Guest Speakers
The 22nd Annual Aleksanteri Conference has a pleasure of presenting these distinguished scholars as keynote speakers.
Madina Tlostanova

Madina Tlostanova is Professor of Postcolonial Feminism at the Department of Thematic Studies (Gender studies) at Linköping University (Sweden). Tlostanova focuses on decolonial thought, post socialist studies, non-Western feminisms, contemporary art and fiction. She was a DAAD professor at the University of Bremen (2006, 2011), an international researcher at Duke University (2007), a visiting scholar at Linköping University (2013) and Södertorn University (2014). Her books include “What Does it Mean to be Post-Soviet? Decolonial Art from the Ruins of the Soviet Empire” (2018), “Postcolonialism and Postsocialism in Fiction and Art: Resistance and Re-existence” (2017), “Learning to Unlearn: Decolonial Reflection from Eurasia and the Americas” (co-authored with Walter Mignolo, 2012), and “Gender Epistemologies and Eurasian Borderlands” (2010). She has published influential articles in academic journals such as The European Journal of Social Theory, Feminist Theory, and The Journal of Postcolonial Writing. She is involved in many projects inside and outside academia in relation to decolonizing universities and museums, feminisms of the Global South, and political art.

Epp Annus

Epp Annus is associate Professor at Tallinn University, Institute of Humanities (Estonia); she also lectures at the Department of Slavic and East European Languages and Cultures, 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). As a postcolonial/decolonial scholar, she is interested in the complex ideological entanglements of the Soviet and post-Soviet periods. She is also an author or co-author of three monographs and several collective volumes in Estonian. Her current project, "The politics of eco-intimacy: Constructing subjecthood in the Soviet-era Baltics", explores connections and linkages between eco-intimacy – the feeling of belonging together with one’s natural surroundings – and models of subjectivity in the Soviet period and the subsequent era of transition. 

Dominique Moran

Dominique Moran is Professor of Carceral Geography at the University of Birmingham (United Kingdom). She graduated with a first class degree from the School of Geography and Environment at the University of Oxford, staying on to write her doctoral dissertation on peasant subsistence practices in the northern Urals. She later turned her attention to the impact of distance on women’s imprisonment in the Russian Federation and was co-PI of a UK-funded collaborative grant with the Russian Prison Service. This research resulted in the co-authored book “Gender, Geography and Punishment: women’s experiences of carceral Russia” (OUP, 2012). Dominique took up her post at the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham, in 2004, where she was made Professor in Carceral Geography in 2018. She has always been an active member of the Royal Geographical Society and Institute of British Geographers, establishing the Carceral Geographies working group in 2017. It is her pioneering work on carceral geographies for which she is best known. She is the author of  many scientific papers on carcerality in different world region and authored and edited numerous books including  "Carceral Geography: Spaces and Practices of Incarceration" (2015), and co-edited "Carceral Spaces: Mobility and Agency in Imprisonment and Migrant Detention" (2013) with Nick Gill and Deirdre Conlon; "Historical Geographies of Prisons: Unlocking the Usable Carceral Past" (2015) with Karen Morin; "Carceral Spatiality: Dialogues between Geography and Criminology" (2017) with Anna Schliehe; and "The Palgrave Handbook of Prison and the Family" (2019) with Marie Hutton. Her most recent publication is "The Palgrave Handbook of Prison Design" by Moran et al., eds. (Springer Nature, 2022). She held a visiting fellowship at the Aleksanteri Institute of the University of Helsinki in 2011.

Viacheslav Morozov

Viacheslav Morozov is Professor of EU–Russia Studies at the University of Tartu, and Academic Director of the UT’s Centre for Eurasian and Russian Studies (Estonia). His research interests include postcolonial theory and critique; ideology and discourses in Russia (including comparative aspects); and EU–Russia relations. He is a member of Academia Europaea; programme chair of the Annual Tartu Conference on East European and Eurasian Studies; country editor for USSR/Russia in ‘The Making Identity Count’ project, and member of PONARS Eurasia academic network. He is the author of "Russia’s Postcolonial Identity: A Subaltern Empire in a Eurocentric World" (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015) and the editor of the Russian translation of Dipesh Chakrabarty’s "Provincializing Europe" (Garazh, 2021). His articles have appeared in International Theory, International Relations, Journal of International Relations and Development, Cooperation and Conflict, among others.

Matthias Neumann

Matthias Neumann is Professor of Modern History at the University of East Anglia (United Kingdom). He has published widely on the history of childhood and youth in revolutionary Russia. His book "The Communist Youth League and the Transformation of the Soviet Union, 1917-1932" (Routledge 2011), has been translated into Spanish and published in South America in 2019. Neumann is the co-editor of the edited volume "Rethinking the Russian Revolution as Historical Divide: Tradition, Rupture and Modernity" (Routledge 2017). His current research project, "American Peace Child: Bridging the Cold War Divide in a Soviet Youth Camp", examines exchange programmes which enabled American children to visit the Soviet Union, and the role of children in citizen diplomacy during the Cold War. He is also the President of the British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies (BASEES), a co-editor of History: The Journal of the Historical Association, and associate editor of Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History.

Jeffrey Kahn

Jeffrey Kahn is Professor of Law and Gerald J. Ford Research Fellow at SMU Dedman School of Law (USA).  He was a resident in Norway during the 2017-2018 academic year as a Fulbright Research Scholar at the PluriCourts Centre in the Faculty of Law at the University of Oslo. He joined the faculty in Fall 2006 and teaches and writes on American constitutional law, administrative law, Russian law, human rights, and counterterrorism. His work on Russian law has been noted by name by the editors of the New York Times and published in various law reviews as well as the peer-reviewed journals Post-Soviet Affairs and Review of Central and East European Law. His latest research has focused primarily on the influence in Russia of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Elena Racheva

Elena Racheva is a a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of Sociology, University of Oxford (United Kingdom), where she works on the CrimGov project. She explores the role of criminal fraternity in the history of the Soviet GULAG and its role in criminal governance in the Soviet and post-Soviet Russia. Elena finished her DPhil in Medieval and Modern Languages at the University of Oxford, focusing on militarisation and patriotic mobilisation in Russia. Previously, Elena worked as a special correspondent for independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta, covering political and social issues in the former Soviet countries. She is the author of the book "Article 58. Unseized. Stories of GULAG Survivors and Perpetrators" (2016), translated into four languages.

Yevgeny Zakharov

Yevgeny Zakharov is a Ukrainian human rights activist. He comes from a long line of human rights activists and victims of the GULAG. Initially training as an electrical engineer, he became involved in the Soviet dissident movement in the human rights activism in the 1970s and 1980s, In 1988-1992 he worked as a correspondent for the newspaper Ekspress-Khronika. In 1989-2006 he was a member of the Moscow Helsinki Group. In 1990-1994 he was a deputy of Kharkiv town Council. Since 1990 he has been a deputy-chair of the Commission on Restoring the Rights of the Unjustly Repressed. In 1989-1992 he was a co-chair of Kharkiv Memorial. Since 1994, he has been a member of the Board of the International Memorial Society. In 1992-1996 he was a member of the Public Council of the Ukrainian-American Bureau for Human Rights Protection and editor-in-chief of the journal Human Rights in Ukraine. Since 1992, he has been a co-chair of Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group. He has also been editor-in-chief of the weekly Prava Ludyny (‘Human Rights’) since 1993, and editor-in-chief of the quarterly Freedom of Expression and Privacy since 1999. Evgeny Zakharov initiated the creation of a Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union as an association of Ukrainian human rights organizations. He is the author of over 200 publications devoted to human rights, civil society and the history of political repressions in the USSR and Ukraine, writing on genocide, the Ukrainian famine, the Council of Europe, and human rights. In 2012 he produced a report on the "Creation of a National System for Preventing Torture and Ill-Treatment in Ukraine" and he is currently directing work by the Kharkhiv Human Rights Protection Group documenting war crimes in the occupied territories of Ukraine. He was awarded the anniversary medal “25 years of independence of Ukraine” by the President of Ukraine in 2016.

Jeremy Morris

Jeremy Morris is a Professor of Global and Russian Studies at the School of Culture and Society, Aarhus University (Denmark). He works at the confluence of anthropology, sociology, area and cultural studies, focusing on critical political economy and postsocialism. He served as co-director of the Centre for Russian, European, and Eurasian Studies at Birmingham University, and previously taught at the universities of Durham, Nottingham and Sussex. He has held research funding to investigate the negotiation of worker identity under postsocialism (British Academy 2010-2011); alternative approaches to development in the post-socialist region (International Research Staff Exchange Scheme Marie Curie grant 2013-2017); comparative approaches to social trust in postsocialist Europe and Denmark (AUFF Grant 2018-2022). His books include "Everyday Postsocialism: Working-class Life Strategies in the Russian Margins" (Palgrave 2016); "New Media in New Europe-Asia" (Routledge 2015); "The Informal Postsocialist Economy: Embedded Practices and Livelihoods" (Routledge 2014); "Informal Economies in Post-Socialist Spaces: Practices, Institutions and Networks" (Palgrave 2015); "Identity and Nationbuilding in Everyday Postsocialist Life" (Routledge 2017). He is also the author of the blog Postsocialism.

Gavin Slade

Gavin Slade is Associate Professor and Chair of Sociology and Anthropology at Nazarbayev University (Kazakhstan). He received his PhD in criminology from the University of Oxford, and has held positions at the University of Toronto, Freie Universität, Berlin, and the University of Glasgow. He works on criminal justice reform in the former Soviet Union with a focus on prisons, policing, and organized crime. Slade is a Principal Investigator on a project titled ‘In the Gulag’s Shadow: Producing, Consuming and Perceiving Prisons in the Former Soviet Union’, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, UK. He has also held funding from the German Research Foundation and the European Commission to study penal reform and violence in comparative perspective in the post-Soviet space. He is the author of the book "Reorganizing Crime: Mafia and Anti-Mafia in Post-Soviet Georgia" (Oxford University Press, 2013), and has published articles in The European Journal of Criminology, The British Journal of Criminology, Law and Society Review, Post-Soviet Affairs, and Europe-Asia Studies.

Ben Noble

Ben Noble is Associate Professor of Russian Politics at University College London and an Associate Fellow at Chatham House (United Kingdom). He is also a national committee member of the British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies (BASEES). Ben has BA, MA, MPhil, and DPhil degrees from the University of Oxford, where he was also a Junior Research Fellow at New College. He has also held visiting fellowships at Uppsala University and the University of Helsinki. Noble's research interests include Russian domestic politics, legislative politics, and authoritarianism, with funding and awards from the Leverhulme Trust, the Political Studies Association, and the British Academy, including a Rising Star Engagement Award. He has published research in the journals Comparative Political Studies, the Journal of European Public Policy, the Journal of Legislative Studies, Russia Politics, and Post-Communist Economies, among others. He has also published a number of research and textbook chapters on the Russian State Duma. Ben's co-authored book on Alexei Navalny was named a Politics Book of the Year in 2021 by the Financial Times, The Hill, and Diplomatic Courier, and a Foreign Affairs book of the year in 2022. He regularly provides media commentary on Russian domestic politics, including for the BBC, The Times, Bloomberg, The Guardian, and Reuters. Ben is the founding series editor of "New Perspectives on Eastern Europe and Eurasia" – a book series published by Hurst Publishers and Oxford University Press.

Krešimir Petković

Krešimir Petković is Professor of Political Science at the University of Zagreb (Croatia). His research covers such topics as penal politics and policy, violence and punishment, Foucault and biopolitics. He is the editor of the Annals of Croatian Political Science (Anali Hrvatskog politološkog društva). He has lived and worked in the United States as well as in Croatia. In addition to his works in Croatian, his publications in English include the substantial monograph, "Discourses on Violence and Punishment: Probing the Extremes" (Lexington, Lanham MD).

Federico Varese

Federico Varese is Professor of Criminology at the University of Oxford and a Senior Research Fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford (United Kingdom). In 2021 he became the Head of the Department of Sociology. His research interests include organized crime, corruption, Soviet criminal history, social network analysis and analytical social theory. He is the author of two award-winning monographs - "The Russian Mafia" (OUP, 2001) and "Mafias on the Move" (Princeton UP 2011) and the edited collection "Organized Crime" (2010). His third book, "Mafia life" (2018) has been translated into eight languages and has been optioned for TV. He has published extensively in academic journals. He is currently on the Editorial Board of The British Journal of Criminology and has been Editor of Global Crime. In 2021, Varese was awarded an advanced grant from the European Research Council for a project on the governance dimension of organized crime.