About Thinking Race


March 5-7 UIC and UChicago campuses

This conference explores shifting conceptions of race and ethnicity through the transition from the Russian to the Soviet empires. It proposes an approach to race and ethnicity as discursive formations that emerge in a broad archive of ethnographic, linguistic, geographic, and popular media, which furnished both hegemonic discourses of scientific modernity and Russian/Eurasian exceptionalism. Exposing this interdisciplinary notion of “race sciences” and its intersections with related scientific, aesthetic, and political regimes, this conference will examine how race science came to be grounded in both the practical imagination and Imperial Russian and Soviet policies, which served in the ordering and management of the colonial population through diversity mandates, nation-building and border redistricting, as well as restructuring aesthetic and affective regimes of seeing and feeling. We will trace how conceptions of race and ethnicity shifted over the revolutionary transition and responded to specific local and global geopolitics. Working across the disciplines of history, history of science, anthropology, literature, as well as visual media and performing arts, this workshop will expose the ways in which shifting conceptions of race and ethnicity influenced the development of new scientific paradigms and contributed to the restructuring of the social, political and artistic imagination amidst the process of imperial expansion.


At the University of Illinois at Chicago:

SEENEXT Interdisciplinary Working Group

UIC Institute for the Humanities

UIC Jewish Studies Program

UIC Institute for Research on Race & Public Policy

History Department, UIC

Department of Polish, Russian and Lithuanian Studies, UIC

School of Literatures, Cultural Studies and Linguistics, UIC

UIC School of Theatre and Music

At the University of Chicago:

Center for East European and Russian/Eurasian Studies (CEERES)

Department of History

Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures

Franke Institute for the Humanities

Joyce Z. and Jacob Greenberg Center for Jewish Studies

Pozen Family Center for Human Rights