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Crimea: Centre of Gravity in the Black Sea

Crimea: Centre of Gravity in the Black Sea

In 2014 Ukraine’s Autonomous Republic of Crimea dominated headlines around the world. Since then it has largely receded from view – despite an ongoing Russian military build-up on the peninsula and crackdowns on Crimean Tatar civil society.

On 21 April 2017 the international workshop ‘Crimea: Centre of Gravity in the Black Sea’ returns the peninsula and its environs to the centre of attention.

The event is an exciting collaboration between Black Sea Networks, a research project at Columbia University led by Professor Valentina Izmirlieva, and Cambridge Ukrainian Studies, an academic centre in the Department of Slavonic Studies at the University of Cambridge.

‘Our aim is to contest a “peripheralisation” of Crimea in Ukrainian, Russian and Turkish Studies and beyond’, said Dr Rory Finnin, Director of the Cambridge Ukrainian Studies programme and Head of the Department of Slavonic Studies at the University of Cambridge. ‘Reconceptualising Crimea as a dynamic nexus – of peoples, historical traditions, political interests – will enrich our scholarly approaches to and geostrategic analyses of the Black Sea region as a whole.’

The interdisciplinary workshop will feature two panel discussions and a collective roundtable exchange, which will be chaired by Finnin and Izmirlieva. The presentations will address a wide range of topics, from the contemporary dynamics of Islam in Crimea to the identity work of pro-Russian nationalist groups prior to the annexation. Panelists include Idil Izmirli, Hakan Kirimli, Eleanor Knott, Sait Ocakli, Sophie Pinkham, Vsevolod Samokhvalov, and Olga Zeveleva.

The event will be held in the historic Pitt Building in the heart of the University of Cambridge on 21 April 2017 from 10am to 5:30pm. It is free and open to the public, but online registration is required. 

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