinematic Arts of the University of Southern California. She has published and lectures widely in comparative media studies and global communication, with a focus on (post)socialist media industries and cultures in relation to populism and popular culture, television, digital surveillance, nationalism, race, gender and sexuality. Anikó Imre is the author or editor of seven books, including the monographs “TV Socialism” (Duke University Press, 2016) and “Identity Games: Globalization and the Transformation of Media Cultures in the New Europe” (MIT Press, 2011) and the collection “Off White: Central and Eastern Europe and the Global History of Race” (editor, with Catherine Baker, Bogdan Christian Iacob and James Mark, Manchester University Press, 2024).

Almagul Menlibayeva is a distinguished video artist and photographer, who earned her MFA from the Art and Theatre University of Almaty. Her diverse artistic portfolio encompasses multi-channel video, photography, AI art, and mixed media installations, exploring the complexities of indigenous and post-Soviet socialist modernity. She meticulously examines socio-economic and political shifts in Central Asia, challenging traditional gender norms, and delving into themes of environmental degradation and indigenous mythologies. In 2017, Menlibayeva was honored with the esteemed Chevalier Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in France, alongside prestigious accolades such as the Daryn State Prize of Kazakhstan and the Tarlan National Award. Notably, she received recognition with the Grand Prix Asia Art at the II Biennial of Central Asia in Uzbekistan and the Main Prize at the International Film Festival Kino Der Kunst in Germany. Her works have been displayed in renowned venues worldwide, including the Venice Biennale, Sydney Biennale, and Sharjah Biennale. Notable solo exhibitions include Transformation at the Grand Palais and M HKA Museum, as well as her thought-provoking curatorial debut, Bread & Roses at MOMENTUM. In 2023, she unveiled a poignant installation commissioned by the Sharjah Art Foundation, shedding light on the Kazakh Famine.

Looking forward to seeing you in June in Ukraine!