Head of the Organising Committee
Sanna Turoma
sanna.turoma [at] helsinki.fi

Conference Coordinator
Kaarina Aitamurto
kaarina.aitamurto [at] helsinki.fi

Conference Secretary
Maarit Elo-Valente
maarit.elo-valente [at] helsinki.fi

Conference Intern
Miikka Piiroinen
miikka.piiroinen [at] helsinki.fi

Conference e-mail:
fcree-aleksconf [at] helsinki.fi


The Aleksanteri Institute

Unioninkatu 33 (P.O. Box 42)
00014 University of Helsinki
phone +358-(0)50-3565 802

aleksanteri [at] helsinki.fi


Past Aleksanteri Conferences


Culture and Russian Society


Time and venue: 21-23 October 2015, University of Helsinki, Finland
Organiser: Aleksanteri Institute, University of Helsinki and Finnish Centre of Excellence in Russian Studies - Choices of Russian Modernisation


Vera Tolz Keynote

For the photos from the conference click here or go to the Aleksanteri Institute's facebook page.


After the initial surge of new artistic and institutional experiments in the post-1991 years, many Russians involved in cultural production became disillusioned with the prestige and role of culture in the emerging social and political order. Meanwhile, the Russian state was struggling to reform and maintain cultural and educational institutions and their infrastructure. The vocabulary of modernisation re-entered Russian political discourse during Dmitry Medvedev’s presidency. Technological and economic innovation was to be in the forefront of the country’s political agenda.

With Vladimir Putin’s third re-election, the creative class gathered political momentum, and cultural and intellectual practices in Russia regained social and political relevance. At the same time, culture and its traditional institutions became increasingly integrated into state policies in order to reconstruct a uniform national and geopolitical Russian identity. Official views of the country’s future draw from an understanding of Russia as a unique civilization separate from the West.

In keeping with the Aleksanteri Institute’s multidisciplinary research agenda and the Academy of Finland Centre of Excellence “Choices of Russian Modernisation,” the 15th Aleksanteri Conference has invited proposals that focus on the cultural challenges and intellectual choices Russia and its diverse population face today. We welcome scholars from all fields of humanities, social and political sciences to contribute to the investigation of the role of cultural analysis in enriching our understanding of Russia’s recent developments.

Keynote speakers:

  • Catriona Kelly, Professor of Russian, University of Oxford, UK: “Russia and Europe, 1991-2014 La grande disillusion
  • Vlad Strukov, Associate Professor in Digital Culture, University of Leeds, UK: The Conservative Turn: Culture as Politics in Putin's Russia
  • Vera Tolz, Sir William Mather Professor of Russian Studies, University of Manchester, UK: Projecting the Nation: Media Events and Changing Narratives of Nationhood in Putin's Russia
  • Elena Vartanova, Professor, Dean of the Faculty of Journalism, Moscow State University, Russia: High or Low? Mass Media as a Driving Force of Contemporary (Russian) Culture
  • Evert van der Zweerde, Professor in Political Philosophy, Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands: Democracy in Russia - Perspectives, Expectations, Concepts
  • Unfortunately Professor Michael Gorham has had to cancel his participation as keynote speaker.

Conference Schedule and Deadlines:

Panel proposals (c.a. 500 words): May 17, 2015
Abstracts for individual papers (c.a. 300 words): May 17, 2015
Notification of acceptance: June 15, 2015
Programme published and registration opened: September 9, 2015 

Submission closed.

The conference language is English. Individual paper proposals should be in English, but we also welcome bilingual panel proposals (English and Russian).

For further assistance please contact the Conference Coordinators at fcree-aleksconf [at] helsinki.fi.

The Aleksanteri Conference is an annual, multidisciplinary, international conference organised by the Aleksanteri Institute, the Finnish Centre for Russian and Eastern European Studies, affiliated with the University of Helsinki. Aleksanteri Conferences have attracted broad interest among researchers and policy-makers in a wide variety of disciplines, both in Finland and abroad, who are interested in the development of post-socialist countries.