The Department's research strengths include literary studies, linguistics, film studies, and women's studies. In terms of region, department members have expertise in Russia, Central Europe, and Southeast Europe. The research conducted by the department's faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students is thus diverse.
Some recent research-related news is highlighted below. This represents only a small snippet of the research activities of the department. For a fuller picture, explore the links to the right, and also the directory pages for individual faculty and students.
Faculty Research News
March 2013: Aided by A Mershon grant, Yana Hashamova began to explore a new research topic, media and minorities in the Balkans. She also published a co-edited volume (with Helena Goscilo) Embracing Arms: Cultural Representation of Slavic and Balkan Women in War (Central European U P, 2012).
Discursive practices during war polarize and politicize gender: they normally require men to fulfill a single, overriding task—destroy the enemy—but impose a series of often contradictory expectations on women. The essays in the book establish links between political ideology, history, psychology, cultural studies, cinema, literature, and gender studies and addresses questions such as— what is the role of women in war or military conflicts beyond the well-studied victimization? Can the often contradictory expectations of women and their traditional roles be (re)thought and (re)constructed? How do cultural representations of women during war times reveal conflicting desires and poke holes in the ideological apparatus of the state and society?
January 2013: Congratulations to Angela Brintlinger on the publication of the volume Chekhov for the 21st Century. She is co-editor of the book with Carol Apollonio (Duke University).
One hundred fifty years after his birth, Anton Chekhov remains the most beloved Russian playwright in his own country, and in the English-speaking world he is second only to Shakespeare. His stories, deceptively simple, continue to serve as models for writers in many languages. In this volume, Carol Apollonio and Angela Brintlinger have brought together leading scholars from Russia and the West for a wide-ranging conversation about Chekhov’s work and legacy. Considering issues as broad as space and time and as tightly focused as the word, these are twenty-one exciting new essays for the twenty-first century.
Graduate Student Research News
March 2013: Congratulations to Jeff Parker, who was recently awarded a fellowship to attend the 2013 Linguistic Institute, June 24-July 9 at the University of Michigan! Jeff is excited to take courses such as "Modeling and Measuring Inflectional Paradigms," which will be co-taught by Greg Stump, Andrew Hippisley and Raphael Finkel, as well as "Structure and Evolution of the Lexicon," taught by Janet Pierrehumbert. These courses will help solidify ideas for Jeff's dissertation which will focus on investigating cognitive reality of relationships between inflected word forms in Russian. The summer institute will provide theoretical and methodological training as well as opportunities to network with leading scholars in the field.
February 2013: Congratulations to Dusty Wilmes, who has had an article published in the latest volume of the peer-reviewed journal Pushkin Review (Volume 15, 2012). In the paper, "Anticipating Chekhov: Tragicomic Elements in Griboedov's Woe from Wit," he explores Chekhovian motifs and the tragicomic mood of Griboedov's much earlier work! And not to be called a slacker, Dusty has also recently published an article titled "In Between and Beyond: Hybrid Genre and Multicultural Perspective in Sergei Dvortsevoi's Tiulpan," in Australian Slavonic and E. European Studies Journal (Volume 26, 2012). This article analyzes the 2008 film Tiulpan and its departure from traditional depictions of the Other in Russian literature and film due to the multicultural perspective of its director and thematic and generic hybridity.
Undergraduate Research News
March 2013: Congratulations to Russian and International Studies major Peter Marzalik, whose presentation to the Denman Undergraduate Research Forum took third place in the Humanities division. His advisors are International Studies faculty members Anthony Mughan and Jeffrey Lewis. Well done, Peter!
September 2012: Russian major Zenon Evans has published an article, "Spirituality in the Short 20th Century" in the UC Undergraduate Journal of Slavic and East/Central European Studies (Vol. 5, 2012-2013). His paper explores the effects of state-instituted atheism on the perception of spirituality in Boris Pasternak's Doctor Zhivago, Anna Akhmatova's Requiem, and Ludmila Ulitskaya's The Funeral Party. Zenon originally wrote the paper for Dr. Angela Brintlinger's Honors Russian 251 (now Russian 2250H) in 2011. He then presented it at the 2011 Midwest Slavic conference, before finally revising it and submitting it to the UCLA journal. Congratulations to Zenon for his initiative and success!