March 3, 2010

Approaches to Post-Soviet Transformations

2nd International Summer School Approaches to Post-Soviet Transformations will be held in Dnipropetrovsk (Ukraine), on July 4th – July 10th 2010.

Program description. Two decades after the collapse of the USSR, evolutionary paths travelled by post-Soviet societies are spectacularly diverse - posing analytical challenges for social scientists. In the first post-Soviet years, these societies were expected to “Westernize” and so social transformations were supposedly transitional. Later, it became obvious that genuine evolution observed in the former USSR needed genuine analytical tools. Dramatic change exhibiting a strange (at times conflict-ridden) coexistence of transformation and continuity neither elicits comparison to “normal” social evolution, nor can it be explained as a chaotic or un-analysable specificity. The aim of the summer school is to discuss different approaches / concepts used to analyse post-Soviet transformations and to question their heuristic effectiveness.

The venue of the Summer School is of special interest given the topic of study. The First Summer School in 2009, was dedicated to collective memory issues, and took place in Uman which is a place of a complex historical background and competing memories. In the same logic, the Second Summer School on post-socialist societies (with one of its themes being post-Soviet cities) will take place in a city that illustrates the evolutionary dynamics of post-socialist societies particularly well. A product of Imperial and Soviet industrialization, a ‘closed’ city until the 1990’s due to its role as a centre of the USSR’s nuclear missile and rocket industries, one of the largest cities in Ukraine (1,1 million people), in post-Soviet times Dnipropetrovsk has become one of the financial, political and industrial centres of Ukraine. Despite the fact that the cultural and religious diversity of the city was erased in Soviet times, in our days Dnipropetrovsk has become one of the centres of Jewish life in Eastern Europe. It is also the place where the political careers of Leonid Brezhnev, Leonid Kuchma and Yulia Tymoshenko began.

The Summer School is designed to be interdisciplinary and international. The organizers welcome sociological, historical, political science and anthropological contributions. Participants are expected to present their own work, and to participate in group discussions. The School’s program consists of lectures, panel discussions, and field trips within Dnipropetrovsk and to its surroundings, followed by discussion sessions.

Location: The city of Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine.

Duration: 1 week (5 working days), 4-10 July, 2010. 

Eligibility: The Summer School is open to any academic candidates: students, PhD students, young and senior researchers. The working language of the Summer School will be English, so it is important that prospective participants have a good knowledge of this language. The selection committee will select candidates based on their responses to this call for candidatures. The selected candidates will be advised before the end of May.

Program Costs: There is no program fee. Accommodation, meals, classes, lectures and seminars, excursions are free of charge. Travel expenses from the participant's country to Dnipropetrovsk should be arranged by students or his/her university. A partial refund of travel costs may be possible for applicants with financial problems.

How to apply? Please send us the application form, a CV and if you want to, some of your publications, by e-mail to

You can also send a copy via regular mail to: CFUCUS - Institut Francais d’Ukraine, 84 vul Honchara, 01054 Kyiv Ukraine. (not compulsory).

The deadline for applying is April 15.

Contact : Guillaume Colin, +380 44 504 01 39,

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