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CREES Newsletter


CONTENTS S aying G oodbye but not F arewell , I nterview with E dith W. C lowes 3-4 T welve C hairs ? N o : O ne C hair , T welve Y ears , I nterview with M arc L. G reenberg 5 KU S lavic D ept : T ransition and a N ew E ra , I nterview with W illiam J. C omer 6 O utreach H ighlights 7 S pring S emester S napshots 8-9 B rownbag H ighlights 10-11 F aculty , A lumni & S tudent N ews 12-15


LETTER FROM THE DIRECTOR Dear Friends, Colleagues, Students, and Supporters of CREES!

Irina Six will be leading a Fall colloquium on Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged for graduate and undergraduate students interested in enhancing their Russian language skills while learning about international economic theory and ideas of free market.

It is with great pleasure that I welcome you back from a restful and productive summer break.

We began working on developing assessment instruments for graduate students’ language proficiency, and adjusting REES courses to KU’s new core educational objectives. With the view of increasing student enrollment into our least commonly taught languages courses, we designed a proposal for teaching foreign languages using Skype and other online technologies.

As many of you are aware, we have had a great deal of transition at CREES. After 12 years at KU, the last 4 of which she served as the CREES Director, Dr. Edith Clowes accepted the Brown-Forman Endowed Chair position in the Slavic Department at the University of Virginia. We will miss her greatly, but look forward to carrying on her strong tradition of vibrant CREES events.

CREES has positioned itself as one of the most vibrant KU units with diverse programming and effective outreach. In Spring 2012, following an excellent all-area-studies centers’ K-14 workshop devoted to world heritage sites, CREES collaborated with the Foreign Military Studies Office at Ft. Leavenwor th to organize and host its third annual security conference with the theme of “Afghanistan 2014 and Impacts on Global Security Identities.” The use of live streaming made conference presentations available to people who were unable to attend.

There was a great deal of transition at the Slavic Department as well. This past year, Dr. Marc Greenberg stepped down and Dr. William Comer stepped up as Chair of the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures.

As part of our effort to better use social media technologies, we live tweeted the Security Conference, a With all these changes in mind, we dedicate this issue first time for CREES! This fall we will launch a camof the CREES Newsletter to three REES leaders: Dr. paign to increase our social network’s popularity. Join Clowes, Dr. Greenberg, and Dr. Comer. We thank you us on Facebook as we share posts about activities and for your service! stories from the region! Additionally, over the summer, CREES created its own YouTube page for dissemiIn June, I assumed responsibilities of CREES Acting Dinating video recordings of its programs (http://www. rector for AY 2012-13. Dr. Renee Perelmutter kindly, which can also be acagreed to serve as the Associate Director for the cessed via the CREES website. Center. We also welcomed Dr. Alexander C. Diener, who joined the CREES faculty as Assistant Professor We are looking forward to an exciting and eventful of Geography after a Fulbright year in Central Asia, fall semester. It will begin in August with CREES’s parand Dr. Erik R. Scott, Assistant Professor of History. ticipation in the Hawk Day EGARC Language Buffet Mukaddes Sahin has accepted the Turkish lecturer po- (August 19), and the Slavic Linguistics Society confersition, replacing Dr. Karakaya, to whom we said fare- ence, (August 25-27), organized by the Depar tment well in July. of Slavic Languages and Literatures and suppor ted by CREES. Despite challenges posed by renewed Title VI grant cuts, CREES is well prepared to continue fulfilling its Mark your calendars for Friday, September 7, and join core intellectual mission. With a strong institutional us for our annual Fall Mixer and Potluck! Come to identity, clear programming focus, and excellent and mingle with the fun CREES crowd and enjoy great dedicated team, the Center is geared up for another food at the Lawrence Visitor Center. Due to new KU great year. policy, we’re asking all our friends to keep our old tradition of fun alive with the new tradition of BYOB. In the academic realm, we will continue broadening See you there! and deepening the REES curriculum. Razi Ahmad, who spent several productive weeks in Tajikistan, will be Also in September, we will host a team of NRC exutilizing the collected materials in his Tajik language ternal reviewers, participate in Lawrence’s Festival of classes and teaching two new courses – TAJ 532: Tajik Cultures in South Park, and sponsor a speaker and for Sociologists, and TAJ 510: Tajik for Geographers – a film during the Environmental Film Festival hosted as part of the CREES language across the curriculum jointly with the other NRCs at KU. Join us at the initiative. Spencer Museum of Art on September 19 to watch

CREES STAFF M ariya O melicheva A cting D irector R enee P erelmutter A ssociate D irector B art R edford A ssistant D irector C athy S wenson -T ucker A ccountant A drienne L andry O utreach C oordinator P rogram A ssistant

The Battle of Chernobyl and hear paralympic athlete Tatsiyana Khvitsko speak on her experience with the Children of Chernobyl Foundation. In October, there will be a Vaclav Havel Remembrance co-sponsored by the Czech Consulate in Kansas City, and a concert and lecture by a Croatian Classical guitarist, Rober t Belinic, who will perform during the Young Artists series at the Lied Center. There’s a rumor going around campus that Dr. Marc Greenberg will perform a classical guitar duet with Robert Belinic somewhere on the KU campus...we’ll keep you posted on the details!

And now, we hope you enjoy reading this new issue of the CREES Newsletter, and please let us hear your news at!

Mariya Omelicheva, Acting Director, CREES


EiExeSr CaR ll M

Friends don’t let friends party without CREES




Friday, September 7 5:00 - 8:00 pm

Come join us as we celebrate the beginning of a new semester with good food, drinks, and fun. Bring your favorite dish and share with family and friends! Bring your own alcohol, and please no glass containers!

For more information:

S tudent A ssistants : B en K ing Amanda Sword Anne Windholz

Don’t miss the Backus Lecture by Dr. Brian Porter-Szucs in November, and the many informative Brownbags this fall. The search for a new CREES director will commence in October. Let us know if you’re interested in charting the future of CREES! Join KU Center for Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies on facebook!

WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS! It is with great pleasure that we announce CREES’ new status as a Level 3 Green Office at KU. The KU Center for Sustainability Green Office program recognizes campus departments and offices that are making an effort to reduce environmental impacts and create a more sustainable workplace. Participants in the program must complete an application that identifies specific actions their offices are taking. The list includes strategies for cutting energy consumption, reducing waste and making environmentally preferable purchases. Each action is assigned a point value, and an applicant’s total score determines the overall level of achievement, with Level 3 Green Offices reaching the highest level of recognition. CREES also participated in the Lights Out! 2012, a KU campus energy competition between Bailey Hall, Green Hall, and Summerfield Hall. Starting February 1, 2012 and running through April 26, the 12-week competition encouraged faculty, staff, and students to consider how they can reduce energy use throughout the day. Each building’s energy savings was judged against a baseline of energy the building used in 2011. At the end of the competition, the building that made the greatest improvement won a grand prize of a barbeque lunch for all the participants from their building. Overall, the three buildings combined to reduce energy consumption by 14.3% compared to the baseline. CREES, along with all the other centers and departments at Bailey Hall, won the competition with a 17.2% savings in energy consumption!


SAYING GOODBYE BUT NOT FAREWELL An Interview with Edith W. Clowes, CREES Director 2008-2012 With great appreciation and no small amount of sadness, in June 2012 CREES said goodbye to Director Edith W. Clowes as she left KU for a new adventure at the University of Virginia. Dr. Clowes joined KU in December 1998 as a professor in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures. She became the CREES Director in 2008, where she excelled at improving the quality of academic programs, creating a vibrant events schedule, and engaging the community with outreach.

Edith W. Clowes CREES Director 2008-2012

Known for her energy and enthusiasm for REES area studies, perhaps her greatest legacy is the relationships she built with other departments at KU and with the wider community. Dr. Clowes worked tirelessly to ensure that CREES remained an interdisciplinary space for specialists across a wide array of disciplines to network and share their research on this complex area of the world. An expert in 19th- and 20th-century Russian literature, philosophy, religion, and utopian thought, Dr. Clowes has and will always be a vociferous advocate for the humanities. Yet her directorship focused on inclusivity, building bridges between the social sciences and the arts, and taking steps to include the natural sciences.

Dr. Clowes’ tenure as CREES Director had many highlights – raising funds for new scholarships and paid research opportunities for students, creating the new joint degree program in REES area studies and law, and winning a 3-year grant from the Institute of Turkish Studies to expand Turkish language, literature, and culture offerings at KU. She also faced a number of challenges during her tenure. After winning a record-breaking Title VI grant of $2.3 million dollars in 2011, CREES, like all US Department of Education National Resource Centers, was forced to cut its Title VI budget by a devastating 46.5%. Never one to shrink before challenges, Dr. Clowes turned this budgetary crisis into an opportunity to educate about the importance of area studies and advocate for the support of REES area specialists. In the following interview, Dr. Clowes talks about her experiences as CREES Director and identifies her proudest accomplishments. She shares her advice for graduating students and future CREES Directors. She also talks about her new position as the Brown-Forman Professor of Ar ts and Sciences in the Depar tment of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Virginia. “Professor Clowes has long been one of my greatest mentors and supporters. Not only is she a phenomenal teacher, but she is also a tremendous researcher and writer. She is one of the most knowledgeable and hard-working people I know in Russian studies.” Alexander Melin REES MA 2008 “More than just a professor, I have gotten to know Edith Clowes as a wickedly smart, intensely curious, and fantastically dedicated person. Having such a connection to Professor Clowes has been an enormously positive element of my KU experience.” Alex Zoubine BA Class of 2012 “Edith Clowes did not inspire me to go in a certain direction, she inspired me to go in MY direction. She waited for me to find my topic and as soon as I did, she encouraged me to dive in. I always appreciated how she prodded me to think creatively and be more analytical.” Adrienne Harris SLL PhD 2008

CREES: What motivated you to take on the Directorship of CREES? I wanted to become the CREES Director because I love interdisciplinary studies. I also had a desire to “give back” to the community, to put into play some bigger projects, and to explore networks and conversations beyond the humanities. One of the very pleasant surprises of being director of CREES was working with the lively intellectual community at Ft. Leavenworth, the Lawrence community, particularly the Lawrence Arts Center, as well as centers and departments, the libraries and the Spencer Museum at KU. Working with the CREES team, faculty, and students has been among the greatest pleasures of my career. I’ve been director or chair of various operations but nothing has been as satisfying and even at times exhilarating as these last 4 years. Working with an energetic, intelligent, attentive, and enthusiastic team is an experience everyone should have. Staging milestone events (for example, the CREES 50th anniversary) helped make KU more visible and engendered many new contacts and collegial friendships. Enriching our intellectual lives and our research atmosphere with weekly brownbag talks, roundtables, and lectures and consultations with visiting lecturers— makes us come alive just a little more than we would if we just lived in our own departments. CREES: There have been a great number of events during your tenure. Is there one in particular that you are especially proud of? There have been so many really important events— particularly effective because they were all the result of

outstanding teamwork between Bar t Redford (Assistant Director), Bill London, and now Cathy SwensonTucker (Accountants), and many others. The teacher workshops have become eye-opening, all-NRC events that attract teachers from across the state and the region. The best of all of them, in my view, were Tatyana Wilds’ “Teaching The Silk Road: The Past, Present and Future of the Global Market” in spring 2010, which featured talks by academics from the Central Asian region, and Adrienne Landr y’s “Migration, Music, and the Ar ts” in spring 2011, which brought Tuvan throat singers, The Alash Ensemble, and music and ar t groups from other world regions together for a conference notable for its intellectual excitement and recordbreaking attendance. I was delighted to be able to work with our colleagues at Ft. Leavenworth, particularly at the Foreign Military Studies Office. The annual security conference, funded by a generous grant from the US Army Research Office, is growing in regional, national, and international importance. The increasing use of internet technologies has given us a chance to reach a wider audience—something that will always be crucial for a university in the heartland. The Spring 2012 conference on “Afghanistan 2014” had 95 participants in attendance, a new high, and featured live streaming and tweeting throughout the proceedings, which was enjoyed by at least 45 people off-site, some as far as Central Asia and India. The two events closest to my interests were the larger research conferences on “Central Europe 1989: Lessons and Legacies” (Fall 2009) and “Identities and Communities after the Cold War Era” (Fall 2011). Both of those conferences brought our world regions onto center stage here in Kansas and produced fur ther contacts, conversations, publications, and new research, which is what one always hopes for.

FALL 2012


CREES: Are there things you wish you could have accomplished during your time as Director but couldn’t? A great idea that we started but have not yet finished, due to Title VI budget cuts, was the “Slavic Great Plains” website, a clearinghouse for events relating to and businesses working in Central and Eastern Europe and Eurasia. That’s a project that I really hope CREES will finish in the future. I’ve also been working on a history of CREES – it’s currently in draft form. I hope that another director will want to finish this project. It’s crucial for a Center to know where it has been while looking ahead to where it is going. And this history provides golden material for defining area studies and their central importance for the ongoing struggle to make Americans into multilingual citizens of the world. CREES:While you were Director of CREES, you published a book on the post-Soviet Russian mindset, Russia on the Edge: Imagined Geographies and Post-Soviet Identity. How did your term as Director of an area studies center influence you as you wrote this book? That book was mainly finished by the time I became director, though I wrote the last chapter on the North Caucasus and the conclusion in 2008 and 2009. Being in CREES and talking on a regular basis with geographers and working with REES students gave me insight into the ways that specialists in other disciplines think about the issue of imagined geographies. Some call it mental mapping, some—cognitive geography.Various Laird Brownbag talks, such as those by Geography graduate students Austen Thelen and Austin Charron, outlined social science perspectives on imagined geography that have been useful in my research. Working at CREES has piqued my interest in Central Asia, a real intellectual benefit that led to the development of a new course on “Central Asia under Russian Eyes” and to new grant developments. And it has spurred me to turn my attention to understanding imagined geographies of Russian citizens living in the peripheries of Russia. CREES: Over the past few years there have been a lot of changes in the REES academic program – we now have an MA portfolio instead of the more traditional exam; we have added an honors program for undergraduates, etc. Why were these changes so important? Certainly the accomplishment of which I am most proud is finding new sources of support for our CREES graduate students. Traditionally, FLAS Fellowships, the assistant editor position at the Russian Review, and the Bramlage Family Foundation Fellowship have been the only available sources of funding. Since the CREES MA is a professional degree, and we teach only two high-enrollment REES courses, we have never been able to offer an incoming graduate student a teaching assistantship. Since 2010 we have significantly enlarged the pool of funds for supporting graduate study. Because of two large grants from the Army Research Office we now offer the FMSO-CREES graduate research assistantship for open-source research on security-related questions in the REES region. Thankfully, the “new” army now defines “security” broadly, to include a large number of cultural, sociological, and political issues. Thanks to the generosity of Peter Jarosewycz,


who endowed the Jarosewycz Family Scholarship, each year we can partially fund a student in Ukrainian Studies. Norman Saul (History, emeritus) has funded student travel to conferences, libraries, and archives. Training our students in understanding, using, and seeing the result of genuinely interdisciplinary methodologies and research tools has been an enlivening experience.The goals of all our academic programs are two-fold, both broad and specialist.We aim to reach as many KU undergraduates and graduates as possible, to contribute to KU’s strategic goal of “building international communities” by taking abroad an array of KU students, who then start to envision themselves as part of that international community. The professional goal of CREES is to educate area specialists who can combine their foreign language skills and area knowledge with all kinds of career paths. CREES: You have seen several generations of REES students pass through the Center, what advice would you give to graduating students? I would tell them that area studies are now a crucial part of their set of special skills.Two years in the REES MA program has given them the opportunity to gain a more profound knowledge of their particular region and strongly enhance their foreign language skills. They need to be proactive in seeking internships and job opportunities in a variety of areas; develop a network of area studies and professional contacts; and even after graduate school continue to deepen their area knowledge and language skills.

“My first visit to KU just happened to coincide with a particularly bad snow storm. I’ll never forget how Professor Clowes picked me up from my hotel and drove me around the snow filled streets of Lawrence just so I could see the campus. Her generosity and enthusiasm were some of the reasons I made the decision to attend KU.”

John Korba SLL PhD “I will always associate the novel ‘Brothers Karamazov’ with Professor Clowes. In her class, she provided anecdotes and insights that were fascinating, and she was able to deepen the context of the novel in a way that made it come alive. It’s easily still one of my favorite books, and I attribute that to the love and attention Edith gave to not only the book, but also to her students.”

CREES: Let’s talk a little about the near 50% cut to the CREES Title VI grant budget. Does this spell the end of the CREES Program?

Lindsey Collier BA Class of 2004

No, the Title VI cuts certainly do not spell the end of CREES, though they could mean the downsizing of certain specializations.There will certainly be a new competition in 2014, which CREES will be well poised to win because of its unique geographical location, its partnership with Ft. Leavenworth, its excellent faculty, and the significant level of KU’s institutional support. KU and other state universities are being privatized, which means that fundraising and constant application for a broad array of grants will be more important than ever. CREES: What advice do you have for future CREES Directors? Amid all the reporting and multitasking take time to ponder the big picture. Be sure to include events that give you a lot of pleasure and help you to grow intellectually. CREES: Tell us a little bit about your new position at the University of Virginia. What are your upcoming plans? I will be the Brown-Forman Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures. The challenge will be to enhance Slavic and REES area studies, both of which have suffered setbacks in the last 20 years, in the context of a new institute of global humanities and various other initiatives. I will not be in an administrative position, which will give me time to pursue research projects with greater intensity.The coming year will be all about joining a new community, building new teaching, research, and outreach networks, listening to the aspirations of everyone on the Virginia team—students, administrators, and faculty, and working out a game plan for further fundraising and grant writing. CREES: Will you come back and visit us? Of course! KU and CREES have been central to my life as a Slavist and an area studies specialist. I will always stay in touch with the CREES team and faculty and will be delighted to develop further opportunities for collaboration.


Reflections from Outgoing SLL Chair Marc L. Greenberg

After 12 years of service, Marc L. Greenberg stepped down as Chair of the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures in December 2011, just short of the thirteen-year record set by his predecessor, Stephen J. Parker. In the following interview, Professor Greenberg reflects on his experiences as Chair and shares his thoughts on the SLL and CREES tradition at KU.

CREES: You were chair of SLL at a time when several Slavic and Russian programs across the country were dismantled or significantly reduced in size. Why do you think that KU SLL has survived and even thrived during such a period? A number of factors came into play. If I step back, I cannot chalk it all up to program quality, though I think that is a significant part of it. Rather, our survival is also a function of the KU culture—we reflect Midwestern values in our departmental and institutional decisions. Rather than reconfigure or jettison programs to chase the latest trends, we reevaluated our area of the world and came to the conclusion that Russia would continue to be an area worthy of study and that the study of language, literature, and culture were essential. Moreover, our specialization in the Western Balkans has been fruitful because it is an intrinsically interesting region and we also have unique strengths in this area. Kansas Slavic is known world-wide for its long association with scholarship and outreach, especially with regard to the western parts of the former Yugoslavia—Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia—and that reputation has never been more robust than it is now. CREES: You oversaw the hiring of what seems like a new generation of faculty and staff in the Slavic Department. Tell us about some of these hires and how they fit into the vision for the Department’s future. We have been fortunate to find exceptional young talents and we thought outside of the box as much as possible in hiring them. Stephen Dickey brought to our unit expert knowledge of Slavic verbal aspect, a key feature of Slavic grammar. He is also an important translator of contemporary Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian literature. Knowing that we wanted broad coverage of the Western Slavic cultural realm but that we could not afford to hire Czech and Polish specialists in separate lines, we set out to find a scholar who was equally at home with both languages and lit-

eratures. Svetlana Vassileva-Karagyozova turned out to be that rare scholar who not only speaks both languages with near-native facility, but is also well read in both traditions. Her work on the Bildungsroman in Poland and the Czech Republic, examining protagonists who came of age in the last phase of communism, will help us get a better grasp of this era that we are just now beginning to see more clearly in historical retrospect. Renee Perelmutter brings to our area further depth in Slavic linguistics with a focus on discourse studies and also teaches Yiddish language, Jewish folklore and secular culture. Renee helps us broaden and deepen our coverage of Eastern Europe, adding the Jewish “other” element that we had previously lacked in our program. Our newest hire is Ani Kokobobo, a promising scholar of Tolstoy and 19th C. Russian literature. Although her area of specialization is one of the traditional mainstays of our field, Ani brings fresh thematic approaches to the study of Russian literature and writes with a lively style. She will help nurture a new generation of scholars who bring new perspectives to the rich philosophical literature of Russia. What is remarkable about the last three hires is that they each come from different places that are worlds apart from Kansas: Svetlana is from Bulgaria, Renee is from Ukraine and Israel, and Ani is from Albania and New York. Their life experience also becomes part of the fabric of the human element at KU and they enrich us all with their ability to mediate culture not just from the study of it, but also from living across cultures. KU is all the richer for their being here. I would be remiss if I failed to mention our lecturers, Irina Six and Marta Pirnat. Irina brings expertise in Russian business language and culture to our curriculum (thoroughly postSoviet topics) and Marta is a rare authentic carrier of both Slovene and Croatian language and culture, which add unique strengths to our program. Marta recently published Colloquial Slovene in the highly regarded Routledge Colloquial series, which speaks highly of the quality of our department’s second-language acquisition expertise. CREES: How would you describe the relationship between SLL and CREES? What do you see as key in maintaining a strong bond between the two departments? SLL and CREES have always been closely connected, as well they should be.The College motto is “Learning without Boundaries” and I think it applies well to this relationship. There is no boundary between the cultures of a region and their languages, geography, arts, history, politics, and

economics. To understand a region one must understand the complex interaction of all of these areas and more. In SLL we focus on language, literature, and culture, but we value the network of connections to other disciplines that CREES provides. I think the relationship is mutually enriching. CREES: Is there something you wish you had known when you first began your position as Chair? Any advice for the new SLL Chair? For the new CREES Director? Had I known of the successes to come it would have been easier to bear the crises. Having been chair for nearly 12 years, I value the strengthening of character and development of patience that being a chair helped me to achieve. CREES: While you were Chair, the long lost Russian Jayhawk was found. What is the Russian Jayhawk and why is he so important? Actually, the Russian Jayhawk was not lost—it was well taken care of in the University Archives, most notably by Becky Schulte, who is not only an expert curator but also knows more about the history of the Jayhawk than anyone. My contribution was to dig up the historical background of the Russian statuette (more at http:// The Russian Jayhawk is important because he illuminates the long international commitments and record of service that KU has had to our world area, dating at least as far back as 1917, the time of the carving, and probably even earlier. CREES: What is your favorite piece of Slavic or East European literature, and what does your choice say about you? It would be impossible to choose a single piece of Slavic art, visual, musical, or literary, that is a favorite—art takes on meaning in context, including the relationship of one work of art to another. But if I had to choose one that is meaningful to reflect on my own experience, I would choose Drago Jancar’s Posmehljivo poželenje (which, by the way, has been masterfully translated into English by KU PhD Michael Biggins as Mocking Desire). The story is (in part) about the discovery of what is essential about one’s own culture through the perspective of another. This story encapsulates a lesson I try to impart to students: you never see the world in three dimensions until you have lived meaningfully in another culture. Perspective is everything.

FALL 2012


KU SLAVIC DEPARTMENT: TRANSITION AND A NEW ERA Interview with William J. Comer, Chair of Slavic Languages and Literatures Department

In January 2012, Professor William J. Comer accepted the position of Chair of the Department of Slavic Languages and Literature. Professor Comer joined the KU Slavic Department faculty in 1999 and was promoted to Full Professor in Spring 2012. In the following interview, Professor Comer shares his vision for the Slavic Department’s future. Project Global Officers Center on the KU campus. The grants fund students in the ROTC program to study critical languages and to gain intercultural competence. We have been recommended for funding at the beginning of June and we are waiting to get final notification of the award.

CREES: It seemed like a fairly smooth transition for you to step into the position of Chair of the Slavic Department. Was this position as natural a step for you as it seemed?

CREES: How would you describe the relationship between SLL and CREES? What do you see as key in maintaining a strong bond between the two departments?

What will be most helpful in maintaining a strong relationship is understanding the symbiotic relationship between our units. SLL and CREES have In a relatively small department, all members of shared goals and priorities in increasing the study the faculty usually have a good idea about the of languages and cultures. Knowledge of cultures scope of their department’s operations, their and world areas is an integral part of language course offerings, and their colleagues’ research learning, and language learning is a vital compointerests and areas of publications. Having a good nent of a deep knowledge of another culture and sense of the department’s identity and general world region. So we have every reason to coloutlooks really helped me step into this new role. laborate in building strong programs. CREES: Are there any initiatives started by the previous Chair that you particularly hope to keep going? In the past few years, fundraising from outside sources has become a major concern. Former SLL Chair Marc Greenberg did a lot of work to make the Slavic Department more visible to the community, and I hope to be able to continue that work. CREES: What is your vision for the Slavic Department over the next few years? What are you looking forward to the most?

CREES: You have won many awards for pedagogy, both at KU and at the national level, and you have transformed the way that Slavic languages are taught at KU. What do you think are the most promising new developments in foreign language teaching? Easy access to authentic text, audio, video, and animation on the web invites us to rethink the boundaries of language learning materials. At the same time, these materials don’t “speak for themselves.” So, one needs to teach learners not just how to access them, but also how to use them in ways that can benefit their language learning,

and how to interpret the differences in cultural attitudes and outlooks that stand behind what people share on the web. This summer, with two colleagues at other institutions, I started a project to write an open access internet-based textbook for first-year Russian. With the help of KU’s EGARC, we hope to have a pilot website up and working by Fall 2013. While going to an open access format allows us the incredible flexibility of offering multiple explanations and different kinds of visual presentation of information, it has also challenged us because we have to rethink where the boundaries are between the “textbook” and the “workbook” and what tools students have in front of them (laptops, iPads, smartphones, paper) when it comes time to perform in-class activities in small groups or pairs. CREES: What is your favorite piece of Slavic or East European literature, and what does your choice say about you? It is hard to limit myself just to a single piece of literature – there are so many great reads in Russian and Polish literatures (Pushkin’s Onegin, Tolstoy’s Death of Ivan Ilich, Iwaszkiewicz’s short stories). But that is all very serious literature, so let me tell you about my favorite genre when it comes to reading for pleasure… Boris Akunin’s historical detective novels featuring Erast Petrovich Fandorin. His masterful play with literary and linguistic conventions delights as much as his twisting plots confound the reader to figure out “who done it?” They really are great reads.

One goal is to maintain the department’s strengths in faculty, areas of expertise, research productivity, and success in mentoring students at the undergraduate and graduate levels. I also hope to increase enrollments in our undergraduate courses, and the changes to general education requirements seem to be an opportunity for the department to reach new audiences. I look forward to developing new collaborations with other departments and programs to promote the study of Slavic languages and cultures. Spring 2012 brought one of the first opportunities for this kind of successful collaboration: the Slavic Department worked with EALC, CEAS, AAAS and CGIS to apply for a grant from the Insittute of International Education to establish a



Seventh Annual Meeting University of Kansas Lawrence, KS USA 25-27 August 2012


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On February 25, 2012, teachers from Kansas and Missouri joined CREES and other area studies centers at KU for a K-16 Teachers Workshop on “World Heritage Sites Through Time,” held at the Lied Center’s Pavilion. Attendees heard KU faculty lecture on Moscow’s Red Square, historical and cultural aspects of henna folk art from India, the architectural heritage of China, slave forts in Ghana, central Mexico’s Chichén Itzá, and Berlin’s Museum Island. After the lectures, participants tried their hand at activities such as taiko drumming and henna tattooing. Teachers also learned how to bind a book so that their students can research a world heritage site and create their own A Street Through Time, a popular children’s book that illustrates a particular site as it changes throughout history. The workshop was a joint collaboration between CREES, Center for East Asian Studies, Center for Global and International Studies, Center of Latin American Studies, Kansas African Studies Center, Kansas Constortium for Teaching About Asia, and the Lied Center at the University of Kansas.

NEW CURRICULUM MATERIAL! RED SQUARE AND THE RUSSIAN SEARCH FOR IDENTITY For his lecture at the Teachers Workshop: “World Heritage Sites Through Time,” Dr. Jonathan Perkins, Director of the Ermal Garinger Academic Resource Center, presented on the architectural ensemble of Russia’s Red Square. Starting with a tour of the square in its current configuration, his presentation used artistic renderings and period photographs to trace changes in the square over the course of its 500-year history. Special attention was given to modifications made over the last century, as communists remade the square in their own image, only to see elements of tsarist Russia rebuilt and restored after the fall of the Soviet Union. Red Square has always played a central role in Russian life, and its current architectural configuration serves as a clear reflection of the country’s history and its struggle to define itself in this new century.

Red Square and the Russian Search For Identity handout and e-resource:

Following his presentation, Dr. Perkins presented attendees with a readymade handout and webquest based on the e-resources he used during his lecture. The handout and link to images of Red Square can be found on the CREES website “For Teachers” section.

For additional curriculum ideas, scan the QR code and read the first edition of CREES Crossroads on the go!

FALL 2012


Spring Semester Snapshots 8

Dr. Graeme Herd, Geneva Centre for Security Policy

Afghanistan 2014 Security Conference par ticipants, April 25, 2012.

Thom as Foreig Wilhelm, Dir n Milit ar y Stu ector, dies O ffice

Security Conference: Afghanistan 2014 CREES and the Center for Global and International Studies (CGIS), together with the Foreign Military Studies Office at Ft. Leavenworth, hosted the third annual KU-Ft. Leavenworth Security Conference on April 25, 2012. The conference, which was held in the Kansas Union, focused on “Afghanistan 2014 and Impacts on Global Security Identities.” Conference presenters tackled the complicated issues surrounding the reduction of the United States and international military presence in Afghanistan after 2014, and the resulting changes in the global security environment. Colonel (R) Thomas Wilhelm, director of the Foreign Military Studies Office at Ft. Leavenworth, characterized this year’s conference as “a valuable opportunity to understand and appreciate this watershed moment in contemporary security history through diverse perspectives at one of the nation’s leading research universities.” Keynote speakers at the event included Dr. Graeme Herd (Geneva Centre for Security Policy), Dr. Roger Kangas (Dean, Near East and South Asia Center), and Dr. Marlene Laruelle (Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies, George Washington University). Former CREES Director Edith Clowes noted that the impact of the conference had been heightened by recent events in Afghanistan. “Everyone knows that we are approaching a turning point in Afghanistan. There is a lot that could go wrong if our civilian and military leaders do not keep the big picture in mind. While the public had been focusing on the twin tragedies of Quran burning and an alleged rogue soldier going on a killing spree, this KU conference brought many viewpoints to the table that must be considered–Afghan, Russian, Chinese, Uzbek, among others. I am delighted that KU is at the forefront to make sense of these points of view.”

Open World D elegates from Serbia, Feb. 21, 2012 r ta ne, Ma e v lo S l olloquia eb. 9, 2012 Talk: C ,F

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ForConference Call with Council for h, on ovic tan Ses n eign Relations, Stephe 2 201 22, . Feb s. the Russian Election

Slavic May 16

RUOXI DU Roy D. and Betty Laird Essay Competition 2012 Winner

Betty Laird, Ruoxi Du, and Edith Clowes This year’s Roy D. and Betty Laird Essay Contest winner is REES MA student, Ruoxi Du, for her essay titled “AntiChinese Sentiment in Russia: Threats of Chinese Invasion or Fears of Russian Xenophobia.” Now in its 18th year, the annual essay contest is named after the late Dr. Roy D. Laird, a longtime member of the Russian and East European Studies (REES) and Political Science faculties, and Ms. Betty Laird, whose suppor t makes this prize possible. As a recipient of the award, Ruoxi received $750, $75 worth of academic books, a cer tificate, and her name on the plaque bearing the names of all previous winners of the competition, which is displayed outside the main CREES office. Ruoxi graduated from the REES MA program in May 2012 and joined the PhD program in Political Science at the University of Iowa this fall. Read Ruoxi’s essay on the CREES website:

Graduation and Awards Ceremony May 12, 2012

Libraria ns 6, 2012 Summit,

CREES Spring Festival February 24, 2012

C R E E S University of Kansas

ALL FOR PAPERS Roy and Betty Laird ESSAY COMPETITION Center for Russian, East European, & Eurasian Studies The 19th Annual Roy and Betty Laird ESSAY COMPETITION All University of Kansas students actively pursuing interests in Russian, East European, & Eurasian Studies in any KU academic program are eligible to submit an essay of approximately 2,000 words on any topic dealing with the region. The essay should be a “think piece,” not a formal research paper. It should explore a key issue in any discipline relevant to the region. For example, students might explore the causes and consequences of recent political changes in the region, discuss the implications of the post-imperial order for national languages and literatures, the role of religion today, or compose an essay on another topic. Students may rework papers from KU classes, but submissions must be reformatted to meet the following criteria. Thee essay must be typed, double-spaced, and in 12-point font size. Submit your essay to the CREES office in 320 Bailey Hall by 5:00 pm on Friday, March 29, 2013. The essay should be submitted anonymously. Do not include any identifying information on the printed essay, and attach your name and contact information on a separate sheet of paper. A committee will evaluate the essays and select the winning entry. The winner will receive $750 cash award, and $75 of academic books. The winner will be invited to present the paper at the final REES Brownbag of the academic year and may have the paper posted on the CREES website. If you have further questions regarding the topic or submission, please contact Bart Redford, CREES Assistant Director, in 320 Bailey, at 864-4248, or by e-mail at THE REES ESSAY COMPETITION IS SUPPORTED BY THE PROFESSOR ROY D. AND BETTY LAIRD ENDOWMENT.


0Z E 5 I 7R P

FALL 2012



SPRING 2012 HIGHLIGHTS WOLAND AND THE LITTLE DEMONS: THE FAILURE OF US-RUSSIAN NEGOTIATIONS TOWARD “GLOBAL ZERO” Professor Jacob Kipp’s February 7th Brownbag addressed the original promise of “Global Zero” as a movement towards general nuclear disarmament, an affirmed US policy objective by President Obama. Ground Zero had been the backdrop to the bilateral US-Russian negotiations on strategic offensive nuclear weapons, which was successfully concluded in 2010. The negotiations collapsed in 2011 because of disagreements between NATO and the Russian government on European ballistic missile defense and reductions in non-strategic nuclear weapons. Given the complex interactions among advanced conventional strategic and non-strategic weapons, Professor Kipp concluded that the world may be moving further from “Global Zero”-like foreign policies and towards a radical decline in strategic stability.

FROM ARAB SPRING TO THE RUSSIAN “EVOLUTION” In his February 28th Brownbag, “From Arab Spring to the Russian ‘Evolution’,” REES MA student and Fall 2011 FMSO-CREES Graduate Research Assistant Patrick Callen explored the contributions of social media and new technologies in the creation of civic political identities and communities, and how they interact with political regimes in the Middle East and the former Soviet Union. Social media have transformed civic activism by allowing otherwise disconnected or loosely connected activists to collaborate and coordinate their efforts behind a common course of action. The recent Arab Spring revolutions and protests in the former Soviet Union provide evidence of social media’s benefit for political activism in the 21st-century. Technology is not neutral, however, as it also allows political regimes to control information and curtail opposition movements with greater ease. Mr. Callen concluded that spreading Internet access does not necessarily guarantee the spread of democracy, and organizations must reevaluate their methods and objectives for democracy promotion and ensuring media freedoms in the region. The FMSO-CREES Graduate Research Assistantship is a cooperative project of the Foreign Military Studies Office (FMSO) and CREES. For more information, please check out our website at:

MODELING NATIONAL IDENTITY: THE UKRAINIAN PERSPECTIVE In her March 27, 2012 Brownbag presentation, “Modeling National Identity: the Ukrainian Perspective,” Alexandra Novitchkova, a Fulbright researcher from the University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy (Kiev, Ukraine) examined current views on the idea of Ukrainian identity in officials’ policies and by intellectuals. Ms. Novitchkova argued that the current discourse on the importance of language policy reforms in Ukraine is overestimated. She explained how ideas to introduce Russian as a second state language, as well as the stereotyping of Ukrainians who speak Russian as being “not the real Ukrainians,” are leading to the alienation of Russian-speaking Ukrainians and fur ther dividing the country. She suggested that more attention should be paid to promoting the sharing of similar cultural values and narrative patterns.


Crees Brownbag Lecture Series For over 30 years, the CREES Brownbag Lecture Series has been an informal forum for KU and the surrounding community to discuss general topics related to Russia, Eastern Europe and Eurasia. Rather than address specific themes, each semester the lectures cover a variety of topics and areas, and are presented by academics, students, and professionals – anyone with an interesting specialty to share. From the arts and literature to political science and current events, the CREES Brownbag Lecture Series continues to educate and inform all those in-

terested in this diverse and dynamic area of the world. CREES Brownbags are free and open to the public. They are held every Tuesday at Noon in 318 Bailey Hall. If you have a topic you would like to discuss or are interested in presenting, please contact: Bart Redford CREES Assistant Director 785-864-4248

Miss a lecture? Watch it at your convenience online! Our Brownbag and special guest lectures are available on the CREES website:

SCAPEGOAT COUNTRY: LENINGRAD DURING THE STALINIST TERROR On April 3, 2012, Professor Lesley Rimmel (History, Oklahoma State University), lectured on the city of Leningrad during the Stalinist terror. For many years the well-publicized Moscow show trials of the 1930s defined the essence of the Stalinist terror both to Soviets and around the world. This talk focused on the January 1937 trial of the so-called “Parallel Anti-Soviet Trotskyite Center” and responses to Communist Party propaganda around it in the Leningrad Oblast. Professor Rimmel explained how examining this trial from the vantage point of local propaganda efforts helps illuminate not only the opinions of a wide variety of people on the trial, but also the other political and social concerns in the sprawling oblast, and on problems within the top leadership.

FERGHANA VALLEY IN IMPERIAL TIMES On April 17, 2012, Professor Yulia Uryadova (History, University of Arkansas) talked about her research, which explores political violence in the unique context of the Ferghana Valley in 1905-1910. She argued that while political and economic violence in the Ferghana Valley has been ignored by previous scholarship, it was a highly significant topic to authorities in the region, and a substantial factor in its destabilization. Her analysis of the Fergana Valley as a crossroads of political, economic, and ethnic activity revheals three new aspects of the region: an area of anxiety, an area of banditry and political violence, and an area that reflects the larger concerns about Russia’s control and authority over its rural outposts.

RUSSIA LOOKING NORTH: FROM THE KREMLIN’S POLICY TO ARCTIC MYTHOLOGY On April 24, 2012, Professor Marlene Laruelle, Senior Research Fellow with the Central Asia and Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program (Johns Hopkins University) gave a talk on Russia’s arctic policy. Professor Laruelle explained how Putin’s Russia played an undeniable role (with Canada) in the escalation of self-assertive rhetoric on Arctic issues when the Russian flag was planted in the Arctic seabed in 2007; however, since then, Moscow has been noticeably focused on creating a new “Arctic brand” and positioning itself as co-leader of international consensus on the region. Professor Laruelle argued that the Arctic has now been transformed into a flagship for the new Russia in terms of international negotiations on territorial issues, strategic de-escalation, energy future, and climate change.

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FACULTY & STAFF NEWS John T. Alexander (Emeritus, History) reviewed Robert Massie’s Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman (New York: Random House, 2011), for Slavic Review. His Emperor of the Cossacks: Pugachev and the frontir acquerie of 1773-75 (Lawrence: Coronado Press, 1973) appeared in Russian translation, updated and with a laudatory introduction in Bashkortostan: Ufa, 2011. Rebecca Blocksome (Spencer Museum of Art) presented a paper about the Slovenian artist collective Neue Slowenische Kunst at the fifth annual University of California–San Diego visual arts graduate student conference in April. Joseph Bradley (History, University of Tulsa) had a prolific year for publications: “Sankt-Peterburgskii komitet gramotnosti i rossiiskoe obrazovanie: ob”ekt pravitel’stvennoi opeki ili obshchestvennoe predpriiatie?” in Grazhdanskoe Obshchestvo v Rossii I za Rubezhom; “Dobrovol’nye assotsiatsii, grazhdanskaoe obshchestvo i samoderzhavie v pozdneimperskoi Rossii,” in Rossisskaia Istoriia no. 2; “The St. Petersburg Literacy Committee and Russian Education: Government Tutelage or Public Trust?” in April’s Russian Review; and “Russkoe Tekhnicheskoe Obshchestvo,” in Samoorganizatsiia Rossiiskoi Obshchestvennosti v Posledni Treti, edited by A.S. Tumanova; Professor Bradley’s “Voluntary Associations in Tsarist Russia: Science, Patriotism and Civil Society” was translated into Russian. Professor Bradley also translated two articles by Boris Morinov for English-language publication: “The Sources of Anthropometric Data: Their Representativeness, Accuracy and Homogeneity”; and “Long-term trends in the development of the Russian family: Russian family structure from the 16th to the 20th century.” After completing nearly twelve years as Chair of the Slavic Department, Professor Marc L. Greenberg (Slavic Languages & Literatures) served as Acting Associate Dean for Humanities during Ann Cudd’s sabbatical in spring semester 2012 and will return to the Slavic faculty as well as serve as Chair of the Department of Germanic Languages & Literatures in Fall 2012. Prof. Greenberg continues to serve as linguistics editor for the journal Slavia Centralis, and seeks new submissions that address its emphases. He was recently elected to the Executive Board of the Slavic Linguistics Society and looks forward to co-hosting the Seventh Annual Conference of the SLS at KU August 25-27, 2012. He will also serve as host for his co-PI on his new project, A Historical Phonology of Czech, Dr. Roman Sukаc (Silesian U., Czech Republic), in Fall 2012. His essay “‘The American Model’: English Only or Engagement with a Multi-Polar World?,” originally given as a plenary talk at a conference at the University of Koper, Republic of Slovenia in September 2010, was published in Uporabno jezikoslovje / Applied Linguistics, and is available in KU Scholarworks ( He continues to promote Open Access at KU and elsewhere. William J. Comer (Slavic Languages & Literatures) was promoted to Full Professor. In December he became the Chair of the Depar tment of Slavic Languages and Literatures. Erik Herron (Political Science) and Arienne Dwyer (Anthropology) were also promoted to Full Professor with tenure in their respective depar tments. Geoff Husic (KU Libraries) will be taking on additional responsibilities in the Libraries. His new responsibilities will include the Middle East (Arabic speaking countries, Iran, and Afghanistan) and Islamic studies, which will complement his existing subject responsibilities for the Balkan Peninsula, Turkey, and Central Asia. His new acting title will be Slavic and Near East Studies Librarian. Abbas Karakaya (Slavic Languages & Literatures) has left the position of Turkish language instructor and has returned to his home country of Turkey. Jacob Kipp (CREES) published two essays: “Russia’s Nuclear Posture and the Threat That Dare not Speak Its Name” in Stephen Black, ed., Russian Nuclear Weapons: Past, Present and Future; and “Russian Doctrine on Tactical Nuclear Weapons: Contexts, Prisms, and Connections,” in Tom Nichols, Douglas Stuar t & Jeffrey D. McCausland, Tactical Nuclear Weapons and NATO. Dr. Kipp authored 12 columns for the Eurasia Daily Monitor of the Jamestown Foundation. The essays were devoted to Russian defense and foreign policy. Eve Levin (History) was awarded the CLAS Byron A. Alexander Graduate Mentoring Award. Students who nominated her described her as dedicated to connecting with each student professionally and personally. They also said that Dr. Levin helped students transition to graduate school and showed them the full possibilities of a history degree. Gerald Mikkelson (CREES) received recognition for his teaching by the undergraduate co-majors in REES at the Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) Annual Recognition of Teaching, May 3. He was also awarded “the Petropol” award for outstanding contributions to the cultural life of St. Petersburg, specifically for “dedication to Aleksander Pushkin and Russian literature” at a ceremony held on June 5, 2012, in the concer t hall of the All-Russian Pushkin Museum at Moika 12. Among the illustrious awardees, Professor Mikkelson was the only non-Russian to receive the award this year. Mehrangiz Najafizadeh (Sociology) was the recipient of the 2012 Del Shankel Teaching Excellence Award. This award, which is initiated by students and is named after University of Kansas Emeritus Professor and Chancellor Emeritus Del Shankel, was presented at a university ceremony on April 29, 2012. Mariya Omelicheva (CREES Acting Director, Political Science) received tenure in March 2012 and was promoted to Associate Professor in the Political Science Depar tment. She was named CREES Acting Director in June. Over the spring semester, her chapter, “Russian Foreign Policy” came out as part of Comparative Foreign Policy Volume (CQ Press). In the summer, her article “Russia’s Foreign Policy Toward Iran: A Critical Geopolitics Perspective” was published in the Journal of Balkan and Near Eastern Studies and “Fab! Or Drab? Increasing the Effectiveness of Teaching and Learning in Summer Classes” appeared in the Journal of Political Science Education. She presented her paper “Central Asian Conceptions of “Democracy”: Ideological Resistance to International Democratization” at a Central Eurasian Studies Society (CESS) conference in Tbilisi, Georgia in July 2012. Marta Pirnat-Greenberg’s (Slavic Languages & Literatures) Colloquial Slovene—The Complete Course for Beginners ( books/details/9780415559829/) was published by Routledge in mid-October. She gave a presentation about the textbook and its compilation in the series of book talks organized by CREES on January 9 at the Kansas Union bookstore. During the winter break she continued to work on on-line BCS teaching materials for intermediate to advanced levels, based on a short contemporary Croatian novel. With her second-year


BCS students, she coordinated a project for students to become acquainted with the Kansas Croatian community through the ar t of a couple of Croatian-American ar tists from the Strawberry Hill (Kansas City) community. Students researched and interviewed the artists, and then wrote two ar ticles in Croatian on the artist and his/her community. The articles have been accepted for publication in Matica, a Croatian monthly magazine published by the Croatian Heritage Foundation and circulated to Croatian diaspora around the world. Renee Perelmutter (Slavic Languages & Literatures) was awarded the J. Michael Young Academic Advisor award. Students who nominated her said they were impressed students with her inspiring and supportive advising.They also said that she prompts students to take their studies of languages to the next level through academic, research and career opportunities. Students described her as compassionate, experienced, and engaging. Dr. Perelmutter also became the CREES Associate Director in August 2012. Irina Six (Slavic Languages & Literatures) was nominated by Slavic Languages and Literatures undergraduate students to be honored at the annual Celebration of Teaching reception. Prof. Six was identified for teaching excellence that has had a major and beneficial impact on her students. Svetlana Vassileva-Karagyozova (Slavic Languages & Literatures) presented a paper “Poland’s Last Communist Generation: Lost or Found in the Transition” at the international conference “Making Sense of Catastrophe: Postcolonial Approaches to Post-Socialist Experiences” held on 24-25 February at Cambridge University, England. She gave an invited talk, “The People’s Republic of Poland through the Eyes of a Child: The Initiation Novels of the Last Communist Generation” at the Polish-German workshop “The Generational Potential of ’89: Prognoses, Proclamations, Experiences, and Emerging Themes and Patterns,” on 12-14 April, 2012, in Gottingen, Germany. Alexander Tsiovkh (REES) was promoted to Associate Professor of the Practice. This spring Nathan Wood (History) delivered papers at two conferences, the Association for the Study of Nationalities International Convention, Columbia University, NYC on April 19, 2012 and an ACLS-sponsored conference at the University of Texas called “Commodities and Culture in the ‘Other’ Europe” on March 10, 2012. At the request of the mayor of Cracow, Jacek Majchrowski, Prof. Wood was asked to serve a three-year term on the 15-person Council for the Historical Museum of the City of Cracow. An interview with Prof. Wood about his book also appeared on the New Books Network this spring:

INCOMING REES FACULTY Alexander C. Diener joins KU as Assistant Professor of Geography this fall. Professor Diener has held research fellowships at the Kennan Institute of the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars, and at the Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies in the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University. During 2011-2012, he was a Regional Research Fulbright Scholar in Central and South Asia. Professor Diener’s interests include: migration; transnationalism; impact of transportation infrastructure on development; political and cultural geography of Islam; urban landscape change; and the political and moral consequences of territorialization. His articles have been published in a variety of disciplinary and area studies journals, as well as various edited volumes. He is the author of One Homeland or Two?: Nationalization and Transnationalization of Mongolia’s Kazakhs (Stanford University Press and Woodrow Wilson Center Press 2009) and Homeland Conceptions and Ethnic Integration among Kazakhstan’s Germans and Koreans (Mellen Press 2004). He is the co-author of Borders: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press forthcoming 2012) and coeditor of Borderlines and Borderlands: Political Oddities at the Nation’s Edge (Rowman & Littlefield 2010) and a special issue of Nationalities Papers entitled “Urban Issues in Post-Communist Contexts” (2012).

Erik R. Scott joins KU this fall as Assistant Professor of History. Before coming to KU, he was a Research Fellow at the Kennan Institute of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and a Post-Doctoral Fellow on Central Asia and the Caucasus at Georgetown University’s Center for Eurasian, Russian, and East European Studies. Professor Scott’s research offers a new interpretation of migration, diaspora, and empire in the multiethnic Soviet Union, and he is currently at work on a book manuscript, Familiar Strangers: The Georgian Diaspora in the Soviet Union, which explains the rise and fall of the Soviet empire from the perspective of its most prominent internal diaspora. Professor Scott is particularly interested in how nationality and empire play out in everyday life and he is the author of “Edible Ethnicity: How Georgian Cuisine Conquered the Soviet Table,” which will be published later this year in Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History. Having lived, worked, and traveled extensively in the Caucasus, he has also published a number of pieces that place contemporary events in the region in historical perspective. He served as the co-editor of Organized Crime and Corruption in Georgia (Routledge, 2007). A Massachusetts native, he received his B.A. from Brown University and his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley.

STUDENT NEWS Phillip Barone received a BA in Political Science, Spring 2012. He was inducted into the Gamma chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha, the national political science honor society. Accepted into the CREES MA program, Phil will defer for a year and join the program in Fall 2013. Andrew Bledsoe received the 2012 Jerkovich Scholarship and spent his summer studying Serbian in Novi Sad, Serbia. Matthew Cotton received a SU 2012 FLAS award and spent his summer studying Russian in Kiev, Ukraine. He was awarded the 2012-13 Bramlage Family Foundation Scholarship and was also named the graduate assistant for the Russian Review, AY 2012-13. He was also nominated as REESGO president. Laura Dean was one of four students to win $500 awards at the 9th Annual Capitol Graduate Research Summit in Topeka for her research project “Leading Kansas? Determinants of Policy Variation in the United States and the Case of Kansas,” presented to legislators, other state officials, and the public in the Kansas State Capitol. Laura was also chosen by the Committee on Graduate Studies as one of the winners of this year’s Howard J. Baumgartel Peace and Justice Award. In Spring 2012, Laura was honored by the University Women’s Club and also received the Howard J. Baumgartel Peace and Justice Award. The latter award, open to graduate students in the College or the School of Business, supports research for a thesis or dissertation related to peace and

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conflict. Laura plans to use the award to fund research in Latvia and Ukraine regarding human trafficking policies and case studies. Gavin Gemsky received a Spring 2012 Undergraduate Research Award for work on his honors thesis. Gavin graduated with a co-BA in REES and History in May 2012. John Korba received a Fulbright grant to conduct dissertation research in Prague for 9 months beginning in September 2012. His dissertation examines differences between the systems of verbal aspect in Czech and Russian. The grant will allow him to conduct psycholinguistic experiments testing whether speakers of the two languages process aspectual forms differently. Amy Murphy received the Jarosewycz Family Scholarship and was the 2012 winner of the Palij Ukrainian Studies Award. She received a SU 2012 FLAS award to study Ukrainian at the KU Language Institute in Lviv, Ukraine. Amy also received a FMSO-CREES GRA for Fall 2012. Incoming REES MA student, Arnold Ressin, was awarded a FMSO-CREES GRA for Fall 2012. Allison Schmidt received a Fulbright award for dissertation research in Czech Republic. Allison’s dissertation is titled “On the Border of Nations, In the Heart of Empire: Bohemian Immigrants in Saxony and Berlin, 18701945.” Her research looks at Bohemian immigrant attitudes toward nationalism and German imperialism. She plans on starting her research in September at the archives in Dresden. KU junior Amy Sinclair was one of six U.S. undergraduates chosen to participate in the Biotechnology and Russian Program, established by Lomonsov Moscow State University and George Washington University. The fiveweek summer program in Moscow allows students to practice cutting-edge science in another language and culture. It is funded by a grant from the U.S.-Russia Program of the U.S. Department of Education’s Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education. The federal Critical Languages Scholarship (CLS) Program selected KU graduate students Aric Toler and Alexander Melin as national winners for an all-expenses-paid Russian-language program.The program is highly competitive and offers intensive summer language institutes overseas in 13 critical need foreign languages. Alexander also received a Graduate 2012-13 AY FLAS for Ukrainian language study. Gloria Funcheon, Sandra King-Savic, and Patrick Callen received Summer 2012 FMSO-CREES Research Assistantships. Sandra used her award for field research in the Sandzak region of Serbia. Patrick researched a Ukrainian-related security question while abroad in L’viv, Ukraine. Writings were posted by all three on the CREES-FMSO blog:

NEW JD/MA REES ACADEMIC PROGRAM KU School of Law and CREES are now accepting applications for students pursuing graduate degrees in both Law and Russian, Eastern European & Eurasian Studies (REES). NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS


For more information, contact:

LAW SCHOOL Webb Hecker (785) 864-9231

REES MA Renee Perelmutter (785) 864-2356

INCOMING REES MA STUDENTS Emily Csinsi is from Edgewood, Kentucky and majored in history and minored in political science at the University of Kentucky, where she graduated with a BA in 2009. At UK she took classes on the wars of Indochina, the Spanish Inquisition, and Brazilian history, but nothing interested her as much as early modern Russian history. In 2007 she studied abroad in Finland, where her interest in the REES area further developed. She is hoping to study the effect history has on Russian thought. She hopes to work for the government as a country specialist following graduation, or continue on to a PhD in early Russian history. Arnold Ressin is the first KU student to join the dual degree JD/ MA REES program. He has completed his first year of law school at KU, and seeks to broaden his expertise with REES area studies and acquire a certificate in International Trade Law and Finance. Arnold was born in the United States just a few months after his parents emigrated from the Soviet Union in 1987. He has always had an interest in the REES areas cultures and traditions. He is especially curious about his own Tatar heritage.


Foreign Language Area Studies FLAS Fellowship Recipients Summer 2012 Drew Burks, PhD History (Polish) Matthew Cotton, MA REES (Russian) Emily Csinsi, MA REES (Russian) Megan Luttrell, MA/PhD SLL (Russian) Amy Murphy, MA REES (Ukrainian) Chris Oblon, BA Political Science (Polish) Allison Schmidt, PhD History (Czech) Jared Warren, MA REES (Polish)

Academic Year 2012-13 Drew Burks, PhD History (Polish) Emily Csinsi, MA REES (Russian) Gloria Funcheon, MA REES (Russian) Sandra King-Savic, MA REES (Turkish) Alexander Melin, JD Law (Ukrainian) David Trimbach, PhD Geography (Russian) Jared Warren, MA REES (Polish)

The Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship program provides allocations of academic year and summer fellowships to meritorious undergraduate and graduate students undergoing training in modern foreign languages and related area or international studies via a US State Department grant. For more information on how to apply, go to:

Faculty, Students, and Alumni! Please send us your news! We would love to share your professional and personal accomplishments. From babies to books, we want to hear about what you’ve been up to! Please email updates to:

FRIENDS & ALUMNI NEWS CREES congratulates Vincent Artman (Geography) and Alisa Moldavanova (Public Administration), who were married on Aug. 8, 2012. We also congratulate Austen Thelen (Geography), and his wife Anna, on the birth of their daughter, Deana, on May 12, 2012. 2009 Nicole Schmidt (BA) has been living in Radovljica, Slovenia, teaching English as part of an Enriched Foreign Language Learning project. The idea is to introduce the target language across the curriculum. In addition to regular classes, she has started a science club for interested middle-school aged kids and is also directing a school play in English called Cinderella and the Glass Copat, a remake of the classic that highlights the cultural clashes between Slovenia and traditional Cinderella. 2011 Bethany Owens Bernzen (REES MA) has taken a position with the US State Department, where she is now a Foreign Service Officer in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, Office of Regional Security & Political Military Affairs. She is working on a variety of things relating to European security, including NATO, OSCE, CFE,Vienna Document, and NATO-Russia Council dealings.

2012 Patrick Callen was awarded a FMSO-CREES GRA for Summer 2012. He joined KU’s L’viv Language Institute for study while he conducted research in Ukraine. Ruoxi Du is starting a PhD program in Political Science at the University of Iowa this fall. Over the summer Nathan Pickett worked as a GTA for the Russian Review and this fall he is joining the KU Geography Depar tment as a PhD candidate. Major Gary Oscar is proceeding on a three year PCS to US EUCOM (European Command) in Stuttgart, Germany, where he will be at the Russia/Ukraine/Black Sea Desk.

In Memoriam Lubomyra Palij, 1922-2012 In early January 2012, the CREES community lost a dear friend, Mrs. Lubomyra Palij. Mrs. Palij, or Pani Palij as many of us knew her, was born March 14, 1922, in Chortkiv, Ukraine. After high school, she earned a degree in pharmacy at the Pharmaceutical College in L’viv, Ukraine. Shortly after WWII, her family immigrated to Toronto, Canada, where she worked in St. Joseph’s Hospital until 1963. In 1963, she married Chicago publisher and businessman Mykola Denysiuk. After moving to Chicago, she became co-owner and manager of the Mykola Denysiuk Publishing Company. The company published hundreds of books on Ukrainian culture, a monthly cultural magazine Ovid, and the complete works of iconic Ukrainian writers like Taras Shevchenko and Ivan Franko. Lubomyra was also active in the Chicago Branch of the Ukrainian National Women’s League of America (UNWLA). After Mykola died suddenly in 1976, however, Lubomyra returned to Toronto in order to be near her family. In 1979, she married Dr. Michael Palij, a librarian and historian in the KU Library’s Slavic Department. She moved to Lawrence, and for 30 years the Palijs dedicated themselves to educating Americans about the history and culture of Ukraine.They sponsored the annual Palij Lecture, bringing national and international scholars to Lawrence to speak about Ukrainian culture,

In June, CREES was shocked and saddened by the tragic loss of six members of the Bramlage family. Ron and Becky Bramlage, along with their four children, died when their private aircraft crashed near Lake Wales, Florida. Both graduates of Kansas State University, Ron Bramlage, a prominent businessman, and Becky Bramlage, President of the Board of Education for Geary County USD 475, were known throughout Kansas for their commitment to philanthropy and education.

history and politics. They also became benefactors of several religious and cultural organizations in Ukraine, donating over 4,000 books to Ukrainian libraries. Michael Palij passed away in 2010, and Lubomyra lived in Lawrence until her death on January 6, 2012.

Mrs. Palij with husband, Dr. Michael Palij, and CREES Faculty Erik Herron and Alexander Tsiovkh.

Lubomyra is survived by her stepson Peter Palij, his wife Linda Leibengood, and their children Maria and Mark Palij, of Ardsley, New York. The family welcomes memorial contributions to the Palij Family Fund c/o University of Kansas Endowment, PO Box 928, Lawrence KS 66044. Online condolences may be sent to the funeral home in Kansas at:

Bramlage Family

Funeral services were held for the family in Junction City where Ron and Becky’s children, Brandon, Beau, Boston, and Roxanne attended school. Our thoughts go out to all members of the Bramlage family at this time, most especially REES alumn and cousin to Ron Bramlage, Mark Wilcoxon. Over the years, the Bramlage Family Foundation Fellowship has supported several CREES students, including our most recent recipients, REES MA students, Gloria Funcheon and Matthew Cotton.

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Many of our activities are enhanced through private donations to the Center for Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies. Special events, guest lecturers, scholarships and study abroad opportunities are just some of the ways your donation can help us ensure our Center’s vitality. We hope that you will contribute generously to strengthen the Center’s programs by sending your gift today.



CREES General Fund

The CREES General Fund supports a wide range of educational and outreach activities on campus and in the wider community. Among its dedicated sponsors are the Backus Memorial Fund, which allows CREES to host the annual Backus Memorial Lecture, the Bramlage Family Foundation Fund, which provides scholarships to KU REES MA students who have strong connections to the state of Kansas, and the Norman E. Saul Fund. Named after KU History Emeritus Professor Norman E. Saul, the Saul fund supports REES students with travel grants to collections or to REES-related conferences for professional development.

Maria Palij Memorial Fund The Maria Palij Fund suppports visiting lecturers specializing in Ukrainian studies. The fund also supports the Ukrainian Studies Prize for an outstanding student specializing in Ukrainian.

George C. Jerkovich Fund The mission of the Jerkovich Fund is twofold: 1) to support the development of KU’s South Slavic library collection; 2) to provide awards to outstanding students who have demonstrated an interest in the study of Croatian or Serbian history, literature, folklore, or culture.

Roy & Betty Laird Fund This fund is named after the late Professor Roy D. Laird, a longtime member of the Russian and East European Studies (REES) and Political Science faculties, and Ms. Betty Laird, whose continued support of CREES activities includes sponsoring the annual Roy & Betty Laird Essay Contest. Monies donated to support this fund will primarily contribute to the advancement of Russian Studies.

Jarosewycz Family Fund The Jarosewycz Family Fund provides scholarships for graduate students who have shown commitment and scholarly interest in Ukraine and Ukrainian Studies.

CREES is designated a National Resource Center for the study of Russia, Eastern Europe and Eurasia by the US Department of Education, and receives Title VI funds for educational and outreach activities. The center is a degree-granting program within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Kansas. For further information about CREES, please contact us at: 785-864-4248 Check out our website:

If you would like to make a donation by check or money order, please make your check payable to: KU CREES Please mail your donations to: University of Kansas Center for Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies Bailey Hall 1440 Jayhawk Blvd., Room 320 Lawrence, KS 66045-7574 Your gifts are tax deductible as allowed by law. Thank you for your support!

CREES Fall 2012 Newsletter  

CREES Fall 2012 Newsletter