Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)


GFRN: Borders of Biopolitics - Gender, Population and Power in Modern Russia and Eastern Europe

07 October 2016–08 October 2016, 9:00 am–5:00 pm

Borders of Biopolitics: Gender, Population and Power in Modern Russia and Eastern Europe

Event Information

Open to



Gender and Feminism Research Network


Institute of Advanced Studies
Malet Place
United Kingdom

A conference organised by the SSEES Fringe Centre, in collaboration with the UCL IAS Gender and Feminism Network and the Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia at New York University. With generous support from the Fringe Centre and the UCL Global Engagement Office.

This interdisciplinary conference aims to explore the possibilities (and limits) of biopolitics as a heuristic device for analysing the gendered history of Russia. The term 'biopolitics' (which refers to the production of state legitimacy through the use of the human body, and not just territory, as a critical site of control) has long inflected the scholarship on western Europe. However, scholars working on eastern Europe have been slower to draw on the 'biopolitical' as a conceptual language. Nonetheless, recent work in Russian history abounds with apparent examples of the exercise of biopolitics. We can see this, for example, in the creation of 'population' as a site of intervention in nineteenth century Russia, and in attempts to remake the 'socialist person' though new ways of tying individuals to the state in the post-war Eastern bloc. Similarly, theories of biopolitics are potentially useful tools to mobilise in order to analyse the relationship between gender, sexuality, race, nation and geopolitics in the contemporary context. This conference will explore the biopolitics of modern Russia with papers on (among other themes): gender and migration; the regulation of sexuality; the subjectivisation of the population through reform of family, property and tax law; religion and biopolitics; gender, violence and the 'carceral archipelago'; and the intersections of political economy and law in the production of gendered subjects.

For the complete programme, and to register, please see: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/borders-of-biopolitics-gender-population-and-power-in-modern-russia-tickets-27066175660