Monday, February 17, 2014

Call for Applications! 2014 Summer Research Laboratory at Illinois

The Summer Research Laboratory (SRL) on Russia, Eastern Europe, and Eurasia is open to scholars with research interests in the East European region for eight weeks during the summer months from June 16 until August 8. The SRL provides scholars access to the resources of the University of Illinois Slavic collection within a flexible time frame where scholars have the opportunity to seek advice and research support from the librarians of the Slavic Reference Service (SRS).  Graduate students and junior scholars will also have opportunity to attend a specialized workshop on Scholarly and Literary Translation from June 16-20, 2014.

The deadline for grant funding is April 15 and is fast approaching! REEEC will continue to receive applications for the Summer Research Lab after the grant deadline, but housing and travel funds will not be guaranteed.

For graduate students, the SRL provides an opportunity to conduct research prior to going abroad and extra experience to refine research skills.  Students will also have the opportunity of seeking guidance from specialized librarians skilled in navigating resources pertaining to and originating from Russia, Eastern Europe, and Eurasia.

The SRS is an extensive service that provides access to a wide range of materials that center on and come from: Russia, the Former Soviet Union, Czech and Slovak Republics, Former Yugoslavia, Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Romania. The International & Area Studies Library, where the Slavic reference collections are housed, contains work stations for readers, a collection of basic reference works, and current issues of over 1,000 periodicals and 110 newspapers in Western and area languages.

The Slavic Reference Service provides access to several unique resources pertaining to the Russian, East European and Eurasian region.  Currently, there are plans at the University of Illinois’ to become the first library in the Western Hemisphere to gain access to the Russian State Library’s Electronic Dissertations Database, which contains the full text of nearly 1 million dissertations in a wide variety of fields. 
In addition, the SRS provides access to

  •  the Andrei Codrescu Collection (1929-2004) granted to the library by the poet with 42 folders of materials containing manuscripts, reviews, interviews, literary drafts, materials from conferences, etc.;   
  • full-text access to well over 100 Romanian humanities and social science journals through Central and Eastern European Online Library;
  • the microfilm collection Yugoslavia: Peoples, States, and Society consisting of 109 reels, which include a unique set of short monographs, pamphlets, and other materials on the Balkan Wars, World War I and the South Slavs, interwar Yugoslavia, and World War II; 
  • microfiche collection Russian-Ottoman Relations, 1600-1914. Part 1: The Origins, 1600-1800 containing approximately 193 titles on Russian-Ottoman relations: diplomatic treaties, travel reports, decrees, eye-witness accounts of military campaigns, and policy deliberations;
  • other extensive print, digital, and microform holdings relating to Eastern Europe, including rare materials acquired via Keith Hitchins and other noted scholars.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Imagining Alternative Modernities: Interventions from the Balkans and South Asia

We are excited to announce the interdisciplinary conference, "Imagining Alternative Modernities: Interventions from the Balkans and South Asia", which will take place at The Ohio State University, Columbus, October 9-11, 2014. The conference completes and complements a series of interdisciplinary activities in 2013-14, supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation through the John E. Sawyer Seminars on the Comparative Study of Cultures grant program. For more information on the seminar, please visit:

On the surface, the Balkans and South Asia might seem to have little in common. However, despite many specific differences, they share similar dilemmas of linguistic, religious, cultural, and ethno-national complexity, similar turbulent political developments associated with imperial, post-colonial, and Cold War legacies, and a similar diversity of responses to these historical and contemporary challenges. Both areas have seen a mixing of people through migratory settlement, conquest, contact, and trade. But both have also experienced periods of reaction to cultural hybridity: a radical unmixing of people through partition and population exchange. The impact of these upheavals is seen in the direct violence of war and devastation, but also through crises on the levels of language, religion, and other modes of culture and human creative activity. The unique yet similar issues within each region compel us towards a comparative approach that will offer a transnational perspective on the intersection of language, religion, culture, and nationalism.

We thus invite proposals for paper presentations from any disciplinary or interdisciplinary perspective within the humanities and social sciences addressing one or more of the following themes in the Balkans or in South Asia, or comparatively between the two regions: 

1. Violence, Gender, and Human Rights 

2. Nation, Religion, Language, and Secularism 

3. Minorities, State, Language, and Citizenship 

4. Postcolonial and Postsocialist Perspectives on Neoliberalism

Additionally, selected papers will be included in a collection of essays resulting from the conference.

Graduate students are encouraged to participate. Limited funding is available for student lodging.

Please send a 350-word abstract in PDF format and brief (one paragraph maximum) bio to by Monday March 17, 2014 (11:59pm). Notifications of acceptance will be sent by May 1, 2014 and the program will be announced by June 1, 2014.