Learn more about the biennial conferences sponsored by AWSS.
The Association for Women in Slavic Studies sponsors biennial conferences that take place in odd-numbered years. The last three conferences have been held in conjunction with the Southern Conference on Slavic Studies annual meeting, where participants are able to attend both conferences for one registration fee.
Crossing Borders in Slavic Women’s and Gender Studies
2019 Biennial AWSS Conference Keynote speaker Trish Starks, University of Arkansas presenting on "The Empire Made Smoke and Flesh: Tobacco Imagery, Militarism, and Gender in Late Imperial Russia". The presentation drew on her new book Smoking under the Tsars: A History of Tobacco in Imperial Russia (Cornell University Press)
Twelve papers presented over two days under the 2019 Biennial AWSS Conference theme of "Crossing Borders", which was understood geographically, methodologically, and metaphorically.
The 2017 conference, with the theme “Roots and Legacies of Revolution: Transformations for Women and Gender,” took place on 6-7 April at the Westin Alexandria in Alexandria, Virginia. The conference theme recognized the centennial of the Russian revolutions of 1917, which had a significant impact on the status and lives of women, as well as on the configuration of gender relations and representations throughout our region. Presentations drew attention to the roots of those revolutionary transformations in Slavic, East European, and Eurasian social, economic, political, literary, and creative practices and events of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Moreover, as we are still living with the legacies of 1917, especially the effects on women and the post-Berlin Wall gender order, some presenters addressed more contemporary questions. Thus, while we commemorated the Russian revolutions, we welcomed papers across chronological and geographical spans from the tsarist era to the present day, from Berlin to Vladivostok.
The conference included eight panels and 24 presentations over two days, overlapping with the SCSS meeting. Our keynote speaker, Dr. Rochelle Goldberg Ruthchild, spoke on “What’s Suffrage Got to Do With It? Women and Gender in Russia’s Revolutionary Year.” Dr. Ruthchild is a Center Associate at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Harvard University, a Resident Scholar at the Women’s Studies Research Center at Brandeis University, Professor Emerita of Graduate Studies at The Union Institute and University, and former Director of the Norwich University Russian School. She is an Editor of Aspasia, The International Yearbook of Central, Eastern, and Southeastern European Women’s and Gender History. A co-founder of the Association for Women in Slavic Studies (AWSS), she has served as President, Clerk, and now Board member. The author of Equality and Revolution: Women’s Rights in the Russian Empire, 1905-1917 (University of Pittsburgh Press, June 2010), she has written articles, reviews, and bibliographies about women and gender in Russia and the Soviet Union. She is a member of the feminist collective that produced the documentary film “Left on Pearl: Women Take Over 888 Memorial Drive, Cambridge.”