Illuminations is an outdoor research school. It is planned to be a breeding ground for thinkers from different countries, communities and academic cultures interested in common topics. We want it to become the melting pot of new ideas. Our task is to cooperate over texts, theories and concepts. Closing in the “native” community (indefinitely branched), limiting oneself to a “primitive territoriality”, the philosopher acquires shell and “roots”. We want to grow a rhizome. Adjusting to tastes and needs of the audience, to which a thinker is accustomed, she is increasingly removed from daily issues, answers to which become philosophical concepts.

The problem of “curved optics” and the experimental foundation isn't new in science and each discipline responds to it in its own way: sociologists have respondents, anthropologists have field studies, political scientists have political reality, physicians have patients, and urbanists have urban environments. Natural scientists, as Latour notes, initially work with “numb” things. What kind of “interlocutors” philosophy has in addition to other philosophers and laymen with their meaningless “opinions”? Is it possible to talk about specific “metaphysical experience”; is “experimental metaphysics” possible? It is sometimes stated that philosophy – as mathematics and the theory of natural sciences – must find itself in the realm of pure speculation. New “speculative” wave and ontological turn both disprove this old delusion, producing new hybrids of theories and practices, ontologies and epistemologies, speculations and materialisms, natures and cultures.

The school provides its experimentum crucis, i.e. to place well-known specialists, developing various projects, in an enclosed space and wait. Siberian forest should be a meeting place for ideas that could not meet elsewhere. The limited means of communication with the outside world (there is no Internet in the Tyumen forest) creates a situation, where everyone speaks for herself and not as a representative of her academic networks and hierarchical groups. We are working to ensure that the dichotomy of the periphery and center is no longer valid. We want to create a unique atmosphere which would be conducive to dialogue and collective writing in a perfect case. We believe that a hybrid theoretical project is more viable than rather anemic and fading theories with a good pedigree.

We want to create a productive intellectual environment on the borders of academia, which would cross it freely. We remember places, where an intellectual ferment took place in different epochs: from the French salons of the Enlightenment to the Viennese cafes of the early twentieth century. We want to gather in the Siberian outback a critical mass of researchers for at least one week. Illuminations changes people. We hope, for the better. And we invite you to check it out.


School ethics

The basic principles of the school: the quality and openness of the presented theoretical projects.

  • A letter from Hogwarts

    The organising committee invites curators to participate in a closed competition, each of whom is free to completely determine one of the tracks: speakers, themes, frameworks for work. When choosing curators, our criteria are how elaborated your project is, how it is potential, innovative, large-scale and how consistent it is, as we call it. Such editorial policy allows to have a coherent narration, while remaining relevant and open. We are not limited to any discipline, gender, status, age or other formal framework. Motivation is important for us, as well as skills and willingness to engage in work on the project.

  • What is consistency?

    We believe that philosophy should not go away from everyday issues and become a manifesto. This means that a slender, convincing narrative, a willingness to listen and discuss, is more important than different types of performativity, disjointed speech or unsubstantiated statements. We are concerned with current topics, but we do not welcome the way of thinking associated with various forms of mystification and arrogant division of the world into philosophers and ordinary people. If a theory is not understandable to everyone who wishes to understand it, with certain efforts on his part, and if for its receiving it requires “special sensuality” or “an altered state of consciousness” - we will not work with such authors.

  • Care for your comfort

    The attitude of the school is to preserve the atmosphere of safety and calmness of participants. Criticism can be to any degree harsh when it is directed at thoughts, not at a person. For us, the right of everyone to their own decisions and respective consequences is important, but we will not tolerate coercion or other ways of establishing an authoritative hierarchy within the school space. We are against academic arrogance; public manifestations of racial, ethnic, confessional, gender and other forms of hostility; sexual harassment, stalking, bullying, as well as radical criticism from the “oppressed” using a minority, as a way of domination.

    We respect everyone’s right to privacy and will make every effort to realise it. The Organising Committee hopes that the participants will not violate these norms, but if necessary, measures will be taken, including: exclusion from a project, an impossibility of further cooperation and making the incident public, as well as other sanctions.

    We like homely and free atmosphere of the school, which we will definitely keep


Igor Chubarov
Igor Chubarov
Director of the Institute of Social and Humanitarian Sciences at TSU, a member of the Editorial Board of Logos ()
Elina Samokhvalova
Elina Samokhvalova
Advisor to the Director of the Institute of Social and Humanitarian Sciences of TSU ()
Maksim Nee
Maksim Nee
Sociologist, an employee of the "Transnationalism and Migration Processes: Comparative and Institutional Analysis" Laboratory, St. Petersburg State University

For any questions, please contact e.samokhvalova@utmn.ru

Terms of participation

School attendance is free.
The working language of the school is English.
Organisers cover accommodation (2-4 bed rooms in cottages), meals for entire school period, transfer from Tyumen to the venue and back
Anyone can apply, the only requirement is a full age (18 years)


In order to pass the competition and get the right to participate in the school, you have to write an essay on the main topic of one of the tracks.
The language of an essay is English. An essay should contain no more than 1000 words.

You must fill out a questionnaire and send an essay with the mark “Illuminations” to centernewphilos@gmail.com
Deadline application - July 15th.

Центр новой философии
Тюменский государственный университет