But this was not a country “frozen in time,” as I realized only hours after I arrived in Havana. Time is never, by its very nature, frozen. And if the cliché can be taken to mean that traveling to Cuba is like being transported backwards in time, nor was that my experience. So, what were the different ways time felt like over the three weeks I was there to conduct research on my book project, a substantial part of which examines the military and civilian advisors who were Spanish Civil War exiles in the USSR before arriving in Cuba beginning in 1960?
I have been fortunate to see a small part of what this country has to offer in terms of natural beauty and its vistas have amazed me, but my most exciting experiences in Slovenia have been opportunities to meet leading cultural figures. Dr. Michael Biggins, Head Slavic Librarian at The University of Washington and my professor of Slovene Language, put me in contact with Slovene author Drago Jančar and documentary filmmaker Andrej Doblehar. Drago Jančar is a widely respected contemporary European novelist, playwright, and essayist. His work is one of the focuses of my research; he is also one of my favorite authors. I had a chance to meet and sit down with Mr. Jančar for an hour to discuss his writing.
A rare thunderstorm in Seattle welcomed attendees to the 2015 Teacher Workshop on the EU and its Eastern Neighbors to the University of Washington on August 12. Sixteen teachers from middle schools, high schools, and community colleges, covering subjects from history and Russian language to AP human geography and social studies, attended the day-long event hosted at the Jackson School of International Studies.
"Over 50% of the GDP of Tajikistan and 31% of Kyrgyzstan's comes from remittances, wages earned abroad that are sent back to a worker's home country. Nearly half of Tajikistan's able-bodied labor force is employed abroad, mainly in Russia. One third of the legal immigrants to Russia are from Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan alone. Given such numbers, O'Brien asserted, it is in many ways impossible to speak of contemporary cultural, economic, or political issues in Central Asia without addressing the migration issue."
...Today, nearly every historian of the Soviet twentieth century spends time at Stanford's Hoover Institution for archival research. In the shadow of the university's most distinctive landmark, the Hoover Tower, preeminent scholars scurry between buildings, chatting about projects on Civil War era Siberian despots, Boris Pasternak's poetry, 1950's Radio Free Europe, and perestroika's political advisors. The main stacks of the Russia collection are housed in the first nine floors of the Tower itself, an obelisk dedicated to inquiry.
Article on the Wende Museum in Los Angeles, which collects material culture from across Eastern Bloc countries of the Soviet period. Memory and the Cold War in light of current events. Part of a series on REECAS archives.
The REECAS NW panel on Religion and Identity featured contributions from Matthew Cotton (UW History PhD student) and Anatoliy Klots (UW Slavic Studies PhD Student) on Jewish studies topics Odessa through the prism of Isaac Babel's prose and the post-Soviet oeuvre of filmmakers like Dmitri Astrakhan and Aleksandr Proshkin. Jennifer Webster (UW History Lecturer) rounded out the panel with a consideration of Baqshy healer women in Kyrgyzstan as a means of exploring the relationship between Islam, ethnic and gender identity, and modernization in Central Asia.
I was chatting with a friend recently about our after-graduation plans, and she said, “Who has a job right after graduation, anyway?” Me, actually. Every single time, and this is my second master’s degree. I’m far from perfect, but like everyone, I have my talents. Being a strategic planner is one of them, and it is a learned skill that is extremely helpful when it comes to getting through a university program (graduate or undergraduate) and finding “what comes next.” Not everyone will see things my way, but I believe I can offer some basic tips on how to successfully navigate higher education to find a safe harbor in a good first working position.
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?