REECAS Northwest Conference

REECAS Northwest, the annual ASEEES Northwest Regional Conference for Russian, East European and Central Asian Studies, welcomes students, faculty, independent scholars, and language educators from the United States and abroad.

REECAS Northwest, the annual ASEEES Northwest Regional Conference for Russian, East European and Central Asian Studies, welcomes students, faculty, independent scholars, and language educators from the United States and abroad.

REECAS Northwest 2024

The 30th Annual Conference for Russian, East European and Central Asian Studies

April 11-13, 2024

University of Washington

Seattle, WA USA

Conference registration now open!

Please note that all presenters and attendees must register for the 2024 REECAS Northwest Conference.

On-Site Registration opens at 8:15 pm on April 13 in HUB Room 145.


Free wi-fi is available for 2024 conference attendees. To access wi-fi, please log into the University of Washington network with:

UW Net ID: event0619

Password: gf33_yq25_rr88


About the Conference

2022 Ellison Center Director Scott Radnitz speaking at the REECAS Northwest Conference

REECAS Northwest, the annual ASEEES Northwest Regional Conference for Russian, East European and Central Asian Studies, welcomes students, faculty, independent scholars, and language educators from the United States and abroad. Established in 1994, REECAS Northwest is an important annual event for scholars and students in the Pacific Northwest and beyond, with participant and partner universities from across the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia. The interdisciplinary conference is organized by the University of Washington’s Ellison Center for Russian, East European, and Central Asian Studies. Sometimes abbreviated as “REECAS NW”, the conference was recognized as the official ASEEES northwest regional conference by the ASEEES Board of Directors in 2017.

The conference hosts many panels on a variety of topics from a wide diversity of disciplines including political science, history, literature, linguistics, anthropology, culture, migration studies, gender studies, LGBTQ studies, film studies and more.

Papers on Russia and all the countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia are welcome, including the Uyghur region in China (Xinxiang and elsewhere).

Call for Proposals | Closed

The REECAS Northwest Conference welcomes both individual paper proposals and also panel/roundtable proposals. Individual proposal submissions will be grouped into panels with a common theme.

  • Panel Proposals: Panel chairs should gather their individual panelist information (name, email, affiliation, presentation title) and submit that on behalf of all panelists using the Call for Proposals Form. Upon acceptance, individual presenters and chairs will be required to register separately for the conference using a distinct Conference Registration Form, which will become live after the proposal acceptance announcement date.
  • Individual Paper Proposals: Individuals who are not part of a pre-formed panel should submit their proposal using the Call for Proposals Form. Upon acceptance, individual presenters and chairs will be required to register separately for the conference using a distinct Conference Registration Form, which will become live after the proposal acceptance announcement date.

Please note that the REECAS Northwest Annual Conference is in-person only.

For further details and definitions, please see the conference paper and presentation Guidelines, Definitions, and Best Practices webpage.

Submit Proposal Closed

Key Dates and Deadlines

  • Call for Proposals Deadline (abstract and C.V.): February 5, 2024
  • Notification of Acceptance: February 12, 2024
  • Panels Announced: February 19, 2024
  • Final Papers to Chair: April 1, 2024
  • Presenter Registration Deadline: April 1, 2024

Conference Registration Open!

Registration is required for the REECAS Northwest Conference. ALL participants (accepted presenters and audience members) must register using the below online form.

  • Faculty/Independent Scholar Presenters: $40
  • Student Presenters: $25
  • General Public Attendees (non-presenters): $25
  • Seattle Tashkent Sister City Association Members: $15
  • University of Washington Faculty/Students/Staff: Complementary

Conference Registration 

Keynote Speaker

Dr. Ted Gerber (University of Wisconsin)

Why, how, and where should we study Russia in the face of war and decolonization?

About the talk: Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine and associated calls for decolonizing the study of Eastern Europe and Eurasia (and de-centering Russia within it) pose significant practical, intellectual, and ethical challenges that have led to much soul-searching among scholars whose primary research focus has been on Russia. The speaker considers these challenges and proposes responses, drawing on an assessment of the state of Russian studies in 2022 he conducted for ASEEES, other recent studies and discussions of these topics, and three decades of experience as a researcher in the field. 

About the speaker: Theodore P. Gerber is Conway-Bascom Professor of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he also directs the Wisconsin Russia Project. He studies social stratification, migration, demography, housing public opinion, and other aspects of social and economic change in former Soviet countries. Recent publications include co-authored articles on collective memory of Stalin’s repressions in Russia (American Sociological Review), housing inequality in Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Ukraine (American Journal of Sociology), how kinship networks affect small business performance in Kyrgyzstan (Journal of Comparative Economics), and the effect of internal displacement on subjective well-being in Ukraine (Social Forces). 


Conference Highlights

Translation Showcase | Dominique Hoffman – Translation in the Context of War: Why Did Cecil Have to Die? And Why Does Ukraine Fight On?

Dominique Hoffman is a translator and researcher focusing on literature, art, and cultural history. She has a degree in Russian Language and History from the University of Washington and a doctorate in Slavic Language and Literatures from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dominique translates Ukrainian fiction and nonfiction from both Ukrainian and Russian — in the case of Olena Stiazhkina’s Cecil the Lion Had to Die, both in a single work. Her translation of Yaroslav Hrytsak’s Ukraine: the Forging of a Nation came out earlier this year, and the novel The Face of Fire by Aleksei Nikitin is forthcoming from the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute.


Conference Plenary | A Rising Fury film screening and discussion

A Rising Fury followed several protesters for 10 years from the Revolution in 2013 to the war in Eastern Ukraine and ultimately to the full-scale invasion in 2022. It’s a story about love, revolution and betrayal that required multiple expeditions to the front lines of the war and told through intimate verité material. This film reveals the untold story of how the Russo-Ukrainian war happened nearly 10 years ago and explains how we arrived at this point in history through events and personal stories on the ground.

A Rising Fury premiered at the 2022 Tribeca Film festival and is the winner of three top awards at the Melbourne Documentary Film Festival including the Supreme Jury Award. A Rising Fury has been longlisted in the best feature documentary category for the 96th Academy Awards.

FilmThreat gives it 5 stars and says it’s “A masterclass of documentary filmmaking… absolutely brilliant on every level. One of the best films of the year.” Film Ink gives it 4.5 stars and says it’s a “Wake up call… a powerful statement as to what the Ukrainians are fighting for. Filmmaker Magazine says it’s “A breathtakingly cinematic explainer of current events.”


Film Reel | Golod (Famine) – A new (and swiftly banned) documentary film on famine in Russia in the 1920s

Historian and documentary contributor Douglas Smith presents Golod (Famine), a new and award-winning documentary film by Tatiana Sorokina, Maxim Kurnikov, and Alexander Arkhangelsky, the latter two of whom will also attend from Russia. Filmed in dozens of towns and villages across Russia, as well as in France, the UK, and the US, Golod uses rare archival footage and interviews with experts to tell the fascinating and little-remembered story of the epic famine that ravaged Soviet Russia in the early 1920s and the massive international relief effort that saved millions of lives. The film’s creators faced numerous obstacles in making this ground-breaking film, and after only a few showings the film was banned in Russia by the Ministry of Culture. Dr. Smith was asked to be part of the Golod film project as the author of The Russian Job, which recounts the role of American aid to the USSR during the famine.

The film will be presented in Russian with English subtitles.

Douglas Smith is an award-winning historian and translator. He is the author of six books on Russia and has a doctorate in history from UCLA. His book Former People: The Final Days of the Russian Aristocracy was a bestseller in the UK. It won the inaugural Pushkin House Russian Book Prize in 2013, was a BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week, and was chosen Book of the Year by Andrew Solomon in Salon. His 2016 biography Rasputin: Faith, Power, and the Twilight of the Romanovs was a finalist for the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. Douglas’s new translation of Konstantin Paustovsky’s epic memoir, The Story of a Life, published by Vintage Classics in the UK in 2022 and by New York Review Books in the US in 2023, has received widespread critical praise. He recently launched a site dedicated to the film and movie archive of Major Martin J. Manhoff, a stunning, one-of-a-kind visual record of the Soviet Union in the Stalin years. Douglas is now at work on a book titled The City Without Jews, a history of the destruction of Jewish Vienna under the Nazis that highlights the remarkable story of Mignon Langnas.

Alexander Arkhangelsky, Golod screenwriter

Maxim Kurnikov, Documentarian and journalist, formerly with Ekho Moskvy


New Book Roundtable | Cassio de Oliveira – Writing Rogues: The Soviet Picaresque and Identity Formation, 1921–1938

In this roundtable, Sasha Senderovich (University of Washington), Katya Hokanson (University of Oregon) Naomi Caffee (Reed College) and author Cassio de Oliveira will discuss his new book, Writing Rogues: The Soviet Picaresque and Identity Formation, 1921–1938.


Plot elements such as adventure, travel to far-flung regions, the criminal underworld, and embezzlement schemes are not usually associated with Soviet literature, yet an entire body of work produced between the October Revolution and the Stalinist Great Terror was constructed around them.
In Writing Rogues, Cassio de Oliveira sheds light on the picaresque and its marginal characters – rogues and storytellers – who populated the Soviet Union on paper and in real life. The picaresque afforded authors the means to articulate and reflect on the Soviet collective identity, a class-based utopia that rejected imperial power and attempted to deemphasize national allegiances. Combining new readings of canonical works with in-depth analysis of neglected texts, Writing Rogues explores the proliferation of characters left on the sidelines of the communist transition, including gangsters, con men, and petty thieves, many of them portrayed as ethnic minorities. The book engages with scholarship on Soviet subjectivity as well as classical picaresque literature in order to explain how the subversive rogue – such as Ilf and Petrov’s wildly popular cynic and schemer Ostap Bender – in the process of becoming a fully fledged Soviet citizen, came to expose and embody the contradictions of Soviet life itself.

Writing Rogues enriches our understanding of how literature was called upon to participate in the construction of Soviet identity. It demonstrates that the Soviet picaresque resonated with individual citizens’ fears and aspirations as it recorded the country’s transformation into the first communist state

Cassio de Oliveira is Associate Professor of Russian and Associate Chair of the Department of World Languages and Literatures at Portland State University. His research focuses on Russian literature and film, as well cultural exchanges between Russia and foreign cultures, especially in the Soviet period. His first book, Writing Rogues: The Soviet Picaresque and Identity Formation, 1921–1938, was published in spring 2023 by McGill-Queen’s University Press. He is currently working on a book-length study of the reception, translations, and adaptations of works by Mark Twain in the Soviet Union, with special emphasis on Huckleberry Finn.


Citizen Diplomacy Spotlight | Dan Peterson, Seattle Tashkent Sister City Association former President, “Seattle & Tashkent: 50 Years of a Remarkable Sister City Friendship, 1973-2023 Book Presentation”

Seattle and Tashkent, Uzbekistan have had a remarkable sister city friendship for over 50 years. They formed the first American-Soviet sister city and it continued after the collapse of the Soviet Union. This relationship is a testament to the power of citizen diplomacy.

This session focuses on the amazing partnership between Seattle and Tashkent, its history and activities, and the process for completion of the 50th anniversary book. The importance and benefits of citizen diplomacy will be highlighted. Additionally, the role of young people in the establishment and continuation of the organization will be described.

Conference Program New!

Conference Program

Graduate Student Essay Prize

REECAS Northwest awards an annual prize for the best graduate student paper presented at the conference and nominates the winner for the ASEEES Beth Holmgren Graduate Student Essay Prize. For consideration, students must present their paper at the REECAS Northwest Conference and submit their paper by uploading it to Dropbox before April 14, 2024 using this link.

Conference Hotel New!

Participants are required to make their own hotel reservations (including payment). The Ellison Center has secured a block of rooms at a discounted rate of $169 per night (shared double queen) plus taxes in the stylish Graduate Seattle Hotel, located just steps from the University of Washington in the University District. (Please scroll down to find discounted reservation link.)

We STRONGLY recommend you make your reservations soon as availability is limited. Please make your reservation by March 12, 2024 to secure the discounted rate. 

For hotel booking, please note the following:

  • Your Group Names is: UW – REECAS NW

  • Your first date of arrival is: 4/11/2024

  • Your last date of departure is: 4/13/2024

  • Your group rate of $169.00 for single and double rooms is valid for 3 days pre / post contracted dates based on hotel availability. In order to secure pre/post contracted dates, please book rooms using the booking link and email lsustaita@graduatehotels.comto extend the additional days you need.

There are two ways to make your university’s hotel reservations:

By Phone: Individuals can call the hotel directly at 502-242-9597 between the hours of 8a.m. – 7p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. – 4p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.  To guarantee rate and room type, please ensure the name of the group, arrival date, and any other information needed is given at the time of reservation.

Online:Individuals can also make reservations online by clicking here. This method is best for individual room reservations as each room must be reserved via separate transactions. 

Other hotels in the U-District, please note that the discounted rate is not available at these hotels.

Marriott Residence Inn 

Silver Cloud Hotel

Watertown Hotel 

University Inn

Venue, Campus Maps, Parking, and Transportation

The REECAS Northwest Conference will take place in the HUB (Husky Union Building) on the University of Washington campus in Seattle. (4001 E Stevens Way NE, Seattle, WA 98195)



Seattle Restaurants and Activities

There are a variety of restaurants and cafes located on the University of Washington campus and nearby.




Invitation Letter Request

(Accepted proposals only) – If you require a letter of invitation to present at the conference, please complete the below form.

Invitation Letter Form

COVID-19 Prevention and UW


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