About the Conference

The Department of Languages of the University of Helsinki (Russian Language and Literature) has the pleasure to host the XIX joint conference of the University of Helsinki and the University of Tartu, which will take place in Helsinki, on June 19-21, 2023.

The topic of the conference is Escape to the “desired land” as a theme in Russian literature and culture.

The conference will explore a wide range of topics related to retreating into a real or imagined space: a Wunderland of a kind. These topics include but are not limited to:

  • an author and his characters adopting a social role of a refugee, a fugitive, or an outcast
  • varieties of principle escapism and non-resistance (“inner emigration”)
  • escape as a path to religious salvation (hermitry, reclusion)
  • civil and cultural resistance to the unacceptable reality (alienation from poetry, literature, culture)
  • general political exile
  • forceful displacement of nations
  • disillusionment caused by the images of the future.

We welcome reflections on the life stories of individual refuged writers and people and their depiction in literature (historical or contemporary), as well as general observations on the topics and symbols of escapist behaviour that arose in literature and culture. The working languages of the conference are Russian and English.

Please submit your intent for participation and preliminary proposal (can be specified later) by April 15, 2023, by e-mail to any member of the organizing committee. All organizational questions please address to the conference secretary.

Organizing Committee:

Tomi Huttunen (tomi.huttunen[at]helsinki.fi )

Tintti Klapuri (tintti.klapuri[at]helsinki.fi )

Gennadi Obatnin (gennadi.obatnin[at]helsinki.fi )


Elena Kolla (elena.kolla[at]helsinki.fi )