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Sarah Phillips, Director
Vol. 41 No. 3

Nicholas Jackson, Editor
Fall 2017


  • A Word from the Director
  • Summer Language Workshop in Review
  • REEI Fall Reception
  • IU at ASEEES
  • New MA Students
  • REEI Visiting Scholars
  • New Post-Doctoral Fellows (Sharon Miller)
  • Additions to the Slavic and East European Collection (provided by Wookjin Cheun)
  • Estonian Prime Minister Visits IU (Clare Angeroth Franks)
  • Macedonian Colorful Revolution Exhibit (Nicholas Jackson)
  • The Bard Music Festival with Dr. Halina Goldberg (Christine Wisch)
  • Environmental Decay and Political Participation in Bosnia-Herzegovina (Amanda Lawnicki)
  • Dr. Ablet Kamalov at IU (Austin Wilson)
  • Updates

  • Alumni News
  • Faculty & Staff News
  • Current Student News
  • Related Community Events
  • About REEI

Director's Notebook

By: Sarah Phillips


Times are always exciting at REEI, but this fall seems especially busy and vibrant! With Russia-U.S. relations taking such twists and turns, REEI’s mission to advance scholarship, teaching, and K-12 outreach on the REE region is more important than ever. The growth of the Russian Studies Workshop (RSW), an initiative funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and directed by Professor Regina Smyth, has expanded the breadth and depth of Russian Studies at IU in many exciting directions. This fall the RSW welcomed several visiting scholars from Russia and two postdoctoral fellows in Russian Studies—Meagan Todd and Francesca Silano, both profiled in this issue of REEIfication. Two more RSW postdocs will arrive from Russia for the spring semester. In August, REEI also welcomed an incoming class of nine MA students whose topical interests range from Russia-China relations, to business in Serbia and Russia, to disability issues in Russia.


Dr. Sarah Phillips

Our faculty and students continue to impress; the range of expertise and depth of knowledge in REE Studies at IU is truly astounding, and continues to grow. Our students benefit from the opportunity to work with top-notch specialists, and are privileged to choose from an impressive menu of classes on the region. We are grateful to the faculty who serve so generously on the various REEI committees—the executive, admissions, fellowship, and ad hoc committees. Your input is vital to REEI’s mission and we can’t thank you enough!

In the spring we were sad to say “Goodbye” to Emily Liverman, our long-time student advisor who took a job at the Kelley School of Business. We are happy, however, to welcome on board REEI’s new Student Services Coordinator, Elliott Nowacky. Elliott earned his MA in Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. A retired US Army officer, Elliott will also serve as Military Relations Coordinator for the School of Global and International Studies. I am sorry to report that at the end of November, Mary Belding is retiring after six years as REEI's Administrative/Graduate Secretary, and 17 years of service at IU. I encourage those who know Mary to send your gratitude for all her efforts with IU and REEI: We will miss you, Mary, and wish you all the best!


Finally, please join REEI in congratulating Associate Director of REEI, Mark Trotter, who was recently awarded the REEI Distinguished Service Award in celebration of his 20 years as a Russian Instructor at Indiana's Summer Language Workshop, and in recognition of his 10 years of distinguished service as REEI Associate Director. Congratulations, Mark!

Mark Trotter receives the Distinguished Service Award. Left to Right: Veronika; Masha; Mark; Sarah

Summer Language Workshop in Review

This past June and July, IU Bloomington hosted over 200 students for the 68th annual Summer Language Workship. This year’s workshop included intensive instruction in the following languages: Arabic; Azerbaijani; Bosnian/Croatian/Montenegrin/Serbian; Chinese; Estonian; Haitian Creole; Hungarian; Japanese; Kurdish; Lithuanian; Mongolian; Persian; Pashto; Russian; Turkish; and Ukrainian. In addition to language instruction, the program included a multitude of extra-curricular activities ranging from culturally-specific cooking, music, and dance events to art displays and language-specific film screenings. Some notable workshop events included the Islamic Art Tour; Balkan Folk Dancing; Salaam Drum Workshop; Slavic Folk Music; Ukrainian Pysanky Workshop; Chinese Caligraphy; weekly Taiji classes; and many more. These cultural events were supplemented by a variety of weekly lectures (with Q&A) pertaining to relevant political and sociocultural phenomenon in countries or regions relevant to workshop languages.


In keeping with its mission of sociocultural immersion, the SLW hosted six Strategic Language and Cultures Seminars: "From Washington to Warsaw: US Policy Toward Central and Eastern Europe;" "A Path Through the Mountains: Islam and Nationalism in post-Soviet Caucasus;" “Orthodoxy and Soft Power;” “Russian and Chinese Presence in Contemporary Mongolia;” "Geography, Identity, Nationality: Russian-Ukrainian Borderlands;" and “Baltic Security Since 1991.” These were presented by Lee Feinstein (Dean, IU School of Global and International Studies), Sufian Zhemukhov (Senior Research Associate, George Washington University), Patrick Michelson (Associate Professor- Religious Studies, IUB), Marina Saidukova (freelance scholar), Steven Seegel (Professor- History, University of Northern Colorado), and Toivo Raun (Professor- CEUS, IUB), respectively. Additionally, a number of other lectures were available to SLW participants on a weekly basis covering a wide range of relevant topics. Detailed information regarding these lectures can be found on the SLW website under the "Look for earlier events" option:

Priding itself in its accessibility, the SLW, supported by the IU College of Arts and Sciences, provided generous fee-remission for all out-of-state and international students, bringing tuitions costs down to the standard in-state rates. Testament to the generous support offered, more than half of the students involved received full funding for the program. In their many forms, these grants covered not only tuition and administrative fees but also living expenses. Included amongst the available forms of funding were the following federal grants: US Department of Education Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowships, administered by REEI and the Inner Asian and Uralic National Resource Center,and the; US Department of Defense Project GO scholarships, administered by SLW, US Department of State Title VIII fellowships, administered by SLW, Russian Studies Workshop fellowships, supported by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and administered by REEI, and the REEI Summer Russian Scholarship.. In connection with direct government funding, the Workshop hosted a number of information sessions pertaining to careers with government organizations including the State Department, FBI, and CIA, in addition to sessions for major international organizations such as the Peace Corps and the American Councils. These sessions helped to reiterate the significance of intensive language study within international diplomatic spheres, governmental or otherwise.


Nearing its 70th year, the SLW continues to prosper and develop, evidenced by continued high enrollment, generous funding, the expanse of offered languages, and the quality and diversity of its extra-curricular events. Following the resignation of Dr. Ariann (Ari) Stern-Gottschalk, whose efforts in expanding and developing the program cannot be understated, REEI’s own Mark Trotter shared the role of Interim Director with Maria Shardakova (Slavic) for this past summer’s program. The program was successfully coordinated in large part due to the dedication of REEI permanent staff members Amy Richardson (Outreach Coordinator) and Delia Igo (Administrative Assistant). The SLW community is proud to announce the hiring of Kathleen Evans as the new Director going forward. For the following summer, the language workshop will add the following five languages: Georgian; Indonesian; Korean; Latvian; and Swahili. Additionally, the workshop will continue the following languages: Arabic; Bosnian/Croatian/Montenegrin/Serbian; Chinese; Estonian; Haitian Creole; Hungarian; Japanese; Kurdish; Lithuanian; Mongolian; Persian; Pashto; Russian; Turkish; and Ukrainian.


If interested in the Summer Language Program for 2018, please visit the SLW website to apply (applications are now being accepted):

For more information on SLW activities, please refer to The Polyglot, SLW’s online alumni magazine:

More information on the SLW and BALSSI (a subsection of SLW) can be found be clicking the respective images below:

REEI Fall Reception 2017


On September 14th, REEI hosted its annual fall reception in the University Club President’s Room at the Indiana Memorial Union. Students, faculty, international scholars, and members of the greater REEI community gathered to commemorate the beginning of a new academic year, sharing academic passions over various snacks and libations. Slavica Publishers co-sponsored the event, displaying recent publications and providing free coasters. REEI Director Sarah Phillips presided over the event, recognizing academic honors, introducing new REEI-affiliated faculty members, and welcoming visiting scholars.


Left to right: Szabolcs László; Anne Armstrong; Rebecca Mueller; Clara Fridman

Anne Armstrong was present as Phillips presented the Daniel Armstrong Memorial Research Paper Awards for 2016-17 and introduced recipients of the Daniel Armstrong Memorial Scholarship for 2017-18. These academic recognitions commemorate Anne’s late husband, Daniel Armstrong (1942-1972), a beloved IU Slavic Department alumnus, scholar, teacher, and administrator. Winners of the Daniel Armstrong Memorial Research Paper Award include Rebecca Mueller, winner in the Master’s Thesis/Essay Division for “Mental Health Reform and Postsocialism in Albania,” and Szabolcs László, winner in the Graduate Division for “Reclaiming the Hearts and Minds-Thick Description of Cold War Encounters at the Iowa International Writing Program.” Multiple scholarship and fellowship recipients were additionally recognized. Recipients of the Daniel Armstrong Memorial Scholarship include Clara Fridman, Jacob Gilley, and Sydney Way. Recipients of the Robert F. Byrnes Memorial Fellowship were presented: Alyse Camus, Kayleigh Fischietto, and Madeline McCann. Camus and Fischietto are returning students and McCann is an incoming REEI MA student. McCann and fellow incoming REEI MA Megan Burnham were also announced as the inaugural Russian Studies Workshop MA Fellows. Another inaugural scholarship recipient, incoming REEI MA Nikola Parlic, was presented as recipient of the Erne Fellowship for Serbian Studies. Sharon Miller, recipient of the Robert C. Tucker and Stephen F. Cohen Fellowship, was also presented. Twelve REEI students were presented as recipients of Foreign Language Area Studies (FLAS) fellowship: Meghan Burnham; Alyse Camus; Brett Donohoe; Samuel Fajerstein; Jacob Gilley; Amanda Lawnicki; Madeline McCann; Erin Patterson; Morgan Richardson; Michelle Schulte; Jordan Summers; and Jeremy Taluzek.



Sarah Phillips presents the Post-Doctoral Fellows. Pictured on the right: Dr. Ben Eklof.


After presentation of REEI’s senior staff and graduate assistants, Phillips welcomed new REEI-affiliate faculty: Kathleen Evans (Director, Summer Language Workshop); Lee John Florea (Assistant Director, Indiana Geological Survey); Marianne Kamp (Assistant Professor, Central Eurasian Studies); Francesca Silano (Postdoctoral Fellow; Russian Studies Workshop); Jayne-Leigh Thomas (Director, Office of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act); and Meagan Todd (Postdoctoral Fellow, Russian Studies Workshop). Phillips also welcomed visiting scholar Nikolay Scherbina (University of Wuppertal [Germany]), a visiting professor in Mathematics. On behalf of all of us in REEI community, we wish the best of luck to all students, faculty, and staff during the upcoming academic year!


IU Participants at the ASEEES Convention

The 49th Annual ASEEES Convention will be held in Chicago, IL on November 9-12, 2017 at the Marriot Chicago Downtown Magnificent Mile (540 N Michigan Avenue). IU faculty, staff, and students will present 24 papers and serve as chairs or discussants at over 30 panels and roundtables. Once more, REEI is a Silver Sponsor of the event.


IU will be prominently featured in the Exhibition Hall with booths for Slavica Publishers (302), REEI and the Summer Language Workshop (304), and IU Press. REEI, the Russian Studies Workshop, and the Summer Language Workshop will co-host the annual ASEEES Indiana University Alumni Reception on Friday, November 10th from 8pm to 10pm in the Chicago Ballroom East. Co-sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences Alumni Board, IU Press, Department of Slavic and East European Languages and Cultures, Polish Studies Center, and Slavica Publishers, the event will feature signing of new books by IU faculty and refreshments in the form of cheese, desserts, wine, and coffee.


Please join us for the reception!


Faculty/Staff Papers
Michael Alexeev (Economics): “A Tale of Two Crises: Federal Transfers and Regional Economies in Russia in 2009 and 2015”
Wookjin Cheun (Libraries): “Korean Press in Russia and Central Asia”
Jacob Emery (Slavic): “The Literary Work in the Frame of Other Labor”
Kathryn Graber (Anthropology): “Power of the Russian Prince?: Silence and the Language of Autocracy”
Ke-Chin Hsia (History): ‘Imperial Bureacrats as Revolutionaries? Austrian Welfare Officials and the Revolution of 1918-1919”
Dodona Kiziria (Slavic, Emerita): "Stalin, Pushkin, and Lermontov: Three Views of the Prophet"
Joshua Malitsky (Media): “Chronotopic Logics and Nonfiction Film Ideologies: Yugoslav Newsreels and Documentaries, 1945-1950”
Patrick Michelson (Religious Studies): “Orthodox Asceticism and Narratives of Russian History and Culture”
Natalie Misteravich-Carroll (Polish): “Floating History and Forging Ideals: Constructing an Identity for Poland’s First Socialist City”
Charles Reafsnyder (International Development, Emeritus): Indiana University’s Support for South East European University
Andrea Rusnock (Women’s and Gender Studies/IU South Bend): “Stalin’s Sniper: Picturing Ludmilla Pavlichenko at Home and Abroad During the Great Patriotic War”
Francesca Silano (Russian Studies Workshop): "Clothe yourselves in sackcloth': Asceticism as an Orthodox Challenge to Revolutionary Ideals (1917-1919)"

Sara Stefani (Slavic): “Snakes in the Garden: Violence, Confession, and the Transference of Guilt in Sherlock Holmes and Chekhov”

Meagan Todd (Russian Studies Workshop): "Moscow’s Mosques as Sites of Dissent"


Student Papers
Sameul Buelow (Anthropology): “Rethinking Racial Beauty: South Korean Influence on Crossdresser Fashion in Kyrgystan”
Aimee Dobbs (History): “Normalizing Transgressions in Print: Muslim Newspaper in the Russian Empire 1875-1891”
Michael Hancock-Parmer (History): Historical Science, Oral History, and the Contingency of the Nation in Early Kazakh National History”
Dima Kortukov (Political Science): “The Politics of Electoral Reform in Ukraine, 1991-2012”
Alisha Kirchoff (Sociology): “Synthesis and Dynamism: Understanding the Russian Welfare State at the Regional Level”
Valentina Luketa (Anthropology/Law): “What Marxist Theories of State Can Do for Us Today: Lenin, Kardelj, and Poulantzas”
Brian Oches (Slavic): “The Pastoral as a Form of Suicide in Oblomov”

Leah Peck (Education): “International Development in Higher Education: Stakeholder Challenges to Institutional Capacity Building”
Diana Sokolova (Media): Comparing Two Media Realities: How Russian Alternative and Traditional Broadcast Frame the News Three Months Before the 2016 Duma Election”
Jennifer Zale (Media): “Bolshoi Ballerina Vera Karalli: Russia’s First Film Star”

Panel Discussants
Michael Alexeev (Economics): Macroeconomic Analysis of the Russian Economy in the Past, Present, and Future
Marina Antić (Slavic): Post-Yugoslav Disciplinary Transgressions
Samuel Buelow (Anthropology): Queer(ing) Peripheries
Owen Johnson (Journalism, Emeritus): Researching History in Communist Slovakia
Marianne Kamp (CEUS): Muslim Community Belonging
Padraic Kenney (History): Consolidating and Challenging Authoritarian Populism in Poland and Hungary
Dodona Kiziria (Slavic, Emerita): Georgian History
Joshua Malitsky (Media): Dangerous Liasons: Cinematic Transnationalisms between the Second and the Third World
Sarah Drue Phillips (Anthropology, REEI): Politics of Care: Post-Socialist Care Regimes from the Perspective of Care Providers
Charles Reafsnyder (International Development, Emeritus): Reform of Higher Education in Macedonia: A Case Study
Andrea Rusnock (Women’s and Gender Studies/IU South Bend): Transgressing Borders: Artistic Collaboration and Co-Authorship in the 20th Century and Beyond
Regina Smyth (Political Science): Post-Soviet Society under Autocracy
Sara Stefani (Slavic): Re-reading the Female Heroines of Russian and Ukrainian Cultures
Tatiana Saburova (History): Signifying the Presence of the Non-Imperial: Soviet Space of Power in Russia and Poland in the 1920’s- 1950’s
Russell Scott Valentino (Slavic): Do We Need Translations of Scholarship from Eastern Europe?

Meagan Todd (Russian Studies Workshop): Syncretism, Sovereignty, Nationalism: The Soviet and Post-Soviet Religious Experience


Panel/Roundtable Chairs
Jacob Emery (Slavic): Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky: Counterfactual Worlds
Elizabeth Geballe (Comparative Literature): The Russian Revolution as Zombie Apocalypse
Marianne Kamp (Media): Orientalism in Soviet Studies Reframed
Valentina Luketa (Anthropology/Law): Book Discussion: “Splendour, Misery, and Possibilities: An X-Ray of Socialist Yugoslavia”
Joanna Nizynska (Slavic): Polish Cinema and the Body Politic during late Socialism
Sarah Drue Phillips (Anthropology, REEI): Gender, Disability, and Society in Postwar Central and Eastern Europe
Alexander Rabinowitch (History, Emeritus): The 1917 Russian Revolution for These Times
Sara Stefani (Slavic): Re-Reading the Female Heroines of Russian and Ukrainian Cultures

Rountable Participants
Marina Antić (Slavic): Book Discussion: "Splendour, Misery, and Possibilities: An X-Ray of Socialist Yugoslavia"
Jennika Baines (IU Press): Publishing Your First Book
Samuel Buelow (Anthropology): Vice President Designated Roundtable: Academic Freedom and Activism
Ben Eklof (History): Education in the Making of Modern Russia: Pathways to the Present
Jacob Emery (Slavic): Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky: Conterfactual Worlds
Elizabeth Geballe (Comparative Literature): Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky: Counterfactual Worlds
Padraic Kenney (History): The Legacy and Relevance of Dissent and Cultural Opposition in East Central Europe Today
Alisha Kirchoff (Sociology): Committee for the Status of Women in the Profession
Tatiana Saburova (History): Education in the Making of Modern Russia: Pathways to the Present
Regina Smyth (Political Science): Russian Elections 2016-2018: Political Change and Regime Stability
Mark Trotter (REEI): School-University Partnerships in Russian Language: How Collaborations Can Serve Students, Communities, Programs, and the Field
Russell Scott Valentino (Slavic): Do We Need Translations of Scholarship from Eastern Europe?


To visit the ASEEES website, please click the image below:

New REEI MA Students


Robert Breen is an Active Duty Air Force Officer, coming to us from the US Air Force Academy. He’ll train to be a pilot and then teach history at the USAFA. He would like to purse the Air Force’s Regional Area Specialist (the Air Force’s everyday diplomats) career track.

Megan Burnham studied Comparative Politics and Cultures at Michigan State University and her interests are quite topical, focusing on Russian media rhetoric and interference.

Tiffany Confer studied Russian and Slavic Studies at the University of Arizona and she plans to pioneer rehabilitation and sports clinics for peoples with disabilities in Russia and Eastern Europe.

Clare Angeroth Franks completed her BA in Russian Area Studies and French at Saint Olaf College in 2014. She looks forward to building her language development as she continues her studies.​ She is working with Wookjin Cheun as the Library Assistant GA this year.

Nicholas Jackson studied Comparative Politics and Cultures at Michigan State University. After some working plus intermittent travel through the former Yugoslavia, he is looking forward to researching cultural and political phenomenon affecting diplomacy in the former Yugoslavia. Yours truly is serving as the Publications Editor GA this year.

Kayla MacDavitt is currently a FEMA reservist and studied Psychology and Russian at St. Thomas University. She is excited to study the region in preparation for a career serving her country in the civil or foreign service.

Madeline McCann studied Russian and East European Studies at the University of Chicago. She’ll be researching national conflicts and minority politics in Russian borderlands and preparing for a PhD program.

Nikola Parlic studied International Political Economy and Russian at Beloit College. He looks forward to increasing his linguistic proficiency and researching and understanding the political and economic challenges of Russia and Serbia.

Austin Wilson studied Russian history at Indiana University, Bloomington before teaching English in China. He is interested in Sino-Russian history, and conducting research on the Russian Far East and Northeast China.

The new REEI MA students with Sarah Phillips, Mark Trotter, and Mary Belding (not pictured: Nikola Parlic).


REEI Visiting Scholars

Lilla Bauer is Assistant Professor of Public Administration in the Institute of State Governance and Public Policy at the National University of Public Service in Budapest, Hungary. As a visiting scholar in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs through March, 2018, she will conduct research on social and educational programs in public administration.

Francesca Silano will teach and conduct research at IU Bloomington throughout 2017-18 as a post-doctoral fellow affiliated with the Russian Studies Workshop (RSW). Her research addresses the Russian Orthodox Church, especially with respect to how it understands its history and creates narratives about itself. Her postdoctoral project at the RSW will focus on trials of members of various religious groups in the early 1920s as a window onto the Soviet legal system. In Spring 2018 she will teach Religions of Modern Russia.


Meagan Todd will teach and conduct research at IU Bloomington throughout 2017-18 as a post-doctoral fellow affiliated with the Russian Studies Workshop (RSW). She specializes in the political geography of religion in contemporary Russia and, in particular, the rights of minorities to practice religion in Russian public spaces. Her current project considers the politics of mosque construction in Moscow. In Fall 2017, she is teaching Geographies of Islam with a strong focus on Russia.

Mikhail Turchenko recently completed his PhD in political science at the Higher School of Economics in St. Petersburg. His research focuses on Russia’s regional elections and regional governance. He will be in residence at IU Bloomington for two months in Fall 2017 as an affiliate scholar of the Russian Studies Workshop.

Anna Klepikova is a research associate in Anthropology at the European University of Saint Petersburg. During her residence at IU Bloomington for two months in Fall 2017 as an affiliate scholar of the Russian Studies Workshop, she will continue to conduct research on the social situation of children and adults with mental and multiple disabilities living in the state-run residential care institutions in Russia.

Interviews with the New Post-Doctoral Fellows at RSW

By: Sharon Miller


Thanks to a grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, a Russian Studies Workshop (RSW) for strengthening Russian Studies in the social sciences now thrives at IU under the direction of Prof. Regina Smyth. Thanks to generous cost-share from the School of Global and International Studies, we are hosting several RSW Postdoctoral Fellows. REEI MA student Sharon Miller recently interviewed two RSW postdocs to learn about their scholarship and teaching on Russia.


Dr. Meagan Todd is a political geographer, with a PhD from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Her research focuses on religion in Russia, with a particular interest in Islam. She will be working on several articles and projects this spring after teaching “Geographies of Islam” this fall.


Dr. Meagan Todd
Dr. Meagan Todd

SM: To start, can you tell me about your background and research interests?


MT: I became interested in Russia as an undergraduate at the University of Kentucky. I had to take a foreign language class, and I had to pick between German and Russian. I decided to try something new. My teachers were very passionate, so I wanted to take other courses in the Russian Studies program.


SM: What attracted you to the geography of religion in Russia?


MT: I grew up in Kentucky, so religion’s always been a very dynamic part of the conversation about life around me—how to live, how to be, how to organize your life. But I didn’t want to just remain in Kentucky. I had this view that it would be fun to study something exotic to me. I had a history professor who was very interested in Russia and the spread of Russian Orthodoxy. I thought that religions in Russia would be a good topic to research because everywhere around me, I saw the influence of all these religious movements.


SM: I’ve noticed that a lot of your research regards Islam in Russia. What makes this such an interesting topic for you?


MT: I became interested in Muslim life in Russia after I received a Critical Language Scholarship and traveled to Astrakhan, Russia, a multi-confessional city. From there I learned about the very dynamic religious complexity of Russia. There’s far more than I learned about in my Russian history class, which focused on the Russian Orthodox Church and the Golden Ring. Most of my courses focused on Slavic culture in Russia. There was very little about minority life. Russia is the largest country with the largest number of nationalities. I’m interested in those dynamics of diversity.


SM: Moving on to a different subject, you are one of the first postdoctoral fellows of the Russian Studies Workshop. What attracted you to apply for this Fellowship?


MT: Indiana University is such a center of knowledge for Russian Studies, and the fellowship also fit my interests—political, cultural, social. I felt beside myself when I received this post-doc opportunity.


SM: Can you tell me about the course you’re teaching this semester?


MT: It’s Geographies of Islam. What we’re doing is investigating the diversity of Muslim life across space and time. I’ve got a few units—intro to Islam, including what constitutes a Muslim space. We also have a unit on nationalities and networks—which investigates religious life as an element of ethnic or national belonging, and religion as being created by social networks. That’s where we’ll be focusing on Russian Islam, my specialty.

Dr. Francesca Silano is a historian, who holds a PhD from the University of Toronto. Her research is focused on the history of the Russian Orthodox Church. She will be teaching a course at IU this spring entitled, “Religions of Russia Since 1991.”


Dr. Francesca Silano

SM: To start, can you tell me about your background and research interests, and what attracted you to the history of religion in Russia?


FS: My research interests are the Russian Orthodox Church in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. I really became intrigued the first time I went to Russia. In the archive, I was reading some speeches by the patriarch, Tikhon, who was elected during the October 1917 Bolshevik Revolution. I thought, this is so interesting! You imagine a dramatic situation; the country that he knew was falling apart and he was taking up a position that did not exist two days ago, because the patriarchate hadn’t existed for 200 years and he had to say something. I thought, ‘I wonder why and how one selects what to say in such situations.’ It intrigued me to start to investigate the world of Orthodoxy.


SM: What would you say are the implications of your historical research on today’s relationship between the Church and State in Russia?


FS: I hesitate to draw parallels between history and contemporary events. History can help us understand that the relationship between the Russian Church and State is not as simplistic as people think it is. The ways people talk about the Church today are not new—they are very much grounded in historical narratives.


SM: Moving on to a different subject, you are one of the first postdoctoral fellows of the Russian Studies Workshop. What attracted you to apply for this Fellowship?


FS: I spent two summers at IU doing the Summer Language Workshop and it was really a wonderful experience for me. I learned Russian of course, but there’s such esteem for the study of Russia in all of its factors here; it’s wonderful.


SM: I see that you will be teaching a course here at IU next semester. Can you tell me about it?


FS: My class, Religions of Russia Since 1991, considers how analyzing stigmatization of “Religion” and “Russia” can serve as a gateway into so many different kinds of experiences. We’ll start by contextualizing Russia after 1991, but then we’ll look into how religion (or a lack thereof) is remembered. We’ll talk about how contemporary Russians describe their religious experiences. And of course, we’ll be discussing religion and politics. This perspective will allow us to challenge some of our preconceptions about Russia, religion itself, and their relationship in differing contexts. Also, it will be super fun.

Additions to the Slavic and East European Collection

Wookjin Cheun, Librarian for Slavic and East European Studies and Associate Librarian, reports that the following substantial resources have recently been added to IU Libraries:

Russian Dissertation Database: A digital archive of over 400,000 Russian dissertations. Access requires registration. Contact Wookjin Cheun ( for more information.

Cambridge Archive Editions Online: 34 volumes of original documents from the National Archives (UK), including numerous maps, on the national heritage and political development of many countries including several South Slavic countries.

Za vozvrashchenie na Rodinu: A biweekly published in East Berlin for six years from 1955 by the Soviet Repatriation Committee.

Sovetskaia Kul’tura Digital Archive: A complete digital archive of the five Soviet culture periodicals: Rabochii i iskusstvo, Literatura i iskusstvo, Sovetskoe iskusstvo, Sovetskaia kul’tura, and Kul’tura.

Krokodil Digital Archive: A digital archive of the Soviet satirical magazine Krokodil from its beginning to 2007.

Estonian Prime Minister Visits IU

By: Clare Angeroth Franks



Prime Minister Jüri Ratas

Jüri Ratas has been in office since November of 2016

The prime minister of the Republic of Estonia, Jüri Ratas, visited Indiana University to deliver a public address on Tuesday, Aug. 29, in the Global and International Studies Building's auditorium as a guest of the IU School of Global and International Studies and the Department of Central Eurasian Studies. The prime minister spoke to a packed auditorium on four topics: Estonia’s history and current role, the country’s new role in the presidency of the Council of the European Union, digitalization in Estonia, and the centenary of the Republic of Estonia.


Prime Minister Ratas opened his speech with some background detailing his own personal connection with Indiana. Having an aunt and cousin living in Indianapolis at the time, Ratas first visited Indiana in 1994. The aforementioned cousin, Ain Haas, is an Indiana University Bloomington alumnus, Professor Emeritus of Sociology at IUPUI, and the chairman of the Indianapolis Estonian Society. During this first summer visit, Ratas insists that he discovered the true meaning of Hoosier via Indy 500 cars, Indiana University basketball, and Reggie Miller. However, his personal connections were not the sole motivator for his 2017 tour. Ratas was keen to note Indiana University Bloomington’s long-standing Estonian language program, developed in 1952, as well as the presence of many Estonian immigrants living in the state.


Ratas then shifted towards themes of Estonian history and its current role in the world, capturing the essence of Estonian foreign policy via former US President Dwight Eisenhower: “We must be firm, but friendly.” The prime minister likened Estonia to having taken up this phrase as an unofficial motto, as Estonia has learned to be firm from its former occupation, whilst simultaneously appreciating and taking time for its friends in the international community. In 2004, Estonia became a member of both the European Union and NATO and has been actively contributing to these organizations since. In July of 2017, Estonia began its first term in the presidency of the Council of the European Union. Currently, the Estonian presidency’s European focuses are the development of an open and innovative economy; the promotion of safety and security; the cultivation of an inclusive and sustainable society; and an emphasis on a digital society characterized by the free movement of data.



Prime Minister Ratas delivering his address in the IU Auditorium

Though small in area and population, one could say that Estonia is a giant in the realm of digitalization. Ratas explained how his country had saved two percent of its annual GDP solely by going digital. 99.8 percent of the country’s banking transactions and 95 percent of income tax filings occur online, saving more than 300 meters of paper per month, or as the prime minister explained, “Twelve Eiffel Towers a year.” Estonia has not had any technological incidents in the past fifteen years, allowing for more than 800 years of work to be saved. The prime minister remarked that public services are now “hassle-free” and “more convenient for the people.” A notable example Ratas provided is the average completion time in filing taxes at roughly 3 minutes, also comically noting the 18-second record. The growth in digital services has also allowed Estonians to develop resilient cybersecurity leading to the establishment of the NATO Cyber Defense Center of Excellence in Tallinn in 2008.


The prime minister closed his speech remarking on the Estonian 100th anniversary. The centennial celebration began in April 2017 and will continue until February 2020, paying tribute to its persistence, tenacity, and the sacrifices made in its fight for independence. Apart from the promotion of Estonian culture and national memory, Prime Minister Ratas wishes to use the centenary as a platform to craft a vision for the future, setting ambitious goals, focusing on the nation’s youth development, and globally raising the Estonian profile. Ratas invited (and encouraged) all present to visit Estonia for the occasion, also mentioning anniversary celebrations that will take place around the United States for those looking to celebrate from this side of the Atlantic. Following his address, Prime Minister Ratas answered questions from participants inside the auditorium, followed by a reception in the atrium of the Global and International Studies Building. Here, the prime minister mingled with students, faculty, staff, and community members. He returned to Tallinn after the opening of West Coast Estonian Days in California.

Clare Angeroth Franks is a student in the REEI MA program.

Painting Politics: Macedonia’s “Colorful Revolution” comes to IU

By: Nicholas Jackson


From August 22nd to December 17th (2017), Indiana University Bloomington’s Mathers Museum of World Cultures plays host to a photographic exhibition illustrating a recent string of protests in the Republic of Macedonia. The protests emerged in response to an “urban renewal” project pushed by the country’s nationalistic then-ruling VMRO-DPMNE party. Through its diversion of public funds towards monuments of forced national identity and its simultaneous function as a façade of active political engagement, the project enraged Macedonians of all identities. At a cost of over 600 million euros, six times the estimate- and still incomplete, the project has come under increasing scrutiny, with growing evidence suggesting that the project was used an affront for a money-laundering scheme benefitting a small political elite within the ruling party. The situation was escalated by Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski’s widespread pardoning of political officials linked with multiple crimes in an acrimonious wiretapping scandal. At the zenith of years of corruption and neglect, the collective disillusionment of Macedonians of all ages and ethnicities took a multi-colored form. Taking to the streets of the capital city Skopje, citizens marched en masse, armed with paint filled balloons and demands for a new political epoch. The resulting protests centered around the "painting" of many of the aforementioned monuments in addition to government buildings. Whilst the current political moment is unstable, multiple demands of the protesters have been met including new elections where Zoran Zaev’s opposition party (SDSM) has taken the majority of seats through coalition with Albanian political groups. As of late June, the Special Prosecutor’s Office, previously blocked by the VMRO-DPMNE, has filed charges against 94 individuals. According to some Macedonian media outlets, Gruevski is amongst those being charged.


Robert Atanovski's

Painted Justice by Robert Atanasovski

The exhibition itself displays 21 images, meticulously plucked from a larger set of work from three photographers who brilliantly captured the spirit of the protest: Robert Atanasovski, Vanco Dzambaski, and Kire Galevski. The images presented are bold, provocative, and, as the name indicates, quite colorful, conveying messages of inclusion and peaceful but assertive resistance. Take for instance Atanasovki’s Painted Justice, displaying a protester spray-painting an already paint-riddled Ministry of Justice with the words “Colorful Revolution” as a police officer, riot shield adorned with blue and red paints, looks on. Dzambaski’s You can wash away the paint, but not the blood, displays a number of protesters dousing Skopje’s main square in red paint, a memorandum for Martin Neshkovski who, in 2011, was murdered by an off-duty police officer. Multiple officials attempted to conceal the murder with the then-Minister of Internal Affairs Gordana Jankuloska recorded on tape as saying (paraphrased): “It is terrible that one cannot conceal a murder.” Jankuloska refused to resign in the wake of mass protest calling for her resignation, only being removed 4 years later. Kire Galevski’s Flags presents a protesting middle-aged man, draped in both a Macedonian and Albanian flag whilst holding up both a European Union and United States flag. Tensions are very present in Macedonia following what some call insurgency and others civil war during the early 2000’s, erupting between militant members of the Albanian minority against Macedonian authorities. Galevski’s photo presents a hopeful future, reflecting an unprecedented diversity within the Colorful Revolution. These are but a few of the multi-faceted and captivating images present at the exhibit.


You can wash away the paint, but not the blood by Vanco Dzambaski


In addition to the images, Indiana University hosted a round table discussion “Painting Politics,” analyzing specific aspects of the protests including background, the current political climate with relation to the protests, and the continuity within multiple protests throughout the former Yugoslavia since 2011. Involvement of IU faculty was integral to the table, with REEI adjunct professor Dr. Marina Antic presenting on the last of the aforementioned aspects of the Colorful Revolution. Her lecture provided a sophisticated yet accessible analysis of consistencies between recent protests in each of the former Yugoslav republics and former autonomous province Kosovo. Said protests conjure up, intentionally or otherwise, notions of a region unified against corruption and the negative consequences of its existence within privatization schemes. Dr. Antic’s presentation, the round table discussion as a whole, and the exhibit itself are testament to the increasing relevance of REEI’s larger aims and to the many enriching opportunities offered to its faculty and students. A monumental thanks (covered in paint) goes out to REEI faculty member Dr. Justin Otten, whose persistent efforts made both the exhibition and discussion a reality.


The Mathers Museum of World Cultures is located at 416 N. Indiana Avenue on the east side of the road between 8th and 9th streets. “The High Stakes of Macedonia’s Colorful Revolution” will be at Mathers until December 17th, 2017. For more from the Mather's Museum, please visit their website:

"Painting Politics" panel participants (left to right): Dr. Marina Antic (IU- Slavic); Sarah Hatcher (IU- Mathers Museum [Head of Programs and Education]); Dr. Justin Otten (IU- REEI, Public Health); Aleksej Demjanski (MA Candidate, UT Austin); Dr. Aneta Georgievska-Shine (University of Maryland).


Nicholas Jackson is a student in the REEI MA program.

Bringing the “Bard of Piano” to the Bard Music Festival: An Interview with Dr. Halina Goldberg

By: Christine Wisch


This summer, Dr. Halina Goldberg, Professor of Musicology at the Jacobs School of Music and affiliate faculty with the Russian and East European Institute, Polish Studies Center, and Borns Jewish Studies Program at Indiana University, spent two weeks in upstate New York participating in the Bard Music Festival. Founded in 1990, the world-renowned summer festival is unique in its approach to bring together scholarship and performance, while highlighting a single composer each year. Over the course of two weekends, the festival presents a series of concerts, panels, pre-concert lectures, and other activities related to the composer. One or two top experts in the field are invited to serve as scholars-in-residence for each festival. Among other contributions, they edit a volume of collected scholarly essays and source documents, which is published by Princeton University Press ahead of the festival.


This year, the festival honored the great Polish composer and virtuoso pianist, Fryderyk Chopin. As one of the world’s leading scholars on Chopin, Dr. Goldberg worked tirelessly with colleague and friend Dr. Jonathan Bellman, Professor of Music History and Literature and Head of Academic Studies in Music at the University of Northern Colorado, as well as the co-directors of the Bard Festival to bring Chopin’s music and his world to eager audiences. PhD candidate in musicology Christine Wisch had the pleasure of catching up with the busy professor to learn more about the collaborative process and her experience this summer.



Goldberg's recent co-production: "Chopin and his World"

CW: How did you come to be part of the Bard Festival, and what was your involvement?


HG: I was invited by the festival organizers and welcomed the opportunity to work with Dr. Jonathan Bellman, my collaborator on several other projects. Our most demanding task was to co-edit, on a very tight timeline, the collection of essays. We solicited chapters from leading scholars who are doing exciting and meaningful work about Chopin, his music, and the context in which his works were created and heard. We also wrote introductory essays and annotations for source documents selected by us for the book. In addition to preparing the book, we collaborated with the directors of the festival on concert and lecture programming. The festival provides audience members with an extensive and visually attractive (mainly, because of the inclusion of high-quality reproductions of relevant artwork) program booklet, which is comprised of an extensive timeline and program notes that contextualize the music they will hear within Polish and French cultures. During the festival, Jonathan and I each led a panel and engaged with audiences through lectures and discussions. This year, Bard Festival for the first time offered a blog feature: my blog post was on the Chopin Piano Competition that took place during the politically turbulent months of 1980 (


CW: The Bard Festival seems to alternate composers who are household names with composers whose music is not yet as well known. Where do you feel Chopin and his music fit, and what made him a successful composer of choice for this year’s festival?


HG: Chopin is the most familiar of composers for these audience members. For many, contact with art music started with the piano, so they have played Chopin’s music and know it intimately. But, they know little about him in relation to Polish and French cultures of his time. Because Chopin wrote primarily for the piano, there was an initial concern that there would not be enough variety of music to feature over the two weeks. However, most audiences know Chopin’s solo piano works but not his songs or chamber pieces, and they may not know what music he heard or performed. So, in addition to compositions by Chopin, we featured music that made up his sonic world, including salon pieces by his contemporaries and close friends such as Pauline Viardot and Auguste Franchomme, concert works by famous virtuosos of his era, including Johann Nepomuk Hummel and Ignaz Moscheles, wind symphonies, and choral music. When you open the programming up to the “and his world” component, it affords great programming flexibility, and an opportunity for audiences to connect with the broader history.


CW: I saw that you gave a pre-concert talk on the opera Halka by Stanisław Moniuszko. How did this opera fit into the festival’s overall program, and why is it an important work to you?


HG: Chopin was an incredibly gifted composer, and everyone expected him to write the “first Polish national opera,” but he never wrote such a work. That task fell to his fellow countryman, Stanisław Moniuszko, who in 1848, just as Chopin’s life was coming to a close, premiered the first version of his Halka, an opera composed to a libretto by Włodzimierz Wolski. The work has come to be regarded as Poland’s “first national opera.” The opera is rarely performed in the United States, so it was my pleasure to give a talk about this work and see it introduced to new audiences.


The Spiegeltent at the Bard Festival

CW: What was your favorite part about Bard, and what makes it special?


HG: The audience of this festival is unlike any other I have encountered. They are eager to learn from academics, to engage in conversations, and very appreciative of our contributions. It is incredibly fulfilling to speak to hundreds of people in such beautiful venues. Fisher Hall, one of Frank Gehry’s designs, is stunningly beautiful and has terrific acoustics. And, the performers were incredible. It is hard to pick just one “favorite” part, as what makes it special is the combination of variety, quantity, and quality of events. One night I was able to sit at the Spiegeltent, an informal performance space at Bard, and enjoy a concert by members of Bard Music West, a West Coast festival dedicated to 20th- and 21st-century music and modeled on its namesake. Their concert traced Chopin’s influence through present-day Polish composers, and included works by Henryk Górecki and Grażyna Bacewicz, one of my favorite composers, as well as living composers Marta Ptaszyńska and Mikołaj Górecki (the son of Henryk and an alumnus of IU’s Jacobs School of Music). Truly the breadth of thoughtful programming and quality of musicians was astounding.


CW: So, what’s next?


HG: Well, for Bard Music Festival, it is the Russian composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, whose works and world will be featured next summer—I am especially excited about their plans to perform Anton Rubinstein’s famous opera "The Demon." For me, there are various projects related to Chopin, and my other area of scholarship, Jews and Jewishness in Polish music. At the moment, I am co-organizing the 5th Polish-Jewish Workshop, which will take place March 5-6, 2018 at Rutgers; our topic this year is “Centering the Periphery: Polish Jewish Cultural Production Beyond the Capital.” I am also continuing work on a digital project that focuses on Jewish Life in interwar Łódź. This project brings light to a fascinating Polish city and its diverse Jewish population during such an important period, at a threshold of modernity and on the brink of destruction. I’m committed to seeing this project grow!


Readers interested in learning more about Dr. Goldberg’s digital humanities project, which is the recipient of a New Frontiers Grant, Collaborative Research and Creative Activity Funding, and The Robert A. and Sandra S. Borns Jewish Studies Program Funding, are invited to peruse the website:

A Summer in Bosnia

By: Amanda Lawnicki


If you were in Southeast Europe this summer, one thing probably captured your attention: the heat. Mercifully, my flight left only three days into “Lucifer” – the name given to early August’s heat wave, when temperatures easily reached 40+ in much of southern Europe. Thankfully, by the time Lucifer attacked, my McCloskey and REEI Mellon funded research in Bosnia & Herzegovina (BiH) had already been completed.


Amanda in Sarajevo

I spent most of July in Tuzla, in the northeastern part of the Federation. The visit marked the beginning of my research into the effects of built environment decay on political participation – the built environment being the human-made spaces in which people live, work, and interact, and decay being, well…decay. For someone from the Detroit area, it’s not a surprising topic – though it is oddly under-researched. The main idea is that empty, abandoned, and/or derelict structures send signals to community members, influencing their interpretation of the political and economic environment and, by extension, their societal engagement.


In BiH, vacant built landscapes arose out of post-communist economic restructuring and post-conflict political and demographic changes which combined to create a perfect storm of mass disinvestment and migration. Abandoned buildings in this context become symbols of a state unwilling or unable to assist its citizens. In 2014, Tuzla was the epicenter of country-wide protests when frustrations against the corrupt and inept regime boiled over. Protestors burned the SODASO building which housed the Cantonal government, creating what is arguably the most prominent empty structure in Tuzla today. However, the city’s famed industrial heritage has left a number of other large buildings empty or running at partial capacity, though not for a lack of workers. The country’s struggle with unemployment and poverty is reflected in the built landscape: homes in Tuzla are rarely vacant – shops frequently are.


The Pannonica: One of the most popular tourist destinations in Tuzla


These observations come from my time spent walking around the city collecting the geospatial locations of empty buildings. I use the term empty rather than abandoned because it best reflects what I saw – from pristine shops with “for-sale” signs, to large structures with boarded windows, to vacant lots. I also marked construction zones, which stood out as sort of “ruins-in-reverse” – the construction materials and rubble scattered around these locations imitate neighboring abandoned buildings, but the addition of a few construction cranes and workers send a markedly different signal, though I’d hesitate to call it an opposite one. I’m hoping that when I return for interviews next summer I’ll be able to pull that distinction apart.


Overall, my GPS tracker says I walked more than 34 miles geotagging about 375 buildings, though in reality I probably walked twice as far if you count getting to and from destinations, and the segments I had to do-over. The number of locations is also a rough estimate as I still need to clean the data and disaggregate some compiled tags. I suppose I’d call this summer a success though there are some neighborhoods I missed, blank spaces that trigger my research anxiety: Why didn’t I climb to the top of that hill? What if I missed something crucial? But then I remember the heat and try to console myself with reminders that perfection is an illusion – and there’s always next summer anyway.


Thank you to REEI and the McCloskey program: I would not have been able to complete this research without your support.

Amanda Lawnicki is pursuing dual master’s degrees at REEI and the School of Public and Enviromental Affairs.

Dr. Ablet Kamalov Comes to IU

By: Austin Wilson


On September 7th, the Inner Asian and Uralic National Resource Center and the Pan-Asia Institute hosted a lecture by Dr. Ablet Kamalov of Turan University, in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Dr. Kamalov has taught throughout Eurasia and America and has won two national prizes in Kazakhstan for his contribution to the sciences and is currently a CEUS visiting scholar. In his lecture, Dr. Kamalov showed the intersection between scopes of the Inner Asian Uralic National Resource Center, the Pan-Asia Institute, and the Russian and East European Institute, and how broad and specific area studies in conjunction with post-Communist and post-Soviet framings can reveal significant and novel historical truths.


Dr. Kamalov’s topic was on the waves of interethnic violence in then-Russian Central Asia in 1916 and 1918. The Revolt of 1916 was triggered by the Tsarist authorities proclaiming the beginning of conscription in the region to supply manpower to the war effort against Germany. In 1918, 40% of the Taranchi population, the Uighurs of Semirechye oblast’, were either killed by Bolsheviks, or fled to China. The popular historiography of the 1918 event attribute the violence to Red Terror, or as the defeat of counter-revolutionaries. Dr. Kamalov preceded to deconstruct these arguments. Explaining the massacres as a part of the “Red Terror” simply essentializes the violence as inevitable. The argument that the violence was perpetrated as a part of the war against the whites only stands on the promise of land by the White government led by Admiral Kolchak to Taranchis who took up arms against the Bolsheviks.


To reframe the events in 1916 and 1918, Dr. Kamalov describes three approaches he utilized. The archival records “speak Bolshevik,” a phrase he borrows from Stephen Kotkin, meaning that to make proper use of archival records, one has to understand the centrality of the Bolshevik discourse captured in record-keeping to best understand them. From this, he deconstructed the Soviet narrative, to better understand when the historical discourse changes, and supplemented this with local narratives, Taranchi folk songs from the period that were recorded in the 1930s. With further historical research, he found that the root of the violence dates back to the 1880s, thirty years before. There were contradictions in land allotment to the Taranchis, Cossacks, and Russian colonists that often erupted in violence. The revolt and massacres of 1916 and 1918 were triggered by political upheaval, but the source was long-simmering land conflict. This is how the Taranchi Massacre came to be fought on one side Taranchis and Cossacks, long local competitors over land and against recently-arrived, impoverished Russian colonists committing indiscriminate violence against both. Like the Taranchis themselves, “Taranchi” means “newcomer” in Kazakh, the dispute was founded on who controlled the land in the region, and who did not.


Dr. Kamalov’s lecture was insightful, and showed what careful examination of sources can reveal about history and the utility of intertextual and multimodal media analysis for historical research. It was also a model for approaches to interregional studies and the opportunities for crossing traditional area studies borders.


A recording of his presentation is available on the Inner Asian and Uralic Natural Resource Center’s website as a podcast:

Austin Wilson is studying in the REEI MA program.

For more information on the IAUNRC or CEUS, please click the respective images below:

Alumni News

REEI Alumni Advance American Interests in the Heart of the Urals

By: Margaret Sullivan


Amidst a challenging environment for Russian-US relations, three Indiana University alumni are upholding the REEI and Hoosier spirit while serving at the US Consulate General in Yekaterinburg, Russia. When it opened in 1994, US Consulate General Yekaterinburg became the first foreign diplomatic mission in Russia’s “third capital,” serving a consular district roughly the size of the United States east of the Mississippi. The Consulate General continues to protect US citizens, promote US business interests, and facilitate educational and cultural exchanges in a vibrant and diverse region.


Left to right: Margaret Sullivan; Dr. Paul Carter; Andrew Berdy

Dr. Paul Carter assumed leadership as Consul General in Yekaterinburg in August 2017. Dr. Carter received his MA in Political Science from IU in 1984 and his PhD in Political Science, with an REEI Certificate, in 1997. Prior to his current posting in Yekaterinburg, Dr. Carter also served as Director for Eurasia in the Department of State’s Office of the Coordinator of US Assistance to Europe and Eurasia and as the Senior State Department Advisor to the US Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, among numerous domestic and overseas roles related to Russia and Eastern Europe. He also authored the book "Shef ideolog: M.A. Suslov i "nauka" o kommunizme v SSSR" (Moscow: MGU/TEIS Press, 2003), which is available at the Wells Library or the Library of the Department of Political Science. Dr. Carter commented, “My IU Russian training – language, politics, and culture – were a tremendous start for my career, and I now call on this knowledge daily. Thank you, Indiana University!”


Andrew Berdy has served as Consulate General Yekaterinburg’s Management Officer since 2015. Andrew received a BA in Slavic Languages and Literatures and Religious Studies from Indiana University in 1997. He joined the Foreign Service in 2004 and has served in St. Petersburg, Russia; Tunis, Tunisia; Ashgabat, Turkmenistan; and Frankfurt, Germany. "I acquired my passion for Russian language on the beautiful IU campus,” Berdy said. “In fact, I enjoyed it so much, I spent my summers there in the SWSEEL program. My time at IU served as the foundation for a fulfilling career."


Margaret Sullivan serves as the American Citizen Services Chief in Consulate General Yekaterinburg’s consular section. She received her MPA from IU’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs in 2013. During her time at IU, Margaret took advantage of advanced-level Russian language offerings and made frequent use of the resources available through REEI’s Title VI National Resource Center. “Young professionals benefit greatly from REEI’s rich alumni network, and it is amazing how often I meet fellow Hoosiers in the foreign affairs world,” she said.


The IU alumni team at Consulate General Yekaterinburg welcome questions from REEI students and associates of all levels and backgrounds considering careers in public service. They can be reached at

Nicholas Aleshin (REEI MA, 1988) retired after a 21-year career with the US Army including work as a Political-Military Analyst.

Hilary Brandt (Slavic BA/REEI certificate, 1991) is the Acting Deputy Director of the U.S. Diplomacy Center at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. Currently under construction, the U.S. Diplomacy Center will be our nation’s first museum and education center dedicated to telling the story of American diplomacy. Funded through a public-private partnership, the U.S. Diplomacy Center will include a public museum with exhibits, educational programs, and events related to American diplomacy.

Megan Browndorf (REEI MLS, 2012) has a new position as the East European Studies Liason and Reference Librarian at Georgetown University.


Rich Choppa (REEI MA, 1994) has a new position as the Senior Director of Boeing Space and Missile Systems through the Boeing Company.


Kathleen Claussen (REEI Minor, 2006) has a new position as an Associate Professor of Law at the University of Miami Law School.


Emily Collins [nee Rich] (REEI Minor with Language Certificate, 2004) has a new position as a Corporate Counsel with H&R Block.


Norma Corigliano Noonan (REEI, 1963) published Challenge and Change: Global Threats and the State in Twenty-First Century International Politics. Noonan worked with Vidya Nadkarni (University of San Diego) in editing and contributing to this multi-author volume, which includes scholars from Russian, Australian, and American universities. Noonan is a Professor Emerita at Augsburg College in Minneapolis.


Richard and Stephanie Fitzmaurice (REEI MA, 2006) have both been working for the US State Department Foreign Service Office and have recently returned from assignment in Bratislava, Slovakia. The tour saw their family expand to include a son and daughter, Kyle and Sloane, respectively. The couple are studying Mandarin at the Foreign Service Institute at present in preparation for an assignment with the US Consulate General in Chengdu, China. Richard will serve as the Political-Economic Chief and Stephanie will lead the Public Affairs Section.


Jen Gubitz (REEI Minor, 2005) is now the Rabbi at Temple Israel of Boston.


Brad Gutierrez (REEI MA, 1995) is now the Director of the Executive Secretariat of the National Science Board with the National Science Foundation.


Kristofer Hellen (REEI MA, 2016) contributed his article “How an American historian came to call Narva home” to Estonian World, an independent online magazine.


Peter Isaac Holquist (REEI Minor, 1986) has a new position as the Director of Graduate Studies for the Department of History with the University of Pennsylvania. He also has a new title as a Ronald S. Lauder Endowed term Associate Professor of History. He also recently published his work “Okkupatsionnaia politika Vremennogo Pravitel’stva kak osvobozhdenie: na primer ‘Turetskoi Armenia’’ (“The Occupation policy of the Russian Provisional Government as a a Form of Liberation: The Case of Turkish Armenia”). This is published in Epoka voin I revoliutsii, 1914-1922: Materialy medzhdunarodnogo kollokviuma (St. Petersburg: Nestor, 2017).


Karissa Jackson (REEI MA, 2017) is now working as a Program Associate (for Eurasia Programs) with Freedom House in Washington DC.


Shoshana Keller (REEI Certificate, 1990) has a forthcoming publication through the University of Toronto Press entitled Russia and Central Asia; Coexistence, Conquest, Convergence.


Zachary Kelly (REEI MA, 2012) co-lead a study abroad program in Poland, Czech Republic, and Germany focused on the co-existence of minority groups in East-Central Europe. The trip included meetings with a number of community leaders, an immigration lawyer, non-profit representatives, Holocaust survivors, and the Kurdistan Regional Government’s Representative to Poland, Ziyad Raoof.


Joel Kleehammer (REEI MA, 2009) has a new position as a security Cooperation Analyst with Stracon Services Group in Arlington, Virginia. This is following his retirement in May of this year from the U.S. Army after 23 years of active duty service.


Lynn Lubamersky (REEI Minor, 1998) presented her research at the third Congress of International Researchers of Polish History. The conference took place on October 11-14, 2017 in Kraków, Poland, The congress brings together academics every five years whose research pertains to Polish history, culture, arts, and sciences. This congress’ theme was “The Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth: History- Memory- Legacy.”


Rebecca Mueller (REEI MA/MPH, 2016) recently began work as Events Coordinator with The Language Conservancy, a leading partner in the revitalization of Native American languages based in Bloomington, Indiana. She's excited to draw on her passions for language learning and community development as she organizes summer language institutes, language weekends, and fundraising events in cities and on reservations throughout the US."

Robert L. Oprisko (REEI Minor, 2002) has a new position as the Founder and Chief Academic Officer at Tenure Track.


Rebecca Pasini (REEI Certificate, 1996) has hit her 20 year mark with the State Department. Rebecca and her family recently arrived in Rio de Janerio, Brazil as she begins her three year tour as the Chief of the Consular Section.


Valery Perry (REEI MA, 1994) has a new position as a Project Coordinator for the Countering Violent Extremism in Serbia- Early Warning and Prevention initiative through the OSCE Mission to Serbia. She additionally published her policy paper “Reflections of Efforts to Prevent and Counter Violent Extremism in the Balkans” in June.


Zackary Suhr (REEI MA, 2016) accepted a position as a Program Assistant with the National Democratic Institute in Washington DC.


Nate Turner (REEI Minor, 2001), currently a Pastor for the United Pentecostal Church International, has participated in a number of Church-related excursions in recent years including 2017, primarily through the Baltic States and parts of Russia. Nate has worked primarily in Estonia.

Faculty & Staff News

Ben Eklof (History) and Tatiana Saburova (History) have co-authored A Generation of Revolutionaries: Nikolai Charushin and Russian Populism from the Great Reforms to Perestroika with Indiana University Press. The original and considerably different Russian-language version published in 2016 recently received highly favorable reviews in the American Historical Review and Russian Review. Eklof and Saburova were also the organizers of and contributors to an international conference including participants from the USA and Canada, Italy, Sweden, Germany and Russia on "Seeing like a State? Innovative Approaches to the Study of the History of Russian Education" held in Berlin on October 14-15.


Eklof also attended a conference on October 12-13 in Uppsala, Sweden, "School Acts: The Role of the State in Mass Education in the Long Nineteenth Century." His contribution was entitled "From the Top Down? Two Landmark Statutes (1864 and 1908) and Society's Role in Educational Expansion in Imperial Russia." Eklof has received a grant to be a Visiting Senior Scholar at the Institute of Education of the Higher School of Economics in Moscow in January and February.

Saburova also presented "Photographing and Seeing Siberia: Geographical Imagination, Ethnography, and Visual Representations of Siberia in the Russian Empire" at the third international conference "After Post Photography" in the European University, St. Petersburg, May 18-20, 2017.

The Russian edition of Eklof and Saburova's work

She also gave an invited paper: "Youth" and "Modernity" in the Photographs of Ogonek from the 1930s through the 1960s" at the International Conference "Art versus Document: Photography in Modern Russian History" June 1-2, 2017, Moscow. She was also the keynote speaker at the second international conference "Autobiographies in interdisciplinary research practice", the Higher School of Economics, Moscow, June 1-2, 2017. During another trip to Moscow and St. Petersburg in September she was a coordinator and participant of the international roundtable "Creating Time and Space: A New History of Photography in Russia" at the Higher School of Economics, Moscow, September 20, 2017. She presented a paper "Generational Approach to the History of Universities in Russia" at the Poletaev Institute for Theoretical and Historical Studies in the Humanities, Higher School of Economics, Moscow, September 22, 2017. She was invited as a discussant to an international conference "Revolutionary Biographies in the 19th and 20th Century. Imperial -- Inter/national -- Decolonial (Max Weber Foundation conference 2017, German Historical Institute, Moscow), September 21-23, 2017. She will be a Visiting Scholar at the University of Alberta in Edmonton from November until July of 2018.

Maria Bucur (History) has published her work Gendering Modernism: A Reappraisal of the Canon (Bloomsbury Publishing).


Aurelian Craiutu (Political Science) traveled to Romania, assisted by an REEI Mellon grant, where he participated as one of two primary speakers during a roundtable Q&A session at the University of Bucharest. The discussion centered on moderation and Dr. Craiutu’s most recent book Faces of Moderation: The Art of Balance in an age of Extremes.

Ke-chin Hsia (History) presented "'War Victims': Practical Concepts of Victimhood and Identity in the Early First Austrian Republic" as part of the panel Austrians as War Victims? Victimhood Discourses and Practices in the Age of World Wars, which he also organized, at the 41st Annual Conference of the German Studies Association in Atlanta, Georgia, on October 6, 2017.


Padraic Kenney (History/International Studies) presented a keynote address at the Parnell Summer School in Avondale, Co. Wicklow, Ireland, entitled "'A prisoner must reverse their whole system': Irish Political Prisoners from the Fenians to the Troubles." Additionally he published his paper "Dance in Chains: Political Imprisonment in the Modern World" with Oxford University Press. He also presented a paper on Polish Communism as an emotional experience as part of a symposium at Harvard entitled: "Did Ten Days Shake the World: Centenary Perspectives on the Russian Revolution."


Alexander Rabinowitch (History, Emeritus) gave several interviews related to this year’s centennial of the Russian Revolution. The link provided below was included on Sean Gillory’s Russian Blog: . He also presented a paper, "The Great Russian Revolution Revisited: Six Questions" on September 27 at the plenary session of an international conference, "The Russian Revolution of 1917 and its Historical Footprint." Held in Moscow, the conference was organized by the National Committee of Russian Historians. On October 9, he presented another research paper, "The Petrograd Bolsheviks and the All-Russian Constituent Assembly," at the plenary session of a second international conference in Moscow, "The Great Russian Revolution of 1917: 100 years of study. " This conference was organized by the Institute of Russian History, Russian Academy of Sciences.


Mark Roseman (Jewish Studies/History) delivered a presentation on his forthcoming book, Rescued Lives, at the American University in Paris on June 15th. This was part of a special session of the seminar series "Histoire et Historiographie de la Shoah (History and Historiography of the Shoah),” jointly hosted by the Centre de recherches historiques (CRH-EHESS) and the George and Irina Schaeffer Center for the Study of Genocide, Human Rights and Conflict. His review article "Paradox of Powerlessness," appeared in the Times Literary Supplement on July 7th. Mark's interview with Oxford University Regius Professor, Lyndal Roper, who presented her recent biography of Martin Luther to the European History Workshop last spring, aired on WFIU's Profiles program on Saturday, August 19, at 5 p.m. on WFIU2 (101.9 FM) and Sunday, August 20, at 6 p.m. on WFIU (103.7). These can also be streamed on-line ( Dr. Roseman also delivered the lecture "The League and the Devil. A Hidden History of Opposition and Rescue" as the annual Toby and Saul Reichert Holocaust Lecturer, at the Wirth Institute for Austrian and Central European Studies, University of Alberta, Edmonton, October 18, 2017. Dr. Roseman is currently a guest professor at the University of Jena, Germany. On October 25 he gave a public lecture on "Die Rettung der Geschichte. Erlebnis und Erinnerung an Hilfsaktionen für Juden im Dritten Reich" (History's Rescue. Experience and Memory of Help for Jews in the Third Reich).

Mirjam Zadoff (Jewish Studies/History) published "Jewish Family Business. Ökonomie und Romantik von Mendelssohn bis Kafka", published in Die Familie. Ein Archiv, edited by Ellen Strittmatter. This is in the catalogue for the current, eponymous exhibition at the Deutsches Literaturarchiv Marbach.

In Memoriam: Dr. Piotr Wandycz


Professor Piotr Wandycz died peacefully on July 28th, 2017 at the Connecticut Hospice. Professor Wandycz’s passing follows an illustrious career resulting in a slew of honors ranging from honorary degrees to the Commander’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta (conferred by the Polish government for for outstanding achievements in the fields of education, science, sport, culture, art, economics, national defense, social work, or civil service). After serving in the Polish army during World War II, Professor Wandycz received his BA and MA from the University of Cambridge follow by his PhD from the London School of Economics.


A foremost historian on Poland, Professor Wandycz served as a professor at Indiana University from 1954 to 1966 and was one of the first Polish historians at IU Bloomington. He would later work as a professor at Yale University and a director of graduate studies in their Russian and East European realm. Additionally, he was a member of the Polish Academy of Sciences (former President), the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences of America, the Polish Academy of Learning, and an honorary member of the Polish Historical Association.


Professor Wandycz is survived by daughter Joanna (Wandycz-Mejías) who received her MA from REEI in September of 1995.

Student News


Tetiana Bulakh (Anthropology) has published "The Concept of the State in Ukraine after EuroMaidan Through Consumer Practices And Beyond" in a special issue of Studies in Russian, Eurasian and Central European New Media entitled “Patriotic (Non) Consumption: Food, Fashion and Media” and accessible at

Sebastian Schulman (History) has published his first book, a translation into English of Spomenka Stimec's Esperanto-language novel Croatian War Nocturnal. A fictionalized memoir of daily life during the 1990s Yugoslav wars, the translation has been published by Phoneme Media, an independent publisher of international literature based in Los Angeles. Additionally, Sebastian was recently voted onto the Board of Directors of the American Literary Translators Association, which he now serves as Chair of the Program Committee. In December, he will begin a new position as the Executive Director of KlezKanada, a Montreal-based organization devoted to Yiddish and Jewish arts and culture.

Stepan Serdiukov (History) published his article "Конец расового оптимизма. Почему наследие Юга стало главной проблемой в США" (“The end of optimism on race; why the legacy of the American South has become a major problem in the United States”) on the site of the Carnegie Moscow Center on August 22.

Szabolcs László (History) presented “Reclaiming the Hearts and Minds: Cultural Diplomacy and the Iowa International Writing Program during the Cold War” at The Vera and Donald Blinken Open Society Archives (OSA) in Budapest, on June 13.

In the Community

2017 Lotus Festival


The 24th annual Lotus Festival took place during the weekend of September 28th and October 1st in Bloomington. A staple of Bloomington, the festival aims to weave together diverse tapestries of sounds, visual art, and more from around the world. This year’s lineup featured five groups connected with countries in the REEI scope. REEI co-sponsored the event and these performances. Additionally, IU’s School of Global and International Studies served as a co-sponsor whilst also sponsoring the free Saturday event “Lotus in the Park.”


Alash: Hailing from the central-Asian Tuva Republic (Russia), Alash’s unique sound is a blend of traditional Tuvan folk music with more modern influences and instruments. The trio’s signature sound comes from the throat-singing style known as “khoomei.” With khoomei being directly connected with ancient pastoral animism, Alash helps to maintain both Tuvan cultural heritage and traditional music.


Fareed Haque & Goran Ivanovic: These two guitarists combine to create a collage of sounds hearkening to their varied heritages and the many styles resulting. The duo’s sound draws heavily upon the influence of Croatian and Serbian music, in addition to Pakistani and Chilean musical traditions. From Gypsy music to flamenco to jazz, this duo’s range and virtuosity is sublime.


Iberi Choir: Comprised of 12 folk singers, the Iberi Choir takes its influence from every corner of the Republic of Georgia. Their style is based in the popular Georgian tradition of Polyphonic singing, recognized by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Though polyphony was often secular in nature, Iberi’s repertoire spans through and beyond this, including ancient pagan songs.


Maria Pomianowska & Reborn: Amongst the only bands to use knee-chordaphone fiddles (primarily the suka, in this instance), Reborn brings two generations of Polish women together with long-forgotten and now reconstructed instruments. Their innovative music is centered on heavy usage of the suka and the frame drum.


Raya Brass Band: Taking their influence from brass bands common to the Balkans, this tight-knit sextet pillages from traditional Balkan, New Orleans brass, and even American punk-oriented styles. Described by some as “dance party mayhem,” the group brings a funky pulse to their meshing of sounds from home (they are Brooklyn-based) and abroad.


For more information on the Lotus Festival, please visit the eponymous website:


IU Cinema


The IU Cinema has been known to feature a number of international films each semester. The following films were produced in the geographic scope of REEI and were shown during the Fall Semester of 2017:


Junction [2016, Lithuania/Canada/Australia]: Director Nathan Jurevicius tells the story of a young girl from a family of “Face Changers,” as she journeys to a mountain to alter the direction of the wind. This was part of IU Cinema’s miniseries Shine On! The Best Animated Films from Children’s Film Festival Seattle 2017.


Mimi & Liza: Farewell Color Grey [2013, Slovakia]: From director Katarína Kerekesová, Mimi & Liza demonstrates the miraculous wonder of colors. Mimi, a blind girl, and her friend Liza team up to bring colors and joy to their gloomy neighborhood. This was part of IU Cinema’s miniseries Shine On! The Best Animated Films from Children’s Film Festival Seattle 2017.


Русский ковчег (Russian Ark) [2002, Russia]: Alexander Sokurov’s 2002 historical drama gained cinematic clout for being filmed with one continuous shot. A truly unique reflection, this film takes its viewers through the St. Petersburg Hermitage Museum in the first person, focusing on a number of lesser-known historical moments in a dream-like walk-through.


Бельчонок и санки (Belchonok i sanki/The Sled) [2016, Russia]: Directed by Olesya Shchukina, this animated short follows a curious squirrel and its endeavors as it discovers a new contraption: a sled. This was part of IU Cinema’s miniseries Shine On! The Best Animated Films from Children’s Film Festival Seattle 2017.


Сталкер (Stalker) [1979, U.S.S.R.]: Andrei Tarkovsky’s 1979 science-fiction classic, the film takes place in an unknown, dystopian world, following the exhibition of a guide (a “stalker” in the context), a writer, and a professor, as they explore the “Zone.” Searching for a room to fulfill their innermost desires, the characters traverse through a surreal and unnerving environment to the tune of philosophical discussion and psychological themes.


To keep up to speed with the upcoming schedule or more information regarding IU Cinema, please visit the IU Cinema website:

About REEI

The Russian and East European Institute (REEI) was established in 1958 on Indiana University's Bloomington campus. REEI administers one of the country's leading programs in Russian and East European area studies. REEI has been designated one of sixteen U.S. Department of Education-funded Title VI National Resource/FLAS Centers for Russia and Eastern Europe for the 2014-2017 grant period.


IU Awards for REEI Alumni
1994 Irene Meister College Distinguished Alumni
1998 Stephen Cohen College Distinguished Alumni
1999 James F. Collins Honorary Doctorate
2004 Richard Miles Distinguished Alumni Sevice

REEI Awards
Distinguished Alumni
1988 Alexander Rabinowitch
1988 Charles Gati
1995 Gale Stokes
1995 Helena Goscilo
2002 Howard I. Aronson
2002 William Hopkins
2009 Donald Raleigh
2011 Stephen F. Cohen
2013 Victor Jackovich

Distinguished Service
1988 Theofanis Stavrou
1988 Robert F. Byrnes
1989 Karen Niggle
1996 Robert W. Campbell
1997 Charles Jelavich
1997 Janet Rabinowitch
2000 William B. Edgerton
2007 Denise Gardiner
2009 David L. Ransel
2010 Jerzy Kolodziej
2012 Henry Cooper
2015 Anna Sharogradskaya
2017 Mark Trotter

Institute Staff

Sarah Phillips, Director
Mark Trotter, Associate Director/Outreach Coordinator
Elliott Nowacky, Student Services Coordinator/Military Relations Coordinator
Mary Belding, Administrative Secretary
Jennifer Ashcraft, Undergraduate Academic Advisor

Graduate Assistants
Clare Angeroth Franks, Library Assistant
Elena Doludenko, Outreach Assistant
Teuta Ismaili, Webmaster
Nicholas Jackson, Publications Editor

Contact Information
Russian and East European Institute
Indiana University
Global and International Studies Building
355 North Jordan Avenue
Bloomington, IN 47405-1105
Phone: (812) 855-7309
Fax: (812) 855-6411