Director's Notes

We have had a busy autumn at the Center for Slavic and East European Studies. While this newsletter highlights some of our numerous activities and accomplishments on campus and in the Columbus community, I want to focus my brief remarks on our international and global work as we increasingly reach out to groups and institutions in the Slavic, East European, Russian and Eurasian region as well as collaborate across the area studies centers at Ohio State. 

The center currently is in the process of exploring university collaborations in Moldova (Alecu Russo State University of Bălți), Poland (Institute of Philosophy and Sociology at the Polish Academy of Sciences) and Ukraine (Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv).  We expect that these connections will result in faculty exchanges and additional opportunities for Ohio State students to study languages, cultures, economies and politics of the East European and Russian region at these institutions.

Our ongoing collaboration with the Research Center of the Slovene Academy of Sciences and Arts in Ljubljana, which has endowed our Slovene Research Initiative, supports an annual faculty exchange program that enables one or two faculty from each institution to conduct research at the other institution for two to four weeks. The center recently hosted scholars from Slovenia, Drago Kunej and Zeljko Oset, in fall 2016, and Tanja Petrovic in March 2017. From Ohio State, Berry Lyons, professor, School of Earth Sciences, spent two weeks in July 2017 at the Research Center of the Slovene Academy of Sciences and Arts in Ljubljana as a visiting exchange scholar, and Professor Theodora Dragostinova, Department of History, will spend two weeks there as a visiting exchange scholar in spring of 2018.

In summer 2017, in collaboration with Ohio State’s four other area studies centers representing Africa, East Asia, Latin America and the Middle East, we organized a teacher training institute, “Human Rights in a Global Perspective: Mass Atrocities and State-Sponsored Violence,” for 25 Ohio K-12 teachers. This collaboration allowed us to provide teachers with a comprehensive, global perspective on human rights and its international structures with more specific emphases on the five major world regions.

In March 2018, CSEES will be sponsoring once again the annual Midwest Slavic Conference. The conference will open with a keynote address by Tara Zahra based on her latest book The Great Departure: Mass Migration from Eastern Europe and the Making of the Free World, and in collaboration with the other area studies centers, we will offer a plenary panel titled, “Borders, Barriers, and Belonging: A Spotlight on Global Migration.” The panel will focus on interdisciplinary themes in global migration from five world regions, including: Eastern Europe/Eurasia, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, and East Asia. The panel will cover both historical and contemporary topics in migration and it aims to connect world regions by examining different experiences of migration. We believe that the closer collaboration among the area studies centers enriches our missions and greatly benefits our faculty and students.

With warmest wishes for the season,

Jill Bystydzienski