‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌
Click here to see this online

REEEC E-Weekly: March 1-5, 2021


In This Issue


Upcoming Virtual Events 

  • March 2, 12:00 PM CST: Felix Cowan (University of Illinois), "Narratives of Backwardness and Modernization in the Late Imperial Russian Penny Press"
  • March 8, 3:30 - 5:00 PM CST: International Women's Day 2021: "13 Women Who Changed the World: Untold Stories"
  • March 9, 12:00 - 1:30 PM CST: Race, Human Rights, and Populism in Poland: A Symposium
  • March 9, 12:00 PM CST: Yelena Severina (UCLA), “Theater for the Revolution: Tableaux Vivants in Early Soviet Russia"
  • March 11, 12:00 PM CST: Larisa Kurtović (University of Ottawa), "A city on the water, without water: Politics of water infrastructures in postwar Sarajevo"
  • Save the Date! March 18, 4:00 PM CST: Holly Case (Brown University), "The Noblesse Oblige of Megalomania: The Hungarian History of an Idea"


  • HRI–Andrew W. Mellon Undergraduate Internships in Legal Humanities
  • CFP for the 53rd ASEEES Annual Convention
  • ASEEES Internship Grant Program
  • Visiting Lecturer and Coordinator of the Basic Language Program in Polish and Russian, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Fellowships
  • Vekich Scholarship
  • Other Opportunities



Virtual Summer Research Laboratory on Russia, Eastern Europe, and Eurasia

June 14 – August 8, 2021 

Priority Application Deadline: March 3, 2021 

The Russian, East European, and Eurasian Center (REEEC) and the Slavic Reference Service (SRS) at the University of Illinois are excited to announce a Call for Applications for the 48th annual Summer Research Laboratory (SRL) program. Traditionally, the SRL is an in-person event, with scholars receiving support to travel to Champaign-Urbana.  Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, this year’s SRL will be held as a Virtual SRL (VSRL), with REEEC and SRS working to support scholars through remote research assistance, virtual programming, professional development opportunities, and collections and database access. 

This year’s VSRL is made possible by generous support from the US Department of State, through its Program for Research and Training on Eastern Europe and Eurasia Independent States of the Former Soviet Union (Title VIII). 


  • Designation as a REEEC Virtual Summer Research Laboratory Associate. 
  • Virtual research support for general and specialized queries throughout the Summer and beyond.  Associates may also request a personalized bibliographic session with the Slavic Reference Service through Zoom. 
  • Access to digital and database collections of our Library for an extended period. 
  • A free of charge duplication service for University of Illinois Library materials. Restricted to 15 pages per request and subject to copyright restrictions. 
  • Thematic and skill-building workshop events as well as opportunities to present and discuss work in progress. For a list of topics and dates, see below. A fuller abstract of these workshops may be found on our website
  • US citizens are eligible to apply for a $1000 Title VIII Research Award to support their research work. 


Applications to the VSRL are accepted through an online portal, found here

Applicants must provide a short narrative explaining their research project, and indicate how they will benefit from access to University of Illinois resources and participation in the VSRL. Researchers conducting policy-relevant research projects will be prioritized for Title VIII grant support. All applicants must also submit a short-form CV. US Citizens who are applying for research support must also provide a clearly formulated statement of policy relevance. 


For more information and how to apply, please see here.


Upcoming Virtual Events

felix cowan 

Felix Cowan (University of Illinois), "Narratives of Backwardness and Modernization in the Late Imperial Russian Penny Press"

March 2, 12:00 PM CST


In the final years of the Russian Empire, debates over Russia's "backwardness" could be found throughout the public sphere. Russia's kopeck newspapers, the empire's most popular press outlets, regularly examined "backwardness" in comparative perspective, relating perceptions of Russian underdevelopment to perceptions of Western modernity in every aspect of life. In the process, they constructed a civilizational hierarchy and a fixed path of progress in which development depended on imitating Western modernity. In this talk Cowan, a PhD Candidate in History at the University of Illinois, will explore how late imperial Russia's kopeck newspapers constructed images of Russian backwardness and Western modernity— and how they instrumentalized those images to argue that Russia's future lay in imitating the West.

This event is part of the REEEC Noontime Scholars Lecture Series.

 International Women's Day 2021

International Women's Day 2021: "13 Women Who Changed the World: Untold Stories"

March 8, 3:30 - 5:00 PM CST


International Women's Day is celebrated annually on March 8th.

The Women and Gender in Global Perspectives Program in collaboration with Humanities Research Institute hosts an annual event bringing together faculty, staff, students, and community members to recognize people who have made a difference in academia.

Speakers will include:

  • Tammy Duckworth, U.S. Senator
  • Timothy Killeen, University of Illinois System President
  • Susan Martinis, Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation 
  • Maureen Marshall, REEEC
  • Steven Anderson, Social Work
  • Maimouna Barro, Center for the African Studies
  • Sulagna Chakraborty, Program in Ecology Evolution & Conservative Biology
  • Jerry Dávila, Illinois Global Institute
  • Sean Garrick, Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
  • Harley Johnson, Grainger College of Engineering
  • Wendy Rogers, College of Applied Health Sciences
  • Lila Sharif, Asian American Studies
  • Rebecca Lee Smith, Epidemiolgy

This event is co-sponsored by the Women's Resource Center, the Department of Gender and Women's Studies, and REEEC.


Race, Human Rights, and Populism in Poland: A Symposium

March 9, 12:00 - 1:30 PM CST



George Gasyna, Associate Professor of Slavic Languages and Literature, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign


  • John Connelly, Professor of History, University of California at Berkeley
  • Konstanty Gebert, Journalist and Activist
  • Milada Vachudova, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Courtney Blackington, PhD Student in Comparative Politics, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

In the past thirty years, Poland has been taken as a bellwether for the political direction of East Central Europe. A country whose Solidarity movement, roundtable about a peaceful transition to multi-party rule, and elections in June 1989 helped end decades of Communist rule in the region, it was heralded as one of a small number of countries at the vanguard of an imagined inevitable transition to liberal democracy and a market economy. Indeed, Poland was part of the first wave of post-Communist countries to join the EU, and Poles quickly made themselves present in EU institutions (e.g. Donald Tusk) and the public life of some old member states (especially the UK). Today, however, Poland is being repeatedly rebuked (along with one-time democratic partner in the vanguard, Hungary) for violations of the generally liberal rule of law that define EU democratic norms. This different side of Poland must be explained at least in part with a historical, journalistic/activist, and political view of the ways in which populists have exploited the politics of difference, particularly regarding race, and leveraged deeper cultural ambivalences about pan-European ideas about human rights.

This symposium brings together a set of cross-disciplinary experts prepared to explore this contradiction in Poland as an erstwhile would-be vanguard of liberal democracy and now fulcrum for an illiberal turn. 


  • Center for European Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Institute of Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies at the University of California, Berkeley
  • Russian, East European, and Eurasian Center, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
 Yelena Severina

Yelena Severina (UCLA), “Theater for the Revolution: Tableaux Vivants in Early Soviet Russia"

March 9, 12:00 PM CST


Translated from French as “living picture” (zhivaia kartina in Russian), performances of tableaux vivants commenced in Europe in the middle of the eighteenth century, emerged in the Russian Empire at the end of it, and reached the apex of their popularity during the nineteenth century. My talk will briefly cover their history but will focus on revolutionary tableaux of Early Soviet Russia. How was this form of symbolic expression used for entertainment, instruction, and promotion of political ideology? Why was it regarded as appropriate and effective for articulating state power? I will discuss parallels between imperial and Soviet tableaux, examine their interdisciplinary nature, and analyze this phenomenon’s role in Russia’s politics and culture.

Spring 2021 Virtual Open Research Laboratory Associate Yelena Severina is a Lecturer in Slavic, East European and Eurasian Languages and Cultures at the University of California - Los Angeles.

This is a part of the REEEC VORL Brown Bag Series. 

Lisa Kurtovic 

Larisa Kurtović (University of Ottawa), "A city on the water, without water: Politics of water infrastructures in postwar Sarajevo"

Mar 11, 12:00 PM CST


Over the last three years, the Bosnian capital Sarajevo has been experiencing frequent cutoffs in the water supply. Despite being a part of an effort to repair the city’s troubled and still state-owned waterworks, these shortages engendered bitter complaints and protests among residents of Sarajevo, many of whom remember well the water cutoffs that ordered life during 1992-5 Bosnian War. To understand the dense affective response generated by infrastructural breakdown, in this presentation, Dr. Larisa Kurtović draws on archival and ethnographic research focused on water procuring practices that punctuated everyday life during the 1992-1995 Siege of Sarajevo, and the ways in which memories of this suffering generate new political effects. She shows how Sarajevo’s troubled water supply system has become a powerful analogy for the disappointed dreams of a new future.

Spring 2021 Virtual Open Research Laboratory Associate Dr. Larisa Kurtović is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Ottawa. She is a political anthropologist who conducts research on activist politics, postsocialist transformation and the aftermath of international intervention in postwar Bosnia.

This event is a part of the VORL Brown Bag Series.

 Holly Case

Save the Date! Holly Case (Brown University), "The Noblesse Oblige of Megalomania: The Hungarian History of an Idea"

March 18, 4:00 PM CST


During the Second World War, a Hungarian madman wrote to Tsar Boris of Bulgaria to ask for his eleven-year-old daughter's hand in marriage. The man explained that he had found a way to put an end to the Second World War such that both sides and all nations could emerge as victors. It was a perfectly mad idea, yet one that had preoccupied Hungarian politics since the nineteenth century. Did someone else really have to lose in order for Hungary to win, or vice versa? Case, a Professor of History at Brown University, will be exploring this topic in her talk on March 18. 

This event is a part of the REEEC New Directions Lecture Series.




HRI–Andrew W. Mellon Undergraduate Internships in Legal Humanities

Deadline: March 1, 2021

The Humanities Research Institute (HRI), with funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, is looking for undergraduate interns to work with its Legal Humanities research group for the academic year 2021–22.

Legal humanities examines how the law, society, culture, politics, and economy are mutually constituted. It thus draws from a range of methodologies, including those dealing with representation (e.g., literary, cultural, and performance studies), history, philosophy, and sociological perspectives. Legal humanities understands the law as both reflecting and actively influencing societal values, aspirations, anxieties, biases, and notions of justice, examining how law constitutes and shapes the social world in which it is embedded. The HRI-Mellon Legal Humanities Research Group is composed of professors, post-doctoral scholars, graduate students, and undergraduates from different disciplines who are united by their desire to understand the multiple ways the law, broadly conceived, shapes human relations to each other and the places we live.

The research group seeks three undergraduate interns who will work with the group on their seminars, workshops, and programs. Interns will also work with the research group director, Professor Colleen Murphy, to develop their own research projects as well as a research symposium for undergraduates at the end of the spring semester.

For more information and how to apply, please see here.


CFP for the 53rd ASEEES Annual Convention

Deadline: March 1, 2021

The 2021 ASEEES convention invites approaches to diverse topics in the field and celebrates our various backgrounds, disciplines, and ways we create and propagate knowledge. Our studies of Eastern Europe and Eurasia have tended to be highly informed about class and economic questions, thanks largely to socialist scholars before and after the revolution, but these societies, their inhabitants and their discourses also bring other kinds of diversity: ethnicity, gender, language, race, religion, and sexuality. These are often perceived differently in Eastern Europe and Eurasia than in the Americas or Western Europe, which itself suggests possible approaches for study. Proposals from all disciplines and historical periods are welcome, and encouraged.

Deadline for all submissions (panels, papers, roundtables, lightning rounds) is March 1, 2021. For more information and how to apply, please see here.


ASEEES Internship Grant Program

Deadline: March 8, 2021

ASEEES is pleased to announce the new Internship Grant Program. This program provides MA, PhD, and professional school students and recent graduates (i.e. those who have graduated no more than two years prior to the competition deadline) with grants that make it possible for them to accept unpaid or underpaid internships in areas directly related to Russian studies. The program promotes the entry of young scholars with considerable Russian studies expertise into sectors outside traditional academia, including not-for-profit and non-governmental organizations, business/trade councils, government, media, the arts, museums, publishers, and other sectors. These internships must be in the US and should be substantial in duration and responsibilities (at least 25 work hours per week), lasting two months for summer internships and four months for internships during a semester in the regular academic year. The grant offers $2,000 a month, to be paid directly to the grantee (intern) during their internship.

For more information and how to apply, please see here.


Visiting Lecturer and Coordinator of the Basic Language Program in Polish and Russian, University of Illinois at Chicago

Application Deadline: March 8, 2021
Start Date: August 16, 2021

The Department of Polish, Russian & Lithuanian Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago invites applications for the position of Visiting Lecturer and Coordinator of the Basic Language Program in Polish and Russian. 9-month appointment, renewable on an annual basis with a start date of August 16, 2021. The position will teach two language courses per semester, in either Polish or Russian language, at the intermediate or advanced level. As BLP Coordinator, the Visiting Lecturer will work with, evaluate and modify the department’s existing, fully-developed curriculum of blended-format courses in Polish and Russian language at the beginning and intermediate levels. Responsibilities include orientation and supervision of graduate teaching assistants; student placement decisions; liaison with the Department Head and with BLP coordinators in the School of Literature, Cultural Studies and Linguistics; course scheduling; and coordination of the Polish and Russian language and film clubs.

Candidates should have a strong teaching record, a degree of MA or PhD, and research interests in Second Language Acquisition or a related field. Knowledge of both Polish and Russian languages is preferred; but candidates with fluency and teaching experience in one of the two languages will be considered. For fullest consideration, candidates should submit a letter of interest, a CV, and two letters of recommendation by March 8, 2021. Applications should be addressed to: Prof. Michal Markowski, Search Committee Chair, Dept. of Polish, Russian & Lithuanian Studies, University of Illinois at Chicago, 601 S. Morgan Street, Chicago, IL 60607, and should be submitted by email to: markowsk@uic.edu.


Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Fellowships

Application deadline: March 19, 2021

The Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad (DDRA) Fellowship Program provides opportunities for doctoral candidates to engage in full-time dissertation research abroad in modern foreign languages and area studies. The program is designed to deepen research knowledge and increase the study of modern foreign languages, cultural engagement, and area studies not generally included in U.S. curricula. 

Students may request funding to support overseas research for a period of no less than six months and no more than 12 months. Funds support travel expenses to and from the residence of the fellow and the country or countries of research; maintenance and dependent allowances based on the location of research for the fellow and his or her dependent(s); an allowance for research-related expenses overseas; and health and accident insurance premiums. Projects may focus on one or more of the following geographic areas: Africa, East Asia, Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands, South Asia, the Near East, Central and Eastern Europe and Eurasia, and the Western Hemisphere (excluding the United States and its territories).

For the Fulbright-Hays DDRA Fellowship Program, Illinois graduate students must apply through the Graduate College, and the Graduate College’s deadline is Friday, March 19 at 5:00 p.m. For more information and how to apply, please see here.


Vekich Scholarship

Deadline: March 15, 2021

The Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures is pleased to announce the Vekich Scholarship, an award for students of the South Slavic language region. Up to three Vekich Scholars are named annually from among current UIUC students in the spring, following a simple essay competition. The scholarship will be in the form of a $1,000 scholarship (applied to the students' financial account).  

For the academic year 2021‐2022, two to three Vekich Scholars will be named. Submissions to the Vekich Scholarship competition are now being accepted. The only requirement is that recipient(s) must take one relevant course offered by the Slavic Department, preferably focused on the Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian language region, during the scholarship award period. Recipients must also pledge to serve as a good ambassador for the region and the University of Illinois. 

Competition Guidelines: 1) an essay of 300-500 words explaining the applicant's interest in, and future educational commitment to, the Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian language region. The essay should address how the applicant’s study of the region’s culture, language, and history will contribute to their future educational or career goals. 2) UIUC transcripts. Please include a cover sheet that lists your contact information (name, campus and home address, and email address), and email your essay and transcripts to Professor Peter Wright at: pqwrigh2@illinois.edu. The submission deadline is March 15, 2021.


Other Opportunities 


For a complete list of opportunities, please see our Opportunities page.