Nations and Ethnicity in Humanities and Social Sciences

torch logo icon

We are pleased to inform you that the interdisciplinary conference: “Nations and ethnicity in Humanities and Social sciences. Colonialism and neocolonialism: discourses and practices” within the research project “Historia nationem gignit” will be held in  Saint-Petersburg State University in February, 26 - 28, 2018.

Specialists in history, sociology, political science, social and cultural anthropology, ethnology, philology, imagology and art criticism are invited to take part in this conference. The participation of postgraduate students, masters and undergraduate students is welcome.

This is the fifth conference in the series of conferences “Nations and ethnicity in Humanities and Social sciences” which have been held in Saint-Petersburg State University.

Colonial and neocolonial studies (postcolonial studies are no exception) feature prominently in contemporary social sciences, determining scholars’ research of ethnocultural and ethnopolitical issues in a wide chronological framework ranging from the Age of Discovery to  the global processes of contemporary epoch. Over the last twenty years the chronological boundaries of such studies have been expanded to include issues of the Classical antiquity and the Middle ages (mainly Western European). Therefore, a revised area of research led to questioning of the universalism of the approaches to interpretation and to the search for new methods of analysis relevant to each period.

The objective of the conference is to discuss not only the general issues connected with various historical-cultural forms of colonialism but also local and temporal peculiarity characteristic of its variants. Thus, the historical landscape of colonialism organized in such a way involves its factor analysis, on the one hand, which takes central-peripheral relationship into consideration, and hierarchical structure and asymmetry of colonial and neocolonial discourses, on the other hand. Since the idea of the research project concentrates on raising and studying issues of ethnicity, nations and nationalism, the committee of the conference expects the prospective participants to pay specific attention to the process of construction of domineering groups and ethnocultural minorities, the mechanisms of social suppression and governance, identities crystalising in the course of these processes, the constructs demonstrating variability of ‘alien’ and ‘us’, as well as epochalism and essentialism of the solutions of the authorities. The differentiation of colonial, neocolonial and postcolonial discursive formations and positive and negative practices created by them is considered a necessary condition for discussion of the issues raised.

The committee would like prospective participants to concentrate on the issues of colonialism, neocolonialism and postocolonialism not only in its stadial, restricted by certain period, perspective, but also in a wider context, in the methodological sense.  Consequently, the committee of the conference suggests that the following questions should be discussed.

1.     Historization of colonialism (from the Classical antiquity to the Modern time)

2.     Colonialism, neocolonialism and various dimensions of imperial landscape

3.     Centre and periphery in colonial/neocolonial discourse

4.     Colonial practices of the governance of diversity

5.     Verbal and non-verbal communication in colonial and neocolonial discourse and space

6.     Empire and colonies: aspects and perspectives of integration/disintegration

7.     Resistance to colonialism and construction of the national

8.     Essentialist and epochalist discourses

9.     Colonial elites and invention of nationalism

10.  Settler colonial communities: creole identities

11.  Colonial and postcolonial literatures

The working languages of the conference are English and Russian.

Submit your application at

Application deadline: 31.12.2017

The application should include the topic of the paper, its summary (300 words) and the key words as well as the details of the applicant (academic status, occupation or place of education) and contact details.

We would like to draw your attention to the fact that committee of the conference allows only in-person participation.