The 200th Anniversary Congress

Moscow, World Trade Center

12 Krasnopresnenskaya Embankment

October 29-30

Founded during the reign of Emperor Alexander I and having survived revolutions, world wars, the repressions of the Stalin era and the dissolution of the Soviet Union in addition to witnessing sea changes in the “Orient” such as the birth of new, independent Asian and African nations, the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences is proud this year to commemorate its 200th anniversary.

The bicentennial comes at a time when the center of world development is shifting toward Asia, and Russia is turning Eastward with increasing vigor. Oriental Studies — as empirical research and theoretical frameworks — is acquiring new and not fully anticipated significance.

Orientalism, derided in late 20th century, is still facing a root crisis of methodology and purpose, and yet Russian Oriental Studies — which remains largely unintegrated into Western Scholarship — has not only preserved its 200-year-old tradition but has the potential to become a driving force in the continued global development of scholarship on the East.

Three factors set the Russian school of Oriental Studies apart.

Firstly, Russia itself lies within the East; and thus for Russia, the myriad manifestations of the East are neither geographically nor culturally distant or alien. Far from a prop for colonial expansionism abroad, Russian Orientalism has always been in large measure an act of self-understanding and objectification of its own historical experience.

Secondly, Russian Oriental Studies has maintained methodological coherence despite the field’s growing multidisciplinarity and dizzying abundance of theory, having synthesizing Imperial and Soviet scholarly paradigms into a comprehensive approach. Philology and history, the study of written sources and archeology, and economic, social and political research continue to serve as the foundation on which the Institute bases its work. This fundamental research is supplemented by practical tasks: the Institute’s experts actively participate in conflict-resolution programs, and track 1.5 and track 2 diplomacy. Collaboration between archaeologists, philosophers, historians, political scientists and economists allows for deeper understanding of current processes and for new approaches to conceptualizing them.

Finally, Russian Oriental Studies continues to be inductive, moving from empirical observation of concrete realities to theoretical models. While the increasing application of approaches from other, more theory-heavy disciplines, such as political science and economics, raises new challenges regarding their integration into a coherent methodological approach, this very tension may indeed provide an impulse for new paradigm shifts in scholarship.

We are honored to welcome the leading Russian and international scholars of the East to this bicentennial congress. It is an opportunity not only to asses the road traveled over the past two centuries by the Institute but to ponder the Institute’s place on the larger intellectual map of Russia, the role of Oriental Studies in today’s system of knowledge, and finally, Russia and Russian Oriental Studies’ place in the emerging polycentric world.




October 29th, 2018

9:00 –10:00




Opening ceremony
Speeches by distinguished guests

Opening remarks byVitalyNaumkin, President of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS)
Presentation of the film “An Ark of Knowledge”


13:00 – 14:30



14:30 – 16:00

Session 1.

Russia and the East:Contiguous Fates

Moderator - Anatoly Torkunov(Russia)



Amal AbouZeid(Lebanon)

Primakov Evgeny(Russia)


Alain Gresh (France)



16:00 – 16:30

Coffee break













Session 2.

Oriental Studies Today: Pathwaysinto the Future

Moderator - Sultan Akimbekov (Kazakhstan)



Mikhail Piotrovsky (Russia)

David Oganesyan (Armenia)

Varun Sahni (India)

ChuluunbaatarGelegpil (Mongolia)


Gala Dinner (by invitation only)

Congress Hall of the World Trade Center


October 30th, 2018 


9:30 – 10:00

Coffee Starter

10:00 – 11:30

Session 3.

The East in World Politics: An Emerging Powerhouse

Moderator – Evelina Zakamskaya(Russia)



Nobuo Shimotomai (Japan)

Masuma Hasan (Pakistan)




11:30 – 12:00

Coffee Break

12:00 – 13:30

Session 4.

Economies of the East: Contrasting Development

Moderator - Irina Abramova(Russia)


Alexander Akimov (Russia)

Alastair Crooke (Great Britain)

Aref Ali Nayed (Libya)

13:30 – 15:00


15:00 – 16:30











Session 5.

East and West: Toward a Unity of Human Civilization

Moderator– GovharBakhshalieva (Azerbaijan)


Valery Androsov (Russia)


UğurÜnal (Turkey)

Juhaeng Lee (Republic of Korea)

Concluding remarks


Moscow Sightseeing Tour(in English)