An aerial view of the University of Birmingham campus

The conference will take place at the University of Birmingham's Edgbaston campus on 7-8 September 2024. It is funded by the BRIDGE Seed Fund for collaboration between the University of Birmingham in the UK, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) in the USA

Since Russia's invasion of Ukraine, decolonising and decentring approaches to the study of Russophone literature and culture have become increasingly urgent tasks. This symposium seeks to advance these efforts by examining texts by minoritized Russophone authors, including those who are ‘writing back’ from regions formerly colonized by Russia and those who ended up living in exile abroad.

The symposium will be multi- and interdisciplinary; we encourage contributions from established scholars and early career researchers working in literary studies, linguistics, human geography, political and social sciences.

We welcome submissions focused on Russophone literary diversity and peripheries, with diversity being understood along a number of different axes: geographic, ethnic, racial, linguistic, sexual/gender.

The symposium include several panels, each focusing on one of the following: 

  1. space, place and periphery
  2. ethnic/racial/cultural diversity
  3. linguistic hybridity
  4. sexual/gender diversity
  5. stylistic diversity/mode of expression (genre, literary style, etc.)

Best papers will be considered for publication in a collaboratively edited special issue in a research journal.

We have limited funding to support some paper-givers, giving priority to early career researchers and scholars from Eurasian universities.

We invite you to submit an abstract (up to 300 words) on one of the topics given above and a two-page CV by sending both as Word documents to Natasha Rulyova at In your email message subject, please write ‘Russophone Literary Diversity Symposium’ and your name, for example: ‘Russophone Literary Diversity Symposium_Rulyova.’

The submission deadline is 10 June 2024.

The Symposium committee will comprise: Nataliya Rulyova, Isobel Palmer, and Irina Kuznetsova (UoB); Valeria Sobol, David Cooper and George Gasyna (UIUC).