Monday, March 31, 2014

Call for Proposals for the Ninth ICCEES World Congress

By Kimitaka Matsuzato, Hokkaido U (Japan)

The International Council for Central and East European Studies (ICCEES) is the global alliance of national associations of Slavic and Eurasian studies, composed of the ASEEES (United States), CAS (Canada), BASEES (Britain), DGO (Germany), FAREES (Finland), ANZSA (Australia), CAREECAS (China), JCREES (Japan), KASS (Korea), and MACEES (Mongolia), and other respectable organizations. The ICCEES was created in 1974 and holds a world congress once every five years. The next world congress will be held in Makuhari, Japan, on August 3-8, 2015.

For too long, our scholarly community had been developing in relative isolation from each other. Most active international exchanges would seem to have been taking place among North Atlantic countries or between North Atlantic and former communist countries. This is the background against which all previous ICCEES world congresses were held in North America and Europe. More than twenty years have passed since the end of the Cold War, during which Euro-Atlantic perspectives of the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe indeed dominated. It is now time to create a real global agora on Slavic and Eurasian studies, in which scholars become familiar with diverse perspectives of the Slavic Eurasian region from East and South Asia (China, Japan, Korea, Mongolia, India, etc.), the Near East (Turkey, Iran, Syria, etc.), and Latin America. To achieve this, East Asian Slavic associations (CAREECAS, JCREES, KASS, and MACEES) have held an annual East Asian conference on Slavic Eurasian studies since 2009 (2009 in Sapporo, 2010 in Seoul, 2011 in Beijing, 2012 in Kolkata, and 2013 in Osaka). This annual conference began to unexpectedly attract many participants from North America, Europe, and the former socialist countries because it enables participants to become acquainted with unfamiliar national scholarly traditions that are barely touched upon at conferences in North America and Europe.

To further promote encounters with diverse scholarly perspectives on the Slavic Eurasian region, the ICCEES decided to hold the next World Congress for the first time outside Europe and North America, in Japan, Makuhari. The Organizing Committee of this Congress is working hard to make Makuhari a place “where many Wests meet many Easts.” Makuhari is an ideal location for international events. It takes only 30 minutes by bus from both Narita and Haneda International Airports, and also just 30 minutes by train from downtown Tokyo (Tokyo Railway Station). Surprisingly, in Japan hotels and restaurants are much cheaper than in Europe and the United States (travel and accommodation info).

See the conference website for more information.  The deadline for the proposal submission is May 31, 2014.

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Organizing Committee of the Ninth ICCEES World Congress:
Co-Chairmen: Professor Nobuo Shimotomai of Hosei University, 
Professor Mitsuyoshi Numano of Tokyo University
Vice-chairman: Professor Kumiko Haba of Aoyama Gakuin University
General Secretary: Professor Kimitaka Matsuzato of Hokkaido University

[Editor’s note:  Also read the interview with Prof. Mitsuyoshi Numano about Slavic studies in Japan

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