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Central Europe & Russia Task Force
Travel grants awarded in 2003

The Central Europe & Russia Task Force awarded thirteen travel grants for summer 2003 and academic year 2003-2004.

Lynne Brody

Dean for Library Services, Southwestern University. In spring, Brody visited six academic institutions in Central Europe to meet with librarians and university administrators, with the goal of setting up a librarian exchange program between them and several ACS colleges. She visited Central European University in Budapest, Hungary; University of Debrecen in Debrecen, Hungary; Lucian Blaga University in Cluj-Napoca, Romania; Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland; Palacky University in Olomonc, Czech Republic; and CERGE-EI of Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic. "While all were very different from one another, each library and its parent institution would offer something unique and valuable to this program," Brody writes. "And equally encouraging all six institutions expressed strong support of the librarian exchange proposal, both within the library and at the senior administrative level." Brody's next goal is finding financial support for the program.

Uliana Gabara

Dean of International Education, University of Richmond. Gabara participated in a May 2003 trip to the Ukraine, the culmination of a Richmond course on the history of Lwow (German Lemberg, Russian Lvov, Ukrainian Lviv) during World War II, which was designed to combine experiential and intellectual approaches. After visiting archives, museums, and historic sites, as well as meeting Holocaust survivors and Ukranian students, the Richmond students had a chance to think deeply about multi-ethnic, multi-religious, multi-cultural places. Gabara served as a translator for the group. She also had some meetings designed to develop collaboration relationships between Richmond and three Ukrainian universities.

John Gould

Assistant Professor of Political Science, The Colorado College. Gould made two trips to the Balkans. In the summer of 2003, hetraveled to Zagreb, Croatia, to work with Dr. Nevenka Cuckovic of the Institute of International Relations on a proposal to fund reciprocal research visits on the political economy of privatization in the post-war Balkans. They are also planning on teaching together in Dubrovnik in summer 2005 and potentially at Colorado during 2005-2006. In January 2004, he returned to the region to develop a new course on comparative politics in the Balkans. He did several background interviews in Zagreb and then traveled through northern Bosnia (Republika Srpska) and Eastern Croatia. Cities visited included Slavonski Brod, Bosanski Brod and Vukovar - sites of some of the most intense conflict of the Balkan war...

Raquel Greene

Assistant Professor of Russian, Grinnell College. During the 2002 Global Partners seminar in Russia, Greene got to know faculty at Kuban State University in Krasnodar, Russia. In May 2003 she returned to the university's Center for North American Studies to speak about changing images of African Americans in American culture. Her presentation looked at the state of Black America in the period following emancipation, and traced its progress through the 1990's. She also gave a PowerPoint presentation on the image of Blacks in 19th & 20th century popular memorabilia.

In Moscow Moscow Greene did research at the Russian National Library and the Russian State Children's Library on the image of Blacks in Russian children's literature. Her project examines the impact of Russia's lack of participation in the African slave trade on constructions of race in 19th and 20th century Russian children's literature. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, children's writers focused on the issue of American slavery, and used their critiques as an oblique means of condemning and what they saw to be an equally oppressive institution, Russian serfdom. The history of African-Russian contact has primarily been examined from a historical point of view. To date, there has not been research dealing with how this contact was reflected in Russian perceptions and constructions of race in Russian children's literature. This specific children's literature project is part of a larger project Greeneis working on, a 2-volume, edited anthology entitled Africa Through Russian Eyes: Readings on the History of Russian - African Intellectual, Cultural and Literary Contact.

Gitta Hammarberg

Professor of Russian, Macalester College. Hammarberg also participated in the Russia seminar in the summer of 2002. While there she did substantial research on the cultural phenomenon of spas in Russian literature, especially in the eighteenth and nineteenth century. She continued her research for several weeks in July and August, 2003, in St. Petersburg, Russian, and Helsinki, Finland. At the Russian National Library she developed her bibliography, finding texts on historical and technical aspects of spas. In Helsinki Hammarberg found more materials, especially in nineteenth century Russian journals, more easily accessible in the Helsinki Slavonic collections than in Russia. In the summer of 2004 she presented a paper, "Castalian Curative Springs: Muses and Muzhiks in Lipetsk" and is preparing it for publication. At the 2004 MLA meeting she will present ""Spas in spe: Russia looks West," which looks at the role of Peter the Great in the Russian discovery of leisure. A third line of thinking relates to the issue of nature and civilization in Caucasian spas, which will further inform future versions of Hammaberg's course on the Russian imperial conquest Southward and her "civilizing" mission: "Orientalism and Empire: Russia's Literary South."

Lynn Hooker

Assistant Professor of Music, University of Richmond. During the summer of 2002, Hooker visited Central Europe pursuing research on a variety of topics, while developing a proposed study-abroad course. She will continue that work in the summer of 2003, traveling to Hungary and Romania to conduct research on Hungarian folk music and dance and on Gypsy music, and to investigate further details for the study-abroad course, "Central European Culture in Transition."

Chris Johnson

Assistant Professor of Dance, Beloit College. Johnson spent several weeks of June 2003 in Prague, Czech Republic, doing research related to a dance piece, "Wreath of Memories," she created about the Terezin concentration camp. She toured the Terezin site and visited the Jewish museum in Prague. Most importantly, she met the woman whose life inspired the dance piece. Johnson hopes to take a group of students to perform "Wreath of Memories" in Prague in a dance festival in April 2004.

David Klooster

Associate Professor of English, Hope College. In recent years Klooster has been working with two Czech colleagues in an education reform and professional development project for teachers in the Czech Republic. The program has offered workshops for several thousand teachers in the Czech Republic, has led to the publication of a quarterly journal for teachers, and has become a significant influence in in-service training for educators throughout that country. In April 2004 the Czech colleagues will visit Hope for several weeks of research, writing for publication, classroom visits and campus lectures.

Laura Lane

Professor of Music, Knox College. Lane has become interested in the choral music of the Baltic states, and has directed several contemporary works with her campus and community choirs. In the spring of 2004, she will visit the region to gather additional music for her repertoire, and to meet and observe local choir directors. She hopes to take her college choir to the region at some point in the future.

Valerie Nollan

Associate Professor of Russian, Rhodes College. In the summer of 2003, While Nollan visited Moscow planning to do some research into the art songs of Sergei Rachmaninoff, the trip led her project in unexpected directions. She met important Rachmaninoff scholars, as well as his grandson. She worked through previously unavailable letters and played Rachmanioff's piano. She had free access to the Rachmaninoff family estate.

Nollan's work on Rachmaninoff's art songs and Russian poetry quickly morphed into a full-scale biography project. She is traveling regularly to Switzerland and Russia to do research. Her article, "Rachmaninoff's Music and Khomiakov's Poetry," has been published in an edited volume on the Russian philosopher, theologian, and poet Aleksei Khomiakov. Nollan has been named Editor-in-Chief of a newly-constituted Journal of Rachmaninoff, which will accept submissions in Russian and in English. She is planning a Rachmaninoff conference at Rhodes College for October 2005, built around a performance of Rachmaninoff's third concerto by the Memphis Symphony, with pianist Garrick Ohlsson as soloist. The conference, with a call for papers and performances, will be advertised among the consortial colleges.

Diethelm Prowe

Professor of History, Carleton College. Prowe spent a very productive month in July 2003 in Olomouc in the Czech Republic in the regional archive and academic library. He worked through newspapers and city council minutes from the second half of the nineteenth century, and made useful contacts on the library staffs. The work laid the groundwork for a longer research visit in 2005, looking at the nature and transformation of nationalism and regional patriotism in Olomouc and Central Moravia. Prowe will explore the relative role and importance of space vs. ethnicity in the (trans)formation of regional identity in the bi-ethnic Czech-German city of Olomouc/Olmütz and the surrounding area from approximately 1867 to 1938. The time in Olomouc also encouraged him to redesign his nineteenth and twentieth century European history courses and publish articles in German Studies Review. Finally, he has been teaching Czech as an independent study at Carleton.

Joseph Troncale

Associate Professor of Russian, University of Richmond. During a May 2003 visit, Troncale developed a ongoing partnership with the Pushkin Ten Cultural Center in St. Petersburg, Russia. The partnership will include an exchange of directors between the University of Richmond art museum and the Pushkin Ten Center. In 2005 Pushkin Ten will host an exhibition of graphic art from Richmond. Troncale also assisted with Pushkin Ten's program for St. Petersburg 300th anniversary, including preparing a catalogue essay.

While in St. Petersburg, Troncale did research on the Society for the Encouragement of Russian Art, founded in 1821, and planning for the Global Partners faculty seminar for the summer of 2004.

Lawrence White

Professor of Psychology, Beloit College. White has developed a network of relationships with colleagues in Estonia, and took a group of students there in the fall of 2002 In August 2003, he returned and presented a workshop for lecturers at Tartu University, "Teaching Tools to Promote Active, Student-Centered Learning." The workshop built on his study of learning as well as his own experience of teaching. He also met with a collaborator on a cross-cultural research on the relationship between time perspective and the structure of personality, which is pursuing studies in Estonia, Morocco, and the United States. While in Estonia White also had some private language lessons and met with local coordinator for Beloit's study abroad program in Estonia.

Since his return, White has arranged for two Estonian psychologists to visit Beloit and make presentations. He is currently helping the Beloit political science department arrange a visit from an Estonian political scientist. Finally, with funding from the National Research Council, White will be taking four undergraduates to Tartu University next summer to conduct research with White and other psychologists. The students will be recruited from ACM, GLCA, and ACS schools. The summer program is a pilot project. If successful, he will establish a permanent REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) site in Tartu, to be funded by the National Science Foundation.


updated 2/22/05

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