Workshops Return for Fall 2023!

Our two workshops focused on Central and Eastern Europe and Eurasia return for the Fall 2023 semester! Join us for any of the following events:

Friday, September 8, 2:00 pm: Bénédicte Santoire (University of Ottawa) presents new research on “Women, Peace and Security Agenda in Long-term Protracted Conflicts: Exploring the Cases of Moldova and Georgia“. Register via Zoom registration link 

Friday, September 29, 12:30 pm: Megan Buskey shares her book on Ukraine Is Not Dead Yet: A Family Story of Exile and Return, in discussion with Brigid O’Keeffe (Brooklyn College, CUNY). This will be a hybrid event at the Graduate Center, CUNY, and online via Zoom registration link.

Tuesday, October 10, 2:15 pm:  Kristen Ghodsee (University of Pennsylvania) in conversation with journalist Liza Featherstone on Everyday Utopia, ​​“You and Me and Baby Makes Misery: Expanding Our Networks of Love and Care,” and Alexandra Kollontai. This is a hybrid event held at the Woody Tanger Auditorium, Brooklyn College Library, and via Zoom with this registration link 

Friday, October 13, 2:00 pm: Kenneth Yin (LaGuardia Community College, CUNY) presents research on the Dungan language and literature of Central Asia. Online only: Zoom registration link.

Friday, October 27, 12:30 pm: Yana Primachenko (Princeton College and Institute of History of Ukraine, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine) presents new comparative analysis on the “Great Victory” in Soviet and Russian memory culture. Online only: Zoom registration link.

Monday, October 30, 2:15 pm: Cynthia Enloe (Clark University), launches her book, Twelve Feminist Lessons of War, in person at Women’s Center, Brooklyn College, CUNY, in coordination the new Institute on Gender, Law, and Transformative Peace at CUNY Law. In person only. 

Friday, November 10, 2:00 pm:  Ivan Simic (Charles University, Prague) presents research on “Gender Policies Towards Muslim Men in Socialist Yugoslavia and Bulgaria”. Online only: Zoom registration link 

Friday, November 17, 12:30 pm: Jane Sugarman (Graduate Center, CUNY) presents new research on musical activism in post-war Kosova. Online only: Zoom registration link.

Friday, December 1, 12:30 pm: Nicholas Boston (Lehman College, CUNY) presents new research on “The Amorous Migrant: Polish Gay Men in the United Kingdom, 2004-2020“. This will be a hybrid event at the Graduate Center, CUNY, and online with this Zoom registration link.

Timothy Garton Ash at NYU on September 12

On Tuesday, September 12, at 4:00 pm, the Center for European and Mediterranean Studies and the Deutsches Haus at NYU host a presentation of the book Homelands: A Personal History of Europe by the renowned British historian Timothy Garton Ash. In his new book, Ash gives a unique account of the history of Europe since 1945, drawing on his extensive personal notes from 50 years of events witnessed, places visited, and historymakers encountered (from Margaret Thatcher to Vladimir Putin) to chart the rise and then faltering of the quest for a ‘Europe whole and free’.

In this lecture, Professor Garton Ash will extend the analysis in Homelands to offer an interpretation of how Europe progressed from the post-War period (famously analysed by Tony Judt) to what he calls the post-Wall period. And why it then regressed, in a ‘downward turn’ after 2008, culminating in Putin’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022 – beginning the largest war in Europe since 1945. What did Europe get right? Where did it go wrong? Why?

For in-person attendance, please RSVP here.

About the book:

Timothy Garton Ash, Europe’s “historian of the present,” has been “breathing Europe” for the last half century. In Homelands he embarks on a journey in time and space around the postwar continent, drawing on his own notes from many great events, giving vivid firsthand accounts of its leading actors, revisiting the places where its history was made, and recalling its triumphs and tragedies through their imprint on the present.

Garton Ash offers an account of events as seen from the ground—history illustrated by memoir. He describes how Europe emerged from wartime devastation to rebuild, to triumph with the fall of the Berlin Wall, to democratize and unite. And then to falter. It is a singular history of a period of unprecedented progress along with a clear-eyed account of how so much went wrong, from the financial crisis of 2008 to the war in Ukraine. From the pen of someone who, in spite of Brexit, emphatically describes himself as an English European, this is both a tour d’horizon and a tour de force.

About the author:

Timothy Garton Ash is professor of European studies at the University of Oxford and senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. His books include The Magic Lantern, his eyewitness account of the revolutions of 1989; The File: A Personal History, based on reading his own Stasi file; and History of the Present. He lives in Oxford, England.

Events on Ukraine, one year later

With the upcoming one year anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, be sure to check out these upcoming events around CUNY:

Thursday, February 23, 12pm EST – “The Russian Invasion of Ukraine: A Year of War and Genocide

With an avowed goal of de-Ukrainization, Russia rejects the idea of Ukrainian statehood and has declared genocidal goals in Ukraine. With Eugene Finkel, Kenneth H. Keller Associate Professor of International Affairs, Johns Hopkins University. The author of several books, including Ordinary Jews: Choice and Survival during the Holocaust (2017) and Bread and Autocracy: Food, Politics and Security in Putin’s Russia (2023), Finkel is a scholar of genocide, mass violence, and politics in Eastern Europe. In conversation with Elissa Bemporad, Professor of History and Ungar Chair in East European Jewish History and the Holocaust at Queens College and CUNY Graduate Center. Moderated by: Natalya Lazar is the Program Manager, The Initiative on Ukrainian-Jewish Shared History and the Holocaust in Ukraine, at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Register for this Zoom webinar.

Thursday, February 23, 12pm EST“One Year Later: Russia’s War in Ukraine and Germany’s Policy Pivot

Join Metin Hakverdi, Member of the German Bundestag, for a discussion of Germany’s Zeitenwende and its implications for Transatlantic relations. In conversation with Ralph Bunche Institute Director and Graduate Center Presidential Professor John Torpey.

This is a hybrid event. Join in person in room 5318, ARC Seminar Room, at the Graduate Center, CUNY, 365 Fifth Ave, New York, NY 10016. Or register to attend via Zoom.

Friday, February 24, 2pm EST“Here is our front”: Hybridization of Normative Femininity During Russia’s War on Ukraine

Ukrainian women’s responses to the Russian full-scale military aggression against Ukraine as well as the Ukrainian society’s perception (reaction) to those responses are striking. Women’s self-mobilization for defense efforts manifested itself in two seemingly different ways: on the one end – large scale voluntary enrollment to the military to serve at the battle front, on the other end – simultaneous massive grass-roots volunteer movement of humanitarian nature at the home front. As different (or even opposite) as they may appear at first glance, these two women’s ways of engaging with defense efforts share an important common feature: both claim their rootedness in Ukrainian normative femininity with direct references to national historical legacy and folk traditions. Oksana Kis, Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Ethnology, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, visiting professor, the New School of Social Research in discussion with Olena Nikolayenko, Professor of Political Science, Fordham University, and Karyn Grossman Gershon, CEO, Project Kesheer.

This is a hybrid event. Join in person in room C201, the Graduate Center, CUNY, 365 Fifth Ave, New York, NY 10016. Or register to attend via Zoom.

Wednesday, March 1, 12:15 pm EST – “Russia’s War on Ukraine: One Year Later”

The Departments of History and Political Science at Queens College, CUNY, present this panel discussion on the occasion of the anniversary of Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine, with Professors Elissa Bemporad, History, Julie George, Political Science, Igor Kuskovsky, Physics, and Thomas Ort, History. Moderated by Peter Liberman, Political Science.

Register for the Zoom webinar: bit.ly/UkraineWarOneYearLater

CUNY REEES Events in January and February 2023

Workshops, panel discussions and book talks are lined up for the new year – check them out!

January 27 – EphemeREAL: Migrant Labor and Russian-Chechen Conflict Revealed when the Document Hits the Stage

The CUNY REEES Workshop hosts Susanna Weygandt, Visiting Assistant Professor of Russian, Sewanee: University of the South, to present new research on a subgenre of New Drama (Novaia Drama) known as docudrama emerged specifically to voice “direct utterance” from marginal contemporary social groups in Russia about social problems.

Join the workshop via Zoom on Friday at 12:30 pm.

February 8Cultivating Food Security in Ukraine: A Local and Global Perspective

Join a virtual panel discussion with experts studying the impact of the war in Ukraine on agro-food systems. Participants include Vitalii Dankevych (International Economic Relations and European Integration, Polissia National University, Ukraine), Natalia Mamonova (Institute for Rural and Regional Research (RURALIS), Norway), and Susanne Wengle (Political Science, University of Notre Dame, US). The panel will be moderated by Diana Mincyte (Sociology, City University of New York-City Tech) and Renata Blumberg (Nutrition and Food Studies, Montclair State University).

Register to join this event via Zoom on Wednesday at 12:00 pm.

February 10 – Crossing the Bridges: From Lvov Across the Steppes to Asia to London’s Doodlebugs

Eva Hoffman Jedruch, author, will give a talk about her book about her mother’s wartime odyssey between Lvov, Asia, London and Argentina.

Join this talk on Friday at 12:00 pm virtually via Zoom and RSVP to attend in person at the Graduate Center, CUNY at eusc@gc.cuny.edu

February 24 – Biography and history of Alexander Weissberg-Cybulski (1901-1964) 

The CUNY REEES Workshop hosts Irena Grudzinska Gross, Institute of Slavic Studies at the Polish Academy of Science and Guggenheim Fellow, to share new research concerns the life of Alexander Weissberg-Cybulski (1901-1964), an Austrian-Jewish physicist, writer, businessman, communist, then anti-communist and gambler.

Join the workshop via Zoom on Friday at 12:30 pm.

Best book in Slavic, East European and Eurasian women’s and gender studies edited by CUNY faculty

Congratulations to Janet Elise Johnson, Brooklyn College, and Mara Lazda, Bronx Community College, and colleague Katalin Fábián, Lafayette University, for winning the Association of Women in Slavic Studies‘ 2022 Heldt Prize for the best book in Slavic, East European and Eurasian women’s and gender studies!

What the prize committee said about the Routledge Handbook of Gender in Central-Eastern Europe and Eurasia (Routledge, 2021):

Unparalleled in its usefulness for the fields of study indicated in the title of this prize, the Routledge Handbook of Gender in Central-Eastern Europe and Eurasia assembles a dazzling collection of high-level articles into a coherent and well-formulated whole. Excellent editing permits the enormous breadth of topics introduced here to work both individually and in concert. Readers are treated to sensitive and eye-opening discussions of differences and similarities across a region which features not only different landscapes and languages, but also widely diverse imperial histories and religious traditions. A powerhouse of research on important topics, this volume will be a tremendous resource for years to come.

Learn more from Janet and Mara at our Gender and Transformation in Central-Eastern Europe and Eurasia workshop.

Sixteen Ukrainian and Russian students impacted by the war find an educational home at CUNY

Hunter College announced at the start of the Fall 2022 semester that 16 students from Ukraine and Russia whose education was interrupted as a result of the war will have a chance to continue their degrees at Hunter College.

“Some students living in Ukraine had to stop going to college because it was too dangerous to continue, while some students from Russia were forced to flee because of something a family member said or did. They are now headed to Hunter, where they can safely get back to hitting the books.”

Yakov Klots, Assistant Professor of Russian Language and Literature at Hunter College/Graduate Center, CUNY, was instrumental in making sure the necessary administrative procedures were put in place and the students could navigate the application process and settle into their new lives.

August 25, 2022

The Kruzhok returns!

We are pleased to announce the (re-)launch of the CUNY Russian, Eastern European and Eurasian Studies Kruzhok. Join us this fall on select Fridays at 12:30 pm via Zoom.

We invite researchers working on the history, politics, societies, and cultures of Eastern and Southeastern Europe and Eurasia, whether you are in the United States or abroad, to participate in this workshop. Not only are scholars from New York-based institutions welcome, but so are scholars from anywhere in the world. This includes independent scholars. 

Several years ago, there was a Balkan/Eastern European history Kruzhok in New York City, organized by CUNY Faculty and housed at Columbia’s Harriman Center. At different points, there was a good group of scholars from Columbia, CUNY, New York University, and Rutgers, as well as graduate students from those institutions. In order to rebuild interest in Eastern and Southeastern Europe and Eurasia and provide a forum for researchers to present their work for discussion, the time is ripe to restart the Kruzhok

We have an interesting lineup of papers from fall, representing scholars working with different political, cultural, social, and economic methods:

SCHEDULE – RSVP for all sessions via Zoom

Sept. 30, 12:30 p.m.

Gabriel Lataianu and Dr. Eugen Bruno Ștefan

Refugees from Ukraine and the perception of war in Romania

Gabriel Lataianu, Queensborough Community College, and Dr. Eugen Bruno Ștefan, Bureau for Social Research in Bucharest, join the CUNY REEES Kruzhok to discuss the results of the national survey “Refugees from Ukraine and the perception of war ” conducted this year in Romania. The study is focused on refugees in general with a special focus on the refugees from Ukraine and, also, on the Romanians’ attitudes toward the war in Ukraine. The research offers an image of Romanians’ dispositions and feelings towards a very large wave of war refugees, the largest one since World War II in Romania. Whenever the case the presentation will have a comparative outlook, contrasting the data on Ukrainian refugees to the results of a BCS survey carried out in October 2021. Last year research focused on the refugees from Afghanistan and, also, on the economic immigrants from South Asia in Romania. Last, but not least the presentation will examine Romanians’ attitudes toward Russia’s aggression on Ukraine, the threats and challenges of a war in close proximity, the role of NATO in the country’s security etc.

Oct. 7, 12:30 p.m.

Leslie Waters

Nationalization and Globalization in Competition: The 1992 Olympics and the New Europe

The 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, Spain, were uniquely positioned to symbolically redefine the European continent. In the lead up to the games, the dissolution of the Soviet Union, wars of Yugoslav succession, Czechoslovak “velvet divorce,” German unification, and signing of the Treaty on European Union meant that the familiar post-World War II geopolitical order was over. Post-socialist states, especially those that had recently declared their independence, tried to use the Barcelona Games as an opportunity to make their case to be included in a new Europe. Meanwhile, the nascent European Union promoted a supranational version of Europeanness and the host city emphasized a “Europe of Regions” rather than one of nation states. This presentation examines competing conceptualizations of Europe in the 1990s through the lens of the Barcelona Olympic Games.

Oct. 28, 12:30 p.m.

Samuel D. Albert

The Hungarian National Fine Arts Commission and Exhibitionary Politics: 1920-1940

In the interwar period, the Hungarian government aggressively pursued a policy of cultural diplomacy, of which one significant element was “representative” art exhibitions.  These exhibitions were hosted in a variety of European cities.  They sought, through art, to present Hungary as a thriving, modern state, even as the government itself continually decried the terrible inequities of Trianon, which they said rendered Hungary untenable as a country. These art exhibitions, organized by the Országos képzőművészeti tanács (the National Fine Arts Council), a department within the Ministry of Religion and Education, reflect changes in Ministry policy, especially during the tenure of Kuno Klebelsberg as well as general changes in the conception of “Hungarian” art.  In this paper, Dr. Albert will examine several of these exhibitions, relating them to earlier exhibitions, which occurred during the Habsburg Monarchy and showing how, in the 1930s, a competing narrative of Hungarian art emerged. 

Nov. 18, 12:30 p.m.

Irina Marin

Vicious and Virtuous Circles in the Rural Economy of East European Borderlands at the End of the 19th, Beginning of the 20th Century

This work-in-progress paper provides a cross-border comparison between rural communities in the borderlands of Austria-Hungary, Tsarist Russia and the Balkan fringes of the Ottoman Empire. The aim is that of hammering out an explanatory framework that would account for disparities in modernization, innovation absorption and social agency, starting from factors such as the initial terms of peasant emancipation, legal framework, the edge given by historical privilege and, conversely, the long shadow of serfdom in the form of renewed dependence and neoserfdom.

RSVP for all sessions via Zoom.

For most of the sessions, we will pre-circulate unpublished papers so that we can read them in advance and have a fruitful discussion with the authors. We hope this will help expand the horizons of our knowledge beyond our specializations and help authors develop their ideas.

If you are interested in presenting an unpublished work-in-progress at a future point, please write to cunyreeeskruzhok@gmail.com. Please include a bio, a short summary of your project, and a working title of your paper.