AWSS Conferences

Call for Papers

8th Biennial AWSS Conference: Roots and Legacies of Revolution
Thursday, April 6, 2017
The Westin Alexandria, Alexandria, VA

The deadline for submissions for the AWSS conference has been extended to January 10, 2017. See below for the full call for papers and please share with colleagues and students.

The Association for Women in Slavic Studies (AWSS) solicits paper presentations on the theme of "Roots and Legacies of Revolution: Transformations for Women and Gender" for its 8th Biennial Conference to be held on Thursday, April 6, 2017 at the Westin Alexandria Hotel in Alexandria, VA. The conference will be held in conjunction with the Annual Meeting of the Southern Conference on Slavic Studies (SCSS), which opens Thursday evening and runs through Saturday. Participants of the AWSS Conference are encouraged to attend and participate in the SCSS conference as well (a separate CFP will be issued for that conference) and can attend both conferences with the same registration.

The conference theme recognizes the centennial of the Russian revolutions of 1917, which had a significant impact on the status and lives of women, as well as on the configuration of gender relations and representations throughout our region. We also draw attention to the roots of those revolutionary transformations in Slavic, East European, and Eurasian social, economic, political, literary, and creative practices and events of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Moreover, we are still living with the legacies of 1917, especially the effects on women and the post-Berlin Wall gender order. Thus, while we commemorate the Russian revolutions, we welcome papers across chronological and geographical spans from the tsarist era to the present day, from Berlin to Vladivostok.

We encourage potential participants to broadly address one or more of the following questions:

  • How did the nineteenth century conditions of women and the gender order in Russia and other parts of Europe contribute to the transformations of the 1917 revolutions?
  • How revolutionary was 1917 for women?
  • How might we see the legacies of a Bolshevik approach to gender throughout the Soviet period, in the USSR, Eastern Europe, and Eurasia?
  • What has been the impact of the 1917 revolutions on women and gender in Eastern Europe, Eurasia, and the former Soviet states?
  • What effect have the revolutions of 1989-91 had on women's lives and gender relations?

The keynote speaker will be Rochelle Ruthchild, currently Research Associate at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies of Harvard University, Resident Scholar at the Women's Studies Research Center of Brandeis University, and Professor of Graduate Studies, Emerita, The Union Institute and University. In addition to being one of the founding members and a past president of AWSS, as well as its long-term clerk, Professor Ruthchild (PhD 1976, University of Rochester) has a long career of teaching and research in the field of Russian women's history and in Russian Studies in general. In 2010 she published Equality and Revolution: Women's Rights in the Russian Empire, 1905-1917 (University of Pittsburgh Press), which received honorable mentions for both the Zelnick and Heldt Prizes. The title of her talk will be "Bread, Bullets, and Ballots: Russia's Women and Gender in 1917."

The conference organizers invite proposals from scholars at all stages in their careers and in any discipline of Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (history, literature, linguistics, political science, sociology, anthropology, economics, gender studies, etc.). We especially encourage graduate students to participate in this conference. Proposals should consist of a 250-word abstract of the paper (including the paper's title) and a brief one-page CV that includes author's affiliation and contact information. Proposals are due by December 15 to Sharon Kowalsky, Associate Professor of History, Texas A&M University-Commerce ( or Betsy Jones Hemenway, Director of Women's Studies/Gender Studies, Loyola University Chicago ( Participants will be notified of their acceptance approximately four weeks after the proposal deadline. AWSS has limited funds to help defer the costs of attendance for graduate students (to cover registration fees and hotel accommodations). Please indicate in your proposal if you are interested in applying for graduate student funding.

Any questions about the conference or the program should be directed to Sharon Kowalsky ( or Betsy Jones Hemenway (

Download AWSS Conference Call for Papers Flyer