Ukraine loomed large over the 2015 Northwest Regional Conference on Russian, East European, and Central Asian Studies. The plenary session focused on East-West Relations During and After the Ukraine Conflict, while the session immediately following addressed the ongoing Conflict in Ukraine.
American movies, Russian comic books, public works projects in Skopje, urban beautification in Krasnoyarsk – what are the conceptual ties that bind these distinct topics?
There was once a time when diplomats could enter smoke-filled rooms and partition half of Europe between their rulers before finishing their cigars. In the 21st century, conflict and diplomacy are far more immediate and challenging. Our campus is smoke-free, but the Ellison Center for Russian, East European, and Central Asian Studies gathered a panel of four experts in one room to discuss real-world options to resolve this conflict approximately one year following the annexation of Crimea. Moderated by Professor Scott Radnitz, the panel brought together experts on finance, culture, and politics to discuss the future, "Ukraine and Russia: Is There Any Way Out?"
Through 50 years of Soviet occupation, Latvia was effectively erased from the political map. He explained that he never aspired to become a diplomat, but following the collapse of the Soviet Union, he had the opportunity to try diplomatic work because all of the communists had been barred from political and military offices. Much like in Estonia, only young people were left to run the country. Razāns, 23 years old at the time, imagined he would find some other work after a year, at most. Now he is the Ambassador to the United States.
REECAS NW Redux | Ellison Center hosts lively discussions on East-West identity, opportunity, security
Thirty-five presenters and session chairs convened at the Simpson Center at the University of Washington on the first Saturday in May for the 21st Annual Northwest Regional Conference for Russian, East European and Central Asian Studies (REECAS NW). Nine panels – packed with presentations ranging from teaching Russian language to heritage speakers, to literature, politics, arts, architecture, ethnicity, religion, to gender identity and women’s role in society – sparked the interest of almost 50 Conference attendees.
Over 30 Seattle area K-12 teachers learned the latest on “Global Asia: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow” this year thanks to a unique, decade-long collaboration between The Seattle Times and the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies.
Greta Starett is a first-year graduate student at the Ellison Center for Russian, East European, and Central Asian Studies. Her photos of Georgia are stunning.
Most people remember the story of Jason and the Argonauts and the Golden Fleece. What most people do not realize is that the setting of the myth is substantiated by the discovery of the Sakdrisi Gold Mine. The Bronze Age mine was acknowledged to be 5,000 years old in the early 2000s, the oldest known gold mine in the world. Sakdrisi was declared a cultural heritage site archaeological and scientific excavations began in 2006 by Georgian and German academics. This status was revoked in 2013 by the Georgian Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection in order to allow RMG Gold, a Russian-owned mining company, to exploit the site for the remaining gold. RMG contributes to approximately 10% of the Georgian economy.
Willard Sunderland, Professor of History at the University of Cincinnati, has had a long-time problem. Since graduate school, all of his scholarly energies have been directed toward finding something that no longer exists -- the Russian Empire. The Ellison Center and the History Department sponsored Professor Sunderland's visit to the Jackson School, where he gave a talk to promote his new book "The Baron's Cloak: A History of the Russian Empire in War and Revolution." Sunderland's approach to analyzing the twilight of the Russian Empire, a land with tremendous cultural diversity, was to search through the space and time of a single life -- that of the infamous Baron Ungern.
The concept of a "pivot" is often examined from the perspective of Russia's interactions with China. Liz Wishnick, Associate Professor of Political Science and Law at Montclair University, explained how China views the American rebalancing of its foreign policy priorities. As Asian countries become increasingly influential on the world stage, the United States and Russia have taken more active roles as Pacific powers.