Call for Papers for the 3th All-Russian Alumni Conference

We invite you to take part in the 3rd All-Russian Fulbright Alumni Conference to be held in St. Petersburg, 10-12 October 2003. The theme of the conference will be:
30 Years of the Fulbright Program in Russia The Impact of International Exchanges on National Histories

The Fulbright Program for international academic and scholarly exchange, which was begun by Senator William Fulbright in 1946, has evolved in Russia during the last three decades. During this period of dramatic social change and political turmoil, American and Russian scholars and university faculty have steadily expanded their cooperation and professional contacts. The Fulbright intellectual exchange has shaped the national histories of the United States of America and Russia. It has also played a part in the important process of academic globalization. We propose to discuss this “history within History” at our anniversary conference.

What lessons can be drawn from our common past for our future together? What in particular from these thirty years of experience would we label as helpful, tangible, and worthy to maintain? What has become passé or obstructs further development of contacts and productive internationalization of university scholarship? How have changing social and political conditions influenced our professional activities? Will they continue to do so? How can we prevent a leveling of cultural differences? What helps or hinders a mutually enriching exchange of culture and ideas?

One purpose of the modern University is to educate citizens for service to their country by teaching and defending the values that unite a nation. Is this a realizable task today in our rapidly globalizing world? How can we promote the values of critical thinking, tolerance, moral responsibility, and openness in a changing cultural and social context? How can we cultivate mutual interest in the cultural traits unique to any nation when these traits can both separate and unite peoples?

The conference program will consist of two plenary sessions and three roundtable discussions. The proposed themes for the roundtables are as follow:
1. Russian-American Relations and the Fulbright Program: 1973 — 2003
This panel will consider the circumstances and priorities of the Fulbright exchange at various times over the past 30 years. It will address the question of how education and scholarship developed against the background of fluctuations in society and politics.
The roundtable will lead to a discussion on knowledge about Russia gained in America and about America gained in Russia. How did this knowledge come about? Who produces it and who disseminates it? What impact does it make on politics, society, and culture?
2. Research and Education in Cyberspace: Opportunities, Problems, and Risks
This panel will explore the experience of cultural and intellectual exchange (national and international) and academic cooperation through the use of the Internet. It will consider the goals, challenges, and major difficulties that confront our respective academic communities in this area.
The ensuing discussion will center on establishing web contacts and networking as part of a modern scholar’s individual activities. Professional and ethical problems that arise from this will also be considered.
3. The Fulbright Exchange and the Building of Professional Communities

The third panel will examine the experience of several generations of Fulbrighters (Americans in Russia and Russians in America) who have navigated an academic environment that is professionally familiar yet culturally different.

This roundtable will discuss the Fulbright Program’s potential as a means for developing Russian and American professional academic communities. It will also consider the prospects for additional work to promote and consolidate professional organizations of scholars, particularly relating to the Fulbright Alumni Association of Russia.
Your ideas, alternative proposals, and initiatives are welcome!

If you wish to participate in the conference, please submit an abstract of your proposed presentation (no more than 200 words in ‘rtf’ format). Include your first name, patronymic and last name; your place of work; an address, including index, telephone number, and e-mail address at which we can contact you and the year of your participation in the Fulbright Program. If your abstract is accepted by the Organizing Committee, it may be distributed to all conference participants.
Please submit your abstracts via e-mail to by 1 June 2003.

The Organizing Committee will make decisions regarding submitted abstracts by 15 June 2003. Those selected for participation in the conference may receive full or partial financial support to cover travel expenses and accommodations in St. Petersburg for the duration of the conference.

The Organizing Committee