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CREECA Monthly

March 2017
Ruta Sepetys at Patrick Marsh Middle School
Author Ruta Sepetys with students at Patrick Marsh Middle School
(Photo credit: Nancy Heingartner)
PSI students at Devil's Lake
PSI Receives STARTALK Grant

UW–Madison has received $90,000 from STARTALK to support the Pushkin Summer Institute, a pre-college program that helps high school students from low-income and minority communities advance their study of Russian language and culture.

This 2017 STARTALK award to CREECA provides support for the Pushkin Summer Institute, which is entering its sixth year... Read the full article

(Photo credit: Elisia Cintron)
Sepetys at UW
Author Ruta Sepetys Visits Wisconsin

Internationally acclaimed Lithuanian-American author Ruta Sepetys visited Sun Prairie and Madison in January 2017 to discuss the role of historical fiction in fostering global understanding. Sepetys is the bestselling author of three works of historical fiction. Her latest novel, Salt to the Sea, follows the plight of refugees fleeing East Prussia at the end of World War II.

On the morning of January 11, 2017, Sepetys met with students at Patrick Marsh Middle School... Read the full article

(Photo credit: Nancy Heingartner)
Community Updates
While visiting Prague, David Danaher, professor of Slavic languages and literature, made two appearances to discuss Czech intellectual Václav Havel. Danaher gave an interview on Czech Radio (in English) about Havel's continuing relevance. Danaher also participated in a public talk (in Czech) about Havel's legacy.

Halina Filipowicz, professor of Slavic languages and literature, published “Rediscovering Zofia Nałkowska” in the December 2016 issue of The Polish Review.

David McDonald, Alice D. Mortenson/Petrovich Distinguished Chair in Russian History, moderated a panel during "Commemorating the Revolution: February 1917." This seminar was the first event in a Kennan Institute series reflecting on the 100th anniversary of the 1917 Russian Revolution. The seminar was hosted at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C.

John Witte, professor emeritus of political science and public affairs, published The Politics of Loopholes: The Improbable Prospects for U.S. Tax Reform (Praeger). In the book, Witte explores how U.S. tax policies benefit middle class and low-income taxpayers.

Alisha Kirchoff (B.A. in Political Science, Russian, International Studies, 2006), a graduate student in sociology at Indiana University, has been elected to the board of the Association for Women in Slavic Studies (AWSS).

Ann Komaromi (Ph.D. in Slavic, 2001) was awarded a 2016 AATSEEL Book Prize, naming Uncensored the Best Book in Literary and Cultural Studies. Uncensored: Samizdat Novels and the Quest for Autonomy in Soviet Dissidence (Northwestern University Press) analyzes the uncensored prose of major dissidents like Vasilii Aksenov, Andrei Bitov, and Venedikt Erofeev. Komaromi investigates the production and dissemination of samizdat works to illuminate the creative process and its relation to political engagement.
Censorship & Propaganda Poster
March 9, 2017
4 p.m., 206 Ingraham Hall
Vladimir Putin’s war on independent media began soon after his ascent to power in 2000. The last phase of this war, in the aftermath of the street protests of 2011-2012, led to a complete repurposing of media outlets as tools in the destruction of public discussion. What is alive in the Russian media after 15 years of systematic demolition? How is the state splurging on propaganda? What choices are available to the independent media?

Maria Stepanova is the founder and editor-in-chief of, one of the most visible independent media resources in today’s Russia. In this lecture, she will present her perspective on these issues and other concerns facing contemporary Russian media. 
See more here.
RFO 20th Anniversary Poster
Saturday, April 8, 2017
7:30 p.m., Mills Concert Hall
The UW-Madison Russian Folk Orchestra celebrates its 20th anniversary! The anniversary concert will feature the talented musicians of the RFO, under the direction of RFO Founder Victor Gorodinsky and RFO Assistant Conductor Nebojša Macura, with special guest soloists Angelina Galashenkova (Atlanta), Anna Gubenkova (Madison), Tetiana Khomenko (Kiev, Ukraine), and Yuriy Kolosovskiy (Madison).

Admission is free. See more

See the full event calendar here.

Make a Contribution to CREECA!

Private gifts ensure that CREECA maintains its excellence as one of the leading centers for the study of Central and Eastern Europe, Russia, and Eurasia. Your donations support research grants for graduate students, training in critical world languages, and lectures and cultural events that impact the wider community.

This is CREECA’s general fund for supporting our core mission of research, teaching, and outreach.

Oakhill Humanities Project
This fund supports the Oakhill Humanities Project, through which UW-Madison graduate students, faculty, and staff lead courses in the humanities at Oakhill Correctional Institution in Oregon, Wisconsin.

Baltic Studies Fund
This fund supports educational, cultural, and outreach programs connected to Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia.

CREECA Community Fund
This fund allows CREECA to organize a variety of social events that strengthen our intellectual community.
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210 Ingraham Hall
1155 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706

Phone: (608) 262 3379


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Center for Russia, East Europe, and Central Asia · 210 Ingraham Hall · 1155 Observatory Drive · Madison, Wi 53706 · USA

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