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.

Call for Papers

9th Biennial AWSS Conference: Crossing Borders in Slavic Women’s and Gender Studies

Thursday, March 14, 2019
Renaissance Battle House Hotel and Spa, Mobile, AL
Proposal deadline extended to January 15.

The Association for Women in Slavic Studies (AWSS) solicits paper presentations on the theme of “Crossing Borders in Slavic, East European and Eurasian Women’s and Gender Studies” for its 9th Biennial Conference to be held on Thursday, March 14, 2019 at the Renaissance Battle House Hotel and Spa in Mobile, Alabama.  The conference will be held in conjunction with the Annual Meeting of the Southern Conference on Slavic Studies (SCSS), which opens Thursday evening and runs through Saturday, March 16.  Participants of the AWSS Conference are encouraged to attend and participate in the SCSS conference as well (a separate CFP will be issued for that conference), and can attend both conferences with the same registration. *

The conference theme seeks to draw attention to the myriad ways that Slavic Women’s and Gender Studies increasingly breaches national, disciplinary, and chronological boundaries.  Scholars of Eastern Europe and Eurasia have long engaged in comparative work, enhanced of late with a focus on transnational and international linkages. Interdisciplinarity continues to erode methodological silos, while fresh examination of conventional periodization puts eras once cordoned off from each other into illuminating dialogue. We invite potential participants to address the notion of “crossing borders” understood in this broad literal and figurative sense.

The keynote speaker will be Tricia Starks, Associate Professor of History at the University of Arkansas. Starks’s work interrogates the intersection of culture and public health in Russia and the USSR. She is the author of two books: The Body Soviet: Hygiene, Propaganda, and the Revolution State (University of Wisconsin, 2008) and Smoking under the Tsars: A History of Tobacco in Imperial Russia (Cornell University Press, 2018). A third monograph, on Soviet smoking, nears completion. She is also co-editor, with Matthew Romaniello, of two edited volumes: Tobacco in Russian History and Culture from the Seventeenth Century to the Present (Routledge, 2009) and Russian History through the Senses: From 1700 to the Present (Bloomsbury, 2016). Starks is the recipient of numerous research and teaching awards, including a three-year NIH/NLM Grant for Scholarly Works in Biomedicine and Health. The topic of her keynote is: “The Empire made Smoke and Flesh: Tobacco imagery, militarism, and gender in Late Imperial Russia.”

The conference organizers welcome proposals from scholars at all stages in their careers and in any discipline of Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (history, literature, linguistics, political science, sociology, anthropology, economics, gender studies, etc.). We especially encourage graduate students to participate in this conference.  Proposals should consist of a:

  • 250-word abstract of the paper, including the paper’s title
  • one-page CV, including the author’s affiliation and contact information.

Deadline Extended. Proposals are now due by January 15 to Paula Michaels, Associate Professor of History, Monash University (paula.michaels@monash.edu).

Participants will be notified of their acceptance approximately four weeks after the proposal deadline.  AWSS has limited funds to help defer the costs of attendance for graduate students (to cover registration fees and hotel accommodations).  Please indicate in your proposal if you are interested in applying for graduate student funding.

* Proposals are due to SCSS on January 15. For additional information on SCSS, visit http://www.sewanee.edu/scss/. You can also direct questions about local arrangements to Sharon Kowalsky, Associate Professor of History, Texas A&M University-Commerce (Sharon.Kowalsky@tamuc.edu).

2017 AWSS Conference

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.”

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