Volume 2, Issue 2
November 2013
In This Issue
Ask Alexandra
2013 Zirin Prize
2013 Heldt Prizes
Book Review
Call for Book Reviews
Call for Research Notes
Member News

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2013 Graduate Essay Prize 


AWSS is pleased to announce that Steven Jug, a PhD Candidate in History at the University of Illinois, and a lecturer at Baylor University, is the recipient of this year's Graduate Essay Prize. Steven submitted a chapter of his dissertation, All Stalin's Men? Soldierly Masculinities in the Soviet War Effort for the competition. This chapter, titled "Hating and Killing: Defining Oneself Against Enemy and Non-Combatant Amidst Defeat, 1942," undertakes a sophisticated analysis of the ways the evolving course of the war during 1942 influenced male soldiers' views of their masculinity. Using personal documents such as soldiers' letters as well as official army pronouncements and propaganda, Jug shows how soldiers understood the implications for their masculinity of the growing numbers of women assuming military roles, and the worsening plight of their female relatives at home, whom they were supposed to protect.  The chapter provides fresh and deeply researched insights into the still understudied topic of the gender dimensions of World War II in the USSR. Steven writes with a critical yet compassionate eye about the rank-and-file soldier, whose patriotism, manhood, and attachment to home and hearth were put to the ultimate test when they faced the German invaders. Members of the committee look forward to the completion of the dissertation and its publication.

New! Ask Aleksandra

Women East-West is pleased to debut a new advice column: Ask Aleksandra. With more than two decades of experience in Slavic Studies and lots of chutzpah, she'll share with you her hard-won wisdom. Under a cloak of anonymity, you can safely ask Aleksandra anything you like, and in doing so you'll help not just yourself but probably others as well who no doubt have the same questions. Please send your questions to awssnewsletter@gmail.com and put "Ask Aleksandra" in the subject line.



Dear Aleksandra,


I work on women's and gender studies and will be coming up for tenure in two years. Many of the faculty in my department, which is fairly large, are really suspicious of gender studies, and still think that scholarship in women's studies isn't serious. And it's not just some of my male colleagues; a few women in the department also think women's studies is marginal. Although I will have enough publications to meet my department's standards for tenure and promotion, I'm afraid that my more conservative colleagues will reject me because of the field I work in.  What should I do?   


Mary S


 Read More.
2013 Mary Zirin Prize

Recipient: Carolyn J. Pouncy


The Association for Women in Slavic Studies is pleased to announce Carolyn J. Pouncy as its 2013 Mary Zirin Prize winner.


Dr. Pouncy received her Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1985, completing a dissertation titled, "The Domostroi (Domestic Order) As a Source for Muscovite History." The 1994 Heldt Prize for Best Translation in Slavic Studies was awarded to Dr. Pouncy's edited translation of The Domostroi: Rules for Russian Households in the Time of Ivan the Terrible (Cornell University Press, 1994). Read more.

2013 Heldt Prizes


We are proud to announce the Heldt Prize winners for 2013.


Best Book in Slavic/Eastern European/Eurasian Studies


Karen Petrone, The Great War in Russian Memory (Indiana University, Bloomington, 2011)


In her outstanding second monograph, The Great War in Russian Memory (Indiana University, Bloomington, 2011), Karen Petrone has performed an act of incredible historical reconnaissance and recovery, a veritable conjuring trick! Read more.


Honorable Mention in the category of Best Book in Slavic/Eastern European/Eurasian Studies.


Nancy Kollmann, Crime and Punishment in Early Modern Russia (Cambridge University Press, 2012)


Nancy Kollmann's monograph, Crime and Punishment in Early Modern Russia (Cambridge University Press, 2012), marks a significant milestone in her long and illustrious career. Read more.



Best Book in Slavic/Eastern European/Eurasian Women's Studies


Judith Pallot and Laura Piacentini, with the assistance of Dominique Moran, Gender, Geography, and Punishment. The Experience of Women in Carceral Russia (Oxford University Press, 2012)


Gender, Geography, and Punishment is a fascinating and disturbing chronicle of the world of penal colonies women confront when incarcerated by the Russian state. Read more.


Honorable Mention in the category best book in Slavic/Eastern European/Eurasian Women's Studies


Louise McReynolds. Murder Most Russian. True Crime and Punishment in Late Imperial Russia (Cornell University Press, 2013)  


Founded on extensive research, erudition, and imagination, Louise McReynolds' book tells a fascinating story about murders and trials in late imperial Russia and brings the reader not only into the intricacies of Russia's judicial system but also in the realm of Russia's social mores as a new post-reform public debated the finer points of law, justice, urbanization and modernity. Read more.


Best Article in Slavic/Eastern European/Eurasian Women's Studies


Yana Hashamova, "War Rape: (Re)defining Motherhood, Fatherhood, and Nationhood" in Helena Goscilo and Yana Hashamova edited, Embracing Arms. Cultural Representation of Slavic and Balkan Women in War (Central European University Press, 2012)

            Yana Hashamova's essay is an important intervention in the debate over the fate of women raped in wartime. Read more.


Best translation in Slavic/Eastern European/Eurasian Women's Studies


Vladimir Propp. The Russian Folktale (Wayne State University Press, 2012). Translated and edited by Sibelan Forrester


Based on a series of lectures delivered by Vladimir Yakovlevich Propp at Leningrad State University, this never-before-translated book provides a valuable addition to Propp's first work, Morphology of the Folktale. Read more.



Agnessa Ivanovna Mironova-Koroli. Agnessa: From Paradise to Purgatory; A Voice from Stalin's Russia. As told to Mira Mstislavovna Yakovenko. Translated by Rose Glickman. Bloomington, IN: Slavica Publishers, 2012. 223pp. Bibliography. Appendices. $29.95, paper.


Reviewed by: Rochelle Goldberg Ruthchild, Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Harvard University, and Women's Studies Research Center, Brandeis University



As the title makes clear, this is a Soviet rags to riches to rags story. Agnessa Mironova-Koroli, a part Greek, part Russian, part Yakut woman born in 1902 in Maikop in southern Russia, fell in love with a Jewish man from Odessa, who rose in the ranks of the revolutionary regime ruled by a Georgian Bolshevik. Unlike typical tales of the U.S. melting pot, however, this story ends tragically. The Georgian, Joseph Stalin, was a brutal despot, Agnessa's husband was most probably a willing collaborator, and Agnessa fell from the heights of Soviet society into the gulag. Read More.

Call for Book Reviews  


Women East-West welcomes reviews of recent books on women and gender in Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies. If you would like to review a particular book, please contact Betsy Jones Hemenway (ehemenway@luc.edu), who will then request a review copy from the publisher and send you the review guidelines. Appropriate books include those from the region that may not be readily available in the U.S.


Betsy Jones Hemenway

Loyola University Chicago

Research Notes: Call for Contributions


Members of the Association for Women in Slavic Studies are invited to submit a brief (c. 500 words) article for the Research Notes column of Women East-West. If you have some interesting field research experience to share, a new database you created or source you discovered, or some observations on the state of your field that others would find interesting and useful, please consider writing up a piece for the newsletter. Items may be in any language. As mentioned earlier, they should be brief and of interest to other scholars in women's and/or gender studies. Please submit your ideas or articles to awssnewsletter@gmail.com or adele.lindenmeyr@villanova.edu 

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.  


Angela Brintlinger

(Ohio State University) has been promoted to full professor after spending spring semester as the Fulbright Distinguished Chair of Slavic Studies at the University of Warsaw. She has recently published two books: Chapaev and his Comrades: War and The Russian Hero in the Twentieth Century. Boston: Academic Studies Press, 2012; and Chekhov for the 21st Century. Edited by Carol Apollonio and Angela Brintlinger. Bloomington, IN: Slavica Press, 2012.  



Maria Bucur-Deckard (Indiana University) has recently published two articles related to gender history: "Intre 'mama ranitilor' si 'fecioara de la Jiu': Femeile romance si eroismul in Primul Razboi Mondial," Historia 13, no. 136 (May 2013); and "Passing it Forward: Thoughts on Academic Feminists and the Future of Our Ideas," AnAlizeNew Series, No. 1 (2013): 1-9.


Nadieszda Kizenko (University at Albany-SUNY) has published "The Feminization of Patriarchy?  Women in Contemporary Russian Orthodoxy," Signs 38, no. 3 (2013): 595-621, as part of a cluster of articles on various aspects of women in contemporary Russia. Also published in this cluster was "Twenty-First-Century Feminisms under Repression: Gender Regime Change and the Women's Crisis Center Movement in Russia" (543-67), co-authored by Janet Elise Johnson (Brooklyn College-CUNY). Beth Holmgren (Duke University) contributed an introduction to the cluster, "Toward an Understanding of Gendered Agency in Contemporary Russia" (535-42).

Maya Eichler (University of Toronto) has published Militarizing Men: Gender, Conscription, and War in Post-Soviet Russia. Palo Alto: Stanford University Press, 2012.


Sibelan Forrester (Swarthmore College) has published translations of a collection of Russian folk tales about Baba Yaga with University Press of Mississippi: Baba Yaga: The Wild Witch of the East in Russian Fairy Tales. Siblelan writes: "It's a big luscious hardback book with all color illustrations arranged by Martin Skoro, wonderful captions by Helena Goscilo, and a preface by Jack Zipes, while I contributed an introduction and the tale translations. We hope it's a book that will appeal to both scholars and non-scholars."