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In this Issue:
2019 Outstanding Achievement Award
Message from the Book Review Editor
Book Reviews
2019 Barbara Heldt Prizes
2019 Mary Zirin Prize
2019 Graduate Essay Prize
2019 Graduate Awards Prize
Member News
2019 Outstanding Achievement Award
         
             Dr. Irina Reyfman

The Association for Women in Slavic Studies is extremely pleased to announce that Dr. Irina Reyfman is the winner of the 2019 Outstanding Achievement Award. Over more than three decades, Dr. Reyfman has been a role model as a dedicated scholar-teacher. After receiving her PhD in Slavic Languages and Literatures from Stanford University, Professor Reyfman joined the faculty of Columbia University in 1986. She has also held visiting appointments at the University of California at Berkeley, Yale, Harvard, and Princeton. A specialist in eighteenth-century Russian literature, Reyfman has published four single-authored monographs, two co-edited volumes of essays and, most recently, co-authored a comprehensive history of Russian literature. This body of work, along with an outpouring of support for her nomination from students past and present, speaks to the synergy between her research agenda and her work in the classroom.
 
If there is one word that comes through loud and clear among those who know her, it is care—care for her work, and care for those around her. I hesitate to call them “students,” as she is quick to treat them as something more than that. They are colleagues, fellow travelers into the joys of Russian literature. Her former and current students alike praise her for her genuine interest in their insights and her ability to spread an infectious passion for Gogol, Radishchev, and Trediakovsky. Eschewing shame or competition as motivational tools, Reyfman leans instead on the intrinsic delights of literary discovery to inspire curiosity. As one student wrote, “whenever she asked whether we had read some lesser-known literary work and we said no, she would let out a sigh of happiness, smile, and say, ‘u vas vse vperedi!’ [you have everything ahead of you!].”
 
Reyfman’s passion is paired with rigor. Apparently, she is known as a “velvet fist in an iron glove,” a description that captures with affection and humor the fact that she is a demanding, but fair advisor. She is “direct and assertive, but never harsh.” She turns around drafts with a speed that makes one’s head spin—sometimes within a mere day—and does so while providing detailed feedback on the ideas and the writing. Reyfman has supervised fifteen dissertations and has served as a second reader on many more; the research of these students span the eighteenth through twenty-first centuries. Budding scholars seek out her service on their committees because they know she brings an encyclopedic knowledge of Russian literature and a keen eye from which their work will benefit.
 
Her generosity toward students extends well beyond the classroom. Reyfman was an early and important supporter of the relaunch of the Columbia graduate student journal, Ulbandus: The Slavic Review of Columbia University. She led a semester-long exploration of Radishchev’s Journey from Moscow to St. Petersburg with students who met weekly, and voluntarily--out of sheer love for and curiosity about the text. On another occasion, unfinished business from a Russian stylistics class one semester continued informally into the following semester with a discussion in Reyfman’s home about Pelevin’s “Nika.” A monthly kruzhok 'gathering' in her home brought together students of Slavic literature, history, and comparative literature to present works-in-progress. Those events were marked by their egalitarian ethos, which erased any hierarchy between students and teachers for the sake of a rigorous and stimulating exchange of ideas. These efforts, taken together, show Reyfman to be an unsung architect of intellectual community above and beyond the call of duty. 
 
When praised for her tireless efforts, with characteristic modesty Reyfman is quick to dismiss this work as “just doing her job.” But anyone would recognize this level of effort and devotion as beyond the bounds of what is typical and thus worthy of recognition. As one of her supporters wrote, Reyfman “sees her work with her students, above all, as her ‘imperishable’ contribution to the field.” For more than thirty years, she has worked toward this distinguished legacy.
 
Reyfman is, of course, not just an effective, respected, and exceptional teacher and mentor. She is also a distinguished literary scholar. Her scholarship across all her publications builds on the tradition of Tartu cultural semiotics so as to preserve that theory’s search for invariants. She balances that structuralist impulse with careful attention to literary history, an awareness of the nuances of individual texts and authorial careers, and a profound study of literary institutions. To touch on just a few highlights of her writings, her first book, Vasilii Trediakovsky: The Fool of the “New” Russian Literature (1991) earned accolades as “inspired,” “pioneering,” and “ambitious,” with significant methodological implications for the study of eighteenth-century literature broadly.  Her 2012 Rank and Style: Russians in State Service, Life, and Literature enjoyed similar praise for its blend of historical and literary studies, and was heralded by one reviewer as “an impressive testimony to [Reyfman’s] range and conviction that a sympathetic understanding of the social framework underpinning  Russian noble culture enriches our appreciation of Russian literature”—a description that could apply equally to her teaching philosophy. Further elaborating on her explorations of literature, literary culture, and professionalization, her book How Russia Learned to Write: Literature and the Imperial Table of Ranks (2016) received praise for its elegant writing, persuasive argumentation, and nuanced reading of canonical eighteenth and nineteenth century writers. It is no coincidence that a scholar of such profound erudition has co-authored Oxford University Press’s History of Russian Literature (2018), a work that is destined to become a classic in the field.
 
For these many achievements and more as a teacher, mentor, and scholar, AWSS is pleased to bestow its 2019 Outstanding Achievement Award on Irina Reyfman.

Message from the Book Review Editor

WEW is soliciting book reviews from our readers.  Below is a list of possible books.  If you are interested in reviewing one of these for WEW, please contact me at: Sharon.Kowalsky@tamuc.edu.  Please note that most of these books are in English or published by international publishers.  We encourage you to suggest other recent, non-English language works of interest to our membership, including those from the region that may not be readily available in the U.S. If you plan to travel to the region, please keep an eye out for books that your colleagues and students would like to know about. You could be our next reviewer!  If you are interested in reviewing a book that is not on this list, please let me know and we can discuss that. 
 
Sharon A Kowalsky
Sharon.Kowalsky@tamuc.edu
 
Suggested Books for Review:
 
Adams, Amy Singleton and Vera Shevzov, eds. Framing Mary: The Mother of God in Modern, Revolutionary,            and Post-Soviet Russian Culture. Northern Illinois University Press, 2018.
Ament, Suzanne. Sing to Victory: Song in Soviet Society During WWII. Academic Studies Press, 2018.
Andreescu, Florentina and Michael Shapiro, eds. Genre and the (Post-) Communist Woman: Analyzing            Transformations of the Central and Eastern European Female Ideal. Routledge, 2014.
Astashkevich, Irina. Gendered Violence: Jewish Women in the Pogroms of 1917 to 1921. Academic Studies            Press, 2018.
Attwood, Lynne, Elisabeth Schimpfossl, and Maria Yusupova, eds. Gender and Choice After Socialism.            Palgrave Macmillan, 2018.
Barkaia, Maria and Alisse Waterston, eds. Gender in Georgia: Feminist Perspectives on Culture, Nation, and            History in the South Caucasus. Berghahn Books, 2018.
Bolovan, Ioan and Luminita Dumanescu, eds. Intermarriage in Transylvania, 1895-2010. Peter Lang,            2017.
Brintlinger, Angela, Irina Glushchenko, and Anastasia Lakhtikova, eds. Seasoned Socialism: Gender and            Food in Late Soviet Everyday Life. Indiana University Press, 2019.
Buckley, Mary. The Politics of Unfree Labour in Russia: Human Trafficking and Labour Migration. Cambridge            University Press, 2018.
Bucur, Maria and Mihalea Miroiu. Birth of Democratic Citizenship: Women and Power in Modern Romania.            Indiana University Press, 2018.
Bushnell, John. Russian Peasant Women Who Refused to Marry: Spasovite Old Believers in the Eighteenth            and Nineteenth Centuries. Indiana University Press, 2017.
Clark, Janine Natalya. Rape, Sexual Violence and Transitional Justice Challenges: Lessons from Bosnia-            Herzegovina. Routledge, 2018.
Crone, Anna Lisa. Collected Writings, Volume 1: Poetry. Slavica Publishers, 2016.
Davoliute, Violeta and Tomas Balkelis. Narratives of Exile and Identity: Soviet Deportation Memoirs from the            Baltic States. Central European University Press, 2018.
Ducu, Viorela and Aron Telegdi-Csetri, eds. Managing “Difference” in Eastern-European Transnational            Families. Peter Lang, 2016.
Emory, Jacob. Alternative Kinships: Economy and Family in Russian Modernism. Northern Illinois University            Press, 2017.
Francikova, Dasa. Women as Essential Citizens in the Czech National Movement: The Making of the Modern            Czech Community. Lexington Books, 2017.
Forrester, Sibelan.  A Companion to Marina Cvetaeva: Approaches to a Major Russian Poet. Brill, 2016.
Ghodsee, Kristen. Second World, Second Sex: Socialist Women’s Activism and Global Solidarity            during the Cold War. Duke University Press, 2019.
Gradskova, Yulia and Ildiko Asztalos Morell. Gendering Postsocialism: Old Legacies and New Hierarchies.            Routledge, 2018.
Hassenstab, Christine, and Sabrina Ramet, eds. Gender (In)Equality and Gender Politics in Southeastern            Europe: A Question of Justice. Palgrave MacMillan, 2015.
Hashamova, Yana, Screening Trafficking: Prudent and Perilous. Central European University Press, 2018.
Hashamova, Yana, Beth Holmgren and Mark Lipovetskii, eds. Transgressive Women in Modern Russian and            East European Cultures: From the Bad to the Blasphemous. Routledge, 2017.
Halembra, Agnieszka. Negotiating Marian Apparitions: The Politics of Religion in Transcarpathian Ukraine.            Central European University Press, 2015.
Healey, Dan. Russian Homophobia from Stalin to Sochi. Bloomsbury, 2018.
Hemment, Julie. Youth Politics in Putin’s Russia: Producing Patriots and Entrepreneurs. Indiana University            Press, 2015.
Hignett, Kelly, Melanie J. Ilic, Dalia Leinarte, and Corina Snitar. Women's Experiences of       
              Repression in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. Routledge, 2018.
Iveta, Jusova and Jirina Siklova, eds. Czech Feminisms: Perspectives on Gender in East Central Europe.            Indiana University Press, 2016.
Kaliszewska, Iwona and Maciej Falkowski. Veiled and Unveiled in Chechnya and Dagestan. Hurst &            Company, 2016.
Kirschenbaum, Lisa. International Communism and the Spanish Civil War: Solidarity and Suspicion.            Cambridge University Press, 2015.
Krizsán, Andrea, and Conny Roggeband. The Gender Politics of Domestic Violence: Feminists Engaging the            State in Central and Eastern Europe. Routledge, 2018.
Kovacik, Karen, ed. Scattering the Dark: An Anthology of Polish Women Poets. White Pine Press, 2015.
Lorand, Zsofia. The Feminist Challenge to the Socialist State in Yugoslavia. Palgrave Macmillan, 2018.
Massino, Jill. Ambiguous Transitions: Gender, the State, and Everyday Life in Socialist and Postsocialist            Romania. Berghahn Books, 2019.
McCallum, Claire. The Fate of the New Man: Representing and Reconstructing Masculinity in Soviet Visual            Culture, 1945-1965. Northern Illinois University Press, 2018.
McCarthy, Lauren. Trafficking Justice: How Russian Police Enforce New Laws, from Crime to Courtroom.            Cornell University Press, 2015.
Muehlenbeck, Phillip, ed. Gender, Sexuality, and the Cold War: A Global Perspective. Vanderbilt University            Press, 2017.
Nikolayenko, Olena. Youth Movements and Elections in Eastern Europe. Cambridge University Press, 2017.
O’Dwyer, Conor. Coming Out of Communism: The Emergence of LGBT Activism in Eastern Europe.            New York University Press, 2018.
Pepchinski, Mary, and Mariann Simon, eds. Ideological Equals: Women Architects in Socialist Europe, 1945-            1989. Routledge, 2017.
Petrovic, Jelena. Women’s Authorship in Interwar Yugoslavia: The Politics of Love and Struggle.            Palgrave Macmillan, 2018.
Rakhimova-Sommers, Elena, ed. Nabokov's Women: The Silent Sisterhood of Textual Nomads. Lexington            Books, 2017.
Rasputin, Valentin, Ivan’s Daughters: Short Stories and a Novella, trans. Margaret Winchell. Slavica            Publishers, 2016.
Riggs, Robert. Sofia Perovskaya, Terrorist Princess: The Plot to Kill Alexander II and the Woman Who Led It.            Global Harmony Press, 2017.
Scheller-Boltz, Dennis. The Discourse on Gender Identity in Contemporary Russia: An Introduction with a            Case Study in Russian Gender Linguistics. Georg Olms Verlag, 2017.
Sells, Angela M. Sabina Spielrein: The Woman and the Myth. State University of New York Press, 2017.
Skomp, Elizabeth and Benjamin Stucliffe. Ludmila Ulitskaya and the Art of Tolerance. University of Wisconsin            Press, 2015.
Simic, Ivan. Soviet Influences on Postwar Yugoslav Gender Politics. Palgrave Macmillan, 2018.
Solari, Cinzia. On the Shoulders of Grandmothers: Gender, Migration, and Post-Soviet Nation-State Building.            Routledge, 2018.
Stauter-Halsted, Keely. The Devil’s Chain: Prostitution and Social Control in Partitioned Poland. Cornell            University Press, 2015.
Stella, Francesca. Lesbian Lives in Soviet and Post-Soviet Russia: Post/Socialism and Gendered Sexualities.            Palgrave Macmillan, 2015.
Stohler, Ursula. Disrupted Idylls: Nature, Equality, and the Feminine in Sentimentalist Russian Women’s            Writing. Peter Lang, 2016.
Sundstrom, Lisa McIntosh, Valerie Sperling, and Melike Sayoglu, Courting Gender Violence: Russia, Turkey,            and the European Court of Human Rights. Oxford University Press, 2019.
Szapor, Judith. Hungarian Women's Activism in the Wake of the First World War: From Rights to Revanche.            Bloomsbury Academic, 2017.
Turton, Katy. Family Networks and the Russian Revolutionary Movement, 1870-1940. Palgrave Macmillan,            2018.
Victoroff, Tatiana. Anna Akhmatova et la poesie europeenne. Peter Lang, 2016.
Wingfield, Nancy M. The World of Prostitution in Late Imperial Austria. Oxford University Press, 2017.
Zalambani, Maria. Institut braka v tvorchestve L.N. Tolstogo. Moscow, 2017. [in Russian].
Zaslavsky, Olga. Poets on Poets: The Epistolary and Poetic Communication of Tsvetaeva, Pasternak, and            Rilke. Peter Lang, 2017.
Book Reviews
Olga Berggolts, Daytime Stars: A Poet’s Memoir of the Revolution, the Siege of Leningrad, and the Thaw, trans. and ed. Lisa A. Kirschenbaum, foreword Katharine Hodgson. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2018, xxv + 198 pp., illus., notes, index.

Reviewed by Denise J. Youngblood, University of Vermont

Olga Berggolts (1910-1975) is inscribed in the annals of the Great Patriotic War as the radio voice of the Leningrad blockade and the author of a famous blockade diary. Although Berggolts had a long and varied career as a poet, playwright, journalist, critic, and essayist, it is her poetry that has heretofore garnered the most attention from literary scholars. As this lovely little book shows, Berggolts also deserves to be remembered for her lyrical prose, beautifully translated by Lisa Kirschenbaum. Read More

Katalin Fábián and Elżbieta Korolczuk eds., Rebellious Parents: Parental Movements in Central-Eastern Europe and Russia. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2017. x+ 364 pp. Paper.
 
Reviewed by Steven Jobbitt, Lakehead University
 
Edited by Katalin Fábián and Elżbieta Korolczuk, Rebellious Parents is an ambitious interdisciplinary study that examines a wide range of postcommunist parental movements in Russia and Central-Eastern Europe (in particular Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, and Ukraine). Focusing both on formal and sometimes transnational parental organizations, as well as on informal networks and grassroots online associations of concerned parents and parental activists, the volume is divided between “three main strands of parental mobilization: conservative/nationalist mobilizations, the activism of fathers’ groups, and various social movements coalescing around health-related concerns” (18). Despite what might seem at first glance to be a disparate grouping of studies, there is a consistent set of themes and a clear analytical perspective that runs through the volume. Rich in detail as well as in comparative analysis, Rebellious Parents provides a theoretically-informed overview of a wide range of parental movements, and in so doing presents critical insight into the actions and thinking of civic-minded activists throughout the region. Read More 

Müller, Anna. If the Walls Could Speak: Inside a Women’s Prison in Communist Poland. Oxford University Press, 2017. 344 pp.
 
Reviewed by Meghann T. Pytka, Northwestern University
 
No one would fault Irina Tymochko-Kaminska for being scared. Detained in Rzeszów in 1947, she was being held in a cell, known as a “tomb,” where rats and excrement routinely associated. Nevertheless, women, like Tymochko-Kaminska, and men used cell walls to communicate to each other, in the dark, in the midst of interrogation, as a means to establish romance, personhood, and connection. This sliver from Tymochko-Kaminska’s life and its emphasis on her humanity and her struggles for agency in frightful circumstances speak to the focus of Anna Müller’s book. In this volume, Müller has produced a study that is sensitive to its subjects, while challenging the hagiographies surrounding Polish communist prisons—hagiographies that commemorate inmates as stock victims and martyrs. Müller shows them, instead, as multi-dimensional individuals who worked hard to assert personhood and to forge meaning in dire circumstances. Read More

Stoff, Laurie. Russia’s Sisters of Mercy in the Great War: More than Binding Men’s Wounds. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 2015. 375 pp. Cloth.

Reviewed by Suzanne Ament, Radford University

This book paints an intricate mosaic of the relationship between nurses and the state, military, and society during World War I. In this war, nurses outnumbered doctors three to one and thus played a critical and authoritative role in the care of the fighting soldiers.  From the Crimean War on, Stoff depicts the nurse as the female counterpart to the patriotic soldier and that meant nursing was a popular aspiration for those wishing to serve their country. Yet, this view was hampered by doubts about the appropriateness of women being at the front at all or having authoritative roles under military officers. In addition, the Eastern front moved dramatically and rapidly, which meant that the front line also changed quickly. Thus, nurses, even when they might not have intended to be there, were in the midst of fighting. Read More

2019 Barbara Heldt Prizes

The Association for Women in Slavic Studies is excited to announce the following recipients of the 2019 Barbara Heldt Prizes:
Best book by a woman in Slavic/East European/Eurasian Studies
Hannah Pollin-Galay, Ecologies of Witnessing: Language, Place, and Holocaust Testimony. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2018.

Hannah Pollin-Galay’s Ecologies of Witnessing: Language, Place, and Holocaust Testimony is a boldly original and paradigm-shifting book that will be influential for scholars in a number of fields well beyond Slavic/East European/Eurasian studies, Holocaust studies, memory & trauma studies, Jewish studies, and the history of the Second World War. Focusing her study on the personal narratives of Lithuanian Jews who survived the Holocaust, Pollin-Galay compares the testimonies of survivors who returned or remained in Lithuania after the war to the memories of those who settled in Israel and the United States.
      Pollin-Galay has conducted and curated a broad array of testimonies. Her analysis is firmly grounded in the most influential and recent approaches to the construction of memory: the role of the collective, linguistic analysis, the interpersonal dynamics between interviewee and interviewer, and, most notably, an interest in the impact of spatial relationships. Through the concept of “ecology,” she explains the intersection of these factors and how scholars must be attentive to the place where survivors (who experienced the Holocaust in the same spot) are remembering the trauma, displacement, and violence of the Holocaust. The committee also acknowledges the author’s implicit, yet forceful, reminder that Yiddish is indeed a spoken language relevant to understanding the diversity of human experience in Eastern Europe and Eurasia.
            Ecologies of Witnessing is prodigiously researched and elegantly structured and written. The advantage of this book is that it opens potential avenues of research in other disciplines, which may start from the author’s findings and then have current implications for how memories about the Holocaust are constructed in the Baltics, Israel, and the United States. Pollin-Galay accomplishes what the best scholarship should strive for: the communication of profoundly complex ideas in a lucid and accessible manner.


Honorable Mentions:

Edyta Bojanowska, A World of Empires: The Russian Voyage of the Frigate Pallada. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2018.

            A World of Empires is a wonderful narrative of the nineteenth-century voyage of a Russian frigate based on Ivan Goncharov’s travelogue, The Frigate Pallada. At present, there is not yet an English translation of this 800-page travelogue. Bojanowska has made accessible to scholars of European imperialism a travelogue that nineteenth-century Russians read and believed represented their imperial ambitions and attitudes about their imperial competitors: the British and French. Interweaving literary analysis, the historiography of travel, and Russia’s engagement with and views of the world of empires, Bojanowska provides a window into Russia’s ambitions and the cultural context of Russian administration and rule in its acquired and conquered territory. Her exploration of Goncharov’s trip through Siberia and his views on Russian settlement and expansion into the region after the sea voyage provides insight into Russian thinking about how to control and rule this territory.
           Bojanowska has written a book that addresses a significant lacuna in the scholarship of nineteenth-century imperialism and will have broad appeal beyond the fields of Slavic and Eurasian Studies. In the study of Russian imperialism, it signifies a huge step toward understanding the Russian empire and moves the discussion about Russian imperialist ambitions beyond that of simply denial that Russia was similar to its nineteenth-century imperial competitors.


Sarah Cameron, The Hungry Steppe: Famine, Violence, and the Making of Soviet Kazakhstan. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, November 2018.

           The Hungry Steppe is an elegantly written and prodigiously researched book, bringing to light knowledge of the historical cataclysm that deserves much more attention than it has received: the hunger and violence inflicted upon the nomadic populations of Soviet Kazakhstan during Soviet collectivization and the forced settlement drives of the early 1930s.
           Especially noteworthy is the author’s pioneering use of both Russian and Kazakh language sources to tell this story. The author’s conclusions add critical dimension not only to our understanding of the history of Soviet Kazakhstan, but also to that of Stalinism: of the Soviet Union’s devastating projects of modernization and their far-reaching consequences. It also sheds light on how scholars contextualize other man-made famines in the USSR. Cameron’s conclusions are applicable to situations of other peoples’ in the steppe, as well as the more well-known and well-documented famine in Ukraine.
           Cameron’s book is written with compassion for the victims—both immediate and by legacy—of the atrocities she describes. The book also lays the groundwork for more research, unearthing of survivor testimonies, and discussion of this violent, foundational event of the modern Kazakh state.
Best book in Slavic/Eastern European/Eurasian Women's and Gender Studies
Kateřina Lišková, Sexual Liberation, Socialist Style: Communist Czechoslovakia and the Science of Desire, 1945-1989. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018.
 
Sexual Liberation, Socialist Style makes an innovative and important contribution to the study of sexuality—and by extension gender relations—in Eastern Europe. Lišková’s study shatters the common notion of pre-1989 Eastern Europe as a rather prudish region in which intimacy and sexuality were confined to the bedrooms of obedient citizens.
           Through a clear narrative, she explains continuities between interwar Czechoslovakia--where ideas about sexual freedom were first articulated by Czech sexologists--and the early communist state. During the communist period, interwar sexologists informed the regime and its citizens about how to think about sexual liberation, sexuality, and sexual relationships. Many citizens of the Czechoslovak state eagerly tried to follow the advice given in public media or in counseling sessions.
           Particularly striking is how Lišková interweaves the ideology of the normalization period, which turned Czechs and Slovaks toward the private, and how the more family-centered discourse moved the state to regulate sexuality. She argues that this was the opposite of what was going on in the West, where there was a move toward greater sexual liberalization and freedom.
           Lišková’s analysis of the interaction between state authorities and agencies on the one hand, and individuals on the other, is powerful because it is so detailed and deeply grounded in sources. Her use of family court records supports a persuasive argument about how communist societies strove to simultaneously liberate and regulate sexuality. Overall, the book will be of use to scholars in the subject area, will serve teachers of Eastern European studies, and will allow scholars to think more broadly about the intimate and everyday lives of citizens in Czechoslovakia and the Eastern bloc.
Best Translation
Natalie Kononenko, Ukrainian Epic and Historical Song: Folklore in Context. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2018.

In Ukrainian Epic and Historical Song, Natalie Kononenko has combined her considerable skills as a translator and extensive experience and in-depth knowledge as a researcher to provide English-language readers access to traditional Ukrainian dumy, epic songs based on historical events traditionally sung by kobzary (bards). As Kononenko notes in her introduction, for many Ukrainians today dumy have come to symbolize “the source from which a true Ukrainian identity could be derived.” Increasingly, dumy are being performed, and yet for many in the diaspora who lack the knowledge of Ukrainian the dumy demand, these documents of history have remained only “talsimans.” This volume not only restores dumy for readers of Ukrainian heritage, it will prove invaluable for folklorists in general insofar as it provides access to a corpus whose ties to other traditions have been understudied owing to a lack of translations and background.
           Kononenko initiated the project as a translation, and the committee has chosen to recognize it primarily as such. Gradually, issues of selection and translation, the phenomena described in the dumy, demanded more extensive commentary than a traditional translation might involve. Instead of the more usual route of translations and copious footnotes, Kononenko made the creative choice to set the translations within the commentaries to provide a highly readable narrative. Readers with knowledge of both Ukrainian and English will find Kononenko’s English-language renderings remarkably accurate semantically as well as “musically.”
           Kononenko’s achievement with Ukrainian Epic and Historical Song reflects a growing and laudable trend of translators empowering themselves to initiate projects and to maintain greater control of the process and end product. As such, in addition to its scholarly significance, this volume stands as a model for future endeavors.
Best article in Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies
Siobhan Hearne, "To Denounce or Defend: Public Participation in the Policing of Prostitution in Late Imperial Russia,” Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History 19, no. 4 (2018): 717-744.
 
This thoroughly researched article makes a compelling argument to turn to the “elusive voices of women registered as prostitutes, their clients, and urban dwellers” for a comprehensive understanding of public views of prostitution. Drawing on a range of sources and firmly grounded in recent scholarship in labor history, feminist and gender studies and, of course, Russian history, Hearne elucidates how state institutions and individuals worked together in policing female behavior. The careful reading of various actors’ statements reveals insights into urban residents’ views of state institutions and thus contributes to analyses of social and political dynamics beyond the Russian Empire.
 
Honorable Mention:
 
Colleen Lucey, “Fallen but Charming Creatures: The Demimondaine in Russian Literature and Visual Culture of the 1860s,” The Russian Review 78, no. 1 (2019): 103-121.
 
Through a meticulous reading of Vsevolod Krestovskii’s short story, “A Fallen but Charming Creature,” and an innovative exploration of an unknown album of lithographs for which Krestovskii wrote the captions, Lucey uncovers nineteenth-century public attitudes and imaginings about a new class of St. Petersburg women, the demimondaine. Lucey juxtaposes Krestovskii’s short story, which depicts these women as “fallen,” with a visual culture glorifying demimondaine as women who have sexual and financial agency. The article demonstrates the necessity of reading culture not only through literary sources but also to take seriously the role of visual culture in shaping the public’s attitudes and imagination. The article makes extensive use of the lithographs making this article accessible to scholars and students alike.

2019 Mary Zirin Prize 

Dr. Yelena Kalinsky

The Association for Women in Slavic Studies is delighted to announce Dr. Yelena Kalinsky as the 2019 recipient of the Mary Zirin Prize for independent scholarship. Dr. Kalinsky is a scholar, translator, curator, arts writer, and digital humanities expert who has, while working outside traditional academic fora, made significant contributions to the study of socialist-era Russian and Eastern European art, particularly the work of the Russian Collective Actions group. Collective Actions was a singular phenomenon within the larger constellation of Moscow Conceptualism and in contemporary art globally, and Dr. Kalinsky has been tireless in her efforts to study, illuminate, and popularize knowledge of this artistic collective, which has been active for over forty years. To do so, she has been active in the fields of both Slavic Studies and Art History, all while also being employed full-time in an alternative academic career path. Particularly notable about Dr. Kalinsky’s scholarship is her work with primary documents, which she uses extensively in her own analytic writing and which she has translated, making them available to other English-language scholars who would not, otherwise, have access to this material. Her forthcoming book, Andrei Monastyrski: Elementary Poetry, is evidence of this, as is Dr. Kalinsky’s 2012 Collective Actions: Audience Recollections from the First Five Years, 1976–1981, for which she was editor, translator, and author of the introductory essay. The latter is a highly unusual book for the field of performance studies as it draws on the philosophy of the Collective Actions group, offers helpful context and analysis, and allows other scholars the opportunity to engage with the material, offer new interpretations, and write the history of Soviet performance and conceptual art into the larger, global histories of these media. In addition, Dr. Kalinsky has offered service to the field through her involvement as an officer and board member of the Society of Historians of Russian, Eastern European and Eurasian Art (SHERA), a group that has helped foster a sense of community for a subfield that otherwise struggles to find its place in American academia, mainly because so many of its members do not have permanent academic institutional homes.

 2019 Graduate Essay Prize

Alena Aniskiewicz, “Playing Authentic: Masłowska’s Critique of Genre and National Convention”
The AWSS Graduate Essay Prize Committee is pleased to award the Graduate Essay Prize to Alena Aniskiewicz. As part of her dissertation, entitled “Cultural Remix: Polish Hip-Hop and the Sampling of Heritage,” Aniskiewicz’s fascinating chapter looks at the writing and music videos of Polish artist Dorota Masłowska. Using close readings of Masłowska’s texts, Aniskiewicz examines her “sampling” of Polish traditions and literature, using language and images to build stories that appear to be authentically Polish. This approach is in keeping with a contemporary popular culture that seeks to cross the boundaries between artist and audience and create a “real” connection. The stories, however, ultimately critique this authenticity in multiple ways, using parody and artificiality to expose the constructed nature of Polish history, literature, and contemporary society. Such authenticity, Masłowska argues, is a façade that must be deconstructed.
Aniskiewicz examines the playfulness and subversiveness of Masłowska’s work as she challenges the gendered order of hip-hop culture and uses humor to render everyday life in Poland both familiar and strange. The ambiguity of Masłowska’s message leads the viewer to question the true meaning of art and of nation. Ultimately, however, her work is an attack on extreme nationalism and conservative politics, sampling the imagery and words of public actors to demonstrate their absurdity. In this clever, incisive essay Aniskiewicz shows how one artist takes available cultural tools and uses them to create a complex picture, while insisting on the multiple meanings and interpretations embedded in them.

2019 Graduate Research Prize

Rebecca Daviddi
The AWSS Graduate Research Award Committee is pleased to award the prize for 2019 to Rebecca Daviddi, who is a Ph.D. Candidate in Sociology at McGill University. Her project, titled “Muslims, Money, and Marriage: Transnational Polygamous Marriages in Bosnia-Herzegovina,” explores the motivations for and impact of transnational marriages between Bosnian Muslim women and Saudi Muslim men. Highlighting a “masculinity crisis,” Daviddi examines gender relations and women’s marital choices in the context of national and cultural transformations rooted in religious belief and practice. Daviddi plans to conduct interviews with Bosniak men and women, approaching the issues surrounding marriage choices from a variety of angles. Her work promises to enhance our understandings of transnational marriage and the socio-cultural changes occurring within the former Yugoslavia.

Honorable Mention: 


Leah Valtin-Erwin
The Committee awards an Honorable Mention to the outstanding proposal submitted by Leah Valtin-Erwin, PhD Candidate in the History of Eastern Europe at Indiana University, for her project, “From Shortage or Supermarket: Transformations in Grocery Shopping in Warsaw, Bucharest, and Berlin, 1980-2000.”

Member News

Barbara C. Allen (La Salle University) published “The Workers’ Opposition and the Specialists” in Canadian-American Slavic Studies  53, nos. 1-2 (2019): 5-23. 
 
Cristina Bejan (Metropolitan State University, Denver) published Intellectuals and Fascism in Interwar Romania: The Criterion Association (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019).
 
Thomas Blom Hansen (Stanford University) published Melancholia of Freedom: Social Life in an Indian Township in South Africa (Princeton University Press, 2012).
 
Kristy Ironside (McGill University) won a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Insight Development Grant and a Fonds de recherche du Québec Société et culture grant to support her next book project on international copyright in the political economy of Russia and the Soviet Union.
 
Adele Lindenmeyr (Villanova University) recently published Citizen Countess: Sofia Panina and the Fate of Revolutionary Russia (University of Wisconsin Press, 2019). 
 
Jill Massino (University of North Carolina Charlotte) recently published Ambiguous Transitions: Gender, the State, and Everyday Life in Socialist and Postsocialist Romania (Berghahn, 2019).
 
Nina Murray’s (University of Nebraska) full-length book of poetry, Alcestis in the Underworld, has been published by Circling Rivers Press. Murray will be serving as Poet in Residence at the Summer Literary Seminars Program in Tbilisi, Georgia, in July 2020.
 
Olena Nikolayenko (Fordham University) published "Framing and Counter-framing a Peace March in Russia: The Use of Twitter during a Hybrid War,” in Social Movement Studies 18 (2019): 602-621.
 
Dr. Liene Ozolina (London School of Economics) published Politics of Waiting: Workfare, Post-Soviet Austerity and the Ethics of Freedom  (Manchester University Press, 2019).
 
Amy E. Randall (Santa Clara University) was promoted to full professor in Spring 2019 and her chapter, "Gender and Sexuality," in Life in Stalin's Soviet Union, ed. Kees Boterbloem (Bloomsbury, 2019), was recently published.

Susan Smith-Peter (College of Staten Island, City University of New York) published Imagining Russian Regions: Subnational Identities and Civil Society in Nineteenth-Century Russia (Brill, 2018).
 
Talia Zajac (University of Manchester) published: “The Social-Political Roles of the Princess in Kyivan Rus’, ca. 945–1240,” in A Companion to Global Queenship, ed. Elena Woodacre, series ed. Dymphna Evans (Leeds: ARC Humanities Press /Amsterdam University Press, 2018): 125–146 and “Remembrance and Erasure of Objects Belonging to Rus’ Princesses in Medieval Western Sources: the Cases of Anastasia Iaroslavna’s ‘Saber of Charlemagne’ and Anna Iaroslavna’s Red Gem,” in Moving Women, Moving Objects (400 –1500), eds. Tracy Chapman Hamilton and Mariah Proctor-Tiffany, Maps, Spaces, Cultures, vol. 2, series eds. Surekha Davies and Asa Simon Mittman (Brill, 2019), 33–58.

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