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).



February 15, 2019: Lorado Taft Lecture: Ilya Demutsky, “Famous Russians on pointe shoes: adapting classics for ballet and opera”

Join us for “Famous Russians on pointe shoes: adapting classics for ballet and opera” at the Spurlock Museum, a public masterclass -lecture led by Ilya Demutsky, a prominent Russian composer. Ilya will describe the process of creating ballets based on famous Russians, fictional and real, such as Optimistic Tragedy (for San Francisco Ballet), Hero of Our Times (Bolshoi, Moscow), Nureyev (Bolshoi, 2017), Anna Karenina (Joffrey, Chicago, 2019), and the opera Black Square, (UIUC, 2017-Tretyakov’s Gallery, Moscow 2018).

This lecture will be presented in conjunction with the opening of Ilya’s full-length ballet Anna Karenina at Joffrey Ballet in Chicago on February 13, 2019. Anna Karenina, a joint production between the Joffrey Ballet and the Australian Ballet, is momentous on many levels—from the scale of the production to the interpretation of Leo Tolstoy’s seminal work of fiction.

Ilya Demutsky’s body of work includes more than 150 compositions for orchestra, chorus, chamber ensemble, piano, voice, as well as electronic and film music. Demutsky’s music for the full-length ballet, A Hero of Our Timeat the legendary Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow has won him the most coveted Russian theatre award, the Golden Mask. The much anticipated full length ballet Nureyev at Bolshoi in December 2017 won four Prix Benois 2018 awards, including the best composer work in ballet. For his score of the Cannes Festival Award-winning film  The Student directed by Kirill SerebrennikovIlya Demutsky won the title of “European Composer of 2016,” bestowed by the European Film Academy.

Ilya has strong ties to the UIUC community. The first act of Ilya’s new opera Black Square was workshopped at UIUC, Lyric Theatre @ Illinois, cosponsored by the Russian, East European, and Eurasian Center, and opened on December 13, 2017. It went on to the world premiere at Moscow’s Tretyakov Gallery in November 2018, alongside the original eponymous painting by Kazimir Malevich as a part of the set.

February 23, 2019: Brooklyn Babylon

Brooklyn Babylon, composed by Darcy James Argue. Directed by Karen Blackall (DMA candidate, Jazz Studies). Saturday, February 23, 2019, 7:30 pm, Music Building Auditorium, School of Music, 1114 W. Nevada St., Urbana. Free and open to the public. This performance of Brooklyn Babylon will be the first outside those of DJA’s Secret Society Orchestra.

February 27, 2019: Slavic Movie Night: “Cinema Komunisto” (2010)

“Cinema Komunisto” is a 2010 film directed by Mila Turajlic. The film is in BCS with English subtitles.

March 7, 2019: REEEC New Directions Lecture: Robert Orttung, “Promoting Sustainability in Russia’s Arctic Cities”

Russia hosts many of the largest cities in the Arctic. With increasing temperatures, growing resource extraction, and the possibility of more shipping through Arctic waters, this region of the world has become a focus of attention both for the Arctic countries, like the U.S. and Russia, and global competitors like China, Japan, and South Korea. In all the discussion of geopolitics and international trade, however, there is little attention paid to what it is like to actually live in the Arctic and how the cities there are faring in times of rapid change. This talk will report some of the preliminary results of a large National Science Foundation supported project to define and measure urban sustainability in Arctic conditions. It will explain how to measure sustainability in these conditions and illustrate the analysis with a discussion of important Russian cities, such as the coal-mining Vorkuta and the natural gas capital Salekhard.

Robert Orttung is the Research Director for Sustainable GW and a Research Professor at the Elliott School of International Affairs at the George Washington University. He has published numerous books on Eurasia, including Putin’s OlympicsSustaining Russia’s Arctic Cities (now in paperback!), and Advancing Reform in Ukraine. He is also the editor of Demokratizatsiya: The Journal of Post-Soviet Democratization and a co-editor of the Russian Analytical Digest, a bi-weekly electronic newsletter that provides analysis of recent political, economic, and social events in Russia.

March 8, 2019: Professional Development Workshop with Robert Orttung: “Winning Grants in Slavic Studies”

Professor Robert Orttung will share information and recommendations on how to apply for and win grants in Slavic Studies. Followed by a question-and-answer session and discussion. All graduate students are invited to attend!


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