Outstanding Achievement Award 2017

The Association for Women in Slavic Studies is pleased to announce that Professor Natalia L'vovna Pushkareva is the winner of the 2017 Outstanding Achievement Award. Professor Pushkareva is the head of the Department of Gender and Ethnic Studies at the Russian Academy of Sciences and has been a leader in the modern Russian women's movement, as well as a prominent contributor to scholarship on women in Russian history.

A pioneer of women's and gender studies in the Soviet Union and Russia, Professor Pushkareva has produced an impressive list of publications. Beginning her career in the 1980s, she overcame resistance to women's and gender history through careful research that underpinned publications taken seriously by scholars outside of the Soviet Union. Based on her dissertation, her book Women of Ancient Rus (1989) constituted the first book in Soviet historiography on the history of medieval women in Russia. She has since written over 500 publications, including 15 books. Her articles in academic journals and popular magazines reach both scholarly and broadly public audiences. Pushkareva's book Women in Russian History: from the Tenth to the Twentieth Century (M.E. Sharpe, 1997) won the 1999 Heldt Prize and continues to be an important classroom text and a source for others' work in the field. She also participated in a major bibliography project that had a significant impact on scholarship in Russia and abroad. Overall, as one supporter put it, her oeuvre "is awe-inspiring in its breadth. She has published authoritative works on Russian women's history in both the premodern and modern periods; works on ethnology relating to women's customary roles, practices, and images; works on gender theory; and works on research methodology in both history and ethnology."

Professor Pushkareva has also made an impact as the creator of institutional structures for women researchers in the field. Not only has she worked diligently to establish and direct the department of gender and ethnic studies at the Academy of Sciences, she helped to found the Russian Association of Researchers in Women's History (RAIZhI), of which she is currently the president. This organization is critical to the promotion of Russian women's history, scholarly interaction among historians in Russia, and dialogue between Russian scholars and their counterparts in other parts of the world. Much of this work occurs at annual conferences held in Russia. Pushkareva also uses her wide personal connections to team up Russian scholars with their colleagues abroad, work that has borne fruit in the publication of edited collections that bring Russian scholarship to a broader academic audience.

Equally important is Professor Pushkareva's role as teacher, mentor, and colleague. She has taught many students who have since gone on to become leading researchers in gender and women's history across Russia, including Anna Belova (Tver'), Natalia Novikova (Yaroslavl'), Zinara Mukhina (Staryi Oskol), Rima Suleimanova (Ufa), and Natalia Mitsiuk (Smolensk). She has overseen 31 dissertations, currently supervises an additional 10 students, and has mentored many Russian and foreign scholars in a wide range of fields. From her earliest graduate school days, she has taken a collaborative approach to conversations with colleagues, seeking to share information and learn from one another. Given the political upheavals that her generation has experienced, not to mention the fraught international relationships between Russia and other nations, her warm, open attitude to colleagues and students alike is remarkable.

In recognition of these outstanding achievements, AWSS is delighted to present Professor Pushkareva with this award.


AWSS Mary Zirin Prize 2017

The Association for Women in Slavic Studies is pleased to announce Olga Bukhina as the 2017 recipient of the Mary Zirin Prize for independent scholarship.

Quoting from the nomination letter, "Olga Bukhina's work as a groundbreaking scholar, literary translator, and top specialist in her field mirrors [Mary] Zirin's example and hits the extremely high bar that Zirin has set for independent scholarship. Both scholars are path-breaking leaders in their fields, as well as deeply generous individuals whose humility, good will, and humor are as notable as their remarkable scholarly contributions."

Quoting further: "Bukhina's impact on the field of contemporary Russian children's literature has been extraordinary. Since the early 1990s she has been instrumental in bringing such renowned authors as C.S. Lewis, Carl Sandburg, Enid Blyton, Louise Fitzhugh and Jacqueline Kelly into Russian translation. Last year she published a complete translation of Ben Hellman's 588-page magnum opus, Fairy Tales and True Stories: The History of Russian Literature for Children and Young People (1574-2010), thus making this groundbreaking work available in Russian. In the past decade her work has turned more regularly to original scholarship, such as her recent book on literary orphans, Gadkii utenok, Garry Potter i drugie: Putevoditel' po detskim knigam o sirotakh (CompasGid, 2016); nearly two dozen articles in Russian and English; and a special issue of Russian Studies in Literature devoted to Russian children's and YA literature (2016), for which she served as guest editor." The Zirin committee commends Bukhina for both advancing scholarship in the field of children's literature and promoting through her translations cross-cultural awareness among young readers.

Beyond this important work, Bukhina serves as the executive director of the International Association for Humanities, an organization founded with the help of the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the American Council for Learned Societies, to assist young scholars in Belarus, Russia and Ukraine in participating in the international scholarly community.

Please join us in congratulating Olga Bukhina, an outstanding independent scholar and this year's recipient of the Mary Zirin Prize.


AWSS Graduate Research Prize 2017

Sharon Kowalsky, Chair
Melissa Stockdale
Deborah Field

The Association for Women in Slavic Studies (AWSS) Graduate Research Prize is awarded annually to fund promising graduate-level research in any field of Slavic/East European/Central Asian Studies by a woman or on a topic in Women's or Gender Studies related to Slavic Studies/East Europe/Central Asia by either a woman or a man. For 2017, the AWSS Graduate Research Prize is awarded to Tatiana Rabinovich, Ph.D. Candidate in Critical Studies in Modern Middle Eastern Culture and Society at the University of Arizona. Ms. Rabinovich's dissertation, "Laboring on the Margins: Muslim Women, Precarity, and Potentiality in Russia," explores the daily lives and social relationships of Muslim women in St. Petersburg, Russia, investigating the formal and informal support networks they create that contribute to their community's success and their own well-being within the context of the devaluation of "women's work." Ms. Rabinovich plans to use AWSS funding to return to St. Petersburg for follow-up research. AWSS is pleased to assist Ms. Rabinovich with the completion of her timely and interesting dissertation.


AWSS Graduate Essay Prize 2016

The Graduate Essay Prize Committee is delighted to award the graduate essay prize to Ania Aizman, a Ph.D. student in Comparative Literature at Harvard University, for her beautifully-written essay, "The Considerable Anarchism of the Present Moment: Post-Soviet Russian Philosophy in Search of a New (Old?) Avant-Garde." The essay forms the first chapter of her recently submitted dissertation Every Step a New Movement: Anarchism in the Stalinist-era Literature of the Absurd and its Post-Soviet Adaptations. Aizman introduces the reader to complicated philosophical concepts and spheres of influence in a clear, cohesive, accessible piece of scholarship. While she incorporates sophisticated analysis into her essay, her writing is refreshingly jargon free. This well-researched piece serves as a nuanced and intricate examination of the continuities and disjunctures in philosophical interpretations of early Soviet absurdist literature in the 1990s and more recently, and how geo-political developments in the post-Soviet period have informed these leftist philosophers. She concludes the chapter with a fascinating discussion of the Chto Delat' movement, demonstrating the continuing relevance of the legacy of the absurd in contemporary Russia. The committee hopes that Ms. Aizman will publish her dissertation in the near future so that it can receive the wide audience it deserves. For now, we are pleased to award her the AWSS Graduate Essay Prize.


Heldt Prizes 2017

AWSS is pleased to announce the winners of the 2017:

Best book by a woman in any area of Slavic/East European/Eurasian Studies

Gould, Rebecca. Writers and Rebels: The Literature of Insurgency in the Caucasus. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2016.
Rebecca Gould's meticulous study of Chechen, Dagestani, Georgian, and Russophone literature of Caucasian anticolonial insurgency is a linguistic tour-de-force in service of a nuanced analysis. Writers and Rebels explores the sacralization of rebellion and the anesthetization of violence in the prose, poetry, and oral narratives of the Caucasus region. She delves into a deep archive of local literary works and carefully unpacks differences among these geographically proximate, but profoundly diverse cultures. Gould's work offers a fresh approach that transcends literary studies, historical ethnography, and religious studies. It stands, too, as a model for the study of the borderlands, attentive to both the sub-regional specificities and liminal space the Caucasus occupied at the interface of the Russian and Ottoman empires.
Honorable Mention: Nancy Shields Kollmann, The Russian Empire, 1450-1801. New York: Oxford University Press, 2016.
Nancy Shields Kollman demonstrates the abilities of an historian at the peak of her skills. Based on years of specialised research and an absolute mastery of the field, she offers a fresh synthesis of early imperial Russia that will compel scholars and students to rethink our most fundamental assumptions. She has produced the authoritative work in the field, a masterpiece that will serve as a key reference on early modern Russia for years to come.
Honorable Mention: Rosalind P. Blakesley, The Russian Canvas: Painting in Imperial Russia, 1757-1881. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2016.
Rosalind Blakesley's comprehensive study sets a new standard in Russian art history and fills an enormous gap in the scholarly literature. She teases out Russia's unique path to a professionalized corps of painters, while simultaneously embedding the Russian school in the broader history of European painting. Blakesley seamlessly weaves rigorous, exhaustive archival research with an encyclopedic command of the secondary literature to provide fresh insights into Russian painting and its links to broader social, political, and cultural changes in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Best book in Slavic/Eastern European/Eurasian Women's and Gender Studies

Jusová, Iveta & Jirina Šiklová, Czech Feminisms: Perspectives on Gender in East Central Europe. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2016.
Jusová and Šiklová have done a tremendous service to the field of Women's and Gender Studies through the publication of this edited volume. It allows leading Czech feminist scholars to speak in their own voice to an English-language audience. Covering history, sociology, ethnography, and politics, this collection gives readers a sense of the broad range of concerns that animate Czech women's and gender studies. To students of feminism in Eastern and Central Europe and beyond, Feminisms offers a window onto the common ground and unique perspectives of our Czech sisters.

Best translation in Slavic/Eastern European/Eurasian women's and gender studies

Nemec Ignashev, Diane, trans. The Kukotsky Enigma by Ludmila Ulitskaya. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 2016.
Diane Nemec Ignashev's elegant and readable translation of The Kukotsky Enigma makes an important work by one of contemporary Russia's leading writers available for the first time to an English-speaking audience. As with all excellent works of translation, Nemec Ignashev renders the Russian into a natural English that allows the reader an immersive experience of the book. The novel centers on a male gynecologist who takes up the fight for abortion access in Stalin's USSR, a struggle that threatens to tear his family apart. The Kukotsky Enigma ruminates on the ethical questions that swirl around women's reproductive capacities. The themes at the heart of the work will engage a broad readership, which can now access the work thanks to Nemec Ignashev's able translation.

Best article in Slavic/Eastern European/Eurasian women's and gender studies

Zenovich, Jennifer A. "Willing the Property of Gender: A Feminist Autoethnography of Inheritance in Montenegro" Women's Studies in Communication 39, no. 1 (2016): 28-46. DOI: 10.1080/07491409.2015.1113217.
In her imaginative and compelling article, Jennifer Zenovich explores the linkage between property ownership, inheritance, and gender in contemporary Montenegro. Using the method of autoethnography, the article unspools the author's experience of this issue vis-à-vis her own father and brother. Zenovich puts her own story in dialogue with conversations with and observations of Montenegrin women she encounters through family ties and field work. A sophisticated feminist theoretical framing informs her analysis, which offers a fresh perspective on understudied questions at the intersection of gender and economics.

Heldt Prize Committee:

  • Paula A. Michaels, chair and AWSS President-Elect (Monash University)
  • Melissa Bokovoy (University of New Mexico)
  • Jenny Kaminer (University of California-Davis)
  • Eileen Kane (Connecticut College)
  • Jennifer Suchland (Ohio State University)

AWSS Election Results

In the aftermath of the energizing Women's Marches on DC, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, and hundreds of other towns and cities around the world, I'm delighted to announce the winners of the recent AWSS election:

Vice President/President Elect: Paula Michaels
AWSS Board: Elena Gapova and Mary Neuburger
Graduate Student Representatives: Alisha Kirchoff and Natalie McCauley

Please welcome these new members to the AWSS leadership.

Many thanks as well to those rotating off: Karen Petrone (after 6 years as VP, President, and Past President!), Melissa Feinberg, Jill Massino, and Mariya Melentyeva.

I look forward to working with all members in coming months and years. We have a lot of work to do in the current political climate, but we have a groundswell of support as well.

We are in the process of filling the empty slots on committees, so if you are interested in serving, please let me know.

In scholarship and solidarity,

Betsy​
Betsy Jones Hemenway
Loyola University Chicago
President, AWSS (2017-2018)


Statement from the Board of the Association for Women in Slavic Studies

As an organization that promotes research on women and other marginalized groups in Russia, the former Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, and Eurasia, AWSS supports work that will create a more equitable and humane world through our scholarship, teaching, service, and ways of life. We are concerned about the hostile rhetoric and hate crimes, among other things, that have followed the recent election. We pledge to promote safe and productive learning environments for all marginalized groups, including women.

Furthermore, we will neither tolerate nor support any form of expression that by design or default inflicts harm upon our communities. Nor will we allow for people made vulnerable by the enduring legacy of racism, sexism, heterosexism, transphobia, class inequality, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, xenophobia, or any intersection of these subordinating processes to be ridiculed, shamed, or otherwise harmed by the outcome of this election, which has emboldened individuals and groups to incite violence through words or actions.

We stand in solidarity with our students and colleagues in opposition to any system of subordination and promise to struggle against threats to our values of inclusion, tolerance, respect, and equality.

We will not be silent.

We will not be silenced.

In solidarity,
AWSS Board members
22 November 2016


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The AWSS listserv, located at awss-l@h-net.msu.edu, is a service provided to AWSS members. The listserv carries bi-weekly job lists and daily announcements of interest to members as well as discussions on current topics and problems in Eurasian/Central/Eastern European women's studies. If you would like to post a job ad, please send the relevant information to Emily Liverman (eliverma@indiana.edu). June Pachuta Farris and other librarians and scholars are generous with research help.


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Aspasia: International Yearbook of Central, Eastern, and Southeastern European Women's and Gender History

AWSS members receive a 25% discount

ASPASIA is an English-language international peer-reviewed yearbook that brings out the best scholarship in the field of interdisciplinary women's and gender history focused on and produced in Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe. This region includes such countries as Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey, and Ukraine. In these countries the field of women's and gender history has developed unevenly and has remained only marginally represented in the "international" canon. Through its contributions, ASPASIA transforms "European women's history" into more than Western European women's history, as is still often the case, and expands the comparative angle of research on women and gender to all parts of Europe.

For further information regarding manuscript submissions and subscriptions, click here.