Faculty News

David Cooper (Associate Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures) has been selected as an NCSA (National Center for Supercomputing Application) Fellow for 2020-21 for his project “Successful forgeries: Analyzing fakelore for oral-formulaic epic poetry characteristics.”

 

 

 

George Gasyna (Associate Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures, Comparative and World Literature, Jewish Culture and Society, and the Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory) has received a Conrad Humanities Professorial Scholar Award. This award recognizes exceptionally promising associate professors in humanities units within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Illinois.

 

 

 

Jack Hutchens (Ph.D. alum in Slavic Languages and Literatures and 2019-20 Polish language Lecturer) has received the Canadian Association of Slavists’ “Article of the Year” award for 2019, for his article “Julian Stryjkowski: Polish, Jewish, queer ” published in Canadian Slavonic Papers.

 

 

 

Harriet Murav (Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures, and Comparative and World Literature) has been appointed as a Professor in the Center for Advanced Study at the University of Illinois. This appointment is one of the highest forms of campus recognition for faculty, and it reflects her outstanding scholarship and extremely high standing in her field.

 

 

 

Stefan Peychev (PhD in History, 2019), who has taught as a Lecturer in REEES, the Department of History, and the Department of Religion, has accepted a position as Visiting Assistant Professor at Boston College.

 

 

 

Judith Pintar (Teaching Associate Professor and Acting BS/IS Program Director) has been selected by the Office of the Provost and the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs as the University of Illinois Distinguished Teacher-Scholar for the 2020-2021 academic year. Pintar’s award will support her project, “Gameful Pedagogy: Instructional Design for Student Well-Being.” More information on the award and project can be found here.

 

 

 

Valeria Sobol (Associate Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures) has won the prize for the Best Article in the field of Ukrainian history, politics, language, literature and culture (2018-19) from the American Association for Ukrainian Studies, for her article “‘Tis Eighty Years Since: Panteleimon Kulish’s Gothic Ukraine,” published in Slavic Review.

Professor Lilya Kaganovsky receives Provost’s Campus Distinguished Promotion Award

Originally posted on SLCL’s Latest News Website: http://illinois.edu/lb/article/4799/101048


 

Lilya Kaganovsky, Professor of Comparative and World Literature and Slavic Languages and Literatures, has been named the recipient of the Provost’s Campus Distinguished Promotion Award.  She is one of only 12 faculty members campus-wide to be so honored for 2017.

The Campus Committee on Promotion and Tenure, in forwarding her case for promotion to full professor to the Chancellor, identified her as one of a set of scholars up for promotion “whose contributions were truly exceptional in terms of quality of work and overall achievement.”

During its annual promotion review process, the Campus Committee on Promotion and Tenure identifies exceptional cases of scholars whose contributions have been extraordinary in terms of quality of work and overall achievement. Only two to four scholars at each level of tenured faculty promotion (associate professor and full professor) are selected to receive Campus Distinguished Promotion Awards. Each receives a discretionary fund to support their scholarly activities.

Kaganovsky received a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley. Her areas of specialization include Soviet literature and film, film and critical theory, gender studies, sound studies, the nineteenth century novel, and modernism.

 

Faculty News

Cynthia Buckley (Professor of Sociology) presented at Indiana University’s International Symposium on Sustainable Development: Human Migration on January 20, 2017. She gave the introductory remarks and led the Day-in-Summary Conversation. More information about the symposium can be found at https://kelley.iu.edu/IIB/ProgramsandIntitiatives/CIBER/Media/page51804.html

 

Maria Todorova (Professor of History) was unanimously awarded the title of Honorary Doctor (επίτιμη διδάκτωρ) by the Department of Political Science and History and the Senate of Panteion University in Athens – one of Greece’s elite universities. The award ceremony will take place in June 2017 at Panteion University.

REEEC Faculty Named IPRH Fellows

Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities (IPRH) at the University of Illinois has awarded its annual Faculty and Graduate Student Fellowships to seven faculty members and seven graduate students for the 2017-2018 academic year, which will center on the theme of “Paradigm Shifts.” IPRH also announced its first class of New Horizons Summer Research Fellows for 2017. New Horizons fellowships support faculty summer research and provide for the hire of an undergraduate research assistant. More information about the fellowships and a complete list of fellows can be found here. Please join REEEC in congratulating faculty members George Gasyna and Jessica Greenberg on their IPRH fellowships!

George Gasyna (Associate Professor, Slavic Languages and Literatures and Comparative and World Literature) was named a 2017-2018 IPRH Faculty Fellow for “A Time for the Province: Palimpsest and Contact in Twentieth-Century Polish Borderland Literature.”

George Gasyna

Jessica Greenberg (Associate Professor of Anthropology) was named a 2017 IPRH New Horizons Summer Faculty Research Fellow for her project will be “Ghosts in the Machine: Rights, Sovereignty and (post) Institutional Crisis in Europe.”

Jessica Greenberg

Interview with Alex Tipei, Spring 2017 REEEC Visiting Lecturer

alex%20tipei-copyI sat down with Alex Tipei over lunch and discussed her new visiting lecturer position at REEEC. This semester, Professor Tipei is teaching Introduction to Eastern Europe, REES 201, which is offered every spring. This isn’t her first time at the University of Illinois; Alex graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in French and History. Professor Tipei studied abroad in France during undergrad, which subsequently led her to return to France for two Master’s degrees, in Romanian Studies and European History. She also received a Fulbright to study in Bucharest, Romania. She returned to the United States for a PhD in history at the University of Indiana. Professor Tipei completed her PhD in 2016 with a dissertation titled: “For Your Civilization and Ours: Greece, Romania, and the Making of French Universalism.” Professor Tipei grew up in Champaign and is pleasantly surprised to find herself back in her hometown. “I never thought I would find myself teaching at the U of I. It is a thrill to now be teaching what I learned on this campus to new students. It allows me to go back to the beginning and see the introductory materials of the region from a different perspective.”

Professor Tipei is delighted to teach again. “The students in my class are engaged, interested, and love to learn about the region. I am able to give them materials that are central to the region and my research interests, and it is interesting to see how they respond to it. ” One text in particular that Professor Tipei is excited to teach this year is teaching Václav Havel’s The Power of the Powerless. “It really piqued my interest in Eastern Europe and helped shape my political view of the world. I’m really curious to see what it’ll be like to be on “the other side” of the classroom when we talk about it—the students’ reactions, if the essay still speaks to people largely born after the Cold War, what they make of a playwright turned dissident turned president.”

Professor Tipei’s research interests lie in this transitional nineteenth-century history, which connects France, modern day Greece and modern day Romania. “I’m interested in intellectual/political networks that transcend the national paradigm. My current research deals with the spread of a cluster of French inspired/supported modernization programs in early nineteenth-century Southeastern Europe.” Currently, Alex Tipei is working on a manuscript based on her dissertation. Using archival research, Professor Tipei links intellectual circles, organizations, and individuals across Europe’s 19th century. In her own words, “I try to rethink the center-periphery model in international history, take apart the notion of French “influence,” and question the inevitability of the rise of nationalism in peripheral regions like the Balkans. To do this, I consider interactions within this network—often aimed at facilitating educational, prison, and hospital reform—in terms of development programs and technology transfer.”

Madeline Artibee is a REEEC M.A. student.

Faculty Publications

Mark Steinberg, Director of Graduate Studies, Professor of History, Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies, and the Center for Global Studies, published a new book on February 1st of 2017, The Russian Revolution, 1905-1921, was released through Oxford University Press. Steinberg’s book explores a different perspective of the historical period that ranges from the 1905 Bloody Sunday events to the end of the Civil War, all presented through the perspectives and experiences of those who lived through the period. Writing on the key characters of the revolution, including Vladimir Lenin, Lev Trotsky, and Alexandra Kollontai, Steinberg takes knowledge and information from the present and uses it to breath new air into the past. For more information on Dr. Steinberg’s book, follow this link to Oxford University Press.

The Russian Revolution, 1905-1921

The Russian Revolution, 1905-1921

Marek Sroka, Librarian for Central European Studies and Associate Professor of Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies, published “American Books to the Rescue: The American Library Association (ALA) and the Postwar Restoration of Polish Libraries, 1944-1948,” in the final issue of 2016’s The Polish Review 61(4), and then published “”A Book Never Dies”: the American Library Association and the Cultural Reconstruction of Czechoslovak and Polish Libraries, 1945-48,” in Library and Information History 33 which was released in 2017.

The Polish Review, vol. 61, no. 4

The Polish Review, vol. 61, no. 4

Dr. Kristin Romberg, Assistant Professor of Art History and REEEC Affiliate, published an anthology, “Tektonika,” in volume 1 of Formal’nyi metod. Antologiia rossiiskogo modernizma (The Formal Method: An Anthology of Russian Modernism), edited by Serguei Oushakine and published by Moscow and Ekaterinburg: Kabinetnyi uchenyi in the summer of 2016.  Romberg also spoke at The Russian Avant-Garde: Scholars Respond panel at the Museum of Modern Art on February 8th, 2017. The panel was organized in tandem with the exhibition A Revolutionary Impulse: The Rise of the Russian Avant-Garde and discussed the how an art object could be revolutionary. Information about the panel is available here.

Formal’nyi metod. Antologiia rossiiskogo modernizma (The Formal Method: An Anthology of Russian Modernism)

Formal’nyi metod. Antologiia rossiiskogo modernizma (The Formal Method: An Anthology of Russian Modernism)

Prof. Cynthia Buckley Gives Keynote Address at the Greater Community AIDS Project

REEEC faculty affiliate Cynthia Buckley (Professor of Sociology) gave the keynote address entitled “Resilience, Vigilance, and Commitment: Global and Local Issues in the Pandemic” at the Greater Community AIDS Project (GCAP) in Champaign on December 5, 2016. In her lecture, she drew on developments in Eurasia, highlighting the inclusion of Central Asia in the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), to provide a comparison and contrast with state and local issues in education, prevention, and treatment. Her lecture stemmed from discussions held during the 2016 Fisher Forum and relied on the extensive library resources of the Slavic Reference Service (SRS).

Prof. Cynthia Buckley giving the keynote address at the Greater Community AIDS Project

Prof. Cynthia Buckley giving the keynote address at the Greater Community AIDS Project

Faculty News

Dr. Nancy Scanell (wearing a white visor in the front row) with European Teaching University staff and students.

Dr. Nancy Scanell (wearing a white visor in the front row) with European Teaching University staff and students.

REEEC Faculty Associate and University of Illinois-Springfield (UIS) Associate Professor of Business Administration, Dr. Nancy Scannell, delivered in June 2016 a Financial Management seminar at the European Teaching University (ETU) in Tbilisi, Georgia, in collaboration with ETU’s Associate Professor of English, Dr. Lasha Chakhvadze, and under the direction of ETU’s Vice Rector and Dean of the Faculty of Business and Technology, Dr. Gocha Tutberidze.  With guidance from Ms. Andrea Pellegrini, Assistant Director of the University of Illinois USFSCO Student Money Management Center, Nancy incorporated student activities into her curriculum in adherence to UI’s Open Badges in Financial Literacy initiative. Nancy also led a cultural competency excursion for students to the U.S. Embassy in Georgia, hosted by Cultural Attaché Damian Wampler. The photo features from right-to-left in the front row: Gocha, Nancy (donning a white visor), ETU Chair of Administration Tamar Zarginava, Damian (holding UI jigsaw puzzle box) and (skipping to far left) Lasha. The ETU student delegation was comprised of 12 Georgian students and 1 Azerbaijani student. Nancy said that ETU, the US Embassy in Tbilisi, and the Georgian community-at-large generously welcomed her at every juncture throughout her visit, which helped to make for a successful cross-cultural collaboration. The UI community might be pleased to know that the Prime Minister of Georgia is a UIUC alum in Finance.

Peter Maggs (Emeritus Professor of Law) and Alexei Zhiltsov (co-translator and co-editor) have published new editions of their translation of the First Part of the Russian Civil Code. In particular, they have published versions of this Part: (1) as amended through January 31, 2016; (2) as amended through May 23, 2016; and (3) as amended through July 3, 2016. Here’s the background from the Introduction to the latest version by the editors and Oksana Kozyr:

“This translation of the First Part of the Code is being published in
several different forms. The authors have made arrangements for conventional
publication in book form by a leading publisher in Russia. In addition,
because conventional book publication cannot keep up with the frequent
amendments to the Code, the authors have self-published a United States
edition in e-book and print-on-demand form thorough Amazon. Their hope is
that each time that there is an amendment to the text of the First Part of
the Code, they can update the translation and publish an updated e-book and
print-on-demand book, while leaving older self-published editions available
on Amazon in e-book and print-on-demand form. Lawyers dealing with cases
involving the Russian Civil Code must have available versions of the Code in
effect at the time of the making of particular contracts or at the time of
violation of particular rights. Often even a single court proceeding will
involve events that occurred at various times. Multiple versions of the
Russian text of the Civil Code have long been available on the leading
private Russian legal databases. The authors hope to provide equal
convenience to the users of these English translations. In addition, the
authors are currently preparing revised translations of the Second, Third,
and Fourth Parts of the Civil Code for publication.”

 

What is Political Reconciliation? Reflections on Reconciliation after the Karadzic Trial

Colleen Murphy is Professor of Law, Philosophy and Political Science as well as Director of the Women and Gender in Global Perspectives Program. Re-posted from RECOM, found here in English and here in Bosnian/Serbian/Croatian.


By Colleen Murphy

In March 2016, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) found Bosnian Serb wartime political leader Radovan Karadzic guilty on 10 of 11 charges, including genocide, crimes against humanity and violations of the laws or customs of war. He was acquitted on one count of genocide. This verdict spawned significant controversy and commentary. In particular, journalist and scholar Nidzara Ahmetasevic concluded, “In Bosnia now, we are as far away from reconciliation as we were before the Karadzic trial.”[2] Below, I unpack Ahmetasevic’s claim. I focus specifically on the divergent reactions to the Karadzic trial and conviction. Such reactions, I argue, signal an absence of the conditions that would make trust reasonable, and trust is a core component of political reconciliation.

By political reconciliation, I mean the process of rebuilding damaged political relationships.[3] Such repair has a complex set of requirements and entails both institutional and interpersonal changes.[4] Establishing the conditions that make trust reasonable is a key part of the process of political reconciliation, because of what trusting expresses. To trust an individual is to view that person in a particular way, a way that shapes how we interpret their actions and words, and on what words and actions of theirs we concentrate our attention[5] This particular way implies taking a hopeful view of the competence and will of the other. What competence we attribute to someone we trust will vary depending on the relationship in question; competence as a mother is not the same as competence as a citizen or government official. For citizens, basic competence includes the ability to follow the rules and norms that structure interaction among citizens and between citizens and officials. For officials, competence entails knowledge of their role-related responsibilities and rights, as well as recognition of the fact that they act in a public capacity, with the corresponding responsibility to take into account the good of a community when making official decisions. Competence also includes an ability to act on this knowledge. As with competence, the will we attribute to those we trust varies. The robust positive good will towards their children we attribute to trusted parents is different from the more neutral lack of ill will we attribute to trusted citizens and officials. Lack of ill will signals the absence of the desire or intention to harm fellow citizens or officials and a commitment to fair play – a willingness to obey the rules.

Trust also entails a basic expectation of ‘trust responsiveness.’ That is, to trust is to expect the trusted person to be moved to prove reliable, to act in accordance with our expectations, and not to exploit our trust. This expectation is also a moral demand, which is why violations of trust are experienced not simply as disappointments but as betrayals.

Why do we think relationships are damaged when trust is absent? Taking a trusting view and acting on a trustful expectation can express respect and a commitment to reciprocity. It expresses respect, because it implies the presumption of fellow citizens and officials as being competent, basically decent and committed to fair play. And it reflects a commitment to reciprocity, insofar as we take the presumptive view of others we would like to have them take of ourselves. To be trust-responsive is respectful because it implies the right of others to make moral demands of us. In being trust-responsive we are also acting in a manner in which we hope others will act reciprocally.

Political trust is absent following war and repression. Deep distrust is the most typical and, indeed, reasonable attitude to adopt. In the midst of war, a presumptive lack of ill will can make one vulnerable to being killed. This is especially so when conflict is characterized by ethnic cleansing and genocide, as was the case in the Bosnian War. One of the central aims of processes of political reconciliation is to establish conditions where it becomes reasonable to presume the at least basic decency and competence of officials and citizens, and to expect that officials and citizens will prove trust-responsive.

Reactions to the Karadzic trial demonstrate that reconciliation among Bosnians is distant, in part because they point to the absence of conditions that would make such trust as a default response reasonable. One necessary condition for the presumption of the absence of ill will to be reasonable is acknowledgement of past wrongdoing. Acknowledgement entails recognizing past actions and recognizing them as morally wrong. Acknowledgement communicates where the lines for permissible and impermissible conduct should be drawn, and the recognition of such lines on the part of those who are doing the acknowledging. It can provide some evidence of the absence of a desire or intention to harm those previously harmed, and a basic knowledge of how members of a political community should interact.

A commonly shared view of the reactions to the Karadzic trial and verdict is that they reflect “the same ideas pervading local politics.”[6] Among prominent Bosnian Serbs, reactions to the conviction cast doubt on the justice of the verdict, by calling into question the impartiality and competence of the ICTY, characterizing Karadzic as a hero unjustly targeted and victimized by such proceedings, and focusing on crimes against the Serbs that have so far gone unpunished.[7] In the words of President of the War Veterans Association of Republika Srpska, Milomir Savicic, “’I am disappointed with the justification of the verdict. That draconian punishment is based on very weak evidence.’”[8] Mladen Bosić, head of the Serb Democratic Party (SDS), stated “The Hague tribunal has once again shown that it is a political court, the politically based verdicts were handed down to all Serb leaders from Serbia, [Bosnia’s autonomous] Republika Srpska and Croatia.”[9]

What is telling is what such reactions omit. Setting aside the question of Karadzic’s particular role, missing from such statements is any recognition that Serbian forces committed any wrongdoing whatsoever during the Bosnian War. Instead, there is scepticism expressed about the evidence of killing, torture, mass rapes and genocide – scepticism which can be interpreted as denial that such wrongs took place. By providing no evidence of acknowledgement of wrongdoing, such reactions also provide no evidence that it is reasonable to believe similar wrongdoing will not happen again in the future.

Such reactions also compound the already deep scepticism among victims and members of their families about the possibility of ever witnessing proper acknowledgement of the wrongs committed. For many Bosnian Muslims, reactions have reflected consternation about the genocide count on which Karadzic was acquitted and the message which that acquittal sent, objection to the limited duration of the sentence, and worries about the trial ultimately being interpreted as vindicating or justifying the actions of Serbs. A mother and widow from Srebrenica, Hatidza Mehmedovic, complained, “This judgment is a reward for Karadžić.”[10] Saja Coric from Mostar reacted, “The whole of Republika Srpska is like a mass grave… we are still searching for our kids… and they claim this is not genocide.”[11] Prior to the verdict, Mirsad Duratovic, who survived the Omarska concentration camp, stated, “’If the judges fail to convict Karadžić for genocide in 1992 in Prijedor, it will be a slap in the face of the victims. Everything else will be a reward for Karadzic and Republika Srpska.’”[12] Underlying such reactions is the anticipation of disappointment and the expectation of continuing denial with respect to the wrongs done and the causes of such wrongdoing.

Such divided reactions also point to important limits to the contributions criminal trials on their own can make to political reconciliation. Trials of individual perpetrators cannot by themselves establish the conditions under which trust of fellow citizens and officials become reasonable. Establishing such post-war conditions requires examining the ideologies, institutions and norms that made possible normalized collective and political wrongdoing, as well as the consequences of past wrongdoing, such as ethnic cleansing, that impede political interaction predicated on respect and reciprocity.[13]

The author is a Professor of Law, Philosophy and Political Science as well as Director of the Women and Gender in Global Perspectives Program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is author of the books ‘The Conceptual Foundations of Transitional Justice’ (Cambridge University Press, 2016, forthcoming), and ‘A Moral Theory of Political Reconciliation’ (Cambridge University Press, 2010).

[1] I thank John Tasioulas and Riada Ašimović Akyol for their comments on an earlier draft.

[2] Nidzara Ahmetasevic, “The Radovan Karadzic verdict will change nothing,” Al Jazeera March 26, 2016, http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2016/03/radovan-karadzic-verdict-change-bosnia-serbia-160327093504907.html

[3] For an overview of different senses of reconciliation see Linda Radzik and Murphy, Colleen, “Reconciliation”, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Summer 2015 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/sum2015/entries/reconciliation/

[4] See Colleen Murphy, A Moral Theory of Political Reconciliation (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010).

[5] Karen Jones, “Trust as an Affective Attitude,” Ethics 107 (1996), 4-25.

[6] Ahmetasevic, “The Radovan Karadzic verdict.”

[7] Julian Borger, “Radovan Karadžić’s sentence for Bosnia genocide exposes continuing divisions,” March 24, 2016, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/mar/24/radovan-karadzics-sentence-for-bosnia-genocide-exposes-continuing-divisions

[8] Denis Dzidic, “Karadzic Verdict: Mixed Reactions Reflect Divided Bosnia,” Balkan Insight, March 24, 2016, http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/karadzic-verdict-mixed-reactions-reflect-divided-society-03-24-2016

[9] Julian Borger and Owen Bowcott, “’Is the tribunal not ashamed?’ Karadžić sentence angers victims,” The Guardian, March 24, 2016, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/mar/24/radovan-karadzic-hague-tribunal-sentence-survivors-victims-reaction

[10] Borger, “Radovan Karadžić’s sentence.”

[11] Dzidic, “Karadzic Verdict.”

[12] Borger and Bowcott, “’Is the tribunal not ashamed?’ https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/mar/24/radovan-karadzic-hague-tribunal-sentence-survivors-victims-reaction

[13] On this see Colleen Murphy, The Conceptual Foundations of Transitional Justice (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming).

REEEC Welcomes New Associate Director Dr. Maureen Marshall

MEMarshallK22014webDr. Maureen Marshall joined the REEEC staff as Associate Director of REEEC in mid-October. Before joining REEEC, she served as the Outreach and Campus Programs Coordinator at the Center for East European and Russian/Eurasian Studies at the University of Chicago. At Illinois, Maureen looks forward to working with REEEC students, faculty, and community to support internationalizing education, fostering global citizenship, and engagement with the languages and cultures of Eurasia.  “REEEC has an excellent program — from a the rich diversity of course offerings to the well-regarded Summer Research Lab — and I was immediately impressed by the students’ love for the program and the collegiality on campus. It is a challenging time for area studies, but it is also an opportunity for creativity and innovation. I look forward to being a part of that at REEEC.”

Maureen earned her PhD at the University of Chicago in Anthropology in 2014 with a thesis on “Subject(ed) Bodies: A Bioarchaeological Investigation of Lived Experiences and Mobile Practices in Late Bronze-Early Iron Age (1500-800 B.C.) Armenia.”  Her research focuses on the bioarchaeology of early complex polities and empires in the South Caucasus and Eurasia. She is Associate Director of Project ArAGATS, the joint American-Armenian project for the Archaeology and Geography for Ancient Transcaucasian Societies, which has been excavating in Armenia since 2005, and collaborates with physical anthropologists in Armenia.  She serves on the advisory board for the Aragats Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting Armenia’s cultural heritage through heritage preservation, development, and education. Dr. Marshall’s work has been published in edited volumes on global perspectives in human remains analysis, including Archaeological Human Remains: A Global Perspective in 2014 and The Routledge Handbook of Archaeological Human Remains and Legislation in 2011. Her research interests include political subjectivity, the body, violence in ancient societies, disease and health in ancient populations, the archaeology of Eurasia and the Near East, and the history of physical anthropology. Maureen hopes to use this background to enhance REEEC’s expertise in the Caucasus and Central Asia and to contribute to interdisciplinary conversations.