The 20th Annual Aleksanteri Conference discusses Eurasia and Global Migration

The last week of October has since 2001 been the time when scholars researching Russia and Eastern Europe have flocked to Helsinki to participate in the annual Aleksanteri Conference. This year, it will be quiet around the historical central campus: the conference will happen, but on a virtual, online platform.

Migrating a traditional conference online was not an easy decision. Many questions needed answering and many worries plagued the organisers. Would the researchers find yet another online conference worth their while, or would we end up with just a handful of proposals? Could we find a suitable online platform for such a large event? What would happen to the feeling of inclusivity and cohesion? What about the social and cultural side of the event - could these be re-invented online?

7 keynote speakers, 40 panel discussions

In the beginning of October, we now stand at a pont where it is safe to say that the decision was the right one. The amount of proposals received by the deadline in May was somewhat lower than usual but still climed to more than 200. Altogether 40 panels and roundtable discussions have been crafted based on the accepted proposals. Under the general theme of migration, the panels focus on diverse multidisciplinary questions ranging from the history of migration to migration in pandemic times, role of religion in migrant communities, nationalism and youth identities.

In addition to the panels and round tables, there will also be a workshop organised together with the Ministry of the  Interior on building a par­ti­cip­at­ive frame­work for polit­ics of immig­ra­tion.

Congruously, the ceremonial speaker of the conference will be Maria Ohisalo, Minister of the Interior. As academic keynote speakers we will have Ulf Brunnbaum, Marlene Laruelle, Franklin Obeng-Odoom, Madeleine Reeves, Caress Schenk and Teivo Teivainen.

Check the programme and register now!

The programme of the three-day conference was published on the conference website last week, and has been enriched with abstracts of panels and presentations. You can now follow the links to read more on each panel, and start building a conference programme that suits your interest. All events are open to public for a registration fee of 20 euros. We have now  opened the registration for non-presenting participants, and it will stay open until 20 October.

The 20th Annual Aleksanteri Conference is held on a virtual platform provided by a Finnish company Liveto Group. The platform will be opened on Monday 26 October. In addition to the panel discussion rooms and keynote main stage, there will also be a virtual book exhibtion, a video tour of the Slavonic library, a poster exhibition by MA students, and an online lamentation workshop to work off the anxieties and worries caused by the pandemia and social isolation in a traditional way.

Tune in to the conference themes — Listen to our podcast

Eurasia and Global Migration, episode 5