For over forty years, the Summer Research Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has provided scholars from around the world with the opportunity to work in our Library’s famous collections in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies. We are pleased to announce that we will be holding the Summer Research Laboratory again this year, from June 10 to August 2, 2019. The SRL is open to all scholars with research interests in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies. Graduate students, academics, independent scholars, librarians, and government employees are encouraged to apply.
The deadline to apply for funding has been extended to February 18, 2019.


The American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC) and the Russian, East European, and Eurasian Center (REEEC) at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign invite applications for a pedagogical workshop on integrating the South Caucasus into higher education classrooms.

Often overlooked in Western education, the region of the Caucasus is not only a current hotspot for adventure tourism and historically a fault zone for international geopolitics, but is also home to unique cultures and diverse geographies. In a four-day workshop hosted at the University of Illinois’ Summer Research Lab (SRL), workshop attendees will engage with topics on the history, societies, and peoples of the South Caucasus; participate in pedagogical activities; conduct research at the University of Illinois’ world renowned library; and workshop individual projects. Participants will work with scholars specializing in the region who will give lectures, lead discussions and film screenings, share their experiences in the South Caucasus, and facilitate workshops. Themes have been selected for their usefulness to educators interested in integrating the South Caucasus into their courses and classrooms, with a focus on the relationship between the past – factors such as geography, imperial rule, trade routes – and the present.

The workshop is open to college and university educators and advanced graduate students. Community and City College educators are encouraged to apply.

For more information, please see https://reeec.illinois.edu/programming-and-events/summer-research-laboratory/teaching-the-south-caucasus/

Note: The courses listed on the website are not an exhaustive list of courses being offered on the REEE region. Please see course explorer for additional classes.

New for 2018! International Outreach Travel Assistance

We are happy to be able to offer two travel grants this year. The first is a domestic conference travel grant (up to $350). Please see the website for additional information and the application, which is due by the last day of the month prior to travel.

Also new this year, we will be offering international travel grants to support international outreach and institutional linkage-building initiatives by REEEC-affiliated faculty. Please see the website for additional information regarding international travel guidelines and the application. The international travel application deadline is January 15, 2019.

New! Joint Program: Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies, M.A., and Library and Information Science, M.S.

This joint master’s degree includes a program of language and area studies courses leading to an interdisciplinary Master of Arts degree in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies, as well as a program of study leading to the Master of Science in Library and Information Science. The joint degree matches area expertise with professional education, and prepares students for professional careers in all types of information organizations, including libraries.

The joint degree requires 56 credit hours divided between REEES and iSchool courses. A minimum GPA of 3.25 must be maintained throughout in order to remain in good academic standing.

For more information, please visit the program’s page at catalog.illinois.edu.

REEES + Global Informatics Certificate

We are happy to announce the new Global Informatics Certificate Program at UIUC, in partnership with Illinois Informatics. This program allows undergraduate students to declare an Informatics minor in addition to a major in REEES, and, upon completion, awards a Global Informatics Certificate, preparing students to enter a world “in which information technologies are ubiquitous, evolving, and global in scope.” This program combines the international knowledge and engagement of a REEES major with the computational tools and technical problem-solving of an Informatics minor.

The only additional coursework required for the certificate is a capstone project course, which pulls together knowledge and interests from both the major and the minor fields.

Please see the flier below for more information, including approved majors and degree requirements.

If you are interested, feel free to contact Maureen Marshall memarsh@illinois.edu (REEES) or Karin Readel kereadel@illinois.edu (Informatics).



March 28, 2019: REEEC New Directions Lecture: Anna Ohanyan, “Lenin’s Revenge: Regional Fracture and Security (Dis)Order in Post-Communist Eurasia”

While we know a great deal about the benefits of regional integration, we know considerably less about areas where regional ties between states and societies are weak and dysfunctional. Professor Anna Ohanyan introduces the theory of regional fracture to explain Russia’s foreign policy in its conflict-ridden periphery spanning the Donbas to Damascus. Drawing from cases of conflict regions in Russia’s near-abroad, the theory of regional fracture seeks to explain how and why regions come apart, prolong dysfunctional ties within the region and foster weak states. It demonstrates regional fracture by default as a post-imperial legacy in Russia’s peripheries. It further explores ‘regional fracture by design’, a deliberate foreign policy strategy employed by the Kremlin which aims to keep states in post-Communist Eurasia weak and in Russia’s orbit. Her presentation draws upon a recently published volume edited by Professor Ohanyan, Russia Abroad: Driving Regional Fracture in Post-Communist Eurasia and Beyond (Georgetown University Press, 2018).

Anna Ohanyan is the Richard B. Finnegan Distinguished Professor of Political Science and International Relations at Stonehill College. Her latest two books are Russia Abroad: Driving Regional Fracture in Post-Communist Eurasia and Beyond (edited, Georgetown University Press, 2018), and Networked Regionalism as Conflict Management (Stanford University Press, 2015). Her articles have appeared in International Studies ReviewPeace and ChangeConflict Resolution Quarterly, and Wilson Quarterly , among other journals. She has also contributed to the Washington PostForeign Policy magazine, Al Jazeera, and World Policy Institute. Professor Ohanyan is a Fulbright Scholar and previously served as a doctoral fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Her work has taken her across the globe, from Northern Ireland to the Balkans, Russia, and the South Caucasus.

April 2, 2019: REEEC Noontime Scholars Lecture: Rosina Neginsky, “Philosophy of Birth of Images in Mikhail Vrubel’s Works”

In her presentation, Professor Neginsky will speak about the birth of Vrubel’s images, in what way they are different from images of many of his contemporaries. She will demonstrate how the knowledge of certain philosophies and views on art that are found in works of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Emmanuel Kant, Arthur Schopenhauer, and Vladimir Soloviev influenced Vrubel’s creativity.

Rosina Neginsky teaches Art History and Comparative Literature at the University of Illinois at Springfield. She is the author of several books, of which the most recent is Salome: The Image of a Woman Who Never Was (2013),which came out in 2018 in Russian translation at Novoe Literaturnoe Obozrenie, under the title Salomeia: Obraza rokovoj zhenshchiny, kotoroj ne bylo; of numerous articles on Russian and European artists, poets and writers and of books of poetry, of which the most recent is In the Garden of Luxembourg (2015). She is the president and founder of the international interdisciplinary organization Art, Literature, Music in Symbolism and Decadence (ALMSD), and the editor of various books on Symbolism, of which the most recent is Mental Illnesses in Symbolism (2018). She is currently working on a book about Vrubel. Neginsky is a 2008 recipient of the University Scholar Award.

April 3, 2019: Film Screening: “Vinyl Generation: A Story of Art, Revolution, and Vinyl”

Free screening of the documentary Vinyl Generation: A Story of Art, Revolution, and Vinyl (2016). Presented by Jeffrey Brown, the film’s producer.

In 1980s Communist Czechoslovakia, an emerging generation took inspiration from alternative culture to create their own worldview, politics and eventually, a revolution. 25 years later, this unique generational perspective is explored for the first time.

For more information about the film, please see http://www.vinylgeneration.net/

The trailer can be found at https://vimeo.com/150213930

April 3, 2019: Slavic Movie Night: «Асса» (Assa, 1987)

«Асса» / Assa (1987 / in Russian / subs / dir. Sergei Solovyov)

April 7, 2019: Performance by Ensemble Adilei

Special performance by Georgian ensemble Adilei. Part of Worldfest, a Day of International Music and Arts.

April 9, 2019: REEEC Noontime Scholars Lecture: Matthew Klopfenstein, “Public Life through Public Death: Civic Activism, Media Spectacle, and Contested Spaces in the Funeral of Vera Komissarzhevskaia”

The deaths of celebrity women performers provide illuminating windows into the social and cultural flux that gripped late imperial Russia. The death of the actress Vera Komissarzhevskaia in 1910 while on tour in Tashkent and the subsequent return of her body to St. Petersburg and public funeral became an empire-wide phenomenon that demonstrated the tremendous social resonance of female performers and the growing power of the mass circulation press, new conceptions of the public sphere, and the social influence of emotions. This talk will explore ways in which people across the Russian Empire transformed the death of Komissarzhevskaia into an occasion for large-scale public grieving, civic activism, and religious controversy, giving particular attention to the key role of the press in disseminating information, coordinating action, and serving as a public forum for debate and expressions of grief.

Matthew Klopfenstein is a PhD candidate in the History Department at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research focuses on civil society, popular culture, gender, and media in late imperial and early Soviet Russia. He is currently writing his dissertation, entitled “Performing Death, Embodying Modernity: Media Spectacle, Public Emotion, and Modern Selves in the Celebrity Funerals of Russian Female Performers, 1859-1919.”

April 16, 2019: Slavic Students’ Talent Show

Refreshments will be served.

April 18, 2019: REEEC New Directions Lecture: Lyudmila Parts, “‘Geography of the Russian soul’: The Provinces and Post-Soviet Nationalism”

Traditionally, Russian symbolic geography has been governed by two major binary oppositions: ‘the provinces vs. the capital’ and ‘Russia vs. the West.’ I explore the semantic field in post-Soviet culture, where these binaries intersect, and the ‘provinces vs. the capital’ opposition emerges as a thematic and ideological alternative to Russia’s perpetually problematic relationship with the West. The emphasis on the provinces in the discourse of contemporary nationalism functions to redirect discussions of Russia’s national identity: from its loss of imperial might and prestige, and psychologically unsatisfying opposition to the West, to a hermetic national model, where the provinces replace the West – not as a superior Other, but as one more ambiguously defined.

Lyudmila Parts (PhD, Columbia University, 2002) is an Associate Professor of Russian in the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures at McGill University (Montreal). She is the author of In Search of the True Russia. The Provinces in Contemporary Nationalist Discourse. Madison: The University of Wisconsin Press, 2018; The Chekhovian Intertext: Dialogue with a Classic” (Ohio State UP, 2008) and the editor of The Russian 20th Century Short Story: A Critical Companion (Academic Studies Press, 2009). Prof. Parts’ research interests include post-Soviet culture, genre theory, and cultural representations of nationalism. She has published articles on Dostoevsky, Chekhov, Tolstaya, Petrushevskaya, Pelevin, and, more recently, on the provincial myth and national identity. Her current research project is on the Russian travelogue.

April 20, 2019: Dreams & Dances from the Steppes

Journey to the Steppes with Sinfonia for our 35th season ender! Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky wrote his Symphony No. 1 in G minor, “Winter Dreams,” just after he accepted a position at the Moscow Conservatory—it is the composer’s earliest notable work. Sinfonia da Camera will play the American premiere of Dilorom Saidaminova’s Double Concerto for Violin and Piano with concertmaster Igor Kalnin playing the solo violin part and principal keyboardist Rochelle Sennet on piano. Sinfonia will end its 35th season with Alexander Borodin’s energetic Polovtsian Dances.

New Curriculum and Resources
For K-16 Educators, check out our online materials – we are constantly adding new resources!

Additional  Announcements


REEEC Director John Randolph (center) with former REEEC Directors Mark Steinberg, Diane Koenker, David Cooper, and Donna Buchanan
REEEC Director John Randolph with visiting speaker Frank Karioris (Assistant Professor of Sociology, American University of Central Asia) and REEEC faculty member Mohammad Babadoost
REEEC New Directions Lecture speaker Elizabeth Dunn (Professor of Geography, Indiana University)
Kirill Makarenkov, director of the documentary film “The Wood Floaters”
Slavic Story Time at the Urbana Free Library
Participants of the 2018 Ralph T. Fisher Workshop: The Caucasus and Central Asia in Conversation: The Importance of Stories and Archives from the Soviet and Post-Soviet Periphery
2018 Fisher Fellow Julia Leikin giving a REEEC Noontime Scholars Lecture
Association for Women in Slavic Studies (AWSS) Workshop on Gender and Women in Russia’s Great War and Revolution, 1914-1922
Summer Research Lab participant Sharyl Corrado (Associate Professor of History, Pepperdine University) giving a REEEC Noontime Scholars Lecture