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Call for Papers: Responsibility and authority in drinking: Arctic workshop of the University of Tartu, Estonia (30.-31. May 2014)

Veröffentlicht am 18 Dezember 2013 von Paul Becker

Last May we successfully held an international workshop on drinking alcohol as sociocultural practice in the Arctic. Our focus was on drinking both in indigenous and non-indigenous communities. The High North is notorious for the excessive use of alcohol and is associated primarily with the negative themes like alcohol related injuries, violence, suicide, decline of indigenous traditions, culture shock and other misfortunes that result from binge-drinking. Despite the scholarly take and state institutions’ efforts to limit alcohol use, most people still continue to drink, an activity associated not only with death and loss but also with leisure, pleasure and celebration. Alcohol is deeply embedded within many rituals such as the greeting of an honoured guest, a demonstration of masculinity or as a part of religious ceremony.  

Inspired by lively discussions at the last workshop, we decided to continue with the same topic from a slightly different angle. The aim is to widen both the scope as well as the geographic area. Our particular interest lies in the dimensions of morality and power related to the use of alcohol and the concept of (ir)responsibility both inside the communities as well as in the state discourse. We would like to invite talks on how individuals, groups, NGOs, churches, alcohol industry and the state conceptualise “moderate” and “excessive” alcohol consumption, to what extent people are held responsible for their actions when intoxicated, how do culturally varying concepts of personhood are reflected in the discourse of drinking, what kind of social partnerships emerge and disappear, how do drinking patterns influence other social and cultural aspects of a functioning community and similar. While last year we concentrated on the phenomenon of ‘Arctic drinking’ (whether it exists or not), at the next workshop we would like to include more researchers (anthropologists, sociologists, researchers in alcohol policies, medical experts) from other-than-Arctic areas in order to take further our comparative endeavour in understanding social and cultural aspects of drinking.

The discussant will be professor Nikolai Vakhtin, European University at St. Petersburg.

Please send your 300 words (maximum) abstract to Aimar Ventsel ( by February 15, 2014.

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ASEEES-CESS Joint Regional Conference at Nazarbayev University

Veröffentlicht am 17 Dezember 2013 von Paul Becker

Call for Papers and Conference Information

ASEEES-CESS Joint Regional Conference at Nazarbayev University
22-24 May 2014
Nazarbayev University
Astana, Kazakhstan

We invite panel and paper proposals for the Joint Regional Conference of the Association for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES) and the Central Eurasian Studies Society (CESS) to be hosted by Nazarbayev University (Astana, Kazakhstan) on 22-24 May 2014. This represents the fourth biennial regional conference of CESS together with the first regional conference organized by ASEEES.

Panel and paper topics relating to all aspects of humanities and social science scholarship are welcome. The geographic domain of covered by this conference extends from East-Central Europe to the Iranian Plateau, Mongolia and Siberia, including the Black Sea region, the Caucasus, Middle Volga, Afghanistan, Tibet, and Central and Inner Asia. Practitioners and scholars in all fields of humanities and social science with an interest in this region are encouraged to participate.

Submissions of Pre-organized Panels are strongly encouraged and will be given some priority in the selection process. Individual papers are also welcome and will be assigned by the Program Committee to an appropriate panel with a chair and a discussant. Because Pre-organized Panels are often the best panels at a conference like this, and because it can be the best way for you to present your work together with your favorite colleagues before an audience that is precisely interested in your particular theme, we urge you to start early to bring together a panel on a theme of your choice.

The deadline for submission of panel/paper proposals for the ASEEES-CESS Regional Conference is:
22 January 2014

The language of the conference in general is English, and presentations will not be translated. Organizers of Pre-organized Panels, meanwhile, will have the option of proposing panels that are English-only, Russian-only or mixed English and Russian. Papers that are submitted individually (not as part of a Pre-organized Panel) should be presented in English. Please see the proposal forms linked below for some additional stipulations regarding conference participation.

This conference is a regional event, in addition to the annual conferences held by both of the sponsoring organizations in North America. Note that one may apply to participate in this regional conference while also applying to the main annual conferences of CESS (next fall at Columbia University in New York) and ASEEES (next November in San Antonio, Texas), but one may not submit the same proposal to both the regional conference and the main annual conferences.

To submit a proposal:

  1. Download the appropriate form(s):
    — If you are submitting a paper that is not included in a Pre-organized Panel, use the Individual Proposal Form only (see below).
    — If you are submitting a pre-organized Panel Proposal (either Regular Panel or Round-Table Panel), use Panel Proposal Form, and make sure that each panelist (chair, discussant, presenter) submits the Individual Proposal Form.
    — Follow these links to download the forms; be sure to save the form before completing it (in Acrobat Reader or another program capable of opening PDF files):
    Individual Proposal Form
    Panel Proposal Form
  2. Save the form(s) in PDF format and send as attachment to by 22 January 2014.
  3. Remember that you will also need to send registration fees by 7 April 2014 (unless you have no available method to do so, in which case you should notify us of this by 7 April 2014).

To attend the conference only (not to be included in a panel), you should download, save and complete theRegistration Form and submit it to by 1 May 2014 for preparation of your name tag and inclusion of your information in the Contact List in the Program.

About the Conference

The program will feature approximately 60 panels including about 200 presentations, and there will also be a supplementary program including a reception, cultural program, and two keynote speakers. We anticipate additional events and activities to be organized in conjunction with the conference; details will be announced on this page later.

Registration Fees for the conference are as follows:

  • Members* – US$100 (ca. 15,400 KZT)
  • Non-members – US$150 (ca. 23,100 KZT)
  • Student Members* – US$75 (ca. 11,550 KZT)
  • Non-member: Students or Regional Scholars with limited finances** – US$90 (ca. 13,860 KZT)

* Being a member of either ASEEES or CESS qualifies one for the Member rates.
** “Limited finances” are defined as having an annual gross income of less than
US$15,000 (=ca. 187,500 KZT) or the equivalent.

In order become a member (or renew membership) in one or both of the sponsoring scholarly societies, visit the webpages lined below:

Practical Arrangements

Participants are responsible for covering the costs of their own travel and stay in Astana, and are responsible for making their own arrangements. (This is standard practice at international conferences of this kind.) In general, the hosting/sponsoring organizations do not provide support for conference travel and we do not waive the registration fees for any participant, regardless of their financial need. Conference participants rely on personal resources, their own institutions, or grant-giving organizations that provide conference travel grants. Meanwhile, both CESS and ASEEES offer reduced rates for membership dues to members from the region (see the membership pages for CESS and ASEEES). In addition, ASEEES has made available a fund that its members can apply to for some support toward their conference participation costs on a financial need basis (ASEEES members may apply using this form).

Nazarbayev University will make available accommodations free-of-charge in shared dormitory rooms — on a first-come-first-served and financial need basis. This accommodation is available only to those who are accepted to be included in a panel on the program. Those wishing to be put on the list for such accommodation should indicate this on their Individual Proposal Form (a large number of shared rooms will be made available, but still, submitting the proposal as early as possible will ensure your best chances).

We will make available from this page (in January) information about some hotel options that offer reasonable prices and are readily accessible to the Nazarbayev University campus. One can expect to find good quality accommodations at a price of less than US$100 per night for single occupancy if one reserves early.

Visas are not required for citizens of many countries (e.g., CIS countries, Turkey, etc.). Citizens of many OECD countries may obtain a visa simply by applying to the Consulate of Kazakhstan in their country. If in your country, there is no consulate or formal visa support from the inviting side is required, contact us as soon as possible (no later than 7 April 2014) and we will arrange this (with costs of visas and visa support to be covered by the conference attendee).

About Astana City and Nazarbayev University, and Beyond

Astana is arguably the most dynamically developing city in the region. Since Astana was made the capital of Kazakhstan 16 years ago, it has roughly tripled in population and has been the site of huge investments in architecture, parks, and cultural institutions. The result is a diverse and energetic city that makes a powerful impression on those who visit.

Visitors to the city arrive mainly by air (though bus connections are available via nearby cities in Russia, for example, and a high-speed train line provides an over-night connection with Almaty, Kazakhstan’s former capital that is still the country’s largest city and primary transportation hub). Many direct flights are available to Astana from cities in Europe, Russia, the Far East, and elsewhere, while for some, the most convenient connections will be via Almaty, from where there are many flights a day to Astana.

Nazarbayev University was established in 2010 and is rapidly becoming a leading center of academic excellence in the broader region. The university is home to dozens of scholars in various social science, humanities, and applied fields who focus on topics related to the Eurasian region. The great majority of such scholars are concentrated in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, while others are in the more recently established Graduate School of Education and Graduate School of Public Policy. The university has a veryimpressive campus and high-quality facilities and organizational experience for hosting major international events. In August 2013, Nazarbayev University hosted the 13th Biennial Conference of the European Society for Central Asian Studies (ESCAS), which marked the first time the conference was held in Central Asia and was one of the largest events in the history of the ESCAS conferences.

Late May in Astana — the height of spring — is an ideal time to visit the city and the Silk Road and Steppe regions. Perhaps the conference can be the starting point of an adventure including other points in Kazakhstan and Central Asia, Russia or China.

We will provide a webpage from January with addition information that will be helpful in planning your visit to Astana and in making your stay in the city enjoyable.

Schedule of Key Dates:

  • Deadline for Proposals22 January 2014. (Proposals received after this date may be considered at the discretion of the Program Committee.)
  • Notification of selection results12 February 2014. (The Program Committee will notify you of whether you have been accepted by email.)
  • Cut-off date for notification of withdrawal7 April 2014. (“No Shows” will be penalized with exclusion from future conferences — see Individual Proposal Form for details.)
  • Deadline for sending Registration Fee7 April 2014. (Participants who do not have a bank card or other method by which to pay in advance must notify us by this date and must pay at the conference registration desk on arrival.)
  • Preliminary Program will be available: 14 April 2014.
  • Deadline for submission of changes to the Conference Program8 May 2014.
  • Deadline for sending papers to Discussant and Chair8 May 2014.
  • Conference dates22-24 May 2014 (arrival by the morning of Thurs., May 22; departure on evening of Sat., May 24 or on Sun., May 25; the conference program will begin in the afternoon of Thurs., May 22 and continue through the evening of Sat., May 24).

The Program Committee

Further Information

Please send conference related inquiries to:

For queries related to membership, contact the respective offices:



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