Jacques Rossi Memorial Fund for Gulag Research

Call for Papers

Researching the NKVD/KGB and the Opening of Soviet Secret Police Archives in Ukraine, 2014-2024

Prague, June 19-21, 2024

This international conference will showcase and evaluate the results of a decade of international scholarly research in the former Soviet state security archives in Ukraine. It will also consider the dilemmas and possibilities for the international scholarly community that are present in this time of war. Scholarly papers will discuss new insights into the history of the Soviet secret police and new findings on repression, violence, and forced labor. Topics may address (but are not limited to) perpetrator studies and the conceptualization of enemies; the history of information, surveillance, and informing; the institutional history of the secret police; methodologies of secret policing and the history of technology;and the secret police’s broader impact on and interactions with politics, culture, and society. Two additional roundtable discussions are currently envisaged: an authors’ discussion on the impact of new work on the secret police from the former KGB archives in Ukraine, new questions to be explored, and the state of the field; and discussion of scholarly cooperation in the digital age and wartime, with examples of projects launched and a consideration of public history.

The conference will result in the publication of a scholarly volume and/or journal special issue. Paper-givers will be provided hotel and, pending full funding of the conference, transportation costs to Prague.

Interested paper-givers and roundtable participants should submit a brief (no more than one-page) description of the proposed paper and a CV by October 31, 2023 to Michael David-Fox at md672@georgetown.edu (new window). Applicants will be notified in late 2023, and paper-givers should expect to produce a draft text of the paper by May 15, 2024.

Conference Committee: Michael David-Fox (chair), Georgetown University; Igor Cașu, National Agency for Archives, Moldova; Adam Hradilek, ÚSTR; Andriy Kohut, HDA SBU; Serhii Plokhy, Harvard University; Lynne Viola, University of Toronto; Vanessa Voisin, University of Bologna

Co-Sponsors: Czechoslovaks in The Gulag Project (new window), Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes, Prague; The Jacques Rossi Memorial Fund for Gulag Research (new window), Georgetown University

The Jacques Rossi Memorial Fund for Gulag Research hosted a Virtual Conference and Webinar Series on The Political Police and the Soviet System: Insights from Newly Opened KGB Archives in the Former Soviet States, from April 15-20, 2020.

This series of webinars is intended to be a virtual conference that will assemble cutting-edge historical scholarship on newly opened secret police archives that has the potential to illuminate a major piece of twentieth-century history and its legacies. The webinars aim to bring together international scholars at all career stages, including researchers from North America, Europe, and Eurasia, to discuss the significance of research on the Soviet secret police, the penal system, forced labor, and intelligence history. These archives, including the SBU (former KGB) archive in Kyiv and repositories in the Baltics, Georgia, Moldova, and other former Soviet republics, represent some of the most important archival material on modern intelligence history opened to researchers in recent years.

We invite you to view the Webinar Series and Conference Papers here.