Greetings from REEI! We’ve had another lively and successful year. I am honored to step into the role of REEI’s Interim Director while Professor Sarah Phillips is taking a well-deserved sabbatical. From this new vantage point, I am continuously amazed at the scale and variety of activities hosted by our program.
REEI is thriving. A new class of nine REEI MA students is settling into their first year at IU. We are very proud of the ten MA students who completed their studies over the last year: Robert Breen (Mid-Career MA), Clare Angeroth Franks (MA), Teuta Özçelik (MA), Alyse Camus (MA/ILS), Nicholas Jackson (MA), Kayla MacDavitt (MA), Madeline McCain (MA), Morgan Richardson (MA/MPA), Michelle Schulte (MA/ILS), and Austin Wilson (MA). Congratulations are also in order to the following students who recently completed their undergraduate degrees with a REEI minor: Christine Ake, Amar Arora, Mark Dolezal, Jacob Gilley, Abigail Gipson, Talia Hempel, Katherine Hitchcock, Tadd Meyer, Erin Patterson, and Daniel Schumick. All have started new, exciting chapters of their professional lives. Best of luck to you all!
We welcome newly appointed affiliate faculty Michael De Groot (International Studies), and Elizabeth Gebálle and Teuta Özçelik (both in the Department of Slavic and East European Languages and Cultures). Stephanie Kane, who has taught at IU for a number of years, has also joined the ranks of REEI affiliate faculty and will teach an exciting course that features substantial Siberian content this coming spring. An impressive group of affiliated Visiting Scholars includes our first US Army War College Fellow, Lieutenant Colonel Angela Reber. With great sadness we say goodbye to a dear and generous friend: Professor Emerita Nina Perlina, a brilliant scholar of Russian literature, passed away in May due to complications after a heart surgery.
As you know, in late summer of 2018, REEI was designated a National Resource Center (NRC) for Russian and East European Studies by the US Department of Education. From August of 2018 to August of 2022, NRC funding is enabling REEI to continue important outreach programs to a variety of constituencies, including primary and secondary school teachers and students, and forge a plethora of new programs and partnerships to boost knowledge on the REE region across Indiana, the country, and the world.
While serving as an NRC for Russian and East European Studies, REEI has also been designated a Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Center with funding from the US Department of Education to provide FLAS fellowships for graduate and undergraduate students studying the languages, cultures, politics, and histories of the region.
Since 2016, REEI has been operating the Russian Studies Workshop with the support of a generous grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York for Strengthening the Study of Russia in the social sciences at IU. Last August, Carnegie renewed its support of Russian studies at IU with $700,000 award.
We keep a busy weekly schedule of events that includes conferences, lectures, concerts, and other special events. In September REEI co-sponsored Four Generations of American Scholarship on Russian Music: A Conference and Concert in Honor of Malcolm H. Brown’s 90th Birthday and in November we recognized the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall with Writings on the Wall: The End of the Eastern Bloc in Cultural Memory. Among the numerous memorable lectures presented by REEI, one that attracted much attention was by the Visiting Scholar Lyosha Gorshkov, an LGBTQ+ activist who also offered a course on “Queer Russian Politics and Gender Outlaws: Revolution or Devolution?”
Our faculty, students, and alumni are active producing books, articles, conference papers, and working on digital projects. Over the course of last year, several have won prestigious fellowships (see Jessica Storey-Nagy’s thoughtful essay written while researching her dissertation as a Fulbright-Hays research fellow in Budapest, Hungary) and awards, notably David Ransel, Professor Emeritus of History and former REEI Director, who was honored with the ASEEES Distinguished Contributions Award, and Professor Bill Johnston (Comparative Literature) whose translation of Adam Mickiewicz’s Pan Tadeusz received the National Translation Award in Poetry from the American Literary Translators Association (ALTA). Congratulations on all on your accomplishments!