This semester brings many exciting new academic events to Tartu. Over the course of this Blog post, I intend to bring the thrilling intellectual engagements that await us in the coming months, organized both by students and by the University, to your attention.

Post-East Talks: Tartu
First off, I would like to talk about the brand new initiative to host Post-East Talks: Tartu. Launched on the first of March by five first-year EU-Russia Studies students from the Skytte Institute, it held its first event two weeks ago. It was a very exciting event in which the political situation of Turkey and its relationship with the European Union was examined.

The first Post-East talk organised in Tartu drew a diverse crowd of interested students whom were eager to learn more about the political landscape of Turkey. Photo credits: Post-east Talks: Tartu

The Post-East Talks focus on the political development and status of Eastern countries. If you’d like to know more about Post-East Talks: Tartu, don’t hesitate to take a look at their Facebook page and be sure to visit their next event, which will take place tomorrow at the Johan Skytte Institute and focuses on the political landscape of Bulgaria!

15×4: Tartu
Next, I’d like to discuss another student-led initiative that has recently come into being. Originally founded in 2015 in Ukraine, the science communications project known as 15×4 has descended upon the city of Tartu, filling our minds with interesting scientific discussions. In four 15-minute segments, four separate science talks are held on topics selected from a broad spectrum of scientific fields. If this sounds like it is right up your street, then follow them on Facebook to be informed of the details surrounding their next event, which will take place at the end of April!

Last week saw 15×4 Tartu’s first official event take place in the Computer Science Institute of the University of Tartu, where the speakers explained the finer aspects of coding theory and biohacking, gave an elaborate introduction to the mysteries of DNA and on how modern technology has changed our understanding of sexuality and what that entails.

“Our very own event manager and graphic designer are the leading forces behind 15×4: Tartu. Their smiles signify the achievement of successfully organising its first event. Photo credits: 15×4 Tartu”

The 15×4 team are looking for enthusiastic students to help support them in their endeavors, so if you would like to volunteer your services and join them on their journey to enrich the lives of our fellow students with interesting scientific knowledge, then shoot a message their way on Facebook. They are also always happy to promote the voices of young and old academics, so if you are interested in speaking at one of their events, don’t hesitate to sign up as a lecturer!

Our Facebook manager was one of the speakers. She gave a lecture on DNA, a subject that lies close to her heart. Photo credits: 15×4: Tartu

Both of these student-led initiatives will have recurring events over the course of the coming semester, so stay tuned and follow Post-East Talks: Tartu and 15×4 Tartu for more information!

Eastern Platform – Tartu Seminar
Besides the student-led initiatives, the University of Tartu is also organizing several academic events. There are two initiatives in particular that I would like to focus on. Firstly, I’d like to recommend this the fourth annual Eastern Platform – Tartu Seminar, which takes place on the 6th and 7th of April and focuses on EU-Russia relations in the Age of Populisms. Convened by the Programme Manager of EU-Russia Studies and Johan Skytte Institute Lecturer of the Year 2017 Dr Stefano Braghiroli and the esteemed visiting Professor Andrey Makarychev, this year’s Eastern Platform Seminar is set to be an immersive experience. If you have the opportunity to do so, I would wholeheartedly recommend going to it. You can find the programme here.

The Eastern Platform Seminar takes place on this weekend. Photo credits: University of Tartu

University of Tartu Idea Lab
Secondly, I’d like to draw your attention to the University of Tartu Idea Lab, which holds workshop events every Thursday from 4 to 7:30PM at the Spark Hub on Narva Mantee. The Idea Lab can help you turn your thoughts into practice, and provide you with a strong skillset to get started on materializing your ideas. You can find their schedule here. Although the workshops are free, you are required to sign up for them online. So if you’d like to go to the next workshop, which takes place this Thursday and is about product and service design, then be sure to register as quickly as possible!

This Thursday’s Idea Lab workshop is on Product and Service Design. Be there or be square! Photo credit: UT Idea Lab

Conference on Russia and East European Studies
Finally, I’d like to point you in the direction of the third annual Conference on Russia and East European Studies taking place in the second week of June. If you’d like more information on any of the events taking place, be sure to contact the organizers and they will happily inform you!