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SSEES Postgraduate Conference 2022


Ways of Being: Hybridizations of Time and Space in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

Two years since our most recent conference at SSEES, there have been two major, global developments: the coronavirus pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The former has familiarised us with mass fatality and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has signalled the return of war to Europe. Both have drawn an irrevocable line between former realities and new ways of being, not least in the East European and Central Asian regions.

In light of this irrevocable line being drawn, we have become more sensitized to the phenomena of hybridization and fragmentation. We define hybridization as the process by which an entity is created or a phenomenon emerges through a combination of two or more different elements. We define fragmentation as the process by which an entity or a phenomenon is broken down into smaller parts.

By employing this conceptual framework, it can be understood that the Covid-19 pandemic has created fragmentation through severe restrictions in the physical movement of people. Paradoxically, it has also led to hybridization in increased global connectivity through communications technology.

Similarly, the Russo-Ukrainian war can be understood as Putin’s attempt at accruing territory and political power through a hybridization of the nation states of Russia and Ukraine. At the same time, the war has engendered fragmentation not only by disrupting the physical movement of people, but also by increasing diplomatic tensions between nations. Here, fragmentation manifests itself most poignantly on the familial level on both sides of the Russo-Ukrainian border.

We are looking to assemble early-career scholars from various academic disciplines, including but not limited to politics, international relations, economics, history, sociology, literature and inter-disciplinary fields to explore how hybridization and fragmentation of space and time apply to Eastern Europe and Central Asia in the past and present. We, therefore, welcome paper proposals linked to the broad themes of time and space, as well as hybridization and

Proposals can address, but are not limited to, the following questions:

  • How has the history of Eastern Europe and/or Central Asia been affected by hybridization and/or fragmentation?
  • How have notions of belonging and identity been affected by hybridization and/or fragmentation in Eastern European and/or Central Asian societies?
  • What are some popular ideas of temporality and spatiality as they relate to memory and progress in Eastern Europe and Central Asia?
  • How do East European and Central Asian societies perceive the dichotomy of self versus other in relation to temporality and spatiality?

This conference will provide an opportunity for postgraduate students and early career researchers to present their research to a broad, cross-disciplinary audience, as well as to network with other scholars of the East European and Central Asian regions. In keeping with its theme, the conference will be conducted in a hybrid format with keynote speakers, as well as panel and roundtable discussion participants able to participate in-person or virtually. We encourage Ukrainian scholars and scholars of Ukraine as a territory to participate in the conference. Contrary to the stipulations made in the earlier version of our call for papers, we are able to provide speakers with financial support for basic travel and accommodation expenses, as well as various other essential costs on a needs basis. Please contact us for more information.

We are also conscious of the potential disconnect between academic discussion and the realities of war many Ukrainians are currently experiencing. As a result, we offer supplementary financial support for Ukrainian scholars to enable participation in-person at our conference, including our more informal roundtable discussion about the everyday realities of Ukrainian people enduring the conflict. If you are a Ukrainian national who would like to participate in the conference, please contact us for more information regarding financial assistance. The event will also be live streamed and facilitate the participation of attendees virtually, in addition to a limited in-person attendance.

Please send your proposals to The deadline for submission is 15th September 2022. The conference will take place on 9-10th November 2022 at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London.

Proposals should meet a minimum of 300 words and should not exceed 700 words. Please include your name and university affiliation in your submission. The duration of each presentation should not exceed 20 minutes. The conference will be conducted in English.

9 - 10 Nov 2022 London, United Kingdom