Fifth CESS Regional Conference in Kazan 2016

NOTE: The next CESS Regional Conference will be held in Bishkek, June 29-July 1, 2017.  Click here for information about the 6th CESS Regional Conference in Bishkek.

The Fifth CESS Regional Conference was held at Kazan Federal University in June 2016.  We are very grateful to our hosts, and indeed to all who contributed to making it a great success!  Nearly 200 scholars participated from over 30 countries. 

Contents of this page:
The City of Kazan and Kazan Federal University
About Kazan Federal University
Information about Kazan
Travel to Kazan
Getting Around Kazan and the Conference Locations
Information for Conference Participation
Conference Program
Membership Requirement
Conference Registration
Schedule of Key Dates
Contacting the Organizers
Conference Logistics
Visa Support
Call for Papers (note that this is just for reference; we are no longer accepting proposals) 

Note also the links below to:
Conference Program from the CESS 5th Regional Conference in Kazan

General Guidelines, Rules and Frequently Asked Questions for CESS Conferences
Guidelines for Writing Abstracts

Guidelines for Writing and Presentation of Papers

Maps for Conference Participants 

Kazan in the Tsarist Period

The City of Kazan and Kazan Federal University

About Kazan Federal University

The conference is hosted by the Institute of International Relations, History and Oriental Studies at Kazan Federal University [information in Russian].  The Institute is famous for its scholarship in such areas as Islamic Studies, Area Studies (including Near Eastern and Eurasian Studies), and Islamic/Turkic Archeology. Kazan University was founded in 1804 and is now among the leading educational and research institutions in Russia. The University participates in Russia's "5-100" competitive growth program, which reflects determination to reach the highest levels of world educational rankings.

Information about Kazan

Kazan, the capital of the Republic of Tatarstan (link to Wikipedia in English or click here for a Russian version), lies on the left bank of the Volga River, at its confluence with the Kazanka River. Kazan is one of the most ancient cities in Russia, having celebrated its millennium in 2005.  Kazan is a place with unique culture combining centuries-old traditions of the Tatar and Russian nations.  It has a population of around a million and a half inhabitants representing more than a hundred nationalities.

In order to learn more about Kazan, one may begin with the following links:

Travel to Kazan

Kazan is served by a number of airlines with direct connections to cities like Almaty, Astana, Samarkand, Tashkent, Dushanbe, Yerevan, Baku, Istanbul, Helsinki, Moscow, Saint Petersburg, and it is a beautiful 12-hour train journey from Moscow on modern and comfortable sleeper trains.  One can reserve a place on the trains using the Russian railway company, Rossiiskie Zheleznye Dorogi's website — — which works well for those who know Russian (you must set up an account, etc.).  A search on the internet will yield many websites that provide booking service in English for seats on trains throughout Russia.

Getting Around Kazan and the Conference Locations

We have gathered and prepared for you some maps to help you find your way around the conference and Kazan — click here for maps that show exactly where you need to go as well as providing information about the city.

Yandex (a Russian analog of Google or Yahoo) provides excellent detailed maps with restaurants and other things marked.  You may need to select the setting for the English interface (you can also of course view it in Russian, as well as Tatar, Kazakh and some other languages) by going to the language setting page and use the pull-down menu to select your language and then click the left-hand button below it to "save" (сохранить).  And then go to Yandex Maps page and search for or within Kazan.

Google Maps also gives names of many things in Kazan both in Russian and in English or Russian transliterated into Latin letters (if your Google settings are set to English; many other languages are also available).

If you are looking for a café or anything else, both Yandex Maps and Google Maps provide a lot of such information (though it is not always up-to-date).  There are many cafés to be found on Bauman St., just south of the core of the University and running westward toward the Kremlin. 

Information about Conference Participation

Participants are responsible for covering the costs of their own travel and stay in Kazan, and are responsible for making their own arrangements. The host institution will make available a limited number of accommodations in shared dormitory rooms for a minimal cost on a first-come-first-served and financial need basis. There will also be reservations available at nearby hotels at discounted rates for conference participants (see Accommodations below). 

Conference Program

The program will feature approximately 50 panels including about 175 presentations, and there will also be a supplementary program including a banquet, cultural program, and two keynote speakers.

We are pleased to announce that one of the keynote speeches will be delivered by Professor Michael Kemper of the University of Amsterdam, and Professor Taufik Ibrahim of the Institute of Oriental Studies in Moscow.  Additional details can be found in the conference program.

The cultural program will include:

  • A Concert of Tatar Music and Dance - during the opening reception on June 2 (18.00).
  • An Exhibition of Tatar Shamail - June 3, Kazan Kremlin, Qol Sharif Mosque, Museum of Islamic History (14.00-15.30).
    "Shamail", the art of painting on the glass, had predominantly religious content and was wide-spread among Kazan Tatars.  The art of Shamail appeared in Kazan at the end of the 19th century, as a Turkish import (the art of "Cam Altı" painting).  The calligraphically written content of the Shamail paintings comprised a limited set of the Quranic texts (most often such verses as Ayat al-Qursi and Sura al-Ikhlas), or religious phrases such as the Shahada (the Islamic creed) or Basmala (“In the Name of God”). Texts were written on the reverse side of glass with a mirror effect. Aluminum foil shimmering in the unpainted areas of the glass was used as a background to underline the sacred meaning of the text.  Pictures were decorated by ornamentation, flowers, palm trees, dreamlike minarets, and mosques.  Usually Shamail paintings occupied an honored place in the interior of the home.  The Quranic word, conveyed directly from God, being a piece of art, should serve the believer as a reminder of the presence of the Holy Substance in the world.  For more information, see:, and on the website of the Qol Sharif Mosque (in Russian only),  For a schematic map of the Kazan Kremlin, showing the location of the Qol Sharif Mosque, see our Map Page for the conference.
  • Guided Tour to the Island Sviyazhsk, June 4 (16.00)
    Sviyazhsk is the site of a 16th century settlement including a monastery and convent that have survived to our time (see
  • Guided Tour to Bolgar, June 5 (8.00-18.00)
    Bolgar (also, Bulgar, Bolghar) is a well-preserved 14th-15th century city (see and  This tour will likely include boat trip to Bolgar along the Volga, depending on the number of people who sign up (sign-up at the conference registration).

To sign up for any of these tours, click here [closed].

Online Conference Program

The Program of Panels and Papers is available here: 

CESS Membership Requirement

All of those who are included in a panel for the conference program are required to have current CESS membership.  We also welcome all attendees to join, though it is not required if you are not on the program.  Please see the CESS membership page for further details; with questions about CESS membership contact

The CESS Membership Application Form may be found here.  If your membership has lapsed (from 2015) you should also submit the Membership Application Form.

Conference Registration

The Registration Form for the 5th Regional Conference in Kazan may be found here [closed].

To register, you will need to pay the Registration Fees as follows.  If you have questions about registration, please contact

Conference Fees for Members
Category (Annual Income)
After April 29
Income less than $15,000
Income between $15,000 - $24,999
Income over $25,000
Conference Fees for Non-Members
Category (Annual Income)
After April 29
Income less than $15,000
Income between $15,000 - $24,999
Income over $25,000


Schedule of Key Dates
31 January 2016
Deadline for Pre-organized Panel and Individual Papers Proposals
Proposals received after this date may be considered at the discretion of the Program Committee
19 February 2016
Notification of selection results
The Program Committee will notify you of whether you have been accepted by email
8 April 2016
Cut-off date for notification of withdrawal
“No Shows” will be penalized with exclusion from future conferences
22 April 2016
Preliminary Program will be available
Program will be posted online
29 April 2016
Deadline for sending Registration and Membership Fees
After this date, registration fees increase.
Participants who do not have a bank card or other method by which to pay in advance must notify us by this date and must pay at the conference registration desk on arrival
6 May 2016
Deadline for submission of changes to the Conference Program
Changes occurring after this date may not be reflected in the program
11 May 2016
Announcement of Final Program
Program will be posted online
13 May 2016
Deadline for sending papers to Discussant and Chair
Participants should send the full version of their paper (10-15 pages)
27 May 2016
Closing of online registration
Online registration forms will not be accessible after this date
2-4 June 2016
Conference dates
The first sessions will begin in the morning on Thurs., June 2 and the last session will end in the evening on June 4.


Contacting the Organizers

For inquiries regarding the program and registration, contact CESS at:

For inquiries regarding Kazan logistics, contact representatives of the host institution as follows:

  1. Visas - Inessa Beloglazova
    Office phone: +7 843 292 7184
    Cell phone: + 7 919 645 1700
  2. Accommodations - Ramil Galiullin 
    Office phone: + 7 843 292 0686
    Cell phone: +7 965 596 0834
  3. All other questions (locations, registration, etc.) - Marat Safin
    Office phone: + 7 843 292 0686
    Cell phone: + 7 903 305 4229

The offices of the staff listed above are on the second floor of the Institute of International Relations, History and Oriental Studies at Pushkin St. 1/55, in office numbers 213 and 217 (see map).  If you have any difficulties when you arrive in Kazan, you can call Mr. Marat Safin or the other staff as listed above.

The Conference Committee may be contacted via

The members of the Conference Committee are:
Morgan Liu, Chair (Ohio State Univ., USA)
Leila Almazova (Kazan Federal Univ., Russian Federation)
Liliya Karimova (George Washington Univ., USA)
Marlene Laruelle (George Washington Univ., USA)
John Schoeberlein (Nazarbayev Univ., Kazakhstan)

Conference Logistics

Visa Support

Participants from some countries will need a visa to visit Russia.  If you need a visa, then we will provide you with visa support that you will need in order for an embassy or consulate to issue you a visa.  Note that it is possible to obtain a tourist visa for Russia relatively easily in many countries, but we do not recommend that you obtain a tourist visa in order to attend the conference.  The visa support that we provide will enable you to obtain the appropriate visa.

Please note that, depending on the country and location where you are, obtaining a visa can take a significant amount of time, so we urge you to initiate the process as early as possible.  We don't want any participant to be in the position that they have to cancel their conference participation because they obtain a visa too late.

Note that visitors to Russia from many countries (generally those that don't have an agreement for mutual recognition of the state health insurance, including the U.S., the U.K. and Denmark) must obtain insurance coverage for emergency heath care in order to obtain a visa.  The cost depends on the number of days you will spend in Russia, and is charged at about 70 euro cents per day.  We will obtain this insurance on your behalf, and you must pay back the conference for this cost at the registration desk at the conference in Kazan.  You will also need to pay consular fees when applying for the visa — the participant is responsible for covering all such costs.

To request visa support, please complete the Request for Visa Support form (linked below) after reading the following details and following the instructions.  Note that to access this form, you will need to be a CESS member and complete the Conference Registration that is required of all conference participants (as indicated above, and in the Call for Papers).  For the Visa Support document, we also need to know what hotel you will stay in during the conference.  If you request accommodation through the conference (see below), we will of course have this information, and you do not need to provide it separately, but if you will make your own hotel booking, then you should make that booking before submitting the form to Request Visa Support.

Thus, you should complete the following steps in order.  Steps 1 and 2 involve payments for membership and conference registration; there are notes on the form about available methods of payment, but if you have any questions, please contact CESS at

  1. Membership.  If you have not done so already, complete the Membership Application to become a CESS new member, or compete the Renewal Form if you need to renew your membership (available only until membership has expired after the end of the grace period -- that is, March 1).
  2. Registration.  Complete the Conference Registration Form [closed].
  3. Accommodation Information.  If you want to request accommodation through the conference (see details of the options below), you can do that on the same form as you use for requesting visa support; otherwise, you should first make your hotel reservation and have the hotel name and address ready when you complete the Request for Visa Support.
  4. Visa Support Request.  Before you request visa support, you also need to make precise travel plans.  You will need to indicate the precise dates of travel into and out of Russia, and the cities that you plan to visit in Russia (for example, Moscow, if you are transiting through Moscow), as well as well as the name and location of the Consulate where you will apply for your visa (e.g., "Consulate General of the Russian Federation in New York").  When you have completed the steps above and have the necessary information assembled, you can proceed to the Request for Visa Support form [closed] to submit this request to us (we offer visa support only to those who have been accepted to participate on a panel in the program).

Once you have requested the Visa Support, obtaining visa support will take 3-5 weeks. We will then send you a scan of the Visa Support document that you need to submit together with your Visa Application at the consulate.  In some countries — for example, in the U.S. — if you do not live near a consulate, it may be best to obtain your visa with the help of a visa service (many can be found on the internet, though it is best to use one that you know to provide reliable service, so we recommend getting the advice of colleagues).  Please check available information for the specific procedures that apply in for your citizenship and for the country where you are applying.  In some cases, for example, you may have the option of obtaining the visa more quickly through requesting expedited service — and paying a higher fee — at the consulate.

If you have any questions or need additional assistance, please contact Ms. Inessa Beloglazova (see contacts above).


Participants can consider three options for accommodations during the conference.  You can see more details about these options on the Kazan Conference Accommodations page [closed]; here is the overview:  All participants must pay for their own accommodations.

(1) KFU Dormitory for Visiting Scholars - This is a 30-40 minute bus ride from the University; very nice, inexpensive accommodations, beginning from 650 rubles (≈US$8.50) per night for a place in a shared two-person room.  Other options include single rooms and VIP rooms up to 1500 rubles per night.
(2) Hotels near the University with Negotiated Rate - We have a very low, negotiated rate for four-star hotel rooms right at the University, at 2000 rubles (≈US$26) per night for one person in a shared double room and 3900 rubles for a single room.
(3) Other Hotels - There are many other hotel options in all price ranges that you can book on your own.  For those coming from stronger-currency countries, the prices even for top-notch hotels are quite moderate, and there are 2-star hotels at prices similar to dormitory option above.  (Important: If you choose this option, seen Note (d) below.)

(a) If you wish to book a room through the conference organizers, you should complete the form that is linked from the Kazan Conference Accommodations page [closed].  You will be asked to indicate your first, second and third preference; we will inform you within about 10 days of your request what option we can offer you.
(b) Before you complete the form to request accommodations, we ask you to make sure your CESS membership is up-to-date and to complete your Registration for the conference (you will not be able to access the request form otherwise).
(c) One of the options for accommodation in both the University Dormitory and the Hotels is to share a double room.  If you would like this option, but don't have someone in particular with whom you want to share, we will match you with another person of the same gender.  If you do have someone to share with, both people should submit a request, and you will see a place on the form to indicate with whom you intend to share.
(d) If you will be making your own hotel reservation, and if you want to receive Visa Support from the conference, then we need to have the name and address of the hotel to include that information on the Visa Support documentation that we need to submit on your behalf.  Please have that information available when you complete the Visa Support Request form linked above.

If you have questions or need additional assistance with accommodations, please contact Mr. Ramil Galiullin (see contacts above). 

Call for Papers

NOTE: The deadline has passed for proposals submissions; we keep the Call for Papers on this page for reference only.

[Versiia informatsionnogo pis'ma na Russkom iazyke zdes'.]

The Central Eurasian Studies Society invites panel and paper proposals for its Fifth Regional Conference. The conference will be hosted by Kazan Federal University ( in Tatarstan, the Russian Federation, on 2-4 June 2016.
The conference committee invites submissions of panel and paper topics relating to all aspects of humanities and social science scholarship.  The geographic domain of covered by this conference, Central Eurasia, encompasses Central Asia, the Caucasus, Iran, Afghanistan, Tibet, Mongolia, Siberia, Inner Asia, the Black Sea region, East Europe, Central Europe and the Volga Region. We hope that the conference in Kazan will bring together scholars from all over the world, including especially those who study the many Central Eurasian regions of the Russian Federation.  Practitioners and scholars in all fields with an interest in this region are encouraged to participate.
Submissions of Pre-organized Panels are strongly encouraged and will be given some priority in the selection process. Click here to submit a Pre-organized Panel [closed]

A Pre-organized Panel can be of several types.  The most common type, Regular Panel, involves three or four Paper Presenters, plus a Chair and a Discussant.  A Roundtable Panel involve a Chair and usually four-five Commentators, who do discuss some topic of importance to Central Eurasian studies, with brief introductory remarks by the Commentators, followed by moderated discussion with audience participation.  An Author-Critic Forum addresses a recently published book with the comments of three-four "critics" followed by a response from the book's author.  A Workshop could address such matters as publishing, field research, ethics, or working with the media.  We very much encourage innovative formats that try new approaches — the proposal must simply provide a suitable description and justification.

In the case of Pre-organized Panels, a panel may be designated as English only, Russian only, or Mixed English and Russian (this will be reflected in the program).  As our webforms are unable to accept Cyrillic or other scripts, any information provided in such scripts must be included in the same file as the abstract.  Papers to be presented in Russian should be provided with Russian and English versions of the title and the author's name; the abstract and keywords should be provided in English.

Please note that those organizing panels are asked to provide information about each panelist on their panel (name, affiliation, job title, highest academic degree, email address, webpage, and membership status).  For Regular Panels (with paper presentations), the organizer should upload a file for each of the presenters with author(s), paper title, abstract (250-400 words), and keywords. Panel submissions lacking individual abstracts or other key information will not be considered complete, and may not receive full consideration by the Conference Committee.  Panels that lack a Chair or Discussant may be considered, but the strongest consideration will be given to complete panels.

Individual papers are also welcome and will be assigned by the Program Committee to an appropriate panel with a chair and a discussant. Click here to submit an Individual Paper [closed]

In the case of Individual Paper submissions, only papers to be presented in English are accepted.

The deadline for submission of both panel and paper proposals was 31 January 2016.

From the CESS Regional Conference in Astana