Guest Speakers

The 22nd Annual Aleksanteri Conference has a pleasure of presenting these distinguished scholars as keynote and plenary speakers. All keynotes and plenaries will be streamed to the public.
Epp Annus
Associate Professor

Institute of Humanities, Tallinn University, Estonia

Epp Annus is Associate Professor at Tallinn University, Institute of Humanities; 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 book project, "Environment and Society in Soviet Estonia, 1960-1990” (under contract with Cambridge Univ Press), explores connections and linkages between eco-intimacy – the feeling of belonging together with one’s natural surroundings – and processes of decolonization in the late Soviet era.

Alan Barenberg
Associate Professor

Department of History, Texas Tech University, USA

Alan Barenberg is Buena Vista Foundation Associate Professor and Associate Chair at Texas Tech University, Department of History. He specializes in the history of the Soviet Union, with an emphasis on the social and economic history of the 1930s-1970s. His research focuses on a broad range of topics in the economic and social history of the Russian Empire and the USSR. His book, “Gulag Town, Company Town: Forced Labor and Its Legacy in Vorkuta” (Yale UP, 2014), uses the case of the Arctic community of Vorkuta to resituate the Gulag in the history of the Stalin and post-Stalin eras. He teaches specialized courses on the Russian Empire, the Soviet Union, and Central Asia, as well as surveys of Western civilization. He has received multiple teaching awards, including the Hemphill-Wells New Professor Excellence in Teaching Award from the Texas Tech Parents Association (2013) and the TTU President's Excellence in Teaching Award (2016).

Jeffrey Kahn
Professor of Law

SMU Dedman School of Law, USA

Jeffrey Kahn is University Distinguished Professor of Law and Gerald J. Ford Research Fellow at Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law. 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 has also been a research fellow-in-residence at McGill University Faculty of Law and visiting professor at Washington & Lee School of Law. 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, Problems of Post-Communism, the European Journal of International Law, 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.

Iwona Kaliszewska
Assistant Professor

Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology, University of Warsaw

Iwona Kaliszewska has been researching the North Caucasus since 2004. Her most recent study focused on corruption, Islamic economics and radicalism. She has authored numerous publications about the Caucasus and co-directed a documentary about a Daghestani female wrestler entitled "The Strongwoman" (2014).  Other impressive publications such as books include Veiled and Unveiled in Chechnya and Daghestan (2016), State and Legal Practice in the Caucasus. Anthropological Perspectives on Law and Politics (2015).  She is the editor and co-founder of the website and foundation, and has been traveling around Russia, Central Asia, and the Caucasus since 1999. She is the project leader in Sonata grant "Anthropological approach to corruption in Daghestan". Founded by NCN (National Science Foundation) from 2016 until the present day.

Agnieszka Kubal
Associate Professor

School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London, United Kingdom

Agnieszka Kubal is an interdisciplinary socio-legal, migration and human rights scholar with area studies interest in Central Eastern Europe and Russia. She authors two monographs, “Socio-legal Integration. Polish post-2004 EU Enlargement Migrants in the UK” (Ashgate/Routledge, 2012) and “Immigration and Refugee Law in Russia. Socio-Legal Perspectives” (Cambridge UP, 2019). Currently, she is a Principal Investigator on an UKRI/ERC Starter Grant (2022-2027) “Who are the humans behind Human Rights in Eastern Europe and Russia?” (HuRiEE) This five-year research breaks new ground in studying human rights mobilisation as a window into the societies of Eastern Europe and Russia. The ultimate ambition for this project is to develop a brand-new theory of the relationship between human rights mobilisation, ECtHR’s legitimacy, and the development of societies under the conditions of ‘abusive constitutionalism’ (Russia), open military conflict (Ukraine), deep transformations (Romania) and democratic backsliding (Poland and Hungary). Finally, her research among undocumented Syrian asylum seekers in Russia together with her involvement in their case before the European Court of Human Rights resulted in a court decision 'LM and Others v Russia' (2015) and a real impact beyond academia: establishing standards of protection of Syrians against deportation in all European countries.

Dominique Moran
Professor of Carceral Geography

University of Birmingham, United Kingdom

Dominique Moran 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
Professor of International Political Theory

University of Tartu, Estonia

Viacheslav Morozov is Professor of EU–Russia Studies at the University of Tartu, and the Academic Director of the UT’s Centre for Eurasian and Russian Studies. 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.

Jeremy Morris
Professor of Global and Russian Studies

School of Culture and Society, Aarhus University, Denmark

Jeremy Morris 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.

Matthias Neumann
Professor of Modern History,

University of East Anglia, United Kingdom

Matthias Neumann 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.

Ben Noble
Associate Professor of Russian Politics

University College London, United Kingdom

Ben Noble is Associate Professor of Russian Politics at University College London and an Associate Fellow at Chatham House. His 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, and with publications in journals such as Comparative Political Studies, the Journal of European Public Policy, the Journal of Legislative Studies, Russian Politics, and Post-Communist Economies. 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 also 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
Professor of Political Science

University of Zagreb, Croatia

Professor Krešimir Petković's 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).

Elena Racheva
Postdoctoral Fellow

Department of Sociology, University of Oxford, United Kingdom

Elena Racheva works on the CrimGov project in the Department of Sociology at the University of Oxford. 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.

Gavin Slade
Associate Professor of Sociology

Nazarbayev University, Kazakhstan

Gavin Slade is Associate Professor and Chair of Sociology and Anthropology at Nazarbayev University. 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.

Madina Tlostanova
Professor of Postcolonial Feminism

Linköping University, Sweden

Madina Tlostanova is Professor of Postcolonial Feminism at the Department of Thematic Studies (Gender studies) at Linköping University. 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.

Rustam Urinboyev
Associate Professor

Department of Sociology of Law, Lund University

Rustam Urinboyev is an interdisciplinary socio-legal scholar, studying migration, corruption, governance, and penal institutions in the context of Russia, Central Asia and Turkey. He is the author of ”Migration and Hybrid Political Regimes: Navigating the Legal Landscape in Russia” (University of California Press, 2020). He is currently working on several projects. A book project “Legal Pluralism, Informality and Everyday Life in Multicultural Prisons: A Case Study of Central Asian Muslim Prisoners in the Russian Penal System,” on the daily experiences of Central Asian Muslim prisoners in the Russian penal system. Another book titled “Law, Society and Corruption: Lessons from the Post-Soviet Context” (Abingdon: Routledge, forthcoming) on the role of society’s informal norms and ‘non-monetary currencies’ in the emergence, explanation, persistence and ubiquitousness of corruption in Uzbekistan. Lastly, he is participating in the ADLAW: Administrative Law Reform and Legal Integration in Hybrid Political Regimes (2021-2025) and Central Asian Law: Legal Cultures and Business Environments in Central Asia (2020-2024) projects.

Federico Varese
Professor of Criminology

University of Oxford, United Kingdom

Federico Varese is Professor of Criminology at the University of Oxford and a Senior Research Fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford. 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.