The first University of California Undergraduate Conference on Slavic and East/Central European Studies took place in 1998. Since then, our annual event has drawn several hundred undergraduate scholars from across the UCs, USC, and other local universities and colleges. These students have presented papers on a wide variety of exciting topics concerning Russia, Eastern and Central Europe, the Caucasus, and Central Asia.
Our conference promotes original research using the languages students study. It gives them an opportunity to integrate their language skills with focused investigations into the histories, politics, literatures, and cultures of the regions where those languages are spoken. It also allows students to meet peers from other colleges (or the same school) who have similar interests, fostering long-term friendships and professional connections.
Presenting a conference paper to a friendly audience helps hone your presentation skills. It is also a great way to strengthen your graduate school application or add an academic component to your resume.
One of the great benefits of knowing a foreign language is being able to use source materials in that language. This conference gives students the opportunity to integrate their language skills with research on some aspect of Slavic or East/Central European studies and to present their work in a collegially critical and at the same time friendly and supportive environment. Presenting a conference paper is an ideal way to strengthen graduate school applications or add an academic component to your résumé. In addition, those interested have the opportunity to submit their papers for peer-reviewed publication in the on-line UCLA Journal of Slavic and East/Central European Studies.