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

The 26th Annual Russian, East European and Central Asian Studies Northwest Conference

The REECAS Northwest spring 2020 conference has been postponed until further notice.

In response to the coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19), the University of Washington has moved classes online through April 24 and directed event organizers to cancel or postpone events. As such, the UW Ellison Center for Russian, East European and Central Asian Studies (REECAS) has canceled the REECAS Northwest conference, which was to be held April 30 – May 1 in Seattle. We regret this inconvenience and we look forward to welcoming scholars of Russia, Eastern Europe and Central Asia to REECAS Northwest and the University of Washington in the future.

About the Conference

Ellison Center Director Scott Radnitz introducing Russian historian Glennys Young as the REECAS NW Keynote Speaker in 2017.

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, which seeks to promote in-depth study of the many post-communist European and Eurasian sub-regions. Sometimes abbreviated as “REECAS NW”, the conference was recognized as an official ASEEES regional conference by the ASEEES Board of Directors in 2017.

The University of Washington’s soaring Suzzallo Library

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).

There are no registration fees for REECAS Northwest conference participants or attendees.

Conference Highlights:

Please note: Ambassador Michael McFaul’s talk has been postponed until fall 2020. 

Conference Plenary with award-winning historian Douglas Smith, Friday May 1

An award-winning historian and translator, Douglas Smith is the author of six books on Russia. 

Over the past thirty years Douglas has made many trips to Russia, working as a Russian-speaking guide for the U.S. State Department, as a Soviet affairs analyst at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in Munich and even as an interpreter for President Ronald Reagan.

Douglas has taught and lectured widely in the United States, Britain, and Europe and has appeared in documentaries for National Geographic, the BBC, and Netflix. He is the recipient of numerous awards and distinctions, including a Guggenheim fellowship, Fulbright scholarship, and a residency at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Study Center.

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.

Dr. Smith will speak on his latest book The Russian Job: The Forgotten Story of How America Saved the Soviet Union from Ruin, which The Financial Times listed as one of the best books of 2019.

In 1921, facing one of the worst famines in history, the new Soviet government under Vladimir Lenin invited the American Relief Administration, the brainchild of Herbert Hoover, to save communist Russia from ruin. For two years, a small, daring band of Americans fed more than ten million men, women, and children across a million square miles of territory. It was the largest humanitarian operation in history—preventing the loss of countless lives, social unrest on a massive scale, and, quite possibly, the collapse of the communist state.

Now, almost a hundred years later, few in either America or Russia have heard of the ARA. The Soviet government quickly began to erase the memory of American charity. In America, fanatical anti-communism would eclipse this historic cooperation with the Soviet Union. Douglas Smith resurrects the American relief mission from obscurity, taking the reader on an unforgettable journey from the heights of human altruism to the depths of human depravity. The story of the ARA is filled with political intrigue, espionage, the clash of ideologies, violence, adventure, and romance, and features some of the great historical figures of the twentieth century.

Conference Program

Please check back in Spring 2020 for the REECAS NW conference program


Key Dates and Deadlines:

  • Proposal Submission Final Deadline: March 22, 2020.
  • Panels Announced: March 30, 2020
  • Papers Due for Subsequent Distribution to Panel Chairs: April 20, 2020. (Presenters may continue to revise their papers in coordination with Panel Chairs.)

Call for Paper Proposals (Abstracts):

Please see the conference paper and presentation guidelines.

Presenters: To submit your paper proposal, please complete the below linked form, which requires a maximum 300 word paper abstract. Your proposal submission serves as your conference registration, so there is no need to fill out an additional conference registration form. If you are requesting to be part of a pre-assembled panel, please indicate that in the form. 

The 2020 Call for Paper Proposals (abstracts) is open!

Call for Paper Proposals (Abstracts)


Audience Member Registration (Non-Presenter):

Non-presenting conference attendees (audience members) should use this below linked form to register for REECAS Northwest. Please register no later than 11:59 pm on April 27 by completing the below linked form.

2020 Audience Member (non-presenter) registration is open!

Audience Member Registration (Non-Presenter)

Conference Logistics and Attendee Information:

REECAS Northwest 2020 will take place in Denny Hall at the University of Washington. Denny Hall is located on the UW Seattle Campus. (For Uber or Lyft, the street address is “Spokane Ln, Seattle, WA 98105”).

International Visas

The University of Washington welcomes conference participants from around the world and can provide letters of invitation for accepted REECAS Northwest conference presenters. The University of Washington can only provide formal letters of invitation for accepted conference presenters. If you require a visa to visit the United States, please complete the below form only after you have been formally notified of the acceptance of your paper proposal. No action will be taken on invitation letters for conference applicants before papers are formally accepted and individual acceptances are communicated to applicants by the University of Washington’s Ellison Center. We look forward to welcoming you to Seattle.



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