Svetlana Stephenson wins Alexander Nove Prize for 'Gangs of Russia'

BASEES is delighted to announce that the Alexander Nove Prize, 2015 (to be awarded at the 2017 Annual Conference) will go to Svetlana Stephenson (London Metropolitan University) for her book Gangs of Russia: from the Streets to the Corridors of Power (Cornell University Press, 2015). The jury's citation:

Svetlana Stephenson’s new book, Gangs of Russia: from the Streets to the Corridors of Power, charts the rise and partial decline of gangs from the Soviet period to the present. It continues her long-term project on Russian society ‘from below’. As before, Stephenson recommends that ‘we move our sociological gaze from exclusion to incorporation’. Previously, she showed that homeless people are not a separate category, but ordinary people who have become homeless. Now she argues that ‘Russian gangs are not alien to society; they are firmly embedded in it’.  This meticulously researched and vivid book is based largely on interviews with gang members in Kazan, but covers the whole of Russia, within an international context. Like all Stephenson’s work, it demonstrates a very special degree of insight and imagination, based on deep erudition.

Jury: Prof Anne White (SSEES, University College London) and Prof Peter Waldron (University of East Anglia)

The Alexander Nove Prize for scholarly work of high quality in Russian, Soviet and post-Soviet studies was established by decision of the annual general meeting of the Association in March 1995 in recognition of the outstanding contribution to its field of study made by the late Alexander Nove.

BASEES REGIONAL CONFERENCE IN BUDAPEST DECEMBER 8-9TH 2016 “1956 AND ITS INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENT”

BASEES REGIONAL CONFERENCE IN BUDAPEST DECEMBER 8-9TH 2016

“1956 AND ITS INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENT”

HOSTED BY THE INSTITUTE FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND TRADE (IFAT), BUDAPEST

 Budapest

Budapest

For some years the BASEES committee has been discussing the possibility of holding a regional conference outside the UK in addition to the annual in Cambridge.  The reasoning behind such a geographical extension of our activities is that it would help to cement the role the annual conference plays in bringing together scholars from across Europe.  Rising travel costs, visa difficulties and timing constraints have meant that young scholars, in particular, have found it difficult to participate in international conferences and to present their work to scholars outside their immediate community.  The conference that BASEES ran in Budapest hosted by the Institute of Foreign Affairs and Trade was the first, modest, step towards a BASEES regional conference becoming an annual or biannual event. We would welcome any expression of interest from colleagues in Europe, West of the Ural.

 Dr Janos Rainer

Dr Janos Rainer

The conference in Budapest was themed on the 60th anniversary of the 1956 Revolution and it consisted of two days of panels and round tables put together by BASEES and IFAT. Participants from higher education institutions in six countries took part.  IFAT showcased the research of its graduate students working on different aspects of 1956 and invited participants in the events of 1956 to talk about their experiences. BASEES was able to draw on members working on different aspects of Hungarian and Soviet politics, history and sociology to discuss the context and impacts of 1956 and was responsible for inviting the two keynote speakers.  The first was Dr Janos Rainer, leading commentator on the the 1956 Revolution in Hungary. The focus of his presentation was on remembering the Revolution and he drew attention to the dangers of post-1989 re-writing of Hungarian history.

 Dr John Schwarzmantel

Dr John Schwarzmantel

 Round Table.  The social impacts of 1956

Round Table.  The social impacts of 1956

 

The second keynote was by political theorist Dr John Schwarzmantel, who reminded the audience of impact on the Hungarian Revolution on the thinking of West European communist parties. These two keynote lectures are available on the following links:

Dr Janos Rainer

Dr John Schwarzmantel

 

 

 

Details of all panels and round tables are included in IFAT’s report of the conference on its website at:

http://kki.gov.hu/1956-and-its-international-environment-two-day-long-international-conference-held-by-ifat

Interview with Dr Madeleine Reeves on Publishing a First Book with an Academic Press

Interview with Dr Madeleine Reeves on Publishing a First Book with an Academic Press

The BASEES Newsletter asked Madeleine Reeves, Senior Lecturer in Social Anthropology at the University of Manchester and author of Border Work: Spatial Lives of the State in Rural Central Asia (Cornell University Press, 2014), 2016 winner BASEES Alexander Nove Prize, to share her experiences and recommendations about placing a first book with an American University Press. 

Brexit - Applying for EU Research Funding

Dear BASEES member,

The referendum vote was, to say the least, disappointing. In the last newsletter, written before the referendum, I drew attention to the potential negative impact of withdrawal from the EU of BASEES members' access to EU funding for research. There has been recent press comment about the impact of Brexit  on research funding and BASEES will be participating in lobbying parliament to ensure that funding gaps that emerge are filled.   In the meantime, it is important that we continue to submit applications for EU funding in order both to send a message to the UK government about our continuing engagement with colleagues and HE institutions in the Europe and to send a message to our EU partners that we remain fully engaged with EU research programmes. 

The link below to League of European Research Universities press release on cooperation with the UK in light of Brexit - please read and send on to other colleagues who might not be members of BASEES

It provides the following reassurances:  

 (i) the UK's status as a full, participating member of the Horizon 2020 programme has not changed as a result of the referendum vote – existing project grants and contracts will be honoured unless or until advised otherwise. UK institutions also remain fully eligible to apply to all funding schemes of Horizon 2020, for which UK funding is committed until 2020;

(ii) high-level links have made it clear, from top levels in Brussels, that there should be no discrimination against UK applicants for EU funding.

http://www.leru.org/index.php/public/news/academic-co-operation-with-the-uk-remains-essential-for-europe

Professor Judith Pallot

President BASEES
Christ Church
OXFORD OX1 1DP

 

Fieldwork and Visas

Make sure you have the appropriate visa

Two recent incidents are a reminder to BASEES members planning to visit the Russian Federation of the importance of being in possession of the appropriate visa. We have been informed of two cases, both in Nizhnyi Novgorod, of foreign nationals giving lectures and seminars being apprehended by the migration service. The most recent incident was last week when Arthur House – the editor of the on-line journal The Calvert Journal and the Junket – was arrested and found guilty of violating the visa regime. Arthur was on a multiple-entry business visa that he had used on previous occasions to give lectures but the court found that this visa did not give him the right 'to deliver a lecture' or to take part in ‘other educationalactivities’. He was fined 4000 rubles, asked to leave the country within five days and faces a visa ban for five years. This follows an incident earlier in the month in Nizhnyi Novgorod when two Norwegian nationals were fined and asked to leave the country for participating in a five-day workshop in Lobachevsky State University where they gave presentations to students of journalism on human rights. They were also on business visas.

BASEES President's Statement on the Referendum on Membership of the Union

BASEES and the Referendum on Membership of the European Union

The British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies is a professional association of scholars from Universities and other places of higher learning dedicated to furthering knowledge of the countries and regions of Eastern Europe, the Russian Federation and other states of the former Soviet Union.  The Association is deeply worried about the prospect of United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union and unreservedly concurs with the view of the majority of University Vice-Chancellors that withdrawal from the European Union would do irrevocable harm to academic research.  A vote to leave Europe would restrict the access of British scholars to European funding opportunities, make cross-border collaborations within Europe more difficult, endanger the recruitment and the retention of top academic talent in our field, and discourage applications for post graduate degrees from European students with knowledge of Slavonic and East European languages.  

Throughout the period of the Cold War BASEES took an active part in debate about economic, political and geopolitical developments in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.  It has continued to contribute to East-West debate in the years since 1989-1991 and the input individual members has been influential in policy-making.  The United Kingdom’s membership of the European Union has enhanced BASEES’s ability to fulfil its mission of fostering and strengthening a community of scholars with a unique combination of linguistic and analytical skills needed to give a full account, including to government, of the history, culture and social, economic and political development of the countries of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.  In recent years, BASEES has become the European hub for Slavonic and East European studies with its annual conference attracting participants from across the European Union, the countries of the former Soviet Union and beyond.  Were the United Kingdom to leave the European Union, the Association would have difficulty maintaining this leadership position, which would have serious knock-on effects on its standing among the wider global community of scholars with an interest Russian, East European and Eurasian studies.  

It is in the interests of all BASEES members who are eligible to vote in the up-coming referendum to cast a vote in favour of remaining in the European Union. Please take the time to do so. 

Professor Judith Pallot

BASEES President

George Blazyca Prize 2014, Awarded at the 2016 Annual Conference

George Blazyca Prize, 2014

 

Awarded at the 2016 Annual Conference

To

James Dawson

(University College London)

for

Cultures of Democracy in Serbia and Bulgaria: How Ideas Shape Publics

(Ashgate, 2014)

 

Citation

 This is a very original book which presents a vivid account of the political culture in two cities of South-East Europe. By conducting focus groups, interviews and participant observation in Niš and Plovdiv, Dr Dawson was able to identify and analyse common discourses about politics which underpin the ‘public sphere’. These help explain the persistence of a liberal strand of public opinion in Serbia which Dawson claims to be nearly absent in Bulgaria. The book skilfully shows how political cultures originating in the communist period are constantly reproduced in discussions among ordinary citizens, and how they both support but also contradict messages coming from the media and politicians. The book makes a great contribution to reinvigorating debates on democracy and democratisation in post-communist countries by the focus away from institutions and by bringing ‘the people’ in. The book sets new standards for political ethnography and illuminates the pivotal role of the cultural dimension.

 

Jury:

Prof Anne White (SSEES, University College London)

Dr Kataryna Wolczuk (University of Birmingham)

 

The George Blazyca Prize was established by BASEES in recognition of the outstanding contribution to its field of study made by the late George Blazyca. 

Alexander Nove Prize, 2014 Awarded at the 2016 Annual Conference

Alexander Nove Prize, 2014

Awarded at the 2016 Annual Conference

To

Madeleine Reeves

(University of Manchester)

for

Border Work: Spatial Lives of the State in Rural Central Asia

(Cornell University Press, Ithaca and London, 2014)

 

Citation

Drawing on extensive and carefully designed ethnographic fieldwork in the Ferghana Valley region, where the state borders of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikizstan and Uzbekistan intersect, Madeleine Reeves develops new ways of conceiving the state as a complex of relationships, and of state borders as socially constructed and in a constant state of flux. She explores the processes and relationships through which state borders are made, remade, interpreted and contested by a range of actors including politicians, state officials, border guards, farmers and people whose lives involve the crossing of the borders. In territory where international borders are not always clearly demarcated or consistently enforced, Reeves traces the ways in which states’ attempts to establish their rule create new sources of conflict or insecurity for people pursuing their livelihoods in the area on the basis of older and less formal understandings of norms of access. As a result the book makes a major new and original contribution to scholarly work on Central Asia and more generally on the anthropology of border regions and the state as a social process.  Moreover, the work as a whole is presented in a lively and accessible style. The individual lives whose tribulations and small triumphs Reeves so vividly documents, and the relationships she establishes with her subjects, are as revealing as they are engaging. Border Work is a well-deserved winner of this year’s Alexander Nove Prize.

 Jury:

Prof Terry Cox (University of Glasgow)

Prof Stephen Hutchings (University of Manchester)

The Alexander Nove Prize for scholarly work of high quality in Russian, Soviet and post-Soviet studies was established by decision of the annual general meeting of the Association in March 1995 in recognition of the outstanding contribution to its field of study made by the late Alexander Nove.

BASEES Postgraduate Prize 2014

We are delighted to announce this year's winners of the BASEES Prize for the Best Scholarly Article by a Postgraduate Student. The prize has been divided between Gleb J. Albert for his article “‘To help the Republicans not just by donations and rallies, but with the rifle’: militant solidarity with the Spanish Republic in the Soviet Union, 1936-37” in European Review of History 21(4): 501-518. and Ilya Yablokov for his contribution to the article: Elisabeth Schimpfossl and Ilya Yablokov, ‘Coercion or Conformism? Censorship and Self-Censorship among Russian Media Personalities and Reporters in the 2010s’, Demokratizatsiya, 22 (2014): 295-312. The prize was awarded at the 2015 Annual Conference at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge.

To

Gleb J. Albert (Co-Winner)

 (University of Zurich, Swizerland)

for

Albert, Gleb J. (2014) “‘To help the Republicans not just by donations and rallies, but with the rifle’: militant solidarity with the Spanish Republic in the Soviet Union, 1936-37” in European Review of History 21(4): 501-518.

Gleb Albert’s study of the involvement of Soviet volunteers – and Soviet public opinion more broadly – in the Spanish Civil War is an important, timely and intriguing contribution, well worthy of special mention. Mobilising newly available archival materials and a rich historiographical context, Albert embarks on a complex and careful historical sociology, delving into the motivations and objectives of Soviet citizens and Stalin’s emergent regime, and the often convoluted interactions between the two. He finds that “the responses ‘from below’ to the solidarity campaign with republican Spain present a paradoxical picture of internationalist engagement that was both in line and at odds with the official discourse of internationalism.” The result is a deeper understanding of the ways in which a regime’s development of an ideologically structured frame for both domestic and international affairs simultaneously empowers and constrains the state, by creating powerful, self-reinforcing incentives for citizens and elites. Indeed, in ways that the author may not have been able to anticipate at the outset, the article resonates in the present day and has significant implications for those seeking to understand the factors both causing and limiting current events in Russia and Ukraine.

 

 

Ilya Yablokov (Co-Winner)

(University of Manchester)

for his contribution to

Elisabeth Schimpfossl and Ilya Yablokov, ‘Coercion or Conformism? Censorship and Self-Censorship among Russian Media Personalities and Reporters in the 2010s’, Demokratizatsiya, 22 (2014): 295-312

This article’s main angle is a series of elite interviews with members of Russia’s state media stratum. This includes such notorious figureheads as Dmitrii Kiselev and Maxim Shevchenko, but also several rank-and-file reporters. While managing to unearth some choice quotes, it makes a very weighty contribution to contemporary understandings of the Russian media realm, dominant political discourses, national identity and Russian governance. The central claim is to challenge the (prevalent) idea that the state either actively forces reporters on federal television to promote pro-Kremlin views, or that pro-Kremlin views are the result of substantial self-censorship by journalists themselves. Quite the contrary: the article argues that reporters are active agents in shaping their own agendas; this is important in providing diverse and compelling TV which gains high ratings (even though such agendas broadly fit within limits set by the Kremlin). Therefore those that promote the dominant Kremlin discourses do so because they have chosen to do so, often with Messianic zeal and considerable cunning. They promote the notion of “adek­vatnost’” – best translated as the right (pro-state) instinct combined with adroit appropriateness and a portion of wiliness.  All in all this is a highly topical and relevant, as well as factually rich, article. It is engagingly written and compellingly argued and so, all in all is a thoroughly deserving winner.

Jury:

Dr Sam Greene (Kings Russia Institute)

Dr Luke March (University of Edinburgh)

BASEES Conference 2015 - Presentation Feedback for Postgraduates

Conference Presentation Feedback for Postgraduates

The annual BASEES conference provides postgraduates with some of their first experiences to present work to an academic audience.  While this is an excellent opportunity, it can also be nerve-racking!  A common cause of anxiety amongst postgraduates giving presentations is the lack of feedback – how do you answer the question “how did it go” without anyone telling you what they thought?

For its 2015 conference in March, BASEES intends to run a scheme to allow postgraduates to exchange friendly, constructive feedback on each other’s presentations.  Under the scheme, postgraduates presenting a paper or poster can request someone attend their panel and discuss how it went afterwards.  Anyone interested in taking part in the scheme should also be willing to attend someone else’s presentation, to ensure everyone involved has an opportunity to receive feedback.

For all expressions of interest, please contact BASEES postgraduate representative, Alistair Dickins (alistair.dickins@postgrad.manchester.ac.uk).  Please state your name, the title of your panel and paper/poster, and all the days you plan to attend the conference.

BASEES Past President, Prof Stephen Hutchings, becomes Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences

  Professor Stephen Hutchings (University of Manchester) BASEES President 2010-13

Professor Stephen Hutchings (University of Manchester) BASEES President 2010-13

The Academy of Social Sciences has conferred the award of Fellow on Professor Stephen Hutchings, immediate BASEES past president. The Academy's Fellows are social scientists whose work has been judged to be of great distinction and significance. Stephen Hutchings joins a select group of BASEES members who have been recognised as worthy of recognition by the Academy in this way.

The XLI Conference of the Study Group on the Russian Revolution Saturday 3 January - Monday 5 January 2015

The XLI Conference of the Study Group on the Russian Revolution will take place from Saturday 3 - Monday 5 January 2015 at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK. For queries related to the programme, contact Professor Peter Waldron (p.waldron@uea.ac.uk).

Programme

The current programme is available to view here. Please note that the programme is subject to change.

The conference programme includes:

Panel sessions on: Revolution and society, Crime and punishment, Politics and society before 1917, War and Revolution, Civil War, Politics in the 1920s and Siberia

Annual General Meeting of the Study Group on the Russian Revolution

Registration

Statement Concerning the Detention of Academic Researcher Alexander Sodiqov

Friday, June 27, 2014
 

On behalf of the 16,900 constituent members of some of the largest and most significant academic societies in the world—the American Anthropological Association; the Association for Slavic, East European, and  Eurasian Studies; the Association for the Study of Nationalities;  the British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies; the Central Eurasian Studies Society; and the European Society for Central Asian Studies—whose members conduct research in Eurasia and share interest in the situation  in Tajikistan, we write to express our strong concern over the June 16 detention of our fellow academic researcher Alexander Sodiqov. 

Sodiqov is a doctoral student in political science at the University of Toronto. He was in Tajikistan working on an Economic and Social Research Council  (UK) funded project—“Rising Powers and Conflict Management in Central Asia”—and as a researcher in this project, he was employed by the University of Exeter. The research project was approved by the ethics committee of the University of Exeter in June 2013. The focus of the project is to study the management and resolution of conflicts in Central Asia and the research in Tajikistan involved collecting public statements by government and civil society organizations as well as conducting interviews with public officials and civil society leaders. The research is expected to bring benefit to Tajikistan by showing in international scholarship how Tajikistan developed practices of conflict resolution that extend back to the successful resolution of the civil war in 1997.

Sodiqov arrived in Dushanbe to begin research on Sunday, June 8, 2014. On Sunday, June 15, he traveled to Khorog and after conducting his first interview on Monday, June 16, he was arrested. As of Friday, June 27, we do not know what has prompted his arrest, but it would appear that his arrest is due to his research activities and possibly to research analysis that he has  published previously.  The arrest and detention of academic researchers is of great concern to all of our constituent members.  Like Sodiqov, many of us conduct interview-based research in  the region. His arrest and detention constitutes an infringement of intellectual freedom and sets a worrisome precedent for Tajikistan’s openness to the world. It has been reported that presidential advisor Mr. Khairulloev accepted that Sodiqov is an academic researcher and that he would be released. We thus join others in petitioning Mr. Yatimov, Chairperson of Tajikistan’s National Security Committee, to release Sodiqov posthaste. 


Signed:
Board of Directors, American Anthropological Association
Board of Directors, Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies
Board of Directors, Association for the Study of Nationalities
Board of Directors, British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies
Board of Directors, Central Eurasian Studies Society
Board of Directors, European Society for Central Asian Studies

 

 Alexander Sodiqov's family released a photo of him with his wife Musharraf and young daughter. 

Alexander Sodiqov's family released a photo of him with his wife Musharraf and young daughter. 

Call For Papers: BASEES 2015 Annual Conference

The BASEES 2015 Annual Conference will take place 28-30 March and will be based at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, United Kingdom

Proposals are invited for panels, roundtables and papers for the 2015 Annual Conference of the British Association of Slavonic and East European Studies (BASEES). The conference will take place 28-30 March and will be based at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, United Kingdom.

Panels, roundtables and papers are welcome in the areas of Politics; History; Sociology and Geography; Film and Media, Languages and Linguistics; Literatures and Cultures; Economics. The conference especially welcomes participation by postgraduate research students and by young scholars.

To propose a panel or a paper you will need to fill in a proposal form. There are separate forms for panels/roundtables and papers. The forms can be downloaded from the conference website www.basees2015.org. You should download the appropriate form and fill it in electronically, and send it electronically to the appropriate subject stream email AND to the conference email address.

The deadline for panel/roundtable proposals is 3 October 2014, and 19 September 2014 for individual paper proposals.

Proposals should be submitted to the appropriate subject group:

history@basees2015.org
politics@basees2015.org
sociology-geography@basees2015.org
languages-linguistics@basees2015.org
film-media@basees2015.org
literatures-cultures@basees2015.org
economics@basees2015.org

Postgraduate members of BASEES who present papers are eligible to apply for financial support towards their conference costs. They should download the application form from the website and fill it in, and send to the appropriate subject stream email by 3 October 2014.

The congress also welcomes proposals for postgraduate posters. The poster will be displayed throughout the conference. Please fill in the proposal form (available from the website) and email it as an attachment to the conference email address info@basees2015.org AND the conference organiser, Dr Matthias Neumann m.neumann@uea.ac.uk by 1 December 2013.

General enquiries about the conference are welcome at info@basees2015.org

Fully Funded PhD Studentship in Russian History and Culture, Queen Mary, University of London

Placed on:29th May 2014 

Closes:1st July 2014

Queen Mary University of London and the British Library invite applications for a fully-funded PhD studentship to start 1 October 2014 (full-time study) on: ‘The Russian Revolutions and Civil Wars: Journalism and the Media, 1905-1924’. Research may be on any dimension of this theme from but must make substantial use of sources available in the British Library. The successful candidate will be supervised by Dr Jeremy Hicks (QMUL School of Languages, Linguistics and Film, Russian) and Dr Jonathan Smele (QMUL School of History), with additional supervison from Dr Ekaterina Rogatchevskaia (British Library, European Studies). The recipient of the award will also help prepare a major exhibition on the Russian Revolution to be held at the British Library in 2017, receiving training and experience in collection and exhibition curatorship at the UK’s principal research library, as part of an original research project.

Applicants must have:

  • A First Class or 2:1 BA Honours degree in a relevant discipline.
  • An MA, or equivalent, in a relevant discipline by 1 October 2014
  • Reading knowledge of Russian, or willingness to learn Russian quickly (many BL source materials will be in this language, and additional fieldwork in Russian archives will also to be necessary). 
  • Knowledge of at least one of the following research areas: modern Russian history, twentieth-century Russian visual or literary culture, history of the media, propaganda, film and journalism

Due to funding applicants must be classed as resident in the UK. Non-UK citizens need to have been resident in the UK for three years prior to the award, for purposes other than full-time education. (EU students who do not hold residency in the UK are eligible for a fees only award: see AHRC criteria).

The awards will cover university tuition fees and provide the standard AHRC maintenance award for three years. In addition, the student will receive research support from the British Library of up to £1000 for approved research-related expenses, as well as Associate Staff status, a workspace, computer and special borrowing and other staff privileges in the British library.

Candidates should complete a QMUL postgraduate research application form applying to the School of Languages, Linguistics and Film, including a CV, two references, academic transcript and a 1000-word statement of purpose explaining the proposed research and the kinds of items in the British Library Russian collections you hope to use. The completed application must be e-mailed to Dr Jeremy Hicks (j.g.hicks@qmul.ac.uk). For guidance in identifying materials most relevant to your envisaged project, please contact Dr Ekaterina Rogatchevskaia (katya.rogatchevskaia@bl.uk).

Applications must be received no later than 5pm 1 July. All short-listed applicants will be interviewed and must be available for interview on Friday 11 July. Any particular requirements for the interview will be communicated when shortlisted candidates are contacted after 1 July.

If you are interested in applying, please contact Dr Jeremy Hicks (j.g.hicks@qmul.ac.uk) or Dr Jon Smele (j.d.smele@qmul.ac.uk) to discuss your research topic.

AGM Minutes 6 April 2014

British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies 

Minutes of the Annual General Meeting, 6 April 2014

Provisional until ratified at AGM 2015

1. Minutes of the meeting held on 7 April 2013.

The minutes were accepted by the meeting as a correct record.

2. Matters arising from the minutes

There were no matters arising not already itemised.

3. President’s Report

Peter Waldron submitted a written report to the meeting. Conference 2013 was very successful financially and the profit generated would help to fund the BASEES Research and Development activity. Autumn 2013 had seen a transition to a new website, which contributed to improving communications about what BASEES does. He had continued to make representations to issues that affect BASEES and its members, for example on Open Access to HEFCE and other organisations; he had also played a part in the Academy of Social Sciences’ study on the role of learned societies; he had made representations on behalf of Levada to the Russian government.

4. Membership Secretary’s Report

Peter Waldron welcomed Melanie Ilic back into the role, which she took over in January 2014. Melanie Ilic submitted a written report to the meeting. She had found it interesting to take over at time of transition in procedures: the new website had facilitated a move to online application, which was more efficient. She reported that a huge number of people on the membership database were not paying regular subscriptions, so her most urgent task is to contact such people who may not be aware that their membership has lapsed. Of those who are paying subs, she reported that most are not paying at the rate agreed at the 2012 AGM. More positively, she reported that there was plenty of interest in joining BASEES, as she had handled  several new applications just in the first three months of 2014. Peter Waldron thanked Melanie Ilic and also Jon Oldfield for their work in identifying the above issues.

5. Treasurer’s Report

Jon Oldfield submitted a written report to the meeting. 2013 had been a good financial year which had rectified losses of previous years, the BASEES/EuroICCEES Conference 2013 had made over £9000. He noted that the accounts item under Payment for communications included a one-off payment for setting up the new website. Overall the Association’s figures were much healthier. As actioned in the minutes of AGM 2013, Jon Oldfield had looked into changing auditors, but had opted to stay with the existing firm as their fee is lower this year and it is more convenient to stay with those who know our accounts. He acknowledged that once the membership subscription issues are resolved this will help the Association’s finances.

Acceptance of the Treasurer's report was proposed by Stephen White and seconded by Melanie Ilic, and agreed by the meeting.

6. Information Officer’s Report

Claire Shaw presented an oral report to the meeting. She reported that the newsletter was published three times per year, distributed electronically, and had been reformatted to fit with the new logo colour scheme and resized. This was all done by the existing designer of the newsletter. There had been small changes to content: there is now a regular column on Routledge series; there is also a regular section dedicated to  raising the profile of postgraduates, such as those supported by the R&D fund. She remains open to suggestions for content. The online profile of BASEES had changed hugely, thanks to the new website, which will make a big difference to how we communicate with members and generate information, for example the newsletter can be uploaded to the website. Claire Shaw thanked Matthias Neumann for all his work on establishing and maintaining the website. In respect of other means of communication, she reported that the format of the ‘basees-members’ Jiscmail list enables members themselves to distribute information, so that the newsletter can therefore be a space for longer, more reflective items. The Jiscmail list is one of two email lists which need to be consolidated. BASEES is also becoming more active on Facebook and Twitter. Peter Sowden commended the newsletter. Stephen Hutchings suggested a section in the newsletter on Knowledge Transfer and Impact, given the importance of these to funding bodies. This was agreed.

7. Report on the work of the Research and Development Committee

Jeremy Hicks was unable to attend the meeting but submitted a written report in absentia. Peter Waldron spoke to the report on his behalf. The R&D Committee had received fewer applications and funded more compared to the previous year, so that overall the money spent had increased a little since the previous year. Stephen White noted two items in the report where apparently postgraduates had been funded simply to present a paper at conference; he queried whether this was in line with the defined purpose of the R&D fund. Mary MacRobert framed the issue in terms of transparency and proposed that the R&D Committee either state explicitly that it would fund postgraduate attendance at conferences, or not fund future applications of this type. It was agreed by the meeting that this be discussed at the BASEES Committee meeting the following day, bearing in mind the possible financial consequences of extending the fund to such applications. Peter Waldron noted that the R&D Committee had turned down an application for funding to bring Russian delegates to participate in a panel at Conference 2014. Melanie Ilic noted that in line with regulating the membership database, the R&D Committee must check that they are only funding BASEES members.

8. Prizes:

a. Alexander Nove Prize

Sarah Hudspith reported that there had been three applications considered for the Nove prize, and confirmed that the winner of this year’s Nove prize is Sarah Oates for Revolution Stalled: The Political Limits of the Internet in the Post-Soviet Sphere (Oxford University Press). Sarah Hudspith reported that it had been drawn to the Committee’s attention that the book should technically belong to the cohort eligible for the following year’s prize scheme (as it was published in 2013 instead of 2012). It was thought that the mistake had come about because the published prize scheme details had fallen out of date during the transition to a new website. As this had only come to light just before the Conference, the Committee had unanimously agreed to put to the AGM the following solution: that the prize for this year should still be awarded to Sarah Oates; that the next Nove prize cycle should be open to books published in both 2012 and 2013 so that no year cohort be disadvantaged, and that if the judges found deserving winners from both year cohorts then two prizes would be awarded. The meeting agreed this solution. Sarah Hudspith expressed thanks to the judges Terry Cox and Stephen Hutchings for their hard work.

. George Blazyca Prize

Sarah Hudspith reported that there had been five applications considered for the Blazyca prize, and confirmed that the winner of the Blazyca prize for a book published in 2012 is Longina Jakubowska for Patrons of History: Nobility, Capital and Political Transitions in Poland (Ashgate). Sarah Hudspith expressed thanks to the judges Cathie Carmichael and Karen Henderson for their hard work.

. Postgraduate Prize

Sarah Hudspith reported that in its first year there had been six applications considered for the Postgraduate Prize for Best Scholarly Article, and confirmed that the winner is Lukasz Szulc for ‘From queer to gay to Queer.pl. The names we dare to speak in Poland’ Lambda Nordica 17 (4), 2012: 65-98. Sarah Hudspith expressed thanks to the judges Sam Greene and Luke March for their hard work.

9. Election of Officers and Committee Members

The following nominations for officer posts were received:

Membership Secretary: Melanie Ilic (University of Gloucester) proposed by Sarah Hudspith, seconded by Ruth Coates.

The following nominations were received for Ordinary Members:

Matilda Mroz (University of Greenwich) proposed by Claire Whitehead, seconded by Katharine Hodgson.

All the proposals were unanimously approved.

Secretary Sarah Hudspith, Treasurer Jon Oldfield and Information Officer Claire Shaw were reconfirmed in their posts.

Peter Waldron noted that Brendan McGeever would be stepping down from his Committee post as Postgraduate Representative; a new representative would be co-opted as soon as possible and this would be reported in the Newsletter following the appointment.

10. Conference 2014

Matthias Neumann reported that Conference 2014 had attracted 420 delegates. These figures were healthy compared with Conference 2013, which attracted 500 but was one day longer due to the combined event with EuroICCEES. Initial feedback suggested the Conference was intellectually as well as financially successful. £4,500 had been allocated to support postgraduate participation, which had resulted in many young people attending, thus indicating good prospects for the future of the event and the discipline. The organisers had produced a programme booklet again as this was popular last year. Stephen White asked about BASEES’s relationship with the commercial conference organisers, Suzy Howes and Associates, and requested more information on the conference accounts. Peter Waldron commended the Howes, they are both responsive and pro-active, and the Committee has received good feedback on them from delegates too. Matthias Neumann reported regarding the conference accounts that they had tried to be conservative in terms of estimating the amount of  money to support postgraduates, as the level of conference income cannot be guaranteed until March, whereas the postgraduate support sum is decided on in the Autumn. They had opted to fund a larger number of smaller grants to encourage more people to come. Advertising in the conference programme booklet pulls in £1,500 which effectively covers the cost of printing. Stephen White proposed that it would be a good principle to see the previous year’s conference accounts at the AGM. The meeting agreed that this should be instituted from AGM 2015. Planning for Conference 2015 would begin the following day at the BASEES Committee meeting.

The meeting expressed thanks to Matthias Neumann for the huge amount of work he had done in organising the conference.

 11. AOB

a. Report on XV Congress of Slavists

Mary MacRobert presented a written report. She explained that the International Committee of Slavists expects each country to have a national committee which sends a representative to the Congress and reports back to their national committee, which is why a report comes back to the BASEES AGM. The Congress was a success, there had been speculation that some participants may have been put off by the location in Belarus but the participation rate was still good. Prof Arnold McMillin gave a plenary address, marking the first time for some years that someone from UK had done this. The condition on participation of pre-publication of papers was seen as unwieldy by UK participants; electronic pre-publication on the website of Oxford University was arranged in order for the UK participants to meet the criteria. The International Committee is now planning to rethink this condition, as there is a need to attract more people studying literature and culture; currently papers are mostly weighted in favour of languages and linguistics. Claire Shaw noted that BASEES would support promotion of the next Congress (2018 in Belgrade) via the newsletter, website and its other media. Peter Waldron thanked Mary MacRobert for being the UK representative.

b. Proposal for a BASEES Women’s Committee

Judith Pallot proposed setting up a Women’s Committee, with the brief to encourage more women into the field, to encourage and promote courses on women’s studies in the field, and also to support women in how to deal with gendered attitudes when doing fieldwork etc. The Women’s Committee’s main aims would be to mentor young women researchers, to encourage research on and by women, to establish a prize thereon, to sponsor conference panels and workshops focused on gender and related issues.  The next step would be to form the committee, consult the BASEES membership more widely and hold an inaugural event. Stephen White queried the status of such a committee in relation to BASEES and asked whether there might be an existing model for formalising its relationship to BASEES. Judith Pallot agreed that the proposed Women’s Committee would need a constitution, but that it could sit within the existing BASEES structures, by contrast with ASEEES women’s committee, which is completely separate. Peter Sowden noted that there could be publication possibilities arising from the activities of a Women’s Committee. Peter Waldron noted that the move would be timely, with regard to the Gender Equality Charter Mark that would be instituted for higher education soon. Judith Pallot proposed that Melanie Ilic should sit on the Women’s Committee in her capacity as Membership Secretary. The meeting agreed that the Women’s Committee should be established. Brendan McGeever noted on a related issue that there was low participation in the BASEES Conferences from the black and ethnic minority community and suggested that this might be a subject for future discussion.

c. Dismissal of Andrei Zubov

Philip Boobyer reported on the dismissal of Andrei Zubov, a Professor at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO), due to his article comparing Russia’s actions in Crimea with  the Anschluss. A public letter in support of him from Vladislav Zubok (of LSE) had served to delay but not prevent his dismissal. Philip Boobyer spoke as both a friend and collaborator of Zubov. He declared that there is a need for a response to show that the academic community in the West is concerned by such matters, and proposed that a letter should be sent on behalf of BASEES to Anatoly Torkunov, the Rector of MGIMO. The letter should be supportive of Torkunov who, it is believed, was pressured into dismissing Zubov, and since Zubov’s article has stimulated some debate within Russia, a letter from BASEES would  to give Torkunov more ammunition in any further discussions with the Kremlin. Peter Waldron noted that BASEES should not be drawn into political statements and that the idea was to write in defence of academic freedom. The letter should be private at first but should include a statement that if Torkunov felt it appropriate then BASEES would be happy for it to be made public. No response from Western organisations could also be seen as a signal. Stephen White reported precedents where BASEES has spoken on freedom of speech issues. The meeting agreed that Philip Boobyer and Richard Sakwa would draft the letter.

d. Report on BASEES Routledge series.

Peter Sowden submitted a written report on the BASEES Routledge series. The series now had a total of 96 books published, with two more in production; five of those published this year were first time authors publishing their PhD thesis. The cumulative revenue from the series over the past 12 years had passed the £1 million mark, with roughly £2,000 in royalties generated for BASEES this year. 60 paperbacks on demand have been published, and all new titles are also published as e-books. The BASEES series does not represent Routledge’s entire activity in the field, as other publications on Russian, Central and East European Studies are published by Routledge as part of different series. Stephen White proposed a vote of thanks to Peter Sowden. Peter Waldron thanked Routledge for sponsoring the Sunday evening drinks reception, commended the BASEES series as a model of collaboration between a learned society and a publisher, and noted that we look forward to 100th edition.

 

Call for Editors - SLAVONICA

The current editor of Slavonica, Alastair Renfrew, will be coming to the end of his term at the end of 2014. Expressions of interest are therefore invited from prospective editors, to commence in 2015. Enquiries are welcome from individuals or from editorial teams wishing to share editorial duties. The journal’s reviews editor, Andy Byford, will also come to the end of his term at this time and proposals would ideally also cover the role of reviews editor.

Founded in 1983 as the Scottish Slavonic Review and published in its current form since 1994, Slavonica publishes work in the fields of Russian, Central and East European Studies, ranging across literature, history, politics, language, linguistics, social issues, religion, music, culture and the arts; Russian/East European cultural links; original, or previously unpublished documents, illustrations, poetry and short prose; translations of poetry and shorter prose fiction (with commentary); feature articles of appropriate interest; reports and announcements on conferences, exhibitions and events; and anniversary tributes and obituaries. Each issue also contains around twenty specialist book reviews. The journal publishes two issues a year. More information can be found at www.maneyonline.com/sla.

Those interested should have an extensive background in Russian and Slavonic Studies and the expertise to co-ordinate scholarly publication across the range of the journal’s areas of interest. They should have a network of contacts within the field and the ability to broaden the journal’s international profile.

These posts attract a modest honorarium plus expenses, and they are offered as five-year appointments.

Expressions of interest should be sent to the journal’s managing editor, Gemma Briggs, at G.Briggs@maneypublishing.com no later than 15 June 2014 (preliminary enquiries about any aspect of the production process are also welcome).

The present editor is happy to discuss the duties and responsibilities of the post informally and can be contacted at alastair.renfrew2@durham.ac.uk.

AGM Minutes 7 April 2013

British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies

Minutes of the Annual General Meeting, 7 April 2013

1. Minutes of the meeting held on 1 April 2012.

The minutes, a summary of which were published in the May 2012 newsletter, were accepted by the meeting as a correct record.

2. Matters arising from the minutes

Item 2: Stephen Hutchings confirmed that the 20th /21st Century Literature study group had lapsed. Rosalind Marsh volunteered to convene it and to broaden the focus to include cultural studies.

Item 3: Visa issues for conference delegates: Stephen Hutchings had asked for reports of visa issues and sent the collated information to the British Academy. Stephen Hutchings also wrote to a national newspaper on the issue but the letter was not published. Suzy Howes (conference organizer) had written to the local Cambridge MPs but got no response.

Item 9b): Changes to the constitution allowing extension of full membership to international scholars: Stephen Hutchings confirmed that having talked to other presidents of learned societies,  until last year BASEES was in a minority in not doing so. Therefore he confirmed that this change is appropriate.

3. President’s Report

Stephen Hutchings submitted a written report to the meeting. He commended his committee colleagues and society members for making his job so pleasant, and offered his thanks to the committee, especially those who were leaving it. In his capacity as Past President, Stephen would continue on the committee as one of the Nove prize judges.

Item 2:  Stephen Hutchings announced the new postgraduate prize. The committee had not ruled out the possibility of further prizes in the future,  for example an early career researcher prize. Rosalind Marsh asked for clarification of the terms. Stephen confirmed that it is for the best scholarly article or book chapter published by a postgraduate.

Item 3: On the subject of Open Access, Stephen Hutchings stated that BASEES has been active in protesting about the implementation. The situation is still unclear, so BASEES will carry on acting when necessary. David Lane asked for comment more on OA and what might be an acceptable alternative. Stephen replied that the academic community is in favour of OA but has concerns about the speed of introduction and the impact on funding models for journals. There is not enough money to make every article OA under the Gold model, so the Green model makes articles available in university repositories but only after an embargo period so as to protect journals. Hence there is a debate over the length of embargo. RCUK may have conceded 2 years. There is also a debate over creative commons licensing (CC-BY): this allows ‘data-mining’ –the use of extracts of research, including out of context, with minimal requirement for acknowledgement. Peter Sowden noted that monographs will also ultimately be in the frame for OA, with the concern that if books are not funded via sales how will they be funded? RCUK policy currently only applies to articles, but may be made to apply to monographs for REF2020.

Item 3a): Stephen Hutchings noted that there would be another round of nominations for the Academy of Social Sciences in July, so BASEES will ask for suggestions.

Item 3b): Stephen Hutchings had attended a meeting with AHRC who seem genuine in wanting input from learned societies on themed calls. He reported that BASEES had responded to the RCUK Triennial Review, and noted that this is still ongoing so there is still time to make further responses.

Item 3c) Stephen Hutchings invited ideas for maximising the impact of the Dunn report. Stephen White suggested a press release. Returns to the survey showed a perception that BASEES should do more to defend and consolidate position of the field. Stephen Hutchings has spare hard copies of the report.

Item 4: Stephen Hutchings acknowledged that Bulgarian at UCL was not viable but expressed his disappointment that Bulgarian is disappearing from UK HEIs. Peter Duncan thanked Stephen for his letter of support about Bulgarian. On the other hand Stephen expressed pleasure that he had received no other requests to write letters of support to vulnerable depts. Rosalind Marsh queried whether there is now an issue of non-replacement of retiring colleagues and asked if Stephen would write to the University of Bath and ask that she be replaced with a Russianist.

Stephen Hutchings concluded his report by expressing his thanks again and offering good wishes to the new President, Peter Waldron.

4. Secretary’s Report

Sarah Hudspith submitted a written report to the meeting. She announced the new BASEES logo and thanked Matthias Neumann, Stephen Hutchings and Peter Waldron for arranging this. She outlined the various electronic means of communication now used by BASEES, including the email lists (a general members list and a postgraduate members list), Facebook and Twitter, and online file sharing for the committee. She noted that Claire Shaw as Information Officer would comment further on communications issues.

5. Membership Secretary’s Report

Natasha Rulyova was unable to attend the AGM but submitted a written report to the meeting in absentia.  The report shows that membership is holding up well; the number of members is set to grow as there are some applications pending and there has been a steady rise over last 4-6 years. It is hoped that the conference will add to membership numbers through delegates enrolling as they register for the conference or simply by promoting BASEES as an attractive organisation. BASEES is planning a move to online membership; some providers have been identified but can be very expensive to there is a need to consider all the options carefully, and other learned societies are being consulted to find out what their system is. As the membership fees were raised last year partly to allow for the move to online membership, BASEES needs to be certain of the impact of the fees increase on the level of membership before committing finances to an online package.

Melanie Ilic noted that for some members at least, direct debits went out with the old amount. Stephen Hutchings replied that this is being investigated: the fault may lie with CAF (the membership handler). Such glitches are another reason for caution before moving to a new system.

6. Treasurer’s Report

Jon Oldfield was unable to attend the AGM but submitted a written report to the meeting in absentia. The main BASEES account is in deficit but doesn't reflect the income from the conference, which the committee will know in May. It was noted that the accounts show there is not a large margin for error. The reserve accounts have been going down over the years, but the committee is hopeful that the new membership fees will help.

Matthias Neumann commented that the break even figure for the conference was 425 delegates but we have 485 delegates, so BASEES should make a profit. Rosalind Marsh asked whether ICCEES contributes finances for the conference.  It was confirmed that they do not, but the co-hosting with ICCEES has created our profit.

Stephen White asked why a financial report for the conference itself is not presented at the AGM, as BASEES members have little access to decisions made on conference spending , for example financial support for postgraduates. Such reports have been given in the past. The committee agreed to ask Suzy and Charlie Howes (conference organizers) at the committee meeting on 8 April 2013, and that a report on the finances for the 2013 conference would be presented at the next AGM.

Melanie Ilic noted that the Treasurer’s Report shows a large increase in fees for affiliations to other associations, and also in auditors fees. Stephen Hutchings confirmed that Jon Oldfield as the new Treasurer is planning to find a cheaper auditor. Peter Waldron commented that the accounts show 2 years' worth of affiliations fees in one go.

Terry Cox proposed a motion nominating the current auditors retrospectively as this is a requirement of the Charity Commission. The current auditors are Law and Co Chartered Accountants. The meeting agreed that the committee would confirm the auditors on behalf of AGM. The auditors’ signed copy of the accounts was not available to show the AGM but the committee noted this had been received.

Acceptance of the Treasurer's report was proposed by Stephen White and seconded by Judith Pallot, and agreed by the meeting.

7. Information Officer’s Report

Claire Shaw presented a written report to the meeting. She noted that BASEES is in a transition phase in terms of its means of information giving: there is a website, newsletter, email lists and social media. The newsletter has been made electronic only for cost reasons and also because in this format it is more flexible and can be expanded. Given the variety of communications methods now used by BASEES, Claire invited members to express what they value in the newsletter and what they use it for – what could be done differently, and whether members use the website more for conference announcements and calls for papers? Brendan McGeever argued that the newsletter is still very important, particularly for having everything together in one place and could be posted on the BASEES Facebook site to encourage use of both media. Peter Sowden said that the President’s letter is always informative. Jeremy Hicks suggested the request for feedback on the newsletter be circulated on the BASEES members email list. Rosalind Marsh suggested getting information for the newsletter from Richard Ramage’s email list.

8. Report on the work of the Research and Development Committee

Derek Hutcheson presented a written report to the meeting. He reported on an active year with lots of applications; the R&D committee tried to fund as many applicants as possible with as much money as possible within the budget. Not every application was funded and not every application that received funding was fully funded. The R&D committee tried instead to fund specific things such as flights, accommodation, so as to give some funding to as many applicants as possible. It also proved to be a delicate balancing act to spread the year’s budget across the three application deadlines. Out of the three areas to which applications were eligible (postgraduate funding, conference organising and study group funding), the study group fund was the only one undersubscribed. Derek noted that not all applications approved in one year are funded that year, which accounts for some disparities in the accounts. Derek also confirmed that he had undertaken an audit of BASEES study groups which had attested that most are active.

Brendan McGeever formally expressed thanks to Derek on behalf of the postgraduate community, as the R&D committee had funded the highest number of applications from postgraduates in many years.

Stephen Hutchings expressed hope that BASEES will have more money in future for R&D due to the fees increase and if future conferences are as successful as this year’s.

Rosalind Marsh suggested that the existence of the CEELBAS fund may have drawn applications away from BASEES but noted that this fund will come to an end in 2016.

9. Prizes:

a. Alexander Nove Prize

Stephen Hutchings confirmed that the winner of the Nove prize for a book published in 2011 is Andreas Schonle for Architecture of Oblivion. Sarah Hudspith stated that there had been 10 eligible applications for the Nove prize, and expressed thanks to the judges Terry Cox and David Shepherd for their hard work.

. George Blazyca Prize

Stephen Hutchings confirmed that the winner of the Blazyca prize for a book published in 2011 is Anne White for Polish Families and Migration. Sarah Hudspith stated that there had been 3 eligible applications for the Blazyca prize, and expressed thanks to the judges Cathie Carmichael and Karen Henderson for their hard work.

10. Election of Officers and Committee Members

The following nominations for officer posts were received:

Treasurer: Jon Oldfield (University of Glasgow) proposed by Terry Cox, seconded by Sarah Hudspith.

The following nominations were received for Ordinary Members:

Luke March (University of Edinburgh) proposed by Richard Sakwa, seconded by Derek Hutcheson;

Judith Pallot (University of Oxford) proposed by Peter Waldron, seconded by Matthias Neumann;

Sam Greene (Kings Russia Institute) proposed by Cathie Carmichael seconded by Simon Dixon.

All the proposals were unanimously approved.

A new Membership Secretary was also required and likely to be appointed very soon but it had not been possible formally to propose a candidate by the time of the AGM. The new appointee would therefore be formally confirmed in post at the next AGM.

Secretary Sarah Hudspith and Information Officer Claire Shaw were reconfirmed in their posts.

11. Conference 2013

Stephen Hutchings invited the meeting to give feedback on the conference.

Peter Sowden said it had been well organised.

Rosalind Marsh asked whether there were fewer British speakers than usual, and it was agreed that it merely seemed so because there were more international speakers than usual.

Peter Duncan requested that the AGM not coincide with panels again; the committee confirmed that this arrangement was just for this year due to the size of the conference.

Derek Hutcheson noted that Churchill College was very pleasant for accommodation. Matthias Neumann replied that Fitzwilliam College was more flexible with regard to late cancellations etc., but agreed that the Churchill rooms were nicer, bigger and cheaper.

Matthias Neumann reported that there were 143 panels and 485 delegates at the conference. He noted that the properly printed programme booklet, made possible through advertising sales, had proved popular. He also reported that this year overseas delegates had experienced visa problems only in terms of tight timescales rather than rejections. This type of visa problem had unfortunately lost us a few panels.

Judith Pallot expressed that she was  impressed with the conference and that BASEES should try to hold the numbers of delegates, especially taking into account that many UK scholars find the cost of going to ASEEES prohibitive. She asked whether the same scale of conference could be replicated without ICCEES. Matthias replied that the conference can be expanded even within its usual 3 day slot; the conference had already grown during the last couple of years. It was hoped the success of this year would help to promote future conferences.

Matthias Neumann reported that the conference no longer charges publishers for their displays, and delegates have reported being pleased the book stands are back.

Judith Pallot commented that it would be helpful if panel organisers/chairs were told to keep to the order of papers.

Rosalind Marsh lamented that there were no conference folders; with the programme booklet it was felt that a folder was an unnecessary expense.

Brendan McGeever reported that postgraduate attendees are giving very positive feedback, saying that it has been the best BASEES conference so far.

Brendan McGeever also noticed that the registration/information desk staff have struggled this year, as many delegates requested to be taken to Churchill College and back: this may indicate that more signage between the sites is required. Rosalind Marsh was of the view that even signage to the Fitzwilliam College rooms is sometimes inadequate.

Judith Pallot commended Richard Sakwa’s opening keynote speech which set the right tone and drew a high level of conference attendance right from the start. Matthias Neumann reported that the 'in conversation' format for an event after dinner had worked well and was more successful than holding a keynote speech after dinner.

The meeting expressed thanks to Matthias Neumann for the huge amount of work he had done in organising the conference.

12. AOB

Peter Sowden was invited to report to the membership on the BASEES Routledge book series. He tabled a written report and stated that it has been a good year. The entire back catalogue of the series is on display at the conference. He expressed his pleasure at being able to publish lots of first time authors. The meeting registered a vote of thanks to Peter Sowden.

Terry Cox proposed a formal vote of thanks to the outgoing President Stephen Hutchings, which was unanimously agreed.

Call for Submissions: Studies in Eastern European Cinema

Studies in Eastern European Cinema: a biannual Routledge peer-reviewed journal

Studies in Eastern European Cinema invites submissions of original scholarly articles relating to the cinemas of Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Bulgaria, Romania, the countries of the former Yugoslavia, Albania and Ukraine. The peer-reviewed journal provides a platform and forum for vigorous, high quality discussion, debate, correspondence and publication, edited by a board of experienced, internationally recognised experts in the field. 

Please send ideas, abstracts and submissions to:

Professor Ewa Mazierska, Principal Editor: EHMazierska@uclan.ac.uk

Professor Elzbieta Ostrowska, Deputy Editor: e_ostrowska@hotmail.com

Dr Matilda Mroz, Associate Editor: mm26@gre.ac.uk

Nebojsa Jovanovic, Associate Editor: nebojsa.jovanovic@outlook.com 

The current issue, a Special Issue on Dusan Makavejev (guest edited by Greg de Cuir) is now available online at: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/reec20/current#.U0QlgK1dXDF 

Feature articles include: 

From Bunuel to the Barbarogenius: Surrealist and avant-garde traditions in the films of Dusan Makavejev. Jonathan Owen. 

Makavejev's uses of history in Innocence Unprotected, Sweet Movie, and Gorilla Bathers at Noon. Ewa Mazierska. 

From a priest into a clown: Makavejev's critical transformation of Bergman. Katarina Mihailovic. 

From switchboard operators to Coca-cola kids: transformations of the political left in the films of Dusan Makavejev. Vlastimir Sudar. 

Tasting Colours in the Disregarded Films of Dusan Makavejev. Zdenko Mandusic.   

Student think tank launched at the University of Glasgow

eurasian_ideas_logo-04.jpg

A student think tank called EURASIAN IDEAS has been launched at the University of Glasgow. The think tank project is run by students who are united in their enthusiasm to promote research and discourse on Eastern Europe and the newly independent states of Eurasia.

EURASIAN IDEAS provides analysis and advocates informed discussion of contemporary issues that concern Eastern Europe, Russia, the Caucasus and Central Asia. The idea behind the think tank is to bring together students and graduates from different nationalities, backgrounds and degree stages who are eager to apply their class knowledge to a dynamic project and to make their research focus available to a wider audience.

Young academics interested in contributing to EURASIAN IDEAS are invited to submit relevant papers for publication on the think tank website. Frequent contributions are welcome and interested authors can receive their own blog section on EURASIAN IDEAS website.

More information on the project and how to contribute can be found here: http://www.eurasianideas.org/

As well as on the think tank’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/eurasianideas