2017 Outstanding Achievement Award
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The Association for Women in Slavic Studies is pleased to announce that Professor Natalia
is the winner of the 2017 Outstanding Achievement Award. Professor
is the head of the Department of Gender and Ethnic Studies at the Russian Academy of Sciences and has been a leader in the modern Russian women's movement, as well as a prominent contributor to scholarship on women in Russian history.
A pioneer of women's and gender studies in the Soviet Union and Russia, Professor Pushkareva has produced an impressive list of publications. Beginning her career in the 1980s, she overcame resistance to women's and gender history through careful research that underpinned publications taken seriously by scholars outside of the Soviet Union.
Best book by a Woman in any area of Slavic/East European/Eurasian Studies:
Rebecca Gould. Writers and Rebels: The Literature of Insurgency in the Caucasus. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2016.
Rebecca Gould's meticulous study of Chechen, Dagestani, Georgian, and Russophone literature of Caucasian anticolonial insurgency is a linguistic tour-de-force in service of a nuanced analysis. Writers and Rebels explores the sacralization of rebellion and the anesthetization of violence in the prose, poetry, and oral narratives of the Caucasus region. She delves into a deep archive of local literary works and carefully unpacks differences among these geographically proximate, but profoundly diverse cultures. Gould's work offers a fresh approach that transcends literary studies, historical ethnography, and religious studies. It stands, too, as a model for the study of the borderlands, attentive to both the sub-regional specificities and liminal space the Caucasus occupied at the interface of the Russian and Ottoman empires.
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2017 Mary Zirin Prize
The Association for Women in Slavic Studies is pleased to announce Olga Bukhina as the 2017 recipient of the Mary Zirin Prize for independent scholarship.
Quoting from the nomination letter, "Olga Bukhina's work as a groundbreaking scholar, literary translator, and top specialist in her field mirrors [Mary] Zirin's example and hits the extremely high bar that Zirin has set for independent scholarship. Both scholars are path-breaking leaders in their fields, as well as deeply generous individuals whose humility, good will, and humor are as notable as their remarkable scholarly contributions."
2017 Graduate Research Prize
The Association for Women in Slavic Studies (AWSS) Graduate Research Prize is awarded annually to fund promising graduate-level research in any field of Slavic/East European/Central Asian Studies by a woman or on a topic in Women's or Gender Studies related to Slavic Studies/East Europe/Central Asia by either a woman or a man. For 2017, the AWSS Graduate Research Prize is awarded to Tatiana Rabinovich, Ph.D. Candidate in Critical Studies in Modern Middle Eastern Culture and Society at the University of Arizona. Ms. Rabinovich's dissertation, "Laboring on the Margins: Muslim Women, Precarity, and Potentiality in Russia," explores the daily lives and social relationships of Muslim women in St. Petersburg, Russia, investigating the formal and informal support networks they create that contribute to their community's success and their own well-being within the context of the devaluation of "women's work." Ms. Rabinovich plans to use AWSS funding to return to St. Petersburg for follow-up research. AWSS is pleased to assist Ms. Rabinovich with the completion of her timely and interesting dissertation.
Join Us for These AWSS Events in Chicago!
The Association for Women in Slavic Studies is sponsoring two events at this year's ASEEES national convention, both on Friday, November 10. And our exhibit table is back!
First, AWSS is sponsoring a roundtable in Honor of the Late Michelle Lamarche Marrese (1964-2016) on Friday afternoon, 3:45 to 5:30 pm in Marriott Downtown Chicago, 6th Floor, Ohio State. Participants will be Adele Lindenmeyr (chair), Sergei Antonov, Katherine Pickering Antonova, and John Bushnell.
With more than two decades of experience in Slavic Studies and lots of chutzpah, she'll share with you her hard-won wisdom. Under a cloak of anonymity, you can safely ask Aleksandra anything you like, and in doing so you'll help not just yourself but probably others as well who no doubt have the same questions. Please send your questions to
and put "Ask Aleksandra" in the subject line.
I recently received tenure at a large state university. Suddenly I'm being asked to serve on tons of committees, to head up this and that. I find it so hard to say no. I want to be helpful and collegial, but I don't want my research to just stagnate and I can't get anything done because I'm always running off to one meeting or another. What do you advise?
Swept Away in Paperwork
Dear Swept Away,
So, first things first-congratulations on getting tenure. Take a moment to enjoy that. OK-time to move on, as you are being carried along in a raging current of administrative responsibilities. A problem in which you are not alone.
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American Studies in Russia
Literature of the Americas
: a new scholarly journal of the history of the New World.
Editor, Dr. Olga Panova.
Literature of the Americas (free access online at
www.litda.ru) is a new multilingual, biannual, and peer-reviewed journal that was launched in 2016 by the Gorky Institute of World Literature at the Russian Academy of Sciences. The journal is the first and so far the only specialized scholarly periodical in Russia that is dedicated to the literary history of the New World. It is aimed at facilitating closer cooperation in the research of the multilingual literatures of both North and South America. We hope that the journal will become an important professional tool to advance the research interests of scholars as well as understand the current literary and historical trends.
Message from the Book Review Editor
WEW is soliciting book reviews from our readers. Below is a list of possible books. If you are interested in reviewing one of these for WEW, please contact me at Sharon.Kowalsky@tamuc.edu. Please note that most of these books are in English or published by international publishers. We encourage you to suggest other recent, non-English language works of interest to our membership, including those from the region that may not be readily available in the U.S. If you plan to travel to the region, please keep an eye out for books that your colleagues and students would like to know about. You could be our next reviewer! If you are interested in reviewing a book that is not on this list, please let me know and we can discuss that.
Sharon A Kowalsky
Suggested Books for Review
Baker, Catherine, ed. Gender in Twentieth-Century Eastern Europe and the USSR. Palgrave Macmillan, 2017.
Bakhmetyeva, Tatyana. Mother of the Church: Sofia Svechina, the Salon, and the Politics of Catholicism in Nineteenth-Century Russia and France. Northern Illinois University Press, 2016.
Click here for list of books
Lynne Ann Hartnett, The Defiant Life of Vera Figner: Surviving the Russian Revolution, Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press, 2014. xvii, 324pp., Bibliography, Index. ISBN 978-0-253-01284-5. $35.00 cloth.
Reviewed by: Rochelle Goldberg Ruthchild, Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Harvard University/Women's Studies Research Center, Brandeis University
Dodging Tsarist capital punishment, living through twenty years' imprisonment in the "Russian Bastille," avoiding the Cheka and Stalin's purges, and dying at age ninety as German invaders besieged Moscow, the populist revolutionary Vera Nikolaevna Figner (1842-1942) was the ultimate defiant survivor. Born to a gentry family in central Russia, she outlived key figures of the pre-revolutionary opposition such as Peter Kropotkin, Vera Zasulich, Socialist Revolutionaries Catherine Breshko-Breshkovskaia and Maria Spiridonova, and Mensheviks Julius Martov and Pavel Axelrod. After the Bolshevik Revolution, Lenin, Trotsky, Armand, Krupskaia, and Bukharin, were among the many of her revolutionary contemporaries who succumbed, either naturally or unnaturally, before Figner.
Pamela A. Jordan, Stalin's Singing Spy: The Life and Exile of Nadezhda Plevitskaya, Rowman & Littlefield, 2016. xi, 365 pp. Notes. Bibliography. Index. Cloth.
Reviewed by: Alison Rowley, Concordia University, Montreal
In September 1941, Nadezhda Plevitskaya, one of Emperor Nicholas II's favorite singers, died in a prison infirmary in France. Almost two years earlier she had been branded a Soviet agent and convicted of complicity in the kidnapping of White General Evgeny Miller. The contradictions that can be seen in these two sentences are at the root of Pamela Jordan's excellent biography of the singer. In it, Jordan traces how Plevitskaya rose from an obscure village girl to become a famous pre-revolutionary folk singer; how that fame endured for decades as she remained a cultural force among Russian émigrés after the revolution; and how the NKVD recruited Plevitskaya, as well as her third husband Nikolai Skoblin, in 1930.
(California State University, Los Angeles) presented "Imperial Subjects in the Soviet Union: Rabindranath Tagore, M. N. Roy, and Re-thinking Freedom and Authoritarianism in the Twentieth Century" at the "Beyond 1917" conference in Wadham College, Oxford University in May 2017.
(Lafayette College) announces the publication of Rebellious Parents: Parental Movements in Central-Eastern Europe and Russia (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2017), which she co-edited and co-authored with Elzbieta Korolczuk. For more information, see:
(Western Michigan University) won the 2017 Best Book Award in Social and Political Studies from the International Congress for Belarusian Studies for Klassy Natsiy: feministskaya kritika natsiostroitel'stva [The Classes of Nations: Feminist Critique of Nationbuilding] (Moscow: NLO, 2016).
(University of Pennsylvania) has published a new book with Duke University Press: Red Hangover: Legacies of 20th Century Communism.
(The Ohio State University) has become Editor of the Slavic and East European Journal (http://www.aatseel.org/publications/see_journal/), the publication of the American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages. She was also named Honorary Research Associate of The Slovenian Academy of Sciences (Research Center, Institute of Culture and Memory Studies).
(Arizona State University) is 2017-18 Resident Associate at the National Humanities Center in Research Triangle Park, NC, where she is working on the book project, Noble Rot: Corruption, Civil Society, and Literary Elites in Russia.
(West Chester University) presented "The Power of Revolution: How Michael Gruzenberg Became Comintern Agent Mikhail Borodin (1918-1920)" at the "Beyond 1917" conference in Wadham College, Oxford University in May 2017.
(MacEwan University) is pleased to announce the publication of the fall issue of the peer-reviewed online journal, East/West: Journal of Ukrainian Studies, vol. 4, no. 2 (2017), for which she is chief editor. It features a special thematic section "Banning a Language 'That Does Not Exist': The Valuev Directive of 1863 and the History of the Ukrainian Language," guest edited by Michael Moser (University of Vienna). For more information, see:
(Concordia University) announces two new publications: "'Trump and Putin sittin' in a Tree': Material Culture, Slash and the Pornographication of the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election," Porn Studies (2017),
; and "Dark Tourism and the Death of Russian Emperor Alexander II, 1881-1891," The Historian, vol. 79, no. 2 (Summer 2017), pp. 229-55.