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2013 Roundtable on Post-Communism: “Migration”

Fri, Apr 5, 9:00 am to 4:00 pm
State Room East, Indiana Memorial Union


A public roundtable is featured in the morning followed by a seminar in the afternoon regarding the pedagogical challenges of teaching "migration." The roundtable focuses on a question that is circulated in advance to the roundtable panelists. Each panelist prepares a 1000-word statement in response to a brief (150-200 word) “provocation”—a statement and series of questions. This question and brief initial responses by each panelist are posted in advance, so that all who attend the roundtable are familiar with the core question and the positions of the panelists. At the morning panel, the moderator will introduce the themes and questions of the panel, the participants, and will then ask two commentators to speak for 10-15 minutes, after which each panel presenter will have 10 minutes to address the questions posed by the commentator and to comment on other papers on that panel. Our practice is to designate as commentators scholars who can broaden the multidisciplinary and comparative reach of the panel rather than people who replicate the expertise of the three main panelists. After this the floor is open for discussion. In the afternoon, the focus of discussion shifts to effective pedagogies for teaching courses on topics related to the morning session. Three selected presenters will discuss three different pedagogical challenges and join with all participants in an exploration of approaches to communicating these complex issues to students in different settings (two year colleges, four year colleges, and research universities). Faculty and graduate students are invited to attend and participate informally in the discussion.

Morning Session

Research Roundtable: 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Moderator: Sara Friedman, Associate Professor of Anthropology (Indiana University)
Sara Friedman is an Associate Professor in the departments of Anthropology, Gender Studies, and East Asian Languages and Cultures. In her research, she has examined the connections between large-scale political processes and intimate life, with particular attention to the place of state power and citizenship in gender identities, intimate relationships, and bodily practices of dress, labor, and sexuality. She is currently completing a book titled Exceptional Citizens: Chinese Marital Immigrants and the Contested Borders of Family and Nation Across the Taiwan Strait, in which she seeks to examine the social and political implications of marriage between citizens of Taiwan and China.


  • Cynthia Buckley, Professor of Sociology (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign)
    Cynthia Buckley is a Professor of Sociology at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana and a senior consultant for Eurasia at the Social Science Research Council. A social demographer, she joins the Department of Sociology at the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign after several years at the University of Texas, Austin. Her research examines the cumulative effects of institutional and cultural change on individual demographic decision-making and the implications of demographic change for human security. She has served as a Scientific Expert for UNAIDS and UNESCO in the southern Caucasus, a methodological advisor for the International Finance Corporation, and a consultant for numerous government agencies, non-profit organizations, and private businesses. A former NCEEER board member , she has supervised scholars from Eurasia through the Junior Faculty Development Program (ACTR), led Summer Research Laboratory workshops (University of Illinois), chaired the Working Group on Eurasian Migration (Kennan Institute), and participated as resource faculty member in numerous dissertation development workshops and award selection committees (SSRC and IREX). Publications from her previous research projects cover issues of rural development, population aging, maternal and child health, reproductive health and HIV/AIDS. She is presently completing a book on the socio-cultural implications of male labor out migration in the southern Caucasus, and is the Primary Investigator on the project, “People, Power and Conflict in the Eurasian Migration System”. Funded through the DoD/NSF Minerva initiative, this project examines the geopolitical implications of Russia emergence as an international migration destination state.
  • Cindy Fan, Interim Vice Provost for International Studies and Professor of Geography and Asian American Studies (UCLA) Cindy Fan received her Ph.D. at Ohio State University in 1989 and has been a member of the UCLA faculty since then. Her research, supported by several National Science Foundation and Luce Foundation grants, focuses on labor migration, marriage migration, spatial and social inequality, gender, and cities in China. She has published numerous articles in flagship journals. Her book China on the Move: Migration, the State, and the Household (2008) is a pioneering study that integrates both institutional and household perspectives to explain sustained and large-scale migration that splits families for years and even decades. Her current projects focus on migrants’ household organization and new-generation migrants. A frequent keynote speaker in Europe, Asia and the US, Cindy Fan has been a co-editor of two international and interdisciplinary journals: Regional Studies and Eurasian Geography and Economics. She regularly writes commentaries for the New York Times and has been interviewed by the BBC, China Radio International, National Public Radio, Tavis Smiley, and other media outlets. She holds a Visiting Professorship at Beijing Normal University. She has received the UCLA Distinguished Teaching Award, an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant to innovate area and international studies, and was recently selected to be an American Council of Education Fellow.
  • Frank Wolff, Research Fellow in Modern History, Institute for Migration Research and Intercultural Studies (IMIS), (Universität Osnabrück, Osnabrück, Germany) Frank Wolff received his PhD at Bielefeld University in 2011. He is review editor of East European Jewish Affairs, co-editor at, and on the editorial board of the International Newsletter for Communist Studies. His research focuses on workers’ history, particularly as it pertains to the Jewish Labor Bund, and issues of migration, transnationalism, and memory in relation to these topics. Recent publications include "Eastern Europe Abroad. Exploring Actor-Networks in Transnational Movements and Migration History. The Case of the Bund." International Review of Social History 57 (2012)

Provocation and Responses Discussants:

  • Gardner Bovingdon, Associate Professor, Central Eurasian Studies (Indiana University)
    Professor Bovingdon earned his Ph.D. at Cornell University in 2002. His research interests include politics in contemporary Xinjiang, the history of modern Xinjiang, historiography in China and nationalism and ethnic conflict. Courses he recently taught include The History of Xinjiang to 1911, From Colony to Kingdom to Province: Politics in Modern Xinjiang, The Politics of Identity in China and Inner Asia, Grave-robbers, and Missionaries, and Spies: Foreign Adventurers in Chinese Turkistan and he was awarded the Clark Distinguished Teaching Award (Yale) in 2000. Professor Bovington also recently published The Uyghurs: Strangers in Their Own Land by Columbia University Press (2010).
  • Ethan Michelson, Associate Professor of Sociology and Law (Indiana University)
    After joining the Department of Sociology and the Department East Asian Languages & Cultures in 2003, Ethan Michelson became affiliated with the Law School in 2008. An expert on law and society in China, Professor Michelson is the first social scientist to conduct rigorous empirical research on the Chinese legal profession. With a grant from the Ford Foundation, he conducted an intensive ethnography of a law firm in Beijing. His findings on how and why Chinese lawyers screen cases have been published in Law & Society Review. With a grant from the National Science Foundation, he designed and implemented a survey of almost 1,000 lawyers in 25 cities across China. His findings on the plight of Chinese lawyers—particularly criminal defense lawyers—and their innovative coping strategies have been published in the American Journal of Sociology. His findings on gender inequality in the Chinese bar have been published in Research in the Sociology of Work. Professor Michelson also studies popular grievances and what ordinary people do about them in urban and rural China. Findings from his surveys on real-life disputes in Beijing and over 30 villages in six provinces have been published in The China Quarterly, American Sociological Review, and several book chapters. He is also co-director of the Law School's Center for Law, Society, and Culture.

Afternoon Session

Pedagogical Challenges: 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Moderator: Jeff Veidlinger, Professor of History (Indiana University)
Jeffrey Veidlinger is a Professor of History and the Director of the Jewish Studies Program at Indiana University. He is also co-director of AHEYM (The Archive of Historical and Ethnographic Yiddish Memories), a project that collects videotaped oral histories of Yiddish speakers in Eastern Europe, mostly about Jewish life in the region before the Second World War. His research interests include the history of East European and Russian Jewry, as well as modern Jewish History and modern Russian History. His most recent book, Jewish Public Culture in the Late Russian Empire, was published by Indiana University Press in 2009.


  • Jeffrey Holdeman, Senior Lecturer, Slavic Languages and Literatures (Indiana University)
    Jeffrey Holdeman is Senior Lecturer, Slavic Language Coordinator, and Director of Undergraduate Studies at the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, as well as Director of the Global Village Living-Learning Center. His research interests include the teaching of Russian and Czech, pedagogy training for Associate Instructors, sociolinguistics, and language maintenance and shift. He has previously conducted research on language maintenance and shift among Old Believer communities in Pennsylvania and continues to study Old Believer immigration and language use.
  • Stepanka Korytova, Adjunct Faculty, International Studies Program (Indiana University)
    Stepanka Korytova teaches courses on Global Human Trafficking, one of the world’s most pressing human rights issues. Korytova published Global Human Trafficking Bibliography 2000-2010, available on the Global Center website and in the library of The Kinsey Institute. Her current research focuses on the intersection of sex trafficking and domestic violence. Korytova is the coordinator of the multidisciplinary Faculty Study Group: The Many Faces of Human Trafficking. Her prior research and publications include monographs in both English and Czech on immigration to the U.S. from Czech and Slovak lands. She examined organizational and human connections between communities in Europe and the U.S., researching the history of U.S. immigration using archives on both sides of the Atlantic. Korytova was awarded the 2011 Mary Zirin Prize from the American Women Slavic Studies Association and is the recipient of an Indiana University Service Learning Fellowship, 2012-2013


Indiana University Russian & East European Institute
Inner Asian & Uralic National Resource Center
East Asian Studies Center
Center for the Study of Global Change
IU Center for International Business Education & Research

For more information and full schedule of events, please visit
Persons with disabilities who wish to attend the lectures and would like to request assistance should contact the REEI office (812-855-7309 or