Call for Proposals: “Russia and the Global Color Line” -- University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Research Workshop: “Russia and the Global Color Line”

Call for Proposals

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign


  • Professor Eugene M. Avrutin, Tobor Family Endowed Professor of Modern European Jewish History
  • Professor Valeria Sobol, Head, Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures

The Workshop

We invite submissions for a Junior Scholar Two-Day Workshop on theme of “Russia and the Global Color Line.” Probing the role of Russia in the global dimensions of the color line, this interdisciplinary workshop raises exploratory questions about the meanings and functions of racial identifications and categories; the relationship between race, whiteness, and geography; how Russia fits into the global dimensions of the color line; and when and why skin color emerged as an important element in the complex process of identity formation. We welcome proposals on these and other related themes and questions on all aspects of modern Russian history and culture. The workshop is open to advanced graduate students and early career scholars. Abstracts and papers should highlight the critical methodologies used in the work. Selected papers will be pre-circulated among the participants, to maximize opportunity for discussion.

The workshop will be held on July 14th and 15th 2022, as part of the Summer Research Lab at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. We are currently planning to hold the workshop as an in-person event, but we will, of course, monitor the pandemic situation closely and will switch to a virtual format if necessary.


To apply, please send a 300-word abstract and CV to and by April 14th, 2022.  We will inform participants who have been selected by May 1st and ask you to develop a paper of at least 5,000 words by June 15th, 2022. 

More Information

This workshop will take place during the annual Summer Research Laboratory at Illinois.  US citizens are eligible to apply for a Title VIII associateship for SRL, should they wish to extend their visit to Champaign-Urbana to work with our Library’s famous Russian, East European, and Eurasian collections.  A Title VIII associateships with the SRL includes a travel stipend; dormitory housing for up to 12 days; and a $1,000 research stipend.  An SRL associateship offers:

  • Research support for general and specialized queries throughout the Summer and beyond.
  • Associates may also request a personalized bibliographic session with the Slavic Reference Service (in-person or through Zoom).
  • Access to digital and database collections of our Library for an extended period.
  • A free of charge duplication service for University of Illinois Library materials. Restricted to 20 pages per request and subject to copyright restrictions.

More details about the SRL and application can be found here:

Please note that the priority deadline for SRL applications and Title VIII funding is April 4th, 2022.  However, the portal for applications will remain open after that date.

Finally, for those not eligible or not applying to the SRL, some funds may be available to support participation in the workshop.  Please contact the organizers for more details.