Mary Zirin Prize

The founder of the AWSS Newsletter Women East-West and an independent scholar, Mary Zirin produced and encouraged fundamental works in Slavic/East European Women's Studies and was instrumental in the development of the AWSS. The Prize aims to recognize the achievements of independent scholars and to encourage their continued scholarship and service in the fields of Slavic or Central and Eastern European Women's Studies.

2019 Award

Dr. Yelena Kalinsky

Dr. Kalinsky is a scholar, translator, curator, arts writer, and digital humanities expert who has, while working outside traditional academic fora, made significant contributions to the study of socialist-era Russian and Eastern European art, particularly the work of the Russian Collective Actions group. Collective Actions was a singular phenomenon within the larger constellation of Moscow Conceptualism, and in contemporary art globally, and Dr. Kalinsky has been tireless in her efforts to study, illuminate, and popularize knowledge of this artistic collective—active for over forty years. To do so, she has been active in the fields of both Slavic Studies and Art History, all while also being employed full time in an alternative academic career path. Particularly notable about Dr. Kalinsky’s scholarship is her work with primary documents, which she uses extensively in her own analytic writing and which she has also made available as a translator to other English-language scholars who would not, otherwise, have access to this material. Her forthcoming book, Andrei Monastyrski: Elementary Poetry, is evidence of this, as is Dr. Kalinsky’s 2012 Collective Actions: Audience Recollections from the First Five Years, 1976–1981, for which she was editor, translator, and author of introductory essay. The latter is a highly unusual book for the field of performance studies which with its very existence draws on the philosophy of the Collective Actions group, offers helpful context and analysis, and allows other scholars the opportunity to engage with the material, offer new interpretations, and write the history of Soviet performance and conceptual art into the larger, global histories of these media. In addition, Dr. Kalinsky has offered service to the field through her involvement as an officer and board member of the Society of Historians of Russian, Eastern European and Eurasian Art (SHERA), a group that has been helpful in creating a sense of community for a subfield that otherwise struggles to find its place in American academia, mainly because so many of its members do not have permanent academic institutional homes.


2018 Award

Iva Glisic

The Association for Women in Slavic Studies is pleased to announce Iva Glisic as the 2018 recipient of the Mary Zirin Prize for independent scholarship.

Dr. Iva Glisic is a historian of Russia and the Balkans who examines the history of radical ideas, and the relationship between avant-garde art, politics and ideology in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Her work also contributes to the fields of oral history, memory politics and archival theory.

Since obtaining her PhD in Russian History from the University of Western Australia, she has served as a Postdoctoral Fellow within the Institute for Eastern European History and Area Studies at the University of Tübingen, and a Lecturer and Research Associate at UWA and Curtin University in Perth, Western Australia. Alongside her continuing research, Dr. Glisic serves as a researcher for the Australian Academy of the Humanities in Canberra, contributing to a project on the future of Australia’s humanities workforce.

With her first book, The Futurist Files: Avant-Garde, Politics, and Ideology in Russia, 1905-1930 (2018), Dr. Glisic breaks new ground in the fields of history and art history by investigating the transfer of Italian Futurism to Russia, and the evolution of Futurist ideas within the Russian context. Her recent examination of how contemporary Russian artists have (re)used radical creative practices to challenge and disrupt the official political and ideological discourse has attracted widespread interest, and established Dr. Glisic as a leading Australian authority on Russian contemporary activist art. She worked with members of Pussy Riot during the 2017 Dark MOFO festival in Hobart, Tasmania, and moderated their public discussion at the festival.

The Zirin Committee takes particular note of Dr. Glisic’s invitation to serve as co-convener of the Australian Women’s History Network (AWHN). By working to promote and support the work of female historians in the critical early stage of their careers, she aims to reverse the recent trend of a diminution in the number of women remaining in academia and reaching senior positions in Australia.

Please join us in congratulating Iva Glisic, an outstanding independent scholar and this year’s recipient of the Mary Zirin Prize.


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