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Lawrencían Chronicle 2008 The University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas Editor: Stephen J. Parker

Vol. XXI No.1 Fall, 2008

Professor Stephen Dickey

Interviewer: Professor Marc L. Greenberg MG: You came to the University of Kansas after having a range of professional experience, from an assistant professor position to a stint at the Hague War Crimes Tribunal. Please give us a thumbnail sketch of your professional career path before you came to KU.

organized by Tony Backus, I think, that I attended once. Though I only took one semester of a second Slavic language (Bulgarian) as an undergraduate, the “exotic” milieu of the KU Slavic Department had a great impact on my interests and enthusiasm for the field. I can’t answer this question without mentioning my informal study with Sam Anderson and the friendship that grew out of it. It must have been that Slavic fate that put me driving up to Lawrence by myself for orientation and to meet with an advisor. That turned out to be Sam. Though I didn’t realize it then, Sam was thrilled to meet an incoming freshman with my unusual profile, someone who was interested in the exact same thing that he was – Russian and German. He invited me to stop by his office later in the fall when I got settled in. At the time I thought “OK, whatever”. But I did stop by his office in the fall, and that was the beginning of a part of my education that changed me forever and became such a central part of me that I cannot imagine myself today without it. Sam gave me tutoring in all kinds of subjects – some of it structured, such as reading through Faust, erster Teil or lessons in Latin grammar or reading Devanagari, and some of it unstructured, such as the etymologies of various Russian and German words and the rules of the jers, etc. I learned an enormous amount about other aspects of the humanities, such as classical music and art, simply by osmosis, talking with him or driving him around as he became less and less able to drive. I eventually lived in his house after he moved to Presbyterian Manor. He was afraid (with some justification, I think) of someone breaking in and making off with his treasures, of which there were many: a Rembrandt sketch, Japanese prints, and too many antique string instruments to count, just to name a few. As I said before, knowing Sam was so central to my undergraduate experience at KU that it is hard for me to conceive of it without him, and

SD: As a graduate student I got involved in literary translation from Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian, which led to some small interpreting jobs in the Indianapolis area. So when I saw an advertisement from the UN for translators for the ICTY, I applied, took a test, and was hired for four months in the first half of 1997. They wanted me to stay longer, but I already had received an appointment to the University of Virginia beginning in the fall of that year. I also worked for the ICTY from 1998 - 1999 and in 2000, as well as on a contract basis. I translated BCS, German, and also the occasional errant piece of Russian correspondence for them. It was a real eye-opener for me, as I had never been exposed to the non-academic side of the language profession, and I had to learn a lot very quickly. I began a position at the Slavic Department at the University of Virginia in the fall of 1997, which was another steep learning curve, as is any first academic position for a PhD. One could say that it was not such a peaceful time in that department, so I went back off to the ICTY for a year and returned in the fall of 1999, then left after the spring of 2003 to come to KU. MG: You were a KU undergraduate, too. Tell us about your experience: positive, negative? Any observations on changes between being here as a student vs. a faculty member? SD: My experience at KU was very positive; it literally changed my life. I imagine most students at a university can say the same. And yet my experience was very unusual for an undergraduate, I think. Studying at KU was great, because it was the first time that I knew exactly what I wanted to do – study Russian and continue German as major subjects – and could do it basically undisturbed. One of the things that I found most fascinating was the diversity of language study that was going on at the time. I would meet graduate students who were studying Polish, BCS, Czech and Bulgarian, etc. There was even a Finnish study group 

I have to remind myself that the average undergraduate experience at KU does not include anything like that. Though unlike Sam I am married and not independently wealthy, and therefore unable to live as he did after retirement, in some ways I think of what he did for me as a kind of ideal of “individual attention to students,” and do what I can for mine. Being a faculty member could not be more unlike being a student here, especially an undergraduate. As Professor Carlson put it, “you can’t cross the same river twice.” And sometimes it seems odd to be a colleague of people that were once my teachers. But it is a very friendly department, and I still enjoy and now take pride in the fact that we are a Slavic department, and not just a Russian department.

and Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian), I have been engaged in developing some additional analyses of the east-west split, but more importantly to analyze its historical development, which is a much more ambitious task, and has taken me beyond aspect studies in the narrow sense to the study of grammaticalization processes and language contact, which is where German comes back into the picture.

MG: Your dissertation on Slavic verbal aspect was published in the prestigious Stanford series and it has become an important book in the field. Your ongoing work in verbal aspect demonstrates that your interest in the field has not waned. Tell us why you study verbal aspect and where your ideas have led you since your first book.

MG: Your work is grounded in a cognitive approach. Tell us what this means. What can prospective students look forward to doing in their research using this framework?

SD: I can trace my interest in Slavic verbal aspect directly to my undergraduate study at KU, to Prof. Galton’s course on the structure of Russian. His idea that the Slavs had creSD: “Cognitive linguistics” is a very vague term: as such, ated a verbal category expressing the opposition between it includes things as diametrically opposed as the cognitive immutability and temporal succession was fascinating. semantic theories of Ronald Langacker and the metaphor I suspect that students who go on to become successful work of George Lakoff on the one hand, and the generative researchers have some eye-opening moment, an instant syntax work of Noam Chomsky and his followers on the when they take a mental snapshot of some philosophical or other. Cognitive linguistics in the narrow sense refers to scientific concept. For me, this happened with the idea of theories of language that focus on meaning as the central aspect as the opposition between immutability and succesdetermining element of linguistic systems, as in the work sion. Galton once told me that some of his students understood his theory better than he did. I wonder whether I became one of them, because his ideas have allowed me to develop innovative ideas on Interview: the subject for nearly twenty years. Slavic Honors I began to study aspect precisely Stephen Dickey....................1 Reception.............................7 because it seems to me to be a fascinating expression of temporality abstracted To Alumni and Friends.......4 Alumni News.....................12 away from the relativistic notions expressed by tense. I had an easy time deChair’s Corner....................4 Undergraduate veloping hypotheses based on Galton’s Student News.....................14 ideas combined with the interest that I The Carl and Margaret developed in the diversity of the Slavic languages, and partly because there has Husic Award .......................5 Graduate Student been so little consensus on the meanNews...................................14 ings of the aspects. Since my first book, South Slavic Studies which divided Slavic with regard to asGoing Strong........................5 Friends of Slavic pect into an eastern half (East Slavic, Bulgarian and Macedonian), a western Faculty News........................6 half (Czech, Slovak, Sorbian and Slovene) and two transitional zones (Polish

In this issue:

of Langacker and Lakoff. I follow Langacker’s view that the goal of cognitive linguistic analyses is the construction of psychologically plausible analyses of language material, based on the findings of cognitive psychology. In that sense, cognitive linguistics is more of a program than a set body of theoretical ideas. Students who begin work in this framework in our department can look forward to considering what the grammatical forms and categories of Slavic languages actually mean, and what their functions are in terms of prototypical, central meanings and related peripheral meanings. This is a very data-oriented approach that is much less oriented towards theoretical mechanisms than formal linguistics, and as such is much more helpful to students in terms of their improvement as speakers of Slavic languages, and can be quite relevant for language teaching in the right circumstances.

The second course is one that I will give in the spring of 2009 as a topics course whose subject is “The Ottoman Empire and the Cultural Formation of the South Slavs.” This course began by accident, as I read more and more on the Ottoman era in the Balkans in an ongoing attempt to arrive at some reasonably accurate version of what happened during Ottoman rule and an assessment of what the socalled “Ottoman legacy” in the Balkans really is. The truth of the Ottoman Balkans is stranger than fiction, and Ottoman conquest produced a very strange mix of discontinuities and continuities. One of the things the course will try to do is break away from familiar versions of the Ottoman era dominated by nationalistic groupthink, and consider trends that marked the Ottoman Empire, such as Bosnian conversions to Islam, the phenomenon of the Croatian military frontier, and haiduckry in terms of individuals making concrete decisions for their own perceived benefit. In my view, the struggles and machinations of ordinary South Slavs to “get by” in what amounted to a zone of more or less constant warfare between the Ottomans and the Austrians gave rise to traditions that fused and reached their very stylized apex in Tito’s ideology of nonalignment. They subsequently reached a very low point in the wars of the 1990’s. The course deals with issues such as these in detail.

MG: In addition to Russian and German you also speak Croatian (BCS), which has become your specialty. How did you become interested in this language and what drove your passion for it? SD: I got involved in BCS on a completely personal level, right before the breakup of the former Yugoslavia. I was studying in Germany, and I think that at the time I was a little burned out with Russian and looking for something new without the baggage of the USSR. Little did I know that the wars were about to start. When they did, it was hard not to stay interested, for a host of unfortunate reasons. But in the long run it has probably been the independent spirit and sense of humor of the Croats, Serbs and Bosnians whom I have known that has kept me fascinated with who they are and insistent on figuring them out. Knowing their language(s) is the single best way to do that.

MG: In addition to your work in linguistics you have also done some translations of Serbian and Bosnian literature in the WRITINGS FROM AN UNBOUND EUROPE series. Tell us about your translation work. Will we see more of it in the future? If so, what is your current or next translation project? SD: I first read Selimović’s Death and the Dervish in a stilted German translation. I was floored by that novel, and decided that I would translate it sometime, somehow even before I began graduate school. Later on, Bogdan Rakić and I literally sat at a table and translated the whole novel with pens and paper over the course of about nine months or so. We also collaborated on Pekić’s How to Quiet a Vampire, but on that he was more a reviewer than translator. I was also floored by Vampire, though in a much different way. I think that the only things that you can translate really well are things that floor you, and I have doubts as to whether what is called “translation studies” is of any use for artistic literary translation. Apart from some short stories, I have also published translations of poems by Damir Šodan, who is a friend of mine; translating poetry by someone I know has been a rewarding experience, and avoids some of the difficulties involved with translating poetry. I was approached by Miljenko Jergović to translate his novel Ruta Tannenbaum, which won the Meša Selimović prize last February. I completed a sample translation and am currently negotiating with a publisher; hopefully that will come through.

MG: Since you arrived at KU you have developed new courses on the culture and history of the Balkans. Tell us about these courses. SD: I have developed two courses on the culture and history of the South Slavs since my arrival. The first is a replacement for the older course taught by Professor Conrad as SLAV 508: South Slavic Literature and Civilization. The course focuses primarily on the literatures and cultures of the Bosnians, Croats and Serbs, though the Slovenes, Bulgarians and Macedonians are also included. It gives an overview of the history of each of these peoples, beginning with their arrival into the Balkans during the Roman Empire and ending more or less at present. We also cover elements of their folk culture, such as vampires, communal households, blood revenge, music and folk songs, etc. The bulk of the course is devoted to discussing literary works in their cultural context, and the students read several novels, including Ivo Andrić’s Bridge on the Drina, both as cultural artifacts but also on their own terms as great literature. 

last few years, Mark Lanfranca (MA, 2008) and Shay Wood (PhD student in History). After the retirement of Mübeccel Taneri in spring 2008, the Department welcomes a new Turkish lecturer, Abbas Karakaya, who is completing his dissertation in Turkish literature at Indiana University. The Department also welcomes to its tenure-track faculty Renee Perelmutter, whose 2008 PhD at UC Berkeley is in Slavic linguistics. Renee’s teaching assignment is in the Jewish Studies Program, where she offers courses in Jewish Secular Culture, Jewish Folkore, and Yiddish language. A heritage speaker of Yiddish, and native speaker of Russian and Hebrew, Renee’s research focuses on Yiddish and Slavic morphosyntax and pragmatics, general and Jewish folklore, and Jewish culture.


The new academic year marks a number of changes in the Slavic Department, all happy ones. This year after a decade as director of the Ermal Garinger Academic Resource Center, which he built from a small tape-based standard language lab to an up-to-date multi-media center, Bill Comer returns full-time to SLL. Bill’s energies are needed in the Slavic Department, where he has been an able leader in language pedagogy not just at KU, but in the Slavic field. He leaves EGARC in the able hands of our own alumnus, Jonathan Perkins (PhD with honors, 2005). Bill’s return could not have come at a more felicitous moment, as Putin’s resurgent Russia has again drawn attention to Russia, evidently attracting more students to enroll in Russian language courses. Edith Clowes has moved into the position of Director of the Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies, leaving a vacancy in SLL’s Director of Graduate Studies position, now ably filled by Maria Carlson. The doyen of our department, and the record-holder for tenure as department chair (14 years of his 41 years of service to KU!), Stephen Parker now shares his formidable editing skills, honed on his longtime editorship of The Nabokovian, with our Lawrencian Chronicle. All these changes reflect the impressive record of service and leadership that characterizes the Slavic Department faculty. The Slavic Department’s commitment to lesscommonly-taught languages (LCTLs) continues with a number of achievements. Despite the elimination of the Missouri reciprocal agreement, which had benefited non-Russian enrollments in Slavic languages for many years, enrollments in BCS and Polish remain robust, thanks to the enthusiasm and dedication of our pedagogues Stephen Dickey, Marta Pirnat-Greenberg (BCS), and Svetlana Vassileva- Karagyozova (Polish). We have new and innovative study-abroad programs in Zadar, Croatia and Warsaw, Poland. KU also continues to be the only U.S. university to offer beginning to advanced instruction in Slovene, with two advanced students having completed study abroad in Ljubljana in the

To Alumni and Friends The Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures is increasingly dependent on direct private support. Non-restricted donations to the department are particularly helpful. Recently such donations have aided the purchase of materials for the Parker Library, the funding of student awards, and invitations to guest speakers. Contributions to the Joseph L. Conrad Memorial Fund have assisted our students by supporting their travel to conferences and their entry into our study abroad programs. The Czech Opportunity Fund supports the future hire of a Czech lecturer. Donations may be sent to the Slavic Department, c/o the Chair, with the check made out to “KUEA - Slavic Dept.” accompanied by a memo stating to which of the uses the money should be put.

South Slavic Studies Going Strong

The Carl and Margaret Husic Award

In the last few years there has been an increase in the study of the western South Slavic languages (Bosnian/ Croatian/Serbian and Slovene) in the KU Slavic Department. Instructor Marta Pirnat-Greenberg and Professor Stephen M. Dickey work constantly to improve and innovate instruction in Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian (BCS), and have developed a solid three-year sequence of BCS language courses, including a considerable amount of authentic texts, audio and video material as well as honors sections for the first four semesters. The new BCS language program has attracted a steady stream of loyal and enthusiastic students. In addition to this core language module, Ms. Pirnat-Greenberg’s weekly Croatian table has also come to enjoy strong attendance, and she organizes an evening showing of a movie from the former Yugoslavia every semester. The Slavic Department continues to ensure study abroad opportunities for students studying BCS and Slovene. Students have been able to participate in a new Croatian summer study program in Zadar, Croatia, organized in collaboration with Professor Mile Mamić of the University of Zadar since 2007. The 2008 program was directed by Mark Lanfranca, a recent South Slavic MA student whose excellent knowledge of Croatian and in-country experience

Geoff Husic (MA, ‘85) has created the Carl and Margaret Husic Award to Support Librarianship in Less Commonly Taught Languages. The $1200 award is intended to support KU students who have applied and been accepted to a graduate program in library and information science and who plan to pursue foreign-language and/or area studies librarianship involving knowledge of the less commonly taught languages. Geoff has built his own professional life around his passion for languages. After receiving his MA in Slavics at KU, Geoff completed an MS degree in Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. In June 1987 he began work at the University of Kansas Libraries, where he is currently senior Slavic librarian. Geoff wears many hats: he catalogs Slavic, East Asian, and Arabic materials; serves as bibliographer for South Slavic collections, as well as for general linguistics; selects Central Asian materials in Turkic and Iranian; provides reference services to students and scholars in his fields; provides group and individual instruction; and maintains the Slavic Department’s home page at: <>. Geoff knows an amazing number of languages. He reads and speaks Russian, Polish, Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian, Slovenian, Macedonian, Bulgarian, Romanian, Albanian, and German; he also has facility in Czech, Slovak, French, Spanish, Turkish, and Tajik, as well as a working knowledge of Mandarin, Persian, Arabic, Romani, Thai, Turkic, and Mongolian. Last, but by no means least, Geoff finds time to continue research and publication in the field of language and linguistics. The Husic Award honors Geoff’s parents, Margaret Kelley Husic and the late Carl John Husic Sr. Mrs. Husic was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1931. Mr. Husic was born in Reading, Pennsylvania, in 1924, and died in Jamison, Pennsylvania, in 2004. Both Mr. and Mrs. Husic devoted their work lives to the health and ecological sciences, but also have/had a great appreciation for foreign languages and music. The application deadline for the Husic Award is April 1. If you are interested in developing language and area librarianship as a career, learn more about the award at:

Participants in the 2008 KU Summer Program in Croatia enjoy a sunset in Zadar on the Adriatic Coast. Christina Ray, Jennifer Vaniček and John Mann.

make him an excellent on-site director for the program. Graduate students who have pursued Slovene language study have also received FLAS Summer Fellowships to attend the Slovene-language summer school at the Uni

versity of Ljubljana. Recent participants include Mark Lanfranca and Shay Wood. Both BCS and Slovene are FLAS-approved for study at KU during the academic year as well. Ms. Pirnat-Greenberg provides individualized instruction at all levels for Slovene, and Prof. Dickey does the same for advanced levels of BCS, including readings of Croatian and Serbian 20th-century novels in the original. Dickey has revamped SLAV 508: South Slavic Literature and Civilization to reflect recent advances in scholarship, and developed a new topics course entitled “The Ottoman Empire and the Cultural Development of the South Slavs” (to be offered in Spring 2009). The South Slavic program works closely with CREEES, as well as with Professor Nathan Wood of the History Department, who includes South Slavic components in his courses on Eastern European topics. A generous endowment by the late Professor Jerkovich to the CREEES for South Slavic study has provided students with dictionaries and scholarships for the summer program in Croatia, which is crucial in giving the students a sense of institutional support. Dickey’s and Pirnat-Greenberg’s continual professional investment and effort to develop the program have resulted in an increase in undergraduate students participating in the summer program and also majoring and minoring in the South Slavic Emphasis track of the Slavic Department. In Spring 2008 the Slavic Department graduated two majors and two minors with the South Slavic emphasis, and there are currently three declared majors. The requirements for the South Slavic major and minor emphases were revised last year to reflect current offerings both inside and outside the Slavic Department. We have also been pleased to see an increase in interest in the MA Degree in South Slavic studies, and currently have our second consecutive MA student in the program, Alphilde Amber Rees, who also received an Honors Graduate Fellowship for the 2008-2009 year. Another award-winning South Slavic student is the undergraduate major Yúki Ónogi, who is currently writing an honors program thesis paper on typological features of Bosnian. The Slavic Department looks forward to such continued interest and excellence in South Slavic studies.


Professor Maria Carlson had a very productive sabbatical in Fall 2007: she broke her foot and as a consequence spent much quality time with books and a laptop computer. She worked on three projects: continuing research for a book on Eastern Slavic mythology and folk beliefs, making significant progress on her book about Andrei Belyi’s trilogy, East or West, and moving along on several articles that had been in the works, including two on Russian neo-paganism. Spring 2008 made up for her autumnal confinement as Prof. Carlson journeyed from coast to coast: she first went to Louisiana Tech University in Ruston to give the keynote address for LTU’s “Into the 21st Century” series, which featured Russia in its spring quarter. She also traveled to Duke University to give a special presentation on the new Russian paganism to the Piedmont Slavic Symposium. In May she was in Seattle, where she and her colleague, James Millar (George Washington University), undertook an external review of the US/ED Title VI Center for Russian, East European, and Central Asian Studies at the University of Washington in Seattle. Prof. Carlson continues her service on the Editorial Board of University Press of Kansas; in addition, she was recently named to the Executive Committee of the NCEEER Board. She also serves KU as Associate University Marshal, a job she enjoys prodigiously. In 2007 Professor Edith Clowes began to serve as Director of Graduate Studies, and her first recruiting year was successful. The two applicants she nominated for the KU First-Year Graduate Scholarship both received this honor, and both chose graduate study in Slavic at KU. The Slavic faculty looked forward to welcoming four outstanding students to our graduate program this Fall. Starting in summer 2007 Professor Clowes became an associate editor of Russian Review and a member of the editorial board for the new internet journal of contemporary Russian thought, Landshaft [Landscape], edited by A. di Blasio and published at the University of Pittsburgh. Her article on the contemporary philosopher Mikhail Ryklin, “Mikhail Ryklin between Moscow and Berlin,” appeared in the inaugural number of Landshaft. Professor Clowes was co-organizer, collaborator, and contributor to the Losev Philosophy Library con


Maria Carlson presiding

Sidney Dement and Zhulieta Kaludova performing

Excellence in Elementary Polish

Excellence in Intermediate Polish

Júki Ónogi, Ms. Zhulieta Kaludova, Zachary Ceman and Prof. Svetlana Vassileva-Karagyozova

Prof. Svetlana Vassileva-Karagyozova and Valerie Smith

Excellence in Advanced Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian

Prof. Stephen Dickey, Ellen Zust, Alphilde Dick, Yúki Ónogi, and Ms. Marta Pirnat-Greenberg

Excellence in Advanced Slovene

Excellence in Ukrainian

Shay Robert Wood and Ms. Marta Pirnat-Greenberg

Michael Nelson, Dr. Yaroslava Tsiovkh, and Alex S. Bergin

Excellence in Elementary Russian

Marilyn Haines, Prof. William Comer, Michaela Boman, Ms. Eva Hruska, Mr. Conor Klamann, Eliska Valehrachova, and Theresa M. Van Orman

Excellence in Intermediate Russian

Matthew Stein, Prof. William Comer, Carrie Neff, Elina Dorfman, Leslie Ann Holmes, and Mr. Sidney Dement

Excellence in Advanced Russian

Harley Nelson Scholar 2007-2008

Dr. Irina Six and Michael Nelson

Sarah Bumpus and Prof. Kerry Sabbag

DOBRO SLOVO Russian Honorary Society

Ellen Zust, Prof. Kerry Sabbag, Ryan Stoops, YĂşki Ă&#x201C;nogi, and Sarah Bumpus

ference volume, Sbornik “Vekhi” v kontekste russkoi kul’tury [‘Landmarks’ in Russian Culture], ed. A. A. and E. A. Takho-Godi, which appeared in Moscow in fall, 2007. Her own contribution was entitled: “Traditsiia ‘Vekh’ v pozdnee sovetskoe vremia (Sbornik statei “Iz-pod glyb” A. I. Solzhenitsyna i esse G. S. Pomerantsa” [“The Traditions of Landmarks in the Late-Soviet Period: Solzhenitsyn’s From under the Rubble and the Essays of G. S. Pomerants”]. Professor Clowes’s work on photographic images of the pre-revolutionary Russian merchantry re-appeared in Russian translation in the volume, Kupecheskaia Moskva: Obrazy ushedshei rossiiskoi burzhuazii [Merchant Moscow: Images of Russia’s Vanished Bourgeoisie, ed. J. L. West et al., Princeton, 1998] published by ROSSPEN in late 2007. Her chapter, “Groundlessness: Nietzsche and Russian Concepts of Tragic Philosophy,” appeared in the new collection, Nietzsche and the Rebirth of the Tragic, edited by M. A. Frese, with Fairleigh Dickinson University Press. January 2008 was her turn to take the “Theater and Arts in Prague” group to the Czech Republic. The highlights of the trip included an all-Russian concert with violinist Leila Josefowicz playing Shostakovich’s 1st violin concerto with the Czech Philharmonic at the Rudolfinum and Prokof’ev’s “Romeo and Juliet” at the National Theater.

ing Erik Herron’s Fulbright grant and sabbatical leave. The year has given him a new respect for CREEES, the breadth of its activities, and the need to maintain and strengthen the connections between excellent language training and area studies. In addition to those administrative duties, he has been busy presenting research work and publishing. In Summer 2007 Professor Comer was one of the presenters in a Russian language pedagogy workshop at Middlebury College’s Russian Summer School. The Workshop, co-sponsored by a number of Title VI national resource centers and Middlebury, brought together 15 language professionals for 4 days to address a number of current topics in language pedagogy. Professor Comer introduced the participants to the notions of structured input, processing instruction and input flood in his talk “Approaches to Input in Teaching Russian.” In Fall 2007 he was participated in a conference at Duke University where he addressed the topic “Rethinking Proficiency Testing: Teaching, Performance Standards, and Documenting Students’ Abilities.” At the 2007 AATSEEL National Conference in Chicago he completed his four years as Chair of the organization’s Conference Program Committee. His article on “Task-based Language Teaching in the Russian Classroom” appeared in the Russian Language Journal in February 2008. Part of the research for this study was based on an analysis of a video-taped second semester Russian class. That video is now available on the web, and he invites curious alums who want a peak at current teaching practice at KU to point their browsers to: and view sections of the class on-line. On May 24, 2008 Professor Comer was in Baltimore, Maryland with other KU Slavic Alums – Elizabeth King (BA), Stephanie Taylor (MA), Stephen Maceli (MA) – to celebrate the wedding of Leann Keefe (Ph.D, 2004) and Brian Holland. After 10 years of administrative appointments, Professor Comer is now back in the Slavic Department full-time and is rediscovering life without administrative duties. In Summer of 2007 Professor Stephen Dickey used a CREEES course development grant to research a new course “The Ottoman Empire and the Cultural Development of the South Slavs”. In August 2007 he presented a paper, “The Varying Role of po- in the Grammaticalization of Slavic Aspectual Systems: Delimitatives, Sequences of Events and German Language Contact,” at the Second Annual Conference of the Slavic Linguistics Society in Berlin, Germany. Also in 2007 his article,

l to r: Sam Huneke, Jason Dick, Steve Marshall, Alphilde Dick, Yúki Ónogi, Travis Hagen, Black Coleman, Zak Davidson

Professor Clowes now serves as Director at the Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies (CREEES). Professor William Comer spent the 2007-2008 academic year as the acting director of CREEES, dur10

“A Prototype Account of the Development of Delimitative po- in Russia,” was published in a collection of articles on Slavic cognitive linguistics. In 2008 Dickey contributed the article “Prefixes in the Grammaticalization of Slavic Aspect: Telic s-/z-, Delimitative po- and Language Change via Expansion and Reduction” to a festschrift for Volkmar Lehmann, and in May 2008 he attended the Eighth conference of the Slavic Cognitive Linguistics Association and presented the paper “A Network Approach to the Verbal Prefix po- in Croatian: Taking a Non-Russian Prefix on its Own Terms”.

to the island of Vis, Croatia, where he guest-lectured on language and prehistory at the Northwestern Summer School. Professor Stephen Jan Parker’s book, Understanding Vladimir Nabokov (1987), was among the first five of forty paperbacks republished in Spring 2008 in print-on-demand as part of the University of South Carolina Press’ “aggressive program to identify and restore to print some of our best-selling out-of-print backlist titles.” Prof. Parker continues to be the editor and publisher of The Nabokovian, an international journal devoted to the study of Nabokov’s writings, which is now in its thirty-first year of publication. He also continues to serve as Secretary/ Treasurer of the International Vladimir Nabokov Society, an organization with over 300 worldwide members which he co-founded. He also serves as one of the six Executives of the Vladimir Nabokov Foundation.

Professor Marc L. Greenberg celebrated the tenth anniversary of Slovenski jezik/Slovene Linguistic Studies, the journal that he co-founded in the early 1990s with Dr. Marko Snoj (Slovenian Academy of Sciences) and co-supported by the Hall Center for the Humanities, the first issue of which appeared in 1997. The anniversary was marked by a radio interview on the Slovene national radio and in a newspaper article in the national paper by Simona Klemenčič, “Deset let revije Slovenski jezik – Slovene Linguistic Studies” [Ten Years of the Journal Slovenski jezik – Slovene Linguistic Studies], Delo (Ljubljana) 12 Sept. 2007. It was also mentioned in Sussex and Cubberley’s “The Slavic Languages” in the prestigious “green” Cambridge Language Surveys series as the “authoritative national language journal” for Slovenia. Also, Prof. Greenberg’s A Short Reference Grammar of Slovene (= LINCOM Studies in Slavic Linguistics 30), Munich: Lincom, appeared in December 2007. Other publications include a long article co-authored with Joseph Schallert (University of Toronto), “The Prehistory and Areal Distribution of Slavic *glčěti ‘Speak’” in Slovenski jezik/Slovene Linguistic Studies 6: 9–76, and an article “Phonetic Evidence for the Development of the ‘Acute’ Tone in Slavic” in Tones and Theories: Proceedings from the International Workshop on Balto-Slavic Accentuation: 95–108, Zagreb. Minor works include a review of Francek Mukič, Porabsko knjižnoslovensko-madžarski slovar (2005) in the Journal of the Society for Slovene Studies, and the anniversary essay, co-authored with Marko Snoj, “A Word from the Editors” ( In late spring, Prof. Greenberg participated in the masterclasses of the International Academy of Russian Music’s guitar festival (IARGUS 2007), where he studied and performed with leading masters of the Russian sevenstring guitar tradition and was filmed for a documentary about the revival of this tradition. In spring, he traveled

Professor Renee Perelmutter’s first semester at KU has been both busy and exciting. She is very happy to get acquainted with her new colleagues, and the graduate and undergraduate students in Slavic and Jewish studies. Her article, “Pragmatic Functions of Reported Speech with Jako in the Old Russian Primary Chronicle,” will appear in the January 2009 issue of the Journal of Historical Pragmatics. She continues her work on reported speech: in late September she was an invited speaker at the Translation and Tradition in Slavia Orthodoxa conference at Columbia University, where she presented on “Reported Speech in Late Medieval Translations from Hebrew into Ruthenian.” With her colleague Viktoria Driagina (University of Georgia), Prof. Perelmutter is working on an edited volume entitled Motion Verbs in Slavic. This semester Prof. Perelmutter started the Yiddishkeit film series, which is sponsored by CREEES. In addition to linguistics and Jewish studies, Prof. Perelmutter is interested in the study of folklore. Next semester she will be offering two folklore courses, Slavic Folklore for honors students, and Jewish Folklore. In September, she gave a special lecture on “Shape-shifters and Exogamous Marriage.” Professor Kerry Sabbag presented a paper entitled “History and Historiography in Grigorii Gorin’s Zabyt’ Gerostrata” at the 2007 AATSEEL conference in Chicago. In addition, she was invited to participate in a pre11

sentation on academic job searches at the 2007 AAASS conference in New Orleans, LA. Her article “Fame Tropes in Old Russian Hagiography” was accepted for publication in The Slavic and East European Journal and will appear in the Winter 2008 edition. In January 2008 Professor Sabbag’s Advanced Russian II class was the only SLL course to participate in a campus “teachin” focusing on global climate change sponsored by the KU Center for Sustainability and KU Hillel. Students watched and discussed a video clip on environmental problems and attitudes toward global climate change in Russia. Of particular interest was a 2003 statement by Vladimir Putin regarding the possible financial benefits of global warming to Russians, who could spend less money on winter clothes.

Elaine F. Davies (MA, ‘73) has started a research PhD at the University of Wales. Her advisor is Dr. Andreas Andreopoulous, an orthodox Christian theologian with a focus on icons, art, and theology. Her area of research is the theology of venerating icons for protection and healing. As she writes, “after a hiatus of 34 years I am going back to my scholarly roots in Russian and adding Constantinople and the Balkans too.”

In the past year Professor Svetlana VassilevaKaragyozova designed and implemented a new KU Polish Study Abroad Program in Warsaw, Poland. She presented the paper “The Voluntary Social Marginalization as a Surviving Strategy in Post-1989 Polish Initiation Novels” at the 7th Annual International Young Researchers Conference at Miami University, OH. This paper was subsequently turned into an article and accepted for publication in The Sarmatian Review. She also delivered a paper “Communism Through the Eyes of a Child/Adolescent: West Slavic Initiation Novel After 1989” at the 2007 AAASS conference in New Orleans, LA. She served as a roundtable participant on “Teaching Polish Language and Culture” at the 2007 AATSEEL conference in Chicago.

Rebekah Heacock (BA, ‘06) is at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs where she is planning a dual concentration in International Media & Communications and Economic & Political Development. Global Voices Online, the nonprofit media organization that Rebekah blogged for, sent her to Hungary in June for a four day conference on citizen media and citizenhood.

Erika (Jacobson) Dvorske (MA, ‘98) is the new president and CEO of Douglas County United Way of Kansas. She has served previously in the United Way of Wyandotte County where her responsibilities included oversight for much of the $3.8 million in donations and grants received there each year.

Leann Keefe Holland (PhD, ‘04), who was married this past May, is working as an analyst for the federal government.


Professor Thomas Beyer (PhD, ‘74) of Middlebury College has recently updated and published the 3rd edition of his book, 501 Russian Verbs, with literally thousands of new examples taken from contemporary sources. In addition he has recently put on line a resource guide to Russians in America: The Third Wave at

Professor Mark Lauersdorf (PhD, ‘95) spent fall semester 2007 doing research, which included a 6-week trip to Slovakia. He was at the Jazykovedný ústav Ludovíta Stúra and the Slavistický ústav Jána Stanislava at the Slovenská akadémia vied in Bratislava. He was invited to give lectures at Presovska University (the picture above) and in Prague and he attended an array of conferences.

John Bidwell (BA, ‘03), now in Sarajevo, was featured in the most recent issue of the College Alumni magazine: Note esp. pp. 7-9. 12

Corey Mass (MA, ‘74) has been teaching ESL and Russian at Miami Dade College since 1987. Before that he was at the University of Louisiana, Lafayette. Jason Merrill (PhD, ‘97) is co-author of Animation for Russian Conversation, Focus Publishing. The book draws on the best known Russian works of animation – Cheburashka, Karlson, Vinni Pukh, and the Hedgehog – all classics of the Russian cinema. Intended for Russian students of the Novice High to Intermediate Mid levels according to ACTFL guidelines, this book will be of interest to anyone learning Russian through authentic, but accessible Russian materials. tional Organizations in Vienna, he was transferred back to Washington, D.C., where he now works in the Office of Russian Affairs at the State Department. He oversees the Political Unit, which formulates and coordinates policy toward Russia on domestic and foreign policy and political-military affairs. After living abroad for the past ten years, he and his family are reacclimating themselves to life in the U.S.A.. His wife, Karla (MA,

Breven Parsons (BA, ‘92) is now at the Army’s JAG School getting an advanced law degree. After earning her master’s degree, Susan Novak (MA, ‘92) worked for 13 years as a managing editor in the publications department of the Kansas State Historical Society. She returned to KU in fall 2005 as a part-time adjunct in the School of Journalism for two semesters before joining the faculty in August 2006 as a Lecturer and the coordinator of the Bremner Editing Center. At that time she also entered the PhD program in Communication Studies (rhetoric, mass media, and political communication). She is using her Russian to study the work of Russian investigative journalist Anna Politkovskaya, who covered the second Chechen war for Novaya Gazeta before being assassinated in October 2006. Laura Price (MA, ‘07) is now working for RussTech in Tallahassee, Florida. RussTech offers translation and interpreting services with a speciality in Russian. Her duties include setting up documents to be translated, communicating with the client, communicating with the translators, sending the documents to the translators and editors, then sending them back to the clients while keeping track of everything. The main clients are in the nuclear industry and deal with storage, security, safety, and construction, and RussTech employees are like sub-contractors to the sub-contractors of the DOE. They also do work for the state of Washington and the state of Florida.

Karla and their children.

‘91) continues to do well as an artist, expanding from art quilts to painting. Over the last few years her quilts have appeared in international and national exhibits and in several publications. She works as an office manager in a public relations firm, helping to put together desktop publishing.

After four years in Vienna, where Howard Solomon (PhD, ‘97) was the Deputy Counselor of UN Affairs and Public Diplomacy at the U.S. Mission to Interna13



Senior major Sarah Bumpus has been selected by the University Honors Program to receive a Harley S. Nelson Scholarship in 2008-2009.

Natalie Bazan (MA, ‘08, PhD. Candidate) received a scholarship from American Councils to study teaching Russian at Herzen University in St. Petersburg this past summer.

Senior major Yúki Ónogi was one of two winners of the Chancellor’s Prize for Writing (2007-2008) of $1,000. His paper “A Turkish Identity as European in a Prehistoric Perspective,” was written in a class with Prof. Marc Greenberg, who helped him rework several drafts. As stated, “the committee was impressed not only by the quality of the final product but also by your excellent collaboration with your instructor and with KU Writing Center consultants. Your portfolio demonstrated your intellectual development as a scholar and the commitment of your instructor to the excellence of your work.”

Olena Chervonik-Bearden, Eva Hruska, and Alphilde Dick received Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships for summer 2008 study abroad. John Korba received an Academic Year Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship for 2008-2009.

Prof. Greenberg, Yúki Ónogi, Chancellor Robert Hemenway


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Lawrencian Chronicle  

Slavic Department, University of Kansas Newsletter 2008

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