Lab Programs


The Summer Research Lab (SRL) provides scholars access to the resources of the University of Illinois Library, the largest Slavic collection west of Washington, DC, and an opportunity for individual consultation with the Slavic Reference Service (SRS).

Featured Workshops

New Fields for Old: The Revitalization of Political, Diplomatic and Military History and its Implications for Research in Libraries and Archives (June 10-11, 2019)

Facilitators: Ronald Bobroff (Professor of History, Oglethorpe University), Anatol Shmelev (Robert Conquest Curator for Russia and Eurasia, Hoover Institution), Annabella Irvine (Research Specialist, Slavic Reference Service, University of Illinois)

By the end of the twentieth century, fields of investigation that once stood at the root of the historical profession – political, diplomatic and military history – had come to be considered old-fashioned and their practitioners, who once formed the core of any history department, gave way to social, cultural, gender historians, almost to the point of extinction. Lately, however, these “old-fashioned” approaches have been reinvigorated by a new generation of scholars applying cutting-edge methodology from new fields and other disciplines to these traditional subjects of investigation, especially in Russian, East European and Eurasian area studies.

This workshop is made possible by funding from the Department of State’s Program for the Study of Eastern Europe and the Independent States of the Former Soviet Union (Title VIII).

US – Russia – Future: A Foreign Policy and Security Studies Workshop (June 12-14, 2019)

Facilitators: Paul Stronski (Senior Fellow, Russia and Eurasia Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace), Andrew Akin (Professor of National Security Studies at the Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base, Alabama), and Joe Lenkart (Slavic Reference Service, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

Over the last eighteen years, successive U.S and Russian governments have attempted to forge a new path for US – Russia relations through summits, repeated attempts to “reset” buttons, and arms control negotiations. The U.S- Russian relationship has frequently broken down by both sides’ attempts to challenge each other’s global presence and often-incompatible visions of national interests. Trapped by fears, both real and imagined, phobias and evocative rhetoric, US – Russia relations appear locked in a perpetual state of discord. Concurrently, this contentious relationship has seeped into domestic politics, complicating the work of policy makers and diplomats in both countries.

This workshop is made possible by funding from the Department of State’s Program for the Study of Eastern Europe and the Independent States of the Former Soviet Union (Title VIII).

Teaching the South Caucasus: A Workshop for College and University Educators (June 18-21, 2019)

Facilitators: Stephen F. Jones (Professor of Russian and Eurasian Studies/International Studies, Mount Holyoke College) and Mauricio Borrero (Associate Professor of History, St. John’s University)

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 faulty 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.

Sponsored by: American Research Institute of the South Caucasus and the Russian, East European, and Eurasian Center


SRS Individualized Research Practicum

Consultation with a Slavic Reference Service Librarian for a personalized bibliographic session. For details and application procedures, see SRS Practicum.

Fisher Fellow Award (Click here for more details)

  • Graduate Student at dissertation stage or post-doctorate scholar (<5 years following PhD).
  • Available to attend SRL during June 2019

International Studies Research Lab (More information coming soon!)

  • Current faculty or instructors at community colleges or minority-serving institutions
  • Available to attend SRL during July 2019

Other SRL Programs

History and Culture Discussion Group

The Discussion Group on History and Culture offers Summer Research Lab participants an opportunity to discuss their work in a very informal setting, whether the project is at the beginning stages or closer to completion. All topics and time periods are welcome.

This summer’s group will meet in June 2019, at a location TBD. All participants are welcome to attend, speak about their research projects, and even present a paper.

For more information, please contact Ann Kleimola at