REECAS NW Past Conferences


REECAS Northwest 2021

The 27th Annual Russian, East European and Central Asian Studies Northwest Conference

An ASEEES Regional Conference

The 2021 REECAS Northwest Conference has already occurred. Please check this page next spring for information on the 2022 REECAS Northwest Conference.



About the Conference

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

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 Program

Please click below for the final conference program.



Audience Member Registration (Non-Presenter):

Non-presenting conference attendees (audience members) should use this below linked form to register for REECAS Northwest. (Panelists are automatically registered with their paper submission.)

Conference registration is free and *required*. Registered attendees will receive Zoom links by email. 



Conference Highlights

Keynote Speaker, Daniel Chirot – Revolutions: Past and Future Hopes and Tragedies

Thursday, April 29 at 12:30 pm Pacific Time

Conference registration required (free). Click here to register.

Recent Herbert J. Ellison Professor of Russian and Eurasian Studies at the University of Washington’s Henry M. Jackson School Daniel Chirot has authored books about social change, ethnic and nationalist conflicts, Eastern Europe, and tyranny. He is the author of You Say You Want a Revolution? Radical Idealism and Its Tragic Consequences from Princeton University Press. He has additionally co-authored The Shape of the New: Four Big Ideas and How They Made the Modern World with REECAS Northwest Plenary speaker Scott Montgomery, Why Not Kill Them All? about political mass murder, and Modern Tyrants: The Power and Prevalence of Evil in Our Age. He has also edited or co-edited books on Leninism’s decline, on entrepreneurial ethnic minorities, on ethnopolitical warfare, on the economic history of Eastern Europe, and on memories of World War II. He teaches courses on these same topics and on American security policies. He founded the journal East European Politics and Societies and has received help from, among others, the John Simon Guggenheim, Rockefeller, and Mellon Foundations and from the US State Department. He has consulted for the US Government, the Ford Foundation, CARE, and other NGOs in Eastern Europe and West Africa. He has a BA from Harvard and a PhD from Columbia.


Plenary Speaker, Scott Montgomery: Russia as the World’s Energy Superpower – How Long Will It Last?

Friday, April 30 at 12:30 pm Pacific Time

Conference registration required (free). Click here to register.

Scott L. Montgomery is an author, geoscientist, and affiliate faculty member in the Jackson School of International Studies, University of Washington. He writes and lectures on a wide variety of topics related to energy (geopolitics, technology, resources, climate change), American politics, intellectual history, language and communication, and the history of science. He is a frequent contributor to online journals such as The Conversation, Forbes, and Fortune, and his articles and op-eds are regularly featured in many outlets, including Newsweek, Marketwatch, The Huffington Post, and UPI. He also gives public talks and serves on panels related to issues in global energy and their relation to political and economic trends and ideas of sustainability. For more than two decades, Montgomery worked as a geoscientist in the energy industry, writing over 100 scientific papers and 70 monographs on topics related to oil and gas, energy technology, and industry trends. 

Montgomery is the author of 12 books, including, The Shape of the New: Four Big Ideas and How They Built the Modern World (Princeton University Press), co-authored with Dan Chirot, which The New York Times selected as one of the 100 Most Notable Books of 2015Shape of the New has been widely praised for its themes regarding the power of ideas in the shaping of modern history, using such thinkers as Adam Smith, Charles Darwin, Karl Marx, and the founders of American democracy, particularly Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton, as examples of how influential Enlightenment thought has been. The book also examines how such thought has been opposed by forms of often-violent reaction and extremism, such as fascism, totalitarianism, and religious fundamentalism.

Other recent works include: Seeing the Light: Making the Case for Nuclear Power in the 21st Century, co-author Thomas Graham Jr. (Cambridge; forthcoming fall 2017); The Chicago Guide to Communicating Science (Second Edition, Chicago, 2017); A History of Science in World Cultures (Routledge, 2015); Does Science Need a Global Language? (Chicago, 2013); Powers that Be: Global Energy for the 21st Century and Beyond (Chicago, 2010).

Montgomery is currently pursuing several areas of research. These include the role of Enlightenment ideas in present-day American politics, as well as the future of petroleum and its role in geopolitics and climate change. New book projects focus on the global impact of Darwin and Darwinism since 1860, and the medieval origins of modern science.



The Future of Nagorno-Karabakh: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Peacebuilding and Development in the South Caucasus

Thursday, April 29 at 9:00 am Pacific Time

Conference registration required (free). Click here to register.

100 attendee capacity in Zoom webinar.

Following the war between Armenia and Azerbaijan in Nagorno-Karabakh during the fall of 2020, what comes next for the region? This roundtable brings together an interdisciplinary panel of experts to discuss the opportunities and uncertainties created by the ceasefire, the prospects for building a lasting peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan, and potential ways to foster economic and social development in Nagorno-Karabakh and the broader South Caucasus.

Organizer and Moderator:

– Jeanene Mitchell, PhD, Visiting Scholar, Ellison Center, University of Washington


– Arman Grigoryan, Associate Professor of International Relations, Lehigh University

– Fariz Huseynov, Professor of Finance and Faculty Fellow, Challey Institute for Global Innovation and Growth, North Dakota State University

– Emin Milli, Founder, Restart Initiative



Feminist Anthropology of Old Europe: Celebrating the Centennial of Marija Gimbutas (1921-2021)

Friday, April 30 at 9:00 am Pacific Time

Conference registration required (free). Click here to register.

Marija Gimbutas (1921-1994), Professor of European Archaeology and Indo-European Studies at UCLA, wrote numerous popular and controversial books about the prehistoric gods and goddesses of Old Europe. Her research was a source of inspiration for environmentalist, feminist, neo-pagan, and other social movements on both sides of and transgressing the “Iron Curtain.” Born in Lithuania, educated at the Universities of Vilnius, Tübingen and München, Gimbutas immigrated to the United States to teach at Harvard University before moving to the West Coast. This roundtable celebrates the Centennial of her birth with a meeting of generations: Dr. Rasa Navickaitė, author of an acclaimed 2020 dissertation about the international reception of Marija Gimbutas, will discuss Gimbutas’s contributions and heritage together with two colleagues of Marija Gimbutas: Ernestine Elster (UCLA) and Colin Renfrew (Cambridge University).

Rasa Navickaitė (Visiting Lecturer, Central European University)


– Rasa Navickaitė (Visiting Lecturer, Central European University) is author of the most extensive biographical study of Marija Gimbutas: Her 2020 dissertation examines the transnational reception of Gimbutas’s work and persona in diverse feminist and women’s activist contexts on both sides of the “Iron Curtain”.  Among her other publications are “Postcolonial Queer Critique in Post-Communist Europe -Stuck in the Western Progress Narrative?” Tijdschrift Voor Genderstudies (2014); “Under the Western Gaze: Sexuality and Postsocialist ‘Transition’ in East Europe,” in Postcolonial Transitions in Europe (2015), and numerous articles and essays in Lithuanian scholarly publications.

Ernestine Elster, Colin Renfrew, and Marija Gimbutas (from left to right).

– Ernestine Elster (Associated Researcher, UCLA Cotsen Institute of Archeology) was a graduate student of Marija Gimbutas and participated in four of her archeological expeditions.  She has authored numerous publications on Italy and Greece in the Neolithic and Bronze Age, among them Excavations at Sitagroi, a prehistoric village in northeast Greece (1986), which she coauthored with Marija Gimbutas and this panel’s discussant Colin Renfrew. This panel was inspired by her essay, “Marija Gimbutas: Old Europe, Goddesses and Gods,  and the Transformation of Culture” (Backdirt, 2015).

– Colin Renfrew (Senior Fellow of the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, Cambridge) was a friend and colleague of Marija Gimbutas. He is author of many articles and books, among them Before Civilisation: The Radiocarbon Revolution and Prehistoric Europe (1973); Transformations: Mathematical Approaches to Culture Change (1979); Archeology and Language: The Puzzle of Indo-European Origins (1990); Loot, Legitimacy and Ownership: The Ethical Crisis in Archeology (2000); and Prehistory: The Making of the Human Mind (2008).

Živilė Gimbutas

– Zivile Gimbutas (UCLA) is one of Marija Gimbutas’ daughters, so she knew her personally more than professionally. However, Zivile attended UCLA during the beginning of Marija’s career there, became acquainted with some of her colleagues and students, as well as her major works, over the years.


– Guntis Šmidchens, Kazickas Family Endowed Professor in Baltic Studies; Associate Professor of Baltic Studies; Head, Baltic Studies Program, University of Washington


The panel is cosponsored by the Lithuanian Culture Institute, the University of Washington Baltic Studies Program and the Association for the Advancement of Baltic Studies.

Talking Gender: Elżbieta Korolczuk – Anti-Gender Politics and Rightwing Populism in Poland

Tuesday, April 27 at 12:00 pm Pacific Time

Conference registration required (free). Click here to register.

The European Union has set impressive standards on gender equality, providing legal frameworks for equal pay, investing in work/life balance and childcare, and allowing for positive action to advance equal treatment of women across member states. At the same time, Europe witnesses considerable backlash from anti-gender activists and rightwing reactionary movements, calling into question gender equality as a core norm of European democracies. This lecture is part of the UW Jean Monnet EU Center’s Talking Gender in the EU lecture series, a 4-part lecture series covering gender politics in Poland, Latvia, France, and the European Parliament.

Elżbieta Korolczuk, PhD is an Associate professor in sociology working at Södertörn University in Stockholm and American Studies Center, Warsaw University. Her research interests involve: social movements, civil society, politics of reproduction as well as right-wing populism and mobilizations against “gender”. She co-edited two books on motherhood and fatherhood in Poland and Russia (in Polish) and published two volumes on social movements and civil society in Central Eastern Europe: Civil Society Revisited: Lessons from Poland co-edited with Kerstin Jacobsson (Berghahn Books, 2017), Rebellious Parents. Parental Movements in Central-Eastern Europe and Russia co-edited with Katalin Fábián (Indiana University Press, 2017). Most recent publications include an edited volume Bunt kobiet. Czarne Protesty i Strajki Kobiet [Women’s Rebellion. Black Protests and Women’s Strikes] co-authored with Beata Kowalska, Jennifer Ramme and Claudia Snochowska-Gonzalez and published by European Solidarity Centre in 2019 and a monograph Anti-gender Politics in the Populist Moment written with Agnieszka Graff (in press, Routledge). She is also a commentator and a long-time women’s and human rights activist.

The Jean Monnet EU Center Talking Gender in the EU lecture series is produced with support from the Lee and Stuart Scheingold European Studies Fund, the EU Erasmus+ Program, the Ellison Center for Russian, East European and Central Asian Studies, and the Center for Global Studies.


Zoom Information:

REECAS Northwest 2021 will take place online via Zoom. Registered attendees will receive Zoom links by email. Registration is free and *required*.



Key Dates and Deadlines:

  • Accepting presentation proposals through April 4, 2021
  • Papers Due for Subsequent Distribution to Panel Chairs: April 19, 2021 (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 2021 Call for Paper Proposals (abstracts) is closed and we are not accepting any more submissions.


International Visas

As the 2021 REECAS Northwest is an online event, we will not be issuing any visa support letters this year.


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