Volume One, Issue I
July 2012
In This Issue
Gender Equity Survey
Book Reviews
Member News

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Welcome to the first issue of our electronic newsletter!


As the new editors, we are excited to be moving to an electronic format that will allow us to provide members with short updates and announcements as well as links to longer articles available via our website.


We have added a "Research Notes" feature edited by Adele Lindenmeyr that highlights current methods and sources. We are fortunate to have Rochelle Ruthchild as our first contributor. Another new feature, introduced below by board member Cynthia Simmons, is a column on mentoring. We are also bringing back the popular book review feature, as book editor Betsy Hemenway describes below.


The newsletter includes a link to June Farris's valuable bibliography of work on women and gender in the region, now housed on our website. The change allows us to publish a longer, annotated version, and also provides easy access to past bibliographies.


The newsletter's "Member News" feature offers a way to keep in touch with friends and colleagues - and we encourage you to share your accomplishments. The electronic format also makes it possible to share photographs, and we encourage readers to send photos of their travels and research in the region.


The best part about an electronic format is that it can easily grow and change over time. We would love to hear from members with ideas!


With all best wishes,

Sally A. Boniece and Lisa Kirschenbaum

ASEEES's Committee on the Status of Women (CSW) invites you to participate in a gender equity survey.



In 1999, CSW conducted its first survey, with Laura Schlosberg and Christine Worobec reporting the findings to the membership in 2002. They found meaningful disparities in rank, time-to-degree, and other considerations, but also found evidence that affirmative action programs were beginning to redress gender imbalances in the professorate. In the decade since that report, much has changed in the field of Slavic Studies and in the professions represented in ASEEES's membership. In the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis, with its devastating impact on higher education and other arenas, it seems high time to survey the field anew and assess the role of gender in our professional lives and career trajectories. The survey takes only about ten minutes to complete. We hope that you will participate, as a high response rate will ensure meaningful results. To complete the survey, please click here.
AWSS Mentoring - We Are Eager to Hear from You!



By Cynthia Simmons, Boston College


With this issue, the AWSS Newsletter is resuming the mentoring column. When we surveyed our members to determine which issues deserve the attention of the Organization, mentoring ranked high on the list. We wish to continue efforts we have made in the past (some after considerable hiatus)-mentor support through our website and the roundtables on women in academia that are held every year at the annual meeting of ASEEES-and to consider and develop new initiatives.

In this effort to increase our support for members dealing with various issues related to the finding employment and career development, we are eager to hear from you. We encourage suggestions, questions, and offers to contribute to this column. Please contact me at simmonsc@bc.edu, or you can write to awssnewsletter@gmail.com noting "Mentoring column" in the message line.

The column can be a forum for discussion of a variety of issues, e.g., a suggestion submitted to the column editor can be disseminated on the AWSS list serve, and responses can be gathered and summarized for a future column. Or a member may wish to author a column on some topic of interest to the membership. I have already contacted those colleagues who in our survey expressed an interest in contributing to the Newsletter, but we do hope others will respond as well.  Read More...

AWSS Book Reviews


By Betsy Jones Hemenway, Loyola University, Chicago


In past years Women East-West has published reviews of books in the field. In this issue we are including two reviews and are soliciting more reviews from our readers. Listed below are several books from June Farris's bibliography that would be appropriate for review in WEW. If you are interested in one of these books, please contact me at ehemenway@luc.edu, or you can write to awssnewsletter@gmail.com, noting "Book Reviews column" in the message line. I will then request a review copy from the publisher and send you the guidelines.

We also invite reviews of other recent books, including those from Eurasia that may not be readily available in the U.S. Click here for a list of books to review...   
Sarah D. Phillips. Women's Social Activism in the New Ukraine: Development and the Politics of Differentiation. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2008. 232 pp., $24.95, paper.


Reviewed by: Oksana Malanchuk, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan



The theoretical focus of this book is on "differentiation" or the increasing social inequality that has been a result of the breakup of the Former Soviet Union (FSU). Differentiation here indicates the shift in the criteria for what it means to be a productive citizen. Among other changes, workers are no longer the glorified citizens of the FSU; "mothers of many children" are no longer afforded special privileges; and the elderly and the poor no longer have a safety net provided by the government. Read More...   


Ilana Rosen. Sister in Sorrow: Life Histories of Female Holocaust Survivors from Hungary. Translated and edited by Sandy Bloom. Raphael Patai Series in Jewish Folklore and Anthropology. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2008. 269 pp. $27.95, paper.


Reviewed by: Christine Holden, Associate Professor of History, University of Southern Maine


            Professor Ilana Rosen's book, based on her 1994 dissertation, is a thought-provoking work which foregrounds the female experience in the Holocaust, using first-person accounts from Hungarian survivors, most of whom are now living in Israel.   The stories are intrinsically gripping, as personal narratives, and provide additional layering of material on commonalities and differences among those who experienced the Holocaust (in particular, those from Hungary), and their lives before and afterwards. Read More... 

AWSS Research Notes


By Adele Lindenmeyr, Villanova University


Welcome to Research Notes, a regular column in Women East-West that will feature accounts by AWSS members from all disciplines of their adventures and discoveries in the course of conducting their research. The column invites submissions about research-related topics of interest and use to other scholars, such as new archival materials you have unearthed, field work you have conducted, or new research methods you have tried.

Submissions should be between 250 and 500 words, and should be submitted to awssnewsletter@gmail.com or to the column editor, adele.lindenmeyr@villanova.edu.

In this inaugural column, historian Rochelle Ruthchild, of the Harvard Davis Center, describes her discovery of the family archive of Russian physician and feminist leader, Poliksena Shishkina-Iavein (1875-1947) in a St. Petersburg apartment, and her efforts to preserve it for use by other scholars. Read More... 

Member News

Please send news of your accomplishments - articles, books, promotions, grants, etc. - to awssnewsletter@gmail.com, with "Member News" in the subject line. We publish news after events have happened or publications have appeared. Include full bibliographic information for publications in whatever format is usual for your discipline. Let us know if you would like to include your email address with your news.


For photos, please include a brief caption with information about when and where taken.


Kristen Ghodsee has been named a 2012 fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.


Adrienne Harris has published two articles:

"'Something Like Happiness' in Northern Bohemia: Post-1989 Cinematic Portrayals of the Czech Industrial North," East European Politics and Societies, available online here.

"Yulia Drunina: The 'Blond-braided Soldier' on the Poetic Front," Slavic and East European Journal 54, no. 4 (Winter 2010): 643-665.


Patricia Herlihy has published Vodka: A Global History.  London: Reaktion Press, 2012. In the US, it is distributed by the University of Chicago Press.


Alenka Jensterle-Dolezal edited and contributed a chapter to Vzajemnim pohledem, Česko-slovinské a slovinské-česke styky ve 20. stoleti /  V očeh drugega. Česko-
slovenski in slovensko česki stiki v 20. stoletju (In the view of the Other. Czech - Slovene and Slovene- Czech relations in 20. Century), Prague: Narodní knihovná České republiky- Slovanská knihovna, 2011.


Sharon A Kowalsky's monograph Deviant Women: Female Crime and Criminology in Russia, 1880-1930 (Northern Illinois University Press, 2009) won the 2012 Best Book Prize awarded by the Southern Conference on Slavic Studies.


The Dustbin of History  

Russian State Archive of Social-Political History, Moscow, 2011 (Photo © Lisa A. Kirschenbaum).


Adele Lindenmeyr (Villanova University) would like to announce the publication of her article, "Building a Civil Society One Brick at a Time: People's Houses and Worker Enlightenment in Late Imperial Russia," Journal of Modern History 84, No. 1 (March 2012), 1-39.


Charlotte Rosenthal received a Whiting Travel Award to complete library research in St. Petersburg, in the summer of 2010 for a book on Anastasiia Verbitskaia.

Laurie Stoff's article, "The 'Myth of the War Experience' and Russian Wartime Nursing in World War I," was recently published in Aspasia, The International Yearbook of Central, Eastern, and Southeastern European Women's and Gender History 6 (2012). She has also received a Louisiana Board of Regents Award to Louisiana Scholars and Artists Grant for academic year 2012-2013, which will provide her with release time to work on her book project: "More than Binding Men's Wounds: Women's Medical Service in Russia During the Great War."


Christine Worobec has published two articles:

  • "Russian Peasant Women's Culture: Three Voices," in Women in Nineteenth-Century Russia: Lives and Culture, edited by Wendy Rosslyn and Alessandra Tosi (Cambridge, UK: OpenBook, 2012), 41-62.
  • "Cross Dressing in a Russian Orthodox Monastery: The Case of Mariia Zakharova," in Sexual Deviance and Social Control in Late Imperial Eastern Europe, edited by Keely Stauter-Halsted and Nancy M. Wingfield, special issue of The Journal of the History of Sexuality 20, no. 2 (May 2011): 336-57.
She has been awarded two grants: International Scholar, HESP Academic Fellowship Program in Ukraine, Open Society Foundations, 2011-2012; Aleksanteri Institute Visiting Fellow, University of Helsinki, 20 March-19 May 2011