Students on the National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) program enjoy a bird's eye view of the Daugavpils Fortress with their tour guide during a cultural excursion in Latvia.
Featured Stories

As high school student Graham Shunk was wrapping up a virtual Russian course in August 2020, a journalist from the Russian-language television channel NTV-America reached out to invite him to give an interview–in Russian–on his innovative research on the protective features of a fungus growing in the Chernobyl exclusion zone, a project on which Shunk has collaborated with scholars from Stanford and NASA. Shunk’s involvement with this project and his interview with NTV-America jointly highlight the interconnectedness of his language development and professional development. Read the full story here.

As summer 2020 started to wind down, CESSI (Central Eurasian Studies Summer Institute) received the good news that it is once again the recipient of a Title VIII grant that will enable CREECA to award 10 federally funded scholarships to graduate students, post-baccalaureate scholars, and working professionals to help support their research and language learning goals in summer 2021. CESSI 2021 and Title VIII applications are set to open mid-October. The grant renewal locks in CESSI’s tenth consecutive summer with CREECA as its administrative home. Read the full story here.
Upcoming Virtual Lectures
The CREECA Lecture Series presents
Putin’s constitutional amendments – 2020
with legal scholar Ekaterina Mishina
Thursday, October 1 ∙ 4-5:15 pm (CDT)
Abstract and registration link available here.
The Race in Focus Lecture Series presents
 Critical pedagogies: Teaching about race and racism - Your syllabus 2.0
Learn about methods for incorporating critical pedagogies of race into teaching about language, culture, history, and society in Russia, East Europe, and Central Asia.
Thursday, October 2 ∙ 1-2:30 pm (CDT)
Abstract and registration link available here.
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In Memoriam
We at CREECA remember Professor Emeritus James O. Bailey, a prolific and respected scholar of Russian literature and folklore at UW-Madison who died on July 20, 2020 at age 90. During his long tenure at UW-Madison, Professor Bailey served as chair of the Russian Area Studies Program, one of the programs that led to the establishment of CREECA. Read about his life and legacy in his obituary here

Welcome to CREECA! 
Emily Gams has joined the CREECA team as the new CESSI project assistant ( Originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota, she majored in politics as an undergraduate at the University of Dallas. She served in the Peace Corps in Ukraine from 2017-2020 as an Education Volunteer. She is currently earning a master’s in International Public Affairs at the La Follette School of Public Affairs, UW-Madison. Welcome, Emily! 

CREECA also welcomes Veronica Hayes as the new office assistant/events coordinator ( Veronica is majoring in English literature and political science with a certificate in public policy. She is interested in the intersection between education and international affairs. She has pursued this interest as an undergraduate peer tutor, editor for the Journal of Undergraduate International Studies, and intern with the Fulbright scholarship office in DC. 

CREECA welcomes two new students—Gabriel Sheir and Hannah Hamelman—to the Russian, East European, and Central Asian Studies (REECAS) MA program. 

Anton Shirikov (PhD candidate in Political Science) has received a dissertation writing grant from the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies.
Victoria Sluka, a graduate student in the Department Anthropology and a CESSI alumna in Kazakh, shares some of her dissertation research in a photo essay:
"Untying the knots of Central Asian carpets: Searching for clues to ancient production techniques among modern weavers." She is working with the Central Asian Archaeological Landscapes Project, based at University College London, in building a comprehensive catalogue of archaeological sites across Central Asia. 

Faculty and Academic Staff 
Ted Gerber, Conway-Bascom Professor of Sociology and CREECA director, has published a new article, co-authored with Marlene Laruelle. “Who Cares? Russian Public Opinion during Medvedev’s Presidency on the Importance and Politicization of History” appears in Problems of Post-Communism. 

Listen to Francine Hirsch (Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor of History) discuss her latest book, Soviet Judgment at Nuremberg: A New History of the International Military Tribunal after World War II, in the
New Books in History podcast. You can register to attend Professor Hirsch's virtual book launch on October 12 here.

Manon van de Water (Vilas-Phipps Distinguished Achievement Professor, Department of German, Nordic, and Slavic) published “Theatre for Young People in Soviet Russia, 1918-1939: Ideology, Aesthetics, and Cultural Education” in Expériences théâtrales et idéologies: Les conditions d’émergence du théâtre pour la jeunesse en Europe [Theatrical Experiences and Ideologies: Conditions for the Emergence of Theatre for Young People in Europe]. Earlier this summer, van de Water also co-edited the ASSITEJ Magazine: Towards the Unknown: Beginning the Journey with Seok-hong Kim. Most recently, van de Water edited Diversity, Representation, and Culture in TYA – a collection of selected and peer reviewed international essays presented at several conferences and published this September by Siber Publishers. Finally, she gave an invited, virtual lecture, “Drama in Education” at the Moscow City University’s Third Annual International Symposium, “Education and City.” 

Andy Spencer, Distinguished Bibliographer for Slavic, East European, Central Asian, and Middle Eastern Studies, reports that a recent Library Collections Enhancement Initiative (LCEI) grant has allowed for the acquisition of five Eastview digital archives as of July 1, 2020. Read about the new acquisitions here

Congratulations to José Vergara on his new piece in the Los Angeles Review of Books, “A Winner Over Time: An Interview with Martin Reiner.” José, visiting assistant professor of Russian at Swarthmore College, earned in his PhD in Slavic from UW-Madison and was a FLAS fellow for Czech and Russian.

Check in with 20+ REECAS alumni on our newly designed REECAS Alumni Page. CREECA invites all alumni to add their own information to the page.

Hot off the press in Europe-Asia Studies: “Poland, Germany and the EU: Reimagining Central Europe by Ekaterina Levintova (UW-Green Bay, Political Science and Global Studies), with co-author David Coury. 

Kevin Kain’s (UW-Green Bay, Humanities and History) latest article
Conceptualizing New Jerusalem: The Resurrection of the Resurrection ‘New Jerusalem’ Monastery in the Reign of Tsar Fedor Alekseevich (1676-1682)” was published in Canadian-American Slavic Studies. 

Wisconsin Russian Project 
Congratulations to Alexander Kondakov, Postdoctoral Fellow 2017-2018, on his latest publication in The SAGE Handbook of Global Sexualities. His contribution is Chapter 3: “The Queer Epistemologies: Challenges to the modes of knowing about sexuality in Russia.”
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Editor-in-chief: Jennifer Tishler

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