Slavic and Eurasian Studies


The Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies, along with a variety of co-sponsors, regularly coordinates symposia on topics of concern or interest.



Two Nations Under God: 
Religious Rhetoric in the Political Process In the United States & Russia  



Past Symposia


Information Wars: Social Media and Politics in Russia and Eastern Europe

April 25, 2019 10am - 6pm
This symposium will encourage a fruitful conversation about the role and impact of mainstream and social media—and in particular about information and disinformation wars—in political battles, trajectories, and outcomes in Russia and Eastern Europe. Speakers will also discuss the ways in which these processes and networks have had global impacts, such as in the 2016 US elections and beyond.


Joshua Tucker 

Heads will Troll: An Analysis of Links Shared by IRA Twitter Accounts

Denis Stukal 

Analyzing Twitter Bots: How Russia Manipulates Information Online

Olga Onuch and Emma Mateo

Information and Mobilisation: The Role of Media Sources in Protest Mobilisation, Demobilisation, and Support

Peter Pomerantsev

The Most Dangerous Element of Information War is the Idea of Information War Itself

Ilya Yablokov

The World According to the Truthseekers: Conspiracy and the Everyday on RT

Aliaksandr Herasimenka

Political Information and Disinformation on Messaging Platforms:

"Annexation Agenda" and Protests in Russia and Belarus

Sharon Strover and German Alvarez

Facebook and the Russian IRA Campaign

Mary Neuburger, Oksansa Lutsyshyna, and student team

Social Media, Youth and Politics, and the 2019 Ukrainian Presidential Elections

Kiril Avramov and student team

Cognitive Assault Munitions: Russian Disinformation and Transmediated Rumors in Action


Co-sponsors: CREEES, CES, the Clements Center for National Security and the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law

The Wider Arc of Revolution: The Global Impact of 1917

October 27–28, 2017, The University of Texas at Austin

The conference, "The Wider Arc of Revolution: The Global Impact of 1917," in commemoration of the hundred-year anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, will be held under the auspices of the Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies at University of Texas, Austin, on October 27-28, 2017. The conference will feature two keynote speakers (Sheila Fitzpatrick and Lisa Kirschenbaum), and will consist of a series of panels convened over the course of two days in which we will discuss pre-circulated papers submitted by participants. 

The essays will be published in three volumes by Slavica Press as part of the transnational project entitled Russia’s Great War and Revolution, as well as in a special issue of the Journal of Contemporary History. The Slavica three-volume project on the global impact of the Russian Revolution rescues the history of the left from the history of Soviet communism. The revolution of 1917 brought not just the Bolshevik Party to power, but also made communism, a profoundly oppositional ideology into an ideology of the state. The merging of state and revolution resulted in the hybrid political structure that was the Soviet Union where the interests of the state, i.e. the consolidation of power, modernization, welfare, as well as the defense of geographical borders, collided with a universal ideology that aimed to represent all of humanity. As the Soviet state grew in power and the Communist International slowly subsumed independent left-wing organizations, the original impulses of anarchist, populist, feminist and socialist thought, revolutionary consciousness and behavior, and the emotional networks of sympathizers, donors, and fellow travelers that sustained the ecology of the left in the nineteenth and early twentieth century never really died, but went underground, emerging in different locales in different guises. The fight was a long and bitter one and in our conference the participants will consider the “the wider arc of revolution” in the twentieth century.


Dr. Mary Neuburger
Dr. Choi Chatterjee
Dr. Steven Sabol
Dr. Steven Marks

Sponsored by: the Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies, the Center for European Studies, the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, the Department of History, the Institute for Historical Studies, the Schusterman Center for Jewish Studies, the Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies, the South Asia Institute, the Department of History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

Comparative Perspectives on Migration and Displacement

April 13, 2016, St. Edward's University

CREEES and the Kozmetsky Center of Excellence at St. Edwards University will host a conference on Comparative Perspectives on Migration and Displacement, with panels considering the academic and policy dimensions of contemporary migration challenges from a comparative perspective, focusing particularly on issues and case studies in Europe, Eurasia, and U.S.-Mexico/Central America.

Experts will present research findings from these regions and consider the moral and security dimensions of migration management. Speakers will be announced in the coming weeks, including St. Edward’s and University of Texas at Austin faculty, as well as other distinguished experts of the United States, Europe, and Eurasia. The conference panel sessions will be held throughout the day with opportunities for students and members of the community to participate.

Russia and the West

April 4–6, 2016, The University of Texas at Austin

Russia and the “West” have attracted, repelled, and haunted each other as cultural, ideological or geopolitical specters since the Middle Ages. This symposium provides an interdisciplinary engagement of the Russian relationship to the “West”—in its European and later Euro-American incarnation—as a product of this long and complicated set of encounters and confrontations. Featured scholars will engage the methods of literary and cultural studies, historical inquiry, and policy analysis, to offer insight and answer questions on the conundrum of Russian-“Western” cultural dialogues, transnational interactions, and contemporary policy implications. This symposium was sponsored by the Center for European Studies, CREEES, the Clements Center for National Security, and the Transatlantic Academy.

New Approaches to the Opposition to Stalin

February 27, 2016

The Department of History and CREEES sponsored a conference organized by Dr. Charters Wynn on New Approaches to the Opposition of Stalin. 

Religion and Foreign Policy conference flyerReligion and Foreign Policy in the United States and Europe

February 12, 2015, The University of Texas at Austin

Sponsored by CREEES, The Clements Center for History, Strategy, and Statecraft and the Center for European Studies, this conference will look at how religion is an increasingly influential force within many countries and in international politics. The seemingly secular international order which dominated the 20th century has been impacted in recent decades by the rise of political Islam in many different varieties, a strengthening Evangelical movement in the United States and much of the developing world, and Orthodox churches revitalized after the collapse of the Soviet communist empire. Oppressive governments and societies around the world challenge both the freedom of peoples to practice their faiths and the rights of women and sexual minorities to live as they wish.

Food4thoughtFood for Thought Culture and Cuisine in Russia and Eastern Europe 1800–Present

February 7–8, 2014, The University of Texas at Austin

The Department of Slavic and Eurasian Studies, in cooperation with the Department of History and the Center for European Studies at The University of Texas at Austin, is hosting a two-day symposium on the culture of food in the Russian Empire (and Soviet Union) and its successor states, as well as “Eastern Europe” broadly defined.

Drawing on a wide range of sources and disciplines, speakers will explore how patterns of food cultivation, preparation, and consumption are embedded in local, national, and trans-national cultural configurations. We will reexamine the history and culture of the region through the lens of its food—that is, cultural attitudes, marketing and packaging, memories and representations of particular foods, patterns of eating, cultural dietary restrictions, or local cultural difference that were expressed through divergent patterns of food preparation and consumption.

Text, Context, and Non-Text: Grimoires in Central Europe

April 5–6, 2013

This conference is dedicated to the interdisciplinary study of a large corpus of magic texts that figure prominently in the cultural and intellectual history of Europe. Its focus will be grimoires, real or imagined, whose legacy has reverberated throughout European culture in the form of folktales, literature (Faust, for example), and graphic art down to the present, at times being among the few treasured possessions brought to the New World.

The 13th Annual Czech Studies Workshop

April 27–28, 2012, The University of Texas at Austin

The 13th Annual Czech Studies Workshop will take place on April 27-28, 2012, at The University of Texas at Austin. The Czech Studies Workshop was begun by Jindřich Toman at the University of Michigan in 1999 to bring together graduate students, younger scholars, and more established scholars in the field of Czech studies. Since then, the workshop has grown to become one of the most prominent scholarly gatherings in our field each year.

The keynote address will be delivered by Dr. Michal Kopeček,on Friday evening from 7-9 pm. His talk is entitled: “From Politics of History to Memory as Political Language: Czech Dealings with the Communist Past after 1989.” (Please see further details below)

The Czech Studies Workshop is sponsored by the Department of Slavic and Eurasian Studies/Czech Chair; the Department of History; the Center for European Studies; the Center for the Study of Modernism; the Department of American Studies; the Department of Theatre and Dance; and the Czechoslovak Studies Association.           

The 2012 Czech Studies Workshop Committee: Mary Neuburger, Veronika Tuckerová. Zachary Doleshal, Tatjana Lichtenstein

Commodities and Culture in the “Other” Europe  1800–1945

March 9-10, 2012, The University of Texas at Austin

The “West” and particularly Western Europe holds a privileged place in the recent state of literature on the history and “social life” of commodities across the globe. Direct colonies of the West, too, have been closely tied in to a history of global commodity exchange. In contrast, work on commodity and culture on Europe’s eastern periphery—including East-West flows of goods and models of consumption—has largely eluded study. “Commodity and Culture in the ‘Other’ Europe” will gather scholars working in relatively uncharted territory, that is, cultural and social processes surrounding commodity production, exchange and consumption in East Central and Southeastern Europe from 1800-1945. 

Among other things, symposium participants will consider the following questions. Were commodities and their accompanying social and cultural transformations experienced, lived, and filtered in entirely different ways in the “Other Europe”? In what ways did commodity-driven “Eastern” interaction with the West spawn imitation or, on the contrary, resentment and reaction? Were parts of “Eastern Europe” rightfully a part of commodity-driven core transformations, innovators not imitators, centers not peripheries? Also we will explore the extent to which the social lives of commodities were shaped by local mores and experiences.  In other words was the consumption of certain products tantamount to a leveling “Westernization,” or was it integrated into distinctly local practices, forms, and meanings?  Finally how were various incarnations of commodity exchange, production and consumption linked to the ushering in of modernity into the region—to what extent did they make Eastern Europe modern and how tightly was this tied to the West European experience.  Ultimately, discussion of these questions promises to shed light on contemporary cultures of consumption in “New Europe,” and more pointedly its ongoing encounter with the West via commodity exchange and consumption.

Strategic Warning and the Role of Intelligence Lessons Learned from the 1968 Soviet Invasion of Czechoslovakia

April 16, 2010 (Sponsored by the LBJ Library Foundation)

CREEES was proud to serve as a co-sponsor of this conference examining Prague Spring. Over 100 guest attended sessions examining the lead up to, and aftermath of, the 1969 Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. Speakers included Dr. Mark Kramer (Director, Cold War Studies Project, Harvard), Peter Clement (Dept. Director of Intelligence, CIA), and Joseph Lambert (Dir. Information Management Services, CIA).

AlashAlash: A Celebration of Tuvan Culture and Music

April 8, 2010, The University of Texas at Austin

CREEES, The Butler School of Music, The College of Liberal Arts and The University of Texas were pleased to arrange a return visit of the internationally-renowned musical ensemble Alash return to our campus to perform and discuss the unique musical style of throat-singing. Alash gave a standing room only public concert (200+),  and conducted workshops for University courses and local high schools during their week long residence at UT.

Migration Migration during an Era of Restriction

November 4–6, 2009 (co-sponsored with LLILAS, CMAS, CES and MES)

Scholars from around the globe gathered in Austin to share research findings, compare challenges, and assess the similarities and differences in government restrictions on international migration in the fall of 2009. Three days of session covering cultural, linguistic, political and economic issues relating to labor migration drew well over 150 audience members. Conference highlights included the key note address by Professor Alejandro Portes (Princeton University), and the participation of CREEES graduate student Erin Hofmann (Ph.D. Sociology). Eurasian migration issues were discussed by Dr. Timothy Heleniak (University of Maryland) and Professor Cynthia Buckley (UT).  A collected volume of conference papers is plan.

HIVHIV/AIDS in Eurasia: Regional and Comparative Perspectives

April 20-21, 2009

This event will feature scholars from across Russia and the United States engaged in social science research on topics related to HIV/AIDS in Eurasia. Panel presentations will include discussions on topics ranging from risk behavior, government response, sexual practices and stigma to the challenges of conducting field research on sensitive topics in Eurasia and the availability of data sources in the region. Additionally, one panel devoted to comparative perspectives on HIV/AIDS will explore issues relevant to the Eurasian experience with presentations on studies conducted in India, China and Brazil. Co-sponsored by CREEES, the Social Science Research Council, and the Center for Russia, East Europe and Central Asia at the University of Wisconsin – Madison.


ALASH-The Best New-Old Music from Tuva

November 17-19, 2008

CREEES, The Butler School of Music and the University of Texas are pleased to have the internationally-renowned musical ensemble Alash visit our campus to demonstrate the unique musical style of throat-singing. Alash will give a concert and conduct workshops during their stay.


The Cultural and Political Economies of Water in the 21st Century

March 27-29, 2008

This 2.5-day conference will be held at The University of Texas at Austin to discuss the following themes: The cultures of water; water in literature, film, aesthetic production. The religious significance of water; water as a national cultural resource. Conflicts over water: local, national and international, corporations, NGOs and states. The conservation and renewal of water as a natural resource; sharing best practices from around the world Water as a human right.

This conference is co-sponsored by the Title VI National Resource Centers for area studies (the Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies, the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, the Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies, and the South Asia Institute), as well as the Center for Mexican-American Studies, the College of Liberal Arts, the Office of the Vice President for Research, the Jackson School of Geosciences, and other University units.


Exhibiting the Nation: World's Fairs, International Exhibitions, and the Place of Southeastern and East Central Europe

October 26, 2007

This symposium will explore the history of staging Worlds' Fairs and other significant national exhibitions within Southeastern and East Central Europe, and participation of these various countries in exhibitions outside the region, most notably in the West. It will examine a wide array of questions. To what extent, for example, was Balkan (or East European) backwardness on display and how was it situated within host-country organizations of meaning? Did Balkan peoples perhaps exoticize their own nations in order to sell their wares to consuming Western publics? Or did East Europeans use these fairs as vehicles for exhibiting an image of their own bourgeoning progress and material prosperity to the world? How did East Europeans generate or reproduce national meanings at home through the vehicle of the world's fair or national exhibition? What architectural and design forms or other kinds of displays and messages were utilized in creating spaces for the making of a modern citizenry? Such questions raise issues not only about the power implications of Western representations of "other" peoples, but also about how East Europeans and others were able to "read" these fairs and as a consequence shape their own national participation and display. The situating of the Balkans within the East-West continuum was and continues to be integral to the Southeastern European national projects. World's Fairs and national exhibitions present an exceptional context for exploration of the South Eastern European encounter with the rest of Europe and the "West," both at home and abroad.

statue of liberty

Exporting Democracy: What the West Can and Cannot Do

April 20-21, 2007

The organizers of this conference—Professors Zoltan Barany and Robert Moser—invited an exceptional group of scholars to consider the all-too-timely subject of whether or not democracies are obligated to promote democracy in authoritarian states and what sort of help they should render. Speakers also addressed specific issues such as how democracy builders could be sensitive to various cultures, promote civil-society, defuse ethno-religious tensions, establish a viable party system, write durable constitutions, and build democratic armies.

health pic

Challenges, Choices and Context: Health Behaviors in Eastern Europe and Eurasia

March 23-24, 2007

Organized by Professors Michele Rivkin Fish (University of North Carolina) and Cynthia Buckley (UT), the conference focuses upon exploring the ways in which cultural, political and economic factors shape health behaviors and health related practices within Eastern Europe and Eurasia. Through workshop meetings and an afternoon public forum on Friday March 23rd, an international and interdisciplinary group of 17 scholars will engage in critical dialogues concerning the way in which health choices are structured, constrained, and enabled by forces beyond the individual, in an attempt to contextualize and structure assessments of health within the region.


Contemporary Islamic Movements: Ideology, Aesthetics, Politics

February 16-17, 2006

The conference Contemporary Islamic Movements: Ideology, Aesthetics, Politics explored Islamic thought, politics and social life through an interdisciplinary approach. The Keynote Speaker was Reza Aslan, author of No god but God.

The conference was co-sponsored by the Center for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES), Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies (CREEES), South Asia Institute (SAI), International Institute for the Study of Islam in the Modern World, and the Religious Studies Program Center for European Studies (CES).


Veiled Differences: Islamic Diversity and the Status of Women in Eurasia

April 18, 2005

This Symposium on the diversity of Islam highlighted the historical roles Islam has played in Eurasia and the variations found within Islamic Eurasian regions in the modern era. In the morning session, speakers discussed the complexity and diversity of Islam in the Central Asian states and how they have changed as their governments have grown more independent from their former Soviet rulers. The afternoon lectures addressed some of the challenges faced by Muslim women in these same societies. Co-sponsored by the Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies, the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, the Department of Sociology, and the College of Liberal Arts.


Adornment and History: A Symposium on Georgian Arts and Culture

February 2005

The symposium included a week of speakers and activities related to the Republic of Georgia. The highlight of the week was an exhibition of golden jewelry, which came from the Georgian Arts and Culture Center (GACC) in Tbilisi. The exhibition was partially underwritten by the International Financial Corporation (IFC) and the US Embassy in Tbilisi, and traveled to Austin after showings in New York and Washington, D.C.  University co-sponsors included the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and the LBJ School of Public Affairs.


Jewish Mysticism and its Charismatic Leaders [from Kabbala to Khassidut]

October 2004

This event, co-sponsored by The Gale Chair of Jewish Studies, CREEES, the Department of Slavic and Eurasian Studies, Jewish Studies, Religion Studies, the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, the Harry Ransom Center, Texas Hillel Foundation, and the Jewish Community Association of Austin caused great interest as the first major symposium in Austin devoted to Jewish Mysticism.

The Future of Russia's Environment, March 2004: A day-long symposium featuring four specialists from Russia and Central Asia in dialogue with four US specialists on Russia's environmental hotspots, legislation and policy-making, impact on health care and potential political ramifications.

Jewish Folklore

A Symposium on Eastern European Jewish Folklore: Lecture and Concert

February 2003

Co-sponsored by the Gale Chair of Jewish Studies, the Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies, the School of Music and the Jewish Community Association of Austin with the support of the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, The Jewish Studies Program, The Department of Anthropology, The Program in Comparative Literature and Texas Hillel Foundation.


Afghanistan: Cultural Loss and Reconstruction

April 26, 2002

This symposium focused on the cultural upheavals in Afghanistan that accompanied a period of tumultuous political change. For millions of Afghans, the experiences of war, exile and suppression profoundly altered the possibilities for cultural expression. Since the fall of the Tailban, Afghanistan has begun to redefine itself as a nation-state. Will political stability endure and provide the necessary framework for cultural rejuvenation? What roles might art, music and poetry now assume? Which parts of the heritage will be chosen for preservation? And who will interpret the past and represent it, and to whom? Co-sponsored by the Center for Asian Studies, the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, and the Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies.

Bytes and Sites

Bytes and Sites: A Symposium on Using Technology in Language Teaching and Learning

April 2002

This one-day symposium brought together specialists and practitioners interested in using computer technology in enhancing the teaching of our area's languages and cultures.Richard Brecht of the National Foreign Language center delivered the keynote address. The symposium was co-sponsored by the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures and the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts.


From Red to Gray: Aging in the Russian Federation

April 6, 2001

An aging population is one of the most dramatic demographic trends in the Russian Federation. Over 31 million permanent residents of the Russian Federation are past pension age (60 for men and 55 for women) and nearly 30 million citizens receive state pensions for old age. As with countries across the industrialized world, long term trends in fertility and mortality, point to both further population aging and increased stress on the state pension system. This conference brought together national and international experts to discuss their research on the demographic, political, economic and social implications of population aging within the Russian Federation.

Yugoslavia image

The Future of the Past: Ten Years after Yugoslavia

April 14-16, 2000

This symposium brought together artists, activists, scholars and public figures from each of the newly created countries of former Yugoslavia. The purpose was to explore the complexities of the past and their bearing on the possibilities for a shared future.

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  • Department of Slavic and Eurasian Studies

    The University of Texas at Austin
    2505 University Avenue, Stop F3600
    Burdine Hall 452
    Austin, TX 78712