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2024 Midwest Slavic Conference

April 9, 2024

2024 Midwest Slavic Conference

2024 Midwest Slavic Conference plenary panel
Richard Herrmann delivering the 2024 keynote address

The Center for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies (CSEEES) and the Midwest Slavic Association (MWSA) were pleased to host the 2024 Midwest Slavic Conference which took place on The Ohio State University campus from Friday, April 5 to Sunday, April 7. Presenters and attendees from 40 different universities from both in and outside the U.S. were present at this year’s conference. This year 72 undergraduate and graduate students, independent scholars, and faculty members presented their original research at the conference. These papers made up 22 panels that explored topics in the disciplines of history, linguistics, social science and the humanities, and covered the regions of the Baltics, Balkans, Central Europe, Eurasia and Eastern Europe.

Mara Frazier presenting Jose Limon's Missa Brevis

This year’s conference explored the theme of Cold Wars past and present. This year's theme allowed attendees and participants to discuss how Cold War-era tensions continue to shape political and social landscapes and how it has influenced political ideologies, relationships with the West, and ongoing conflicts in the region. The conference opened on Friday with a keynote address by Dr. Richard Herrmann (Ohio State U.) entitled "Cold War: Now and Then" which explored the many effects of the Cold War on global relations between the East and West and offered predictions for what Herrmann thinks will happen in Ukraine, Russia, and the East more generally.

Attendees during the Careers Beyond Academia roundtable

The keynote was followed by a plenary panel on Saturday, composed of Dr. Julia Keblinska (Ohio State U.), Brano Mandić (Editor in Chief and Founder of Normalizuj.me), and Jeffrey Trimble (Board of Directors Chair at Eurasianet) who discussed multidisciplinary approaches to depictions of the Cold War in popular and mass media from the viewpoints of different countries in the region. The plenary was moderated by Herrmann who served as discussant and chair. General panels by conference participants followed the plenary panel on Saturday and Sunday and included topics such as the role of the Cold War in former Yugoslavia, new approaches to Russophone literature, nationalism and identity, and more. 

Attendees at the Student Mixer

This year's conference had several special events. This year's Midwest Slavic Association Meeting saw its highest attendance in recent history. Ideas were discussed for next year's conference theme and the idea of having MWSA representatives for other states in the Midwest was also introduced. This year's lunchtime event featured a screening of Jose Limón’s Missa Brevis with discussion and background by 2023 Polish Studies Initiative (PSI) grant recipient Mara Frazier who helped to bring the performance to Ohio State last autumn. The event was hosted by the Polish Studies Initiative, the Limón Dance Company, and the Ohio State Department of Dance and was followed by the introduction of PSI's Buckeye Funder campaign. This year a new career roundtable that focused on finding careers beyond the scope of academia was introduced to the conference schedule. Chaired by Dr. Kelly McGee (Denison U.) this roundtable featured Alicia Baca (U. of Colorado, Boulder), Eric Connelly (Ohio State U.), and Dr. Sara Ceilidh Orr (Ohio State U.) who discussed their career trajectories within REEE studies and shared practical advice about navigating the job market with attending students. 

This year's student mixer was hosted by CSEEES' student representative Luke Bendick which provided both undergraduate and graduate students with a chance to meet and network with their peers. Overall, this year’s conference was an intellectually stimulating weekend that provided attendees and presenters alike with the opportunity to present and discuss their research and network with other scholars in the field. Several first-time attendees commented on how this was a great opportunity to meet others in their field in a friendly environment and expressed their hopes to participate again in the future.

CSEEES and the Midwest Slavic Association would like to thank all those who presented, chaired panels, and attended this year’s conference. In particular, we would like to extend a special thank you to the following people and co-sponsors who helped make this year's activities and special events possible: 

  • The Midwest Slavic Conference Program Committee

  • Our student volunteers: Luke Bendick, Aimma Farooqui, Eleanor Grazier, Sophie Papp, Aleksandra Shubina and Mykyta Tyshchenko 

  • Those who donated registrations to the Young Scholars of Slavic Studies Fund

  • The Polish Studies Initiative, the Limón Dance Company, and the Ohio State U. Department of Dance

  • Gold Sponsors

    • The Department of Slavic and East European Languages and Cultures at Ohio State U. and the Mershon Center for International Security Studies at Ohio State U.
  • Silver Sponsors

    • Academic Studies Press, the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies, the Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies at U. of Texas at Austin, the Department of Linguistics at Ohio State U., the Hilandar Research Library at Ohio State U., Kenyon College, and the Robert F. Byrnes Russian and East European Institute at Indiana U., Bloomington
  • Bronze Sponsors

    • The Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies at U. of Michigan, the Department of Political Science at Ohio State U., and the Summer Language Institute at U. of Pittsburgh

We look forward to seeing you all again at the 2025 Midwest Slavic Conference!