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CREECA Monthly

December 2016
Hillside Theater at Taliesin
Hillside Theater at Taliesin, which hosted The Dragon in November 2016
(Photo credit: Kelly Iacobazzi)
2016 print newsletter
CREECA News in the Mail

CREECA's annual print newsletter is now available. The 2016 issue is full of photographs and stories that highlight the great work of our faculty, staff, and students in the past year. Features include the Pushkin Summer Institute, the production of The Dragon by UW-Madison's Theatre for Youth, and the dynamic program of outreach and public service to teachers, young learners, and the wider community headed by Nancy Heingartner. We also welcome Kelly Iacobazzi as CREECA's new assistant director for operations.

Print copies are being mailed to alumni, faculty, staff, and friends on our mailing list. Send all updates and requests to join the list, along with your current mailing address, to The 2016 issue of CREECA News is also available in PDF here.

(Photo credit: Kelly Iacobazzi)

As we look to new opportunities in 2017, we ask you to consider making a year-end gift to CREECA!

We thank the many alumni, professors, staff members, and friends who have generously given to CREECA to support our mission of research, teaching, and outreach. 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. Gifts of any size are most welcome and gratefully appreciated.

To support CREECA, please consider donating to the following funds:


Created in 2005, this is CREECA’s general fund for supporting our core mission of research, teaching, and outreach. For example, contributions to this fund establish scholarships for language study, provide travel grants for students conducting innovative field research, and bring renowned scholars, performers, and authors to UW-Madison. Donate to the CREECA Fund to support research, teaching, and outreach.

This fund was established in 2014 to support the Oakhill Humanities Project, through which UW-Madison graduate students, faculty, and staff volunteer their time to lead courses in the humanities at Oakhill Correctional Institution in Oregon, Wisconsin. In 2016, the Oakhill Humanities Project organized the exhibition "Artists in Absentia," and faculty and students in UW-Madison's Theatre for Youth led readings of The Dragon with incarcerated people at Oakhill. Find more information about the Oakhill Humanities Project on its website. Help purchase books and supplies for classes in fiction, poetry, drama, and art by donating to the Oakhill Humanities Project Fund.

The Baltic Studies Fund at CREECA was established in 2009 to support educational, cultural, and outreach programs connected to Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia. In past years, the generosity of an anonymous donor provided scholarships for students attending the Baltic Studies Summer Institute. In October 2016, CREECA launched the "Perspectives on the Baltics" lecture series with a talk by Harry Jol (UW-Eau Claire). Jol discussed how he used ground penetrating radar to explore key historical sites in Lithuania, such as the Great Synagogue in Vilnius and the nearby Ponar Extermination Camp. This research has been featured in The New York Times and is the subject of an upcoming PBS documentary. Support programming on the Baltics by donating to the Baltic Studies Fund.

Established in 2012, this fund is supported mainly through the generosity of UW-Madison faculty and staff, and allows CREECA to organize a variety of social events that strengthen our intellectual community. Thanks to contributions to the Community Fund, in November 2016 CREECA hosted a reception in Washington, D.C. connecting our faculty and students with UW-Madison alumni in academia, government service, and the private sector. Donate to the CREECA Community Fund to promote community building and networking.
Winter Greetings from CREECA
Lincoln statue and Bascom Hall
All of us at CREECA wish you a wonderful holiday season and a Happy New Year!
(Photo credit: Jeff Miller)
Community Updates
Halina Filipowicz, professor of Slavic languages and literature, has been appointed Book Review Editor for the Arts and Humanities at the interdisciplinary journal Polish Review.

In August 2016 Colleen Lucey earned her Ph.D. in Slavic languages and literature after successfully defending her dissertation, "Figures of Desire and Disgrace: Woman as Commodity in Nineteenth-Century Russian Literature and Visual Culture." Lucey is currently a visiting assistant professor in the University of Arizona's Department of Russian and Slavic Studies. She has received a Title VIII research fellowship for her project "Prostitution and Sex Trafficking in Russian Politics and Society." This award will fund three months of research support in Russia during summer 2017.

Naomi Olson (Ph.D. in Slavic 2015) has joined the faculty of Regis University (Denver, Colorado) as an assistant professor. She teaches courses on interculturalism and is the director of the Regis study abroad program. Olson also welcomed her son Omar Leon Olson on May 23, 2016.

In Memoriam
Long-serving UW librarian and alumnus John Edward Berezin died on November 18, 2016 at the age of 82. Berezin earned his master's degree in East European studies from UW-Madison in 1963. From the 1960s until his retirement at the end of 2014, Berezin worked at Memorial Library on the UW-Madison campus, alongside the bibliographers for Slavic, East European, and Central Asian studies. Berezin was an avid independent researcher, with a particular interest in the role of Soviet military aid in supporting the Republican forces in the Spanish Civil War. He also developed a strong interest in aviation (especially the history and development of the KC-135 aircraft) following his enlistment in the U.S. Air Force, which included service as an Air Policeman dog handler at the West Drayton Air Base near London, England. His friends and acquaintances, including those in the CREECA community, will miss him and his in-depth discourses on these subjects and many others.

Renowned journalist, human rights activist, and UW-Madison alumna Ruth Gruber died on November 17, 2016 at the age of 105. Gruber, who earned a master’s in German from UW-Madison, witnessed and documented Stalin’s gulags, life in Nazi Germany, and the plight of Jewish refugees after World War II. CREECA partnered with other members of the UW-Madison community to host Gruber in December 2007. During her visit, she spoke about her experiences in connection with the publication of her book Witness: One of the Great Correspondents of the Twentieth Century Tells Her StoryThe New York Times published an excellent retrospective of her career. We at CREECA express our condolences to Gruber's family and friends.
FLAS info sessions
Wednesday, January 18, 2017
3:30 p.m., 206 Ingraham Hall
Foreign Language & Area Studies (FLAS) fellowships are funded by the U.S. Department of Education and administered by the UW National Resource Centers to assist students in acquiring foreign language and either area or international studies competencies.

FLAS fellowships are available to undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at UW-Madison. Learn more at the info session on January 18, 2017 and the open house on January 24, 2017. Find full details here.
Maarja Nuut
Saturday,  February 4, 2017
8 p.m., Wisconsin Union Theater
A fiddler and singer from Northern Estonia, Maarja Nuut's music combines tradition with electronica. Her unique sound paints a picture of pre-war Europe mixed with minimalist and experimental music. 

Her first solo album, Soolo, was released in 2013 and put her on the map in Europe. Since then, she has performed at numerous events and festivals across the continent, including the WOMEX International Conference in Spain and Eurosonic Noordeslag. She has also toured in the United States, performing at several world music festivals and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Her second album,  Une Meeles, was released on June 3, 2016.

Find more information and buy tickets here.

See the full event calendar here.
Connect with CREECA!

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Copyright © 2016 Center for Russia, East Europe, and Central Asia (CREECA), All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
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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