Volume 3, Issue 2
November 2014
In This Issue
AWSS Events in San Antonio
Ask Alexandra
2014 Graduate Essay Prize
2014 Mary Zirin Prize
2014 Heldt Prizes
2014 Outstanding Achievement Award
Book Reviews
Research Notes
Call for Papers: AWSS
Call for Papers: ASEC
Proposal for a BASEES Women's Committee
Member News

Quick Links
Join Our Mailing List
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What Does the AWSS Do?   


The Association for Women in Slavic Studies sponsors research and teaching for scholars interested in women's and gender studies in Central/Eastern Europe, Russia, and Eurasia. Committed to the study of this region across disciplines, AWSS welcomes members from all areas of the humanities and social sciences. AWSS serves as a networking resource for those concerned with the problems, status, and achievements of women in the academic and related professions. The Association also seeks to improve the general public's understanding about women and gender in these regions. However, the Association does not directly engage in advocacy for women's, national/international, or political causes.   We serve our broad constituency of scholars with varying political and social opinions and allegiances through our educational mission, promoting the study of critical women's, national/international and political issues.  We also serve as a network to assist scholars who are concerned with such issues to connect with one another. While our members may advocate for a variety of causes, it is the policy of the Association itself not to do so.  

Join Us for These AWSS Events in San Antonio!

By Heather Coleman, AWSS Secretary

As usual this year, the Association for Women in Slavic Studies will be hosting a number of events at the annual convention of the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies in San Antonio, TX in November. Please join us-and bring your friends!

During the convention, please visit our AWSS booth, no. 305 in the Convention Exhibit Hall. Board members will be available to hear about your interests and concerns, help you renew your membership, and provide information about our activities, including our prizes and conference.

Our reception and annual general meeting will be held on Friday, November 21 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm in the Marriott San Antonio Rivercenter, 3rd Floor, Conference Room 12. The main order of business is to announce the winners of the various AWSS prizes and to celebrate their accomplishments. This is a chance to catch up with old friends, meet new colleagues, renew your membership, and enjoy some tasty eats and perhaps a drink from the cash bar.

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 know I should count myself one of the lucky ones. I've got a tenure-track job I love. My problem is, it's in a rural part of the country that after three years doesn't feel at all like home. And the local perspective on national and international politics, not to mention cultural diversity and gender equality, is not the most advanced. I have found a few friends, but I'm young (and unattached) and worry that this place will suck the life out of me. I've tried applying for jobs, but nothing has worked out. What's your advice for making peace with the provinces?

Olga P.


2014 Graduate Essay Prize 

The Graduate Essay Prize Committee, composed of Adrienne Harris (Baylor University), Janet Johnson (Brooklyn College, CUNY), and Adele Lindenmeyr (Villanova University), received an exceptionally strong group of submissions this year, from ten young women scholars working in history, political science, literature and art history.

We are very pleased to announce the selection of Olga Sasunkevich of European Humanities University, Vilnius, as this year's award recipient. Ms. Sasunkevich defended her dissertation at Greifswald University, Germany in June of 2014, and currently serves as a lecturer in the Department of Media and the executive co-director of the Center for Gender Studies at EHU. She submitted a chapter entitled "Shuttle Trade and Gender Relations: Female World in a Provincial Border Town," from her dissertation on the history of the female shuttle trade on the Belarus-Lithuania borderland between 1990 and 2011.
2014 Mary Zirin Prize


Recipient: Galina Mardilovich 


The Association for Women in Slavic Studies is pleased to announce Galina Mardilovich as recipient of the 2014 Mary Zirin Prize.


Dr. Mardilovich received her PhD. from the University of Cambridge (Pembroke College) for her thesis "Printmaking in Late Imperial Russia." While working on this degree, she served as an intern at Christie's Russian Art Department, a research assistant in the Department of Drawings and Prints and a pre-doctoral fellow at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art. The quality of her scholarship has led to grants from the American Philosophical Society, the Getty Research Institute, the Francis Haskell Memorial Fund, Pembroke College, the Gates Cambridge Fund, and Kettle's Yard Travel Fund. Dr. Mardilovich's history of convening academic seminars, chairing panels and presenting at conferences extends to post-degree, invited lectures in London, Oxford, St. Petersburg, and New York, this last lecture scheduled for February 2015.

2014 Heldt Prizes    


We are proud to announce the Heldt Prize winners for 2014.


Best Book by a Woman in Slavic/East European/Eurasian Studies

Kate Brown, Plutopia: Nuclear Families, Atomic Cities, and the Great Soviet and American Plutonium Disasters (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013)

In her outstanding second monograph, Plutopia: Nuclear Families, Atomic Cities, and the Great Soviet and American Plutonium Disasters, Kate Brown advances a shockingly new understanding of the Cold War. Based on her deep research and detailed interviews with survivors and victims at two plutonium complexes: Ozersk in the southern Urals regions of the former Soviet Union, and Richland in eastern Washington state in the United States, Brown writes a transnational account about the nuclear age that challenges most of the conceptual foundations that undergird our field.
2014 Outstanding Achievement Award 


The Association for Women in Slavic Studies is pleased to announce that the winner of the 2014 Outstanding Achievement Award is Diane Koenker, Professor of History and Chair of the History Department at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She was the director of the Russian and East European Cetner at the University of Illinois from 1990 to 1996, and served as the editor of Slavic Review from 1996 to 2006. Last year, she served as president of the Association of Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies after having served this organization in many other rolls. A distinguished scholar, valued mentor, collaborative colleague, and advocate for gender research and women's place in academia, Dr. Koenker embodies the scholarly and collegial values espoused by the AWSS.

Book Reviews

Katherine Pickering Antonova. An Ordinary Marriage: The World of a Gentry Family in Provincial Russia. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2012. xix, 304 pp. Family Trees. Maps. Notes. Bibliography. Index. $78.00, hardbound.

Reviewed by: Laura Schlosberg (Independent Scholar)

Katherine Pickering Antonova's An Ordinary Marriage: The World of a Gentry Family in Provincial Russia is a revision of the author's 2007 Columbia University PhD dissertation. Part of Oxford University Press's growing catalog of works engaging gender, particularly masculinity, and domesticity, An Ordinary Marriage examines the Chikhachevs, a middling gentry family of Vladimir (now Ivanovo) Oblast. Based primarily on the family's detailed and serendipitously preserved archival collection in the State Historical Archive of the Ivanovo Oblast, as well as Andrei Chikhachev's published articles, the book is a microhistory of the Chikhachev family and their provincial life during the middle third of the nineteenth century. Read more... 
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  

Call for Papers: Association for Women in Slavic Studies (AWSS)


7th Biennial Conference: Women, Gender, and Transnationalism: Theory and Practice

Lexington, Kentucky, March 4-5, 2015


The Association for Women in Slavic Studies is soliciting paper presentations on the theme of "Women, Gender, and Transnationalism: Theory and Practice" for its 7th Biennial Conference to be held on Thursday, March 5, 2015 at the Hilton Hotel in downtown Lexington, KY, with an opening reception on Wednesday, March 4th. The conference will be held in conjunction with the 53rd Annual Meeting of the Southern Conference on Slavic Studies (SCSS), which opens Thursday evening and runs through Saturday. Participants of the AWSS Conference are encouraged to attend and participate in the SCSS conference as well (a separate CFP will be issued for that conference). AWSS Conference participants are eligible to receive the SCSS rate for the hotel, $109.00/night.


Call for Papers: Association for the Study of Eastern Christian History and Culture, Inc. (ASEC)


Sixth Biennial Conference, Rhodes College, September 18-19, 2015

(pre-conference reception on the evening of September 17)


The Association for the Study of Eastern Christian History and Culture is pleased to invite scholars of all disciplines working in Slavic, Eurasian, and East European studies to submit proposals for individual papers and panels for its biennial conference, to be held at Rhodes College, Memphis, Tennessee and The Westin Memphis Beale Street Hotel. Scholars from the U.S. and around the world are welcome. All participants must be members of ASEC.


Proposals for individual papers and panels should be submitted by email to Dr. Randall Poole, Acting Vice President of ASEC (rpoole@css.edu) no later than December 1, 2014. All proposals should include:

  • Participant name, affiliation, and email contact information                                  
  • For individual papers: title and brief description (50-75 words)                            
  • For panels: panel title + above information for each participant and discussant (if applicable).


Limited funding is available to provide graduate students with assistance for travel expenses. General information regarding the hotel and meeting, and the conference registration form, will be available through the Rhodes College Russian Studies webpage.

Proposal for a BASEES Women's Committee


The Annual General Meeting of the British Association of Slavonic, Eurasian and East European Studies (BASEES) in April 2014 approved a proposal to set up a women's association within the organization. Judith Pallot (Christ Church, Oxford), who presented the proposal,writes: "The idea was inspired by the AWSS and we are modeling our constitution on yours. We have been given an initial grant by BASEES to set up some prizes and will be organizing a panel at next BASEES conference to discuss women in Slavic studies and work on women. We are also setting up a system of monitoring for young women entering the field. We can't understand why we didn't follow your lead before - but better late than never."
Member News


Choi Chatterjee (California State University, Los Angeles) and Karen Petrone (University of Kentucky) co-authored "Transnational Feminisms: Gender and Historical Knowledge in Post-Soviet Russia" in Tractus Aevorum 1, no. 1 (2014). Tractus Aevorum is an online journal sponsored by Belgorod National Research University in Russia. In addition, Choi Chatterjee and Karen Petrone together with David Ransel and Mary Cavender (The Ohio State University at Mansfield) edited Everyday Life in Russia: Past and Present, which will be published by Indiana University Press in November 2014. This volume contains articles by Mary Cavender, Karen Petrone and Choi Chatterjee.


Heather Coleman (University of Alberta) is delighted to announce that her edited volume, Orthodox Christianity in Imperial Russia: A Source Book on Lived Religion (Indiana University Press, 2014), has now appeared, both in paperback and in hardcover.  Designed for use in classes, by scholars and for the general reader, this book includes a wide range of translated sources that illuminate Orthodoxy as it was lived by Russian and Ukrainian men and women in nineteenth and early twentieth-century Russia.  Each document is introduced by an expert in the field, and a general introduction reviews recent scholarship and introduces key aspects of Orthodox history and spirituality.  AWSS members among the contributors include:  Christine D. Worobec (Northern Illinois University), A. Joy Demoskoff (Briercrest College), Vera Shevzov (Smith College), Nadieszda Kizenko (University at Albany), Aileen Friesen (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), and Heather J. Coleman.  For more information, click here


Adele Lindenmeyr was appointed interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Villanova University in June of 2014. She is enjoying her new position - most of the time. When not attending or running meetings, she is completing a biography of Countess Sofia Panina and co-editing the volume Russia's Home Front: Politics, Economy and Society in Russia's Continuum of Crisis, 1914-1922, for the series Russia's Great War and Revolution. The volume will be published by Slavica in 2015.


Lamaze: An International History by Paula Michaels (Monash University) was shortlisted for the New South Wales Premier's Prize in History. The book was published by Oxford University Press in 2014.


The Worlds of Russian Village Women by Laura Olson Osterman (University of Colorado, Boulder) and Svetlana Adonyeva (St. Petersburg State University) has been awarded the Chicago Folklore Prize by the American Folklore Society and the Elli Köngäs-Maranda Prize by the Women's Section of the American Folklore Society. The book was published by University of Wisconsin Press in 2013.


Connie Ostrowski (Schenectady County Community College, retired) writes that the Polish Literature in English Translation Online Bibliography "has been significantly updated (after a regrettably long time in which the creator was not able to get time to do the work). It now also has a new home, with a friendlier URL: polishlit.org."


Sarah D. Phillips (Indiana University), Treasurer of AWSS, was recently elected at-large member of the Board of Directors of the ASEEES. She published "The Women's Squad in Ukraine's Protests: Feminism, Nationalism and Militarism on the Maidan" in the fall 2014 issue of American Ethnologist.


Stephanie Sandler (Harvard University) writes, "I'm happy to share news of the publication of Olga Sedakova, In Praise of Poetry, from Open Letter Books, which I translated with Ksenia Golubovich and Caroline Clark. It includes the long title essay, two long poetry cycles ('Old Songs' and 'Tristan and Isolde'), and an interview with the poet we conducted especially for this book."


Svetlana Tomic (Alfa University, Belgrade) has published Realizam i stvarnost: nova tumačenja proze srpskog realizma iz rodne perspektive [Realism and Reality: New Interpretations of the Serbian Realism from a Gender Perspective] (Beograd: Alfa univerzitet, Fakultet za strane jezike, 2014, ISBN 978-86-83237-96-8). She also published an article on the first Serbian woman who travelled around the world, "The Travel Writings of Jelena J. Dimitrijević: Feminist Politics and Privileged Intellectual Identity," in On the Very Edge: Modernism and Modernity in the Arts and Architecture of Interwar Serbia 1918-1941, eds. Jelena Bogdanovic, Lilen F. Robinson and  Igor Marjanovic  (Leuven: Leuven University Press, 2014, ISBN 9058679934, 9789058679932), pp. 115-35. She became a member of the Serbian team in the SCOPE Joint Research Project "Women in Educated Elites in Early Socialist and Pre-Socialist Eastern and Central Europe," which is being funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation in 2014-2017.