Information letter E-mail

Institute of Oriental Studies of Russian Academy of Science,

Altai State University and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung

are pleased to announce

Cross-border Migrations from

the East to the East, the West and Russia: Past and Present

International Conference, 21–23, November, 2016,

Moscow, Institute of Oriental Studies

Call for Papers

The scholars who study migrations divide generally between two main camps: experts on contemporary migrations and those who devote their efforts to the migrations of the past. The conference in question aims precisely at bringing these two groups together by offering an agenda that would foster dialogue between them. Such an exchange would offer plentiful opportunities for joint, interdisciplinary, comparative and, finally, heuristic research projects that would bring about more valid understanding of the whole migration process.

The experience of Fernand Braudel, William McNeil, Giovanni Arrighi, Sergei Nefyodov, etc. demonstrates that the masterly deepening of research retrospective significantly facilitates the understanding of basic traits of the most continuous phenomena in human history. Cross-border migrations belong exactly to this class of phenomena. Therefore, we set only the upper chronological limit for the future participants of the conference – the second decade of the 21st century, while the lower limit may encompass the last few thousand years.

At the same time, we set spatial limits in a stricter manner so that the participants are to concentrate on two main migration flows. The first of them encompasses migration flows between different regions of the East itself, and the second one comprises the migrants from the Orient, i. e. from Asia and Northern Africa, seen together as an assembly of cultural and historical regions, conventionally described as opposite to Russia and the West.

The choice of panels is of crucial importance for the conference to be a success. We suggest singling out a set of clusters of research areas that are relevant to the detailed study of contemporary and historical migrations. As the conference proceeds, we hope these clusters to refine and elaborate further and further. At this stage, the following panels appear to be relevant.

1. Words and Perception. We are convinced that any study of such a long-term historical phenomenon as migration, should be accompanied by the analysis of the etymology of words used to define migration-bound concepts, notions and ideas, as well as the evolution of their meaning. It is also important to find out which images, attitudes and reactions these words have aroused at different levels of the social consciousness in the past and continue to arouse nowadays.

2. Causes and Aims. We consider the conventional scheme of push / pull factors that drive migrations decisions to be of limited explanatory value. However, if this economy-centered approach combined with the results of the historical transnational migrations studies, we may hope to make up its faults. The participants are invited to concentrate on those causes and goals of cross-border migrations from different regions of the East that appear to persist – even if not so overtly and explicitly as nowadays – throughout different historical periods.

3. Effects. The effect of migrations is often reduced to either purely economic consequences (impact on labor market, remittances, etc) or to the relatively short-term reaction of the receiving society or else to the various social evils (slave labor, the partial criminalization of migrants, etc). The goal of this panel is to broaden an ever-repeating range of topics and take on a more nuanced approach towards studying the outcomes of transnational migration. Such an approach would help to trace out its long-term and historically meaningful effects all, within the domains of demography, identity, worldview, cultural norms and values, etc.

4.  Typologies. The aim of this panel is to expand the habitual typology of contemporary migrations (labor and educational, permanent and temporary, voluntary and involuntary, etc.) by adding some other types that would be relevant for very different historical epochs including those separated with centuries and even thousands of years. We expect this panel to become the most experimental and controversial one. Therefore, the best way to conduct it would be to abandon conventional format (presentation of papers) and to set up a provocative roundtable or two.

After the conference, we expect to prepare – within a year’s range – an edited volume based on the papers and discussions held during the conference.

Languages: Russian, English.

Deadline for proposals: June 30, 2016.

Proposals should include the following information:

–       author’s name;

–       her / his academic position and affiliation(s);

–       title of proposed paper;

–       abstract of no more than 300 words;

–       contact information (e-mail address and telephone number).

Please, send your proposal as an e-mail attachment in .pdf or .doc format. The Organizing Committee of the Conference commits itself to inform the authors of both accepted and rejected proposals before July 15, 2016.

Please, note that presentations will be limited to 20 minutes and the Organizing Committee cannot provide a financial assistance to the participants.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us via e-mail: Этот e-mail адрес защищен от спам-ботов, для его просмотра у Вас должен быть включен Javascript

Kind regards,

Sergei Panarin,

chairman for the Organizing Committee, Institute of Oriental Studies

Pyotr Dashkovskiy

deputy chairman, Altai State University

Tayssiya Ustinova,


Secretary, Institute of Oriental Studies

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