Reflections on AWSS: Adele Lindenmeyr
As we approach AWSS's thirtieth anniversary, I would like to add my voice to the others who have contributed to the "Founding Mothers" column in Women East-West by recognizing the great influence of AWSS on my professional life. I was a latecomer to the field of women's and gender studies. When I was a graduate student at Princeton University in the 1970s, there was only one woman on the history faculty, and women's history never made even a token appearance in any of my seminars or on any reading list.
Adele Lindenmeyr with historians Galina Ulyanova (Moscow) and Elena Kazakova-Apkarimova (Ekaterinburg) before a conference on charity in Moscow in May 2013.
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 am writing to you for advice about my role as a mentor for junior women at my university. Lately my university has been emphasizing the preparation of women leaders for the administration. I welcome this development, although I personally have never been drawn toward administrative roles. Can you offer any advice on how I might mentor junior women who wish to become administrators as well as those who do not wish to join the administration, but who prefer to focus on their roles as teacher-scholars? I admit to experiencing some conflict about how people on either track perceive those who choose the other track.
Report on Eighth Biennial AWSS Conference, April 2017
This year's AWSS conference with the theme "Roots and Legacies of Revolution: Transformations for Women and Gender" convened on 6 and 7 April 2017 at the Westin Alexandria Hotel outside of Washington, DC. Held in conjunction with the Southern Conference on Slavic Studies, our conference was one of the largest we have had so far - 23 presenters from the U.S., U.K., Russia, and India in eight panels over two days. Our first day of panels featured, among other topics, the history of women in the Third International, transnational feminist exchanges, cultural imagery during war, and cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova's fan mail. Discussants, presenters, and audience members engaged in productive conversations, exploring various moments of (mostly) the 20th and 21st centuries. On the second day our panels were embedded within the SCSS, spotlighting themes such as: gendered dimensions in art and literature of the past 100 years, attitudes toward polygyny in Tatarstan, post-Soviet fairy tales, the obstacles of motherhood and citizenship for women with disabilities, and marriage and nationalism in interwar Poland.
Keynote speaker Rochelle Ruthchild (at left in red jacket) with conference participants.
Participants in panel -- (Revolutionary) Marriage and Reproduction: Laurie Stoff, Natalia Mitsyuk, Meghann Pytka, Alfiya Battalova, Betsy Jones Hemenway
Participants in panel -- Constructing Self, Constructing Gender: Liliya Karimova, Milla Fedorova, Victoria Apostol-Marius, Sharon Kowalsky, Christine Worobec
What's Suffrage Got to Do With It? Women and Gender in Russia's Revolutionary Year
By Rochelle Goldberg Ruthchild
Keynote address delivered at the April 2017 AWSS Conference, "Roots and Legacies of Revolution."
In the keynote I advocated for greater integration of considerations of women and gender in the history of the 1917 Russian Revolutions. None of the central issues surrounding the outbreak of the Revolution and the subsequent events of 1917 have been adequately analyzed in relation to gender. The women's demonstrations on International Women's Day in Petrograd and other cities of the Empire remain under-researched. Yet they are the most consequential women's demonstrations ever. Women's suffrage has been largely neglected despite the fact that it was a significant issue throughout the year and represented a pioneering advance won by a countrywide coalition of women and men from the working class and intelligentsia, and from almost all political parties. In this centennial year accounts of the Revolution remain one-dimensional; women remain the other.
For a much fuller exposition of these ideas, see my forthcoming article in the Fall 2017 issue of Slavic Review.
Call for Submissions: 2017 AWSS Graduate Essay Prize
AWSS invites submissions for the 2017 Graduate Essay Prize. The prize is awarded to the author of a chapter or article-length essay on any topic in any field or area of Slavic/East European/Central Asian Studies written by a woman, or on a topic in Slavic/East European/Central Asian Women's/Gender Studies written by a woman or a man. This competition is open to current doctoral students and to those who defended a doctoral dissertation in 2016-2017. If the essay is a seminar paper, it must have been written during the academic year 2016-2017. If the essay is a dissertation chapter, it should be accompanied by the dissertation abstract and table of contents. Previous submissions and published materials are ineligible. Essays should be no longer than 50 double-spaced pages, including reference matter, and in English (quoted text in any other language should be translated). Completed submissions must be received by September 1, 2017. Please send a copy of the essay and an updated CV to each of the three members of the Prize Committee as email attachments. Please address any questions to the chair of the prize committee.
Choi Chatterjee, Committee Chair
Professor of History
California State University, Los Angeles
Professor Adrienne Harris
Associate Professor of Russian
Professor Amy Randall
Associate Professor of History
Santa Clara University
Call for Nominations, 2017 AWSS Outstanding Achievement Award
The Outstanding Achievement Award recognizes the work of a scholar in the field of Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies who has also served as a mentor to female students/colleagues in this field. To submit a nomination, please write a letter detailing what your candidate for this award has achieved in Slavic Studies in terms of scholarship or other professional accomplishments, as well as mentoring of female students/colleagues. In addition, please provide a short list of references with accompanying email addresses so that the committee can contact these referees directly for further information. The committee recommends that this list include both peers and students/staff. A list of past Outstanding Achievement Award recipients is available here:
"Visualizing Russian Feminism"
Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies Program
Neilson Library KnowledgeLab
December 9, 2016
Submitted by Hilary Fink (Smith College)
As the culminating project for RES 236, Contemporary Russian Women Writers, Smith College students Arielle Barylsky ('20), Emily Carlson ('18), Emily Paruolo ('17), Alexandra Ostrowski Schilling ('18) and Olena Zozulevich ('17) presented a multi-media exhibit, "Visualizing Russian Feminism," that explored female representation and identity in Russia from the early twentieth-century revolutionary period into the twenty-first century.
|The Wider Arc of Revolution: The Global Impact of 1917
The conference, The Wider Arc of Revolution: The Global Impact of 1917, in commemoration of the hundred-year anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, will be held under the auspices of the Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies at the University of Texas, Austin, on October 26-67, 2017. The conference will feature two keynote speakers (Sheila Fitzpatrick and Lisa Kirschenbaum), and will consist of a series of panels convened over the course of two days in which we will discuss pre-circulated papers submitted by participants.
Christa Hämmerle, Oswald Überegger & Birgitta Bader Zaar, eds. Gender and the First World War, Palgrave Macmillan, 2014. 265 pp. Index. Illustrations. Cloth.
Reviewed by: Alison Rowley, Concordia University, Montreal
The chapters in this volume derive from a 2011 conference on "The First World War in a Gendered Context - Topics and Perspectives." As with any collected volume, there are still areas that the contents do not cover - in this instance I wish at least one of the papers had focused on Russia - but the editors are to be commended for making sure the book had a wider geographic lens than most studies of the First World War. Alongside the chapters that explore the French and British contexts, we find articles on Italy, Germany, parts of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and even Lithuania. This broad geographic approach allows the authors to test the applicability of certain ideas (such as the "double helix") that have been referred to extensively in the literature on Western European women and the war for decades.
Helen Azar and Nicholas B. A. Nicholson, ed., translator, annotator, Tatiana Romanov: Daughter of the Last Tsar, Diaries and Letters, 1913-1918, Yardley, PA: Westholme, 2016. 245 pp. Photos. Bibliography. List of books belonging to Tatiana. Index.
Reviewed by: Lee A. Farrow, Auburn University at Montgomery
In January 1916, V. I. Chebotareva wrote about Tsar Nicholas II's second daughter, "Tatiana Nikolaevna is so touchingly affectionate, even assisted with preparations, sat in the corner and cleaned the instruments." (p. 143) This is one of the things that stands out about Tatiana - her solidity, her stoicism, her strength in the face of adversity. Helen Azar, translator of Tatiana's diaries and letters, declares that many have seen Tatiana as haughty and cold, but a reading of her own writings reveals a young woman who was warm, caring, and tougher than her royal upbringing might suggest. Azar, who did a fine job in her previous book, merging Olga Nikolaevna's diaries and letters to create a portrait of the tsar's eldest daughter, now partners with Nicholas Nicholson to tackle the next of the royal daughters.
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(Western Michigan University/European Humanities University) published Klassy natsiy: feministskaya kritika natsiostroitel'stva (The Classes of Nations: Feminist Critique of Nationbuilding) at NLO (New Literary Observer) in Moscow in the fall of 2016. The book, which discusses the intersection of gender, class stratification, and nationbuilding in post-socialism, is a collection of new and some previously published papers grouped into four sections: 1. The Classes of Nations; 2. Capitalism and Globalization; 3. Language-Gender-Subject; and 4. The Feminist Criticism of (Post-Soviet) Feminism. The volume was listed among the ten most important non-fiction books of the year by Novaya Gazeta. For additional information, see http://www.nlobooks.ru/node/7501
Iveta Jusová (Carleton College) announces the publication of the anthology Czech Feminisms: Perspectives on Gender in East Central Europe (Indiana University Press, 2016), which she and Jirina Siklova co-edited. According to the publisher, "In this wide-ranging study of women's and gender issues in the pre- and post-1989 Czech Republic, contributors engage with current feminist debates and theories of nation and identity to examine the historical and cultural transformations of Czech feminism. This collection of essays by leading scholars, artists, and activists, explores such topics as reproductive rights, state socialist welfare provisions, Czech women's NGOs, anarchofeminism, human trafficking, LGBT politics, masculinity, and feminist art, among others. Foregrounding experiences of women and sexual and ethnic minorities in the Czech Republic, the contributors raise important questions about the transfer of feminist concepts across languages and cultures." For more information about the book, see http://www.iupress.indiana.edu/product_info.php?products_id=808032
(Connecticut College) has been awarded a $237,000 New Directions Fellowship from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. New Directions Fellowships are designed to support innovative interdisciplinary research by helping early-career humanities scholars pursue systematic training in a new field. The award will enable Kane to train in Middle East Studies at Brown University in order to investigate how large-scale migrations of both Muslims and Jews from Russia and the Soviet Union contributed to the formation of the modern Middle East. To undertake this work, she also plans to study Hebrew and Yiddish. For more information, see:
(Indiana University - Bloomington) received a Predissertation Field Research Networking Grant from the Russian Studies Workshop at Indiana University, funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, for her project, "Professional Identity, Institutional Change, and Social Transition: A Study of Russian Lawyers." She will conduct sociological research in Moscow, Russia.
(University of Pittsburgh) is happy to announce the publication in March 2017 of The Routledge History of East Central Europe since 1700, which she and Arpad von Klimo edited. Covering territory from Russia in the east to Germany and Austria in the west, this new book explores the origins and evolution of modernity in East Central Europe. An international team of twenty-one authors from Europe and North America investigate the history and historiography of the region in thematically ordered chapters, applying critical approaches to major historical controversies, and expanding readers' knowledge about this part of Europe. Chapter 6, "Women's and Gender History," is authored by Krassimira Daskalova and Susan Zimmermann. Livezeanu is first author of the Introduction and of chapter 5, "The Cultures of East Central Europe: Imperial, National, Revolutionary." For more information, see:
(University of Kentucky) was named the College of Arts and Sciences' 2017-18 A&S Distinguished Professor. "Since joining the faculty of the college in 1994, Petrone has established a record of outstanding teaching, scholarship and service that is recognized by her colleagues both here at UK and in the discipline of history," said Mark Lawrence Kornbluh, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. For more information, see:
Svetlana Tomic (Alfa BK University, Serbia) published Doprinosi nepoznate elite: mogućnosti sasvim drugačije budućnosti (Contributions of Unknown Elite: The Possibility of a Radically Different Future) (Alfa BK Univerzitet, Fakultet za strane jezike, 2016), ISBN 978-86-6461-011-7. Her book addresses the overlooked role of educated elite women in Serbian society on the territory of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Principality of Serbia in the second half of the 19th century. The book consists of papers, translations, illustrations, photographs, and archival documents.