The Midwest Slavic Association (MWSA) and The Ohio State University's Center for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies (CSEEES) will host the 2023 Midwest Slavic Conference at Ohio State in Columbus, OH on March 24-26, 2023. The conference committee is hosting papers on all topics related to the Slavic, East European, and Eurasian world, particularly those related to the theme of displacement and diaspora. As war and other disasters continue in these regions, this theme will explore how war has displaced and damaged cultures, cultural artifacts, and cultural production. It will also provide students and scholars with the opportunity to think about how these horrors prompt cultures, societies, and languages to flourish and thrive while creating new centers and pulls across the globe when citizens are forced to flee.

Dr. Valeria Sobol (U. of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign) will be giving the keynote address entitled, ""Gothic Displacement and the Russian Imperial Conquest: Literary Cases of Finland and Ukraine," on March 24 at 7:00 PM at the OSU Faculty Club (181 S Oval Mall, Columbus, OH 43210). In this presentation, Dr. Sobol will discuss how displacement—one of the key tropes of the literary Gothic tradition—assumes a new, urgent meaning in the context of the Russian imperial conquest. While Gothic literature is often perceived as divorced from a concrete historical or geographical reality, she will demonstrate that Gothic tropes, when examined in the context of the Russian empire and its assimilative tendencies, function as symptoms of deep anxieties about fluid imperial borders, national identities, and modernization. For her literary examples, she will focus on two texts from the early 1840s that represent the “Northern” and “Southern” poles of the Russian imperial Gothic: Vladimir Odoevsky’s novella “The Salamander,” partly set in Finland, and Panteleimon Kulish’s novel Mikhailo Charnyshenko, or Little Russia Eighty Years Ago, set in Ukraine. The talk is partly based on her relatively recent book, Haunted Empire: Gothic and the Russian Imperial Uncanny (2020).

For more information on the 2023 Midwest Slavic Conference, please visit this link