This conference explores shifting conceptions of race and ethnicity through the transition from the Russian to the Soviet empires. It proposes an approach to race and ethnicity as discursive formations that emerge in a broad archive of ethnographic, linguistic, geographic, and popular media, which furnished both hegemonic discourses of scientific modernity and Russian/Eurasian exceptionalism. The conference will examine how race science came to be grounded in both the practical imagination and Imperial Russian and Soviet policies, which served in the ordering and management of the colonial population through diversity mandates, nation-building and border redistricting, as well as restructuring aesthetic and affective regimes of seeing and feeling.
We will trace how conceptions of race and ethnicity shifted over the revolutionary transition and responded to specific local and global geopolitics. Working across the disciplines of history, history of science, anthropology, literature, as well as visual media and performing arts, this workshop will expose the ways in which shifting conceptions of race and ethnicity influenced the development of new scientific paradigms and contributed to the restructuring of the social, political and artistic imagination amidst the process of imperial expansion.
Thursday, March 5
University of Illinois at Chicago Theatre Building, L285 Recital Hall
1040 West Harrison Street
4 - 6pm, 7:30pm performance by Psoy Korolenko
Friday, March 6
University of Illinois at Chicago Institute for the Humanities
701 South Morgan Street
9:30am - 4pm
Saturday, March 7
University of Chicago Classics Building, Room 110
1010 E. 59th Street
10am - 4:45pm
Co-sponsored by the University of Chicago, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.