Monthly Archives: September 2010

CEERES Autumn Reception, October 1

The summer is racing by us and we at CEERES are planning for the upcoming academic year. As you know, we have cause to celebrate, thanks to four more years of National Resource Center status, bestowed by the US Department of Education.

Please plan to celebrate with us at our autumn reception on Friday, October 1, 2010 from 4:00-6:00 p.m. here in the CEERES suite in Judd Hall (5835 S. Kimbark Ave.). We will be delighted to see familiar faces and welcome new friends into our CEERES community.

Posted in: CEERES Events/News

The Exhibit “Visible Language: Inventions of Writing in the Ancient Middle East and Beyond” opens to the public at the Oriental Institute on September 28

The following announcement comes to CEERES from The University of Chicago News:

Oriental Institute Museum Exhibition Shows How
Ancient Scribes Invented Writing

A new exhibition at the Oriental Institute Museum at the University of Chicago will show visitors how scribes in the ancient Middle East invented writing, thus transforming prehistoric cultures into civilizations.

Writing is one of humankind’s greatest achievements.  Writing took a variety of forms, many of which are displayed in the exhibition, “Visible Language: Inventions of Writing in the Ancient Middle East and Beyond” that runs from September 28 to March 6 at the museum, 1155 East 58th Street.

Exhibit curator Christopher Woods, Associate Professor at the Oriental Institute, said, “In the eyes of many, writing represents a defining quality of civilization. There are four instances and places in human history when writing was invented from scratch – in Mesopotamia, Egypt, China and Mesoamerica – without previous exposure to or knowledge of writing. It appears likely that all other writing systems evolved from the four systems we have in our exhibition.”

Among the items on display will be the earliest cuneiform tablets from Mesopotamia (today’s Iraq), dating to about 3200 BC, which are on loan from the Vorderasiatisches Museum in Berlin. They have never before been exhibited in the United States. The pictographic signs, a precursor to writing, are part of a writing system that developed into cuneiform, a wedge-shaped script that was incised on clay tablets.  Examples of that form of writing will also be exhibited.

About the time the people in Mesopotamia were learning to write, ancient Egyptians were developing their own system.  On display will be early Egyptian writing that includes tags and labels from the tombs of the first kings (about 3320 BC) as well as hieroglyphic writing and other scripts from the Nile Valley.

The exhibition will also display examples of other ancient writing that, like cuneiform and hieroglyphs, developed independently. Chinese writing, which emerged about 1200 BC, will be shown on oracle bones that were used in rituals to guide the actions of the emperors. A miniature “altar” incised with an image of a mummy bundle and Mayan hieroglyphs from the 7th century AD will show how early Mesoamericans wrote.

Visitors will also learn the most recent theories about the origins of the alphabet. Long believed to have been invented in Phoenicia in about 1000 BC, the earliest alphabetic texts are now those found in the Sinai. This earliest alphabet was derived from Egyptian hieroglyphs as early as 1800 BC, well over five hundred years earlier than had been known. Examples of early alphabetic texts in Proto-Sinaitic, Old South Arabian, and Hebrew are included in the exhibit.

Oriental Institute Director Gil Stein said, “Visitors to our exhibit will be able to compare the parallel pathways by which writing came into being. Seeing examples of early writing from these four areas together in one place, you can’t fail to be impressed by the wonder of human creativity in these independent inventions that fundamentally transformed the very nature of civilization.”

“It has been 25 years since we’ve had a comparable exhibit in the United States on the origins of writing, and our understanding and interpretation of the earliest writing has advanced considerably since then,” added Geoff Emberling, Chief Curator of the Oriental Institute Museum.

A computer kiosk will include videos and interactive presentations that enhance the exhibit. One video will show visitors how ancient scribes wrote cuneiform on clay tablets and painted hieroglyphs on papyrus.

Interactive presentations will show how Oriental Institute scholars have been the first to use CT scans to reveal the contents of sealed clay “token balls” which are thought to be a precursor of Mesopotamian writing. Another interactive will demonstrate how the newest photographic techniques allow previously illegible texts to be read. Others will show how ancient cuneiform signs changed over time, and how early letters gradually evolved into the letters of our Latin alphabet.

A “Just for Fun” portion of the exhibition will help visitors compare writing systems and to write their name and simple sentences in various scripts.  From the computer station, visitor will be able to send an e-post card in hieroglyphs or cuneiform to their friends.

A fully illustrated catalog edited by Professor Woods accompanies the exhibit.

The exhibit is supported by a grant from Exelon Corporation, the Women’s Board of the University of Chicago, and private donors.

The museum is open Tuesday, Thursday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.; and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. Suggested donation for admission is $7 for adults, $4 for children. For additional information, go to

Posted in: Chicago Events, University of Chicago Events

Russian Speaking Students’ Society – Weekly Meeting

Russian Club meets weekly on Thursday evenings at 8:30pm in South Lounge of Reynolds Club (located at 57th and University, 2nd floor).

Posted in: CEERES Events/News, University of Chicago Events
Tagged: ,

Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations to Offer Autumn Course in Elementary Modern Armenian

Dr. Hripsime Haroutunian will be teaching an Elementary Modern Armenian Class at the University of Chicago for graduate students and undergraduates once again this year. The classes are scheduled TU/TH 12:00-1:20 and W 12:30-1:20 (lab/practice) in Cobb 206.

The course utilizes advanced computer technology enabling the students to master a core vocabulary, the unique alphabet and basic grammatical structures in a fun setting, to achieve a reasonable level of proficiency in Armenian. A language competency exam is offered at the end of spring quarter for those taking this course as college language requirement. A considerable amount of historical-political and social-cultural issues about Armenia and Armenians are built into the course for students who have intention to conduct research in Armenian Studies or to pursue work in the Republic of Armenia.

Posted in: CEERES Events/News, Resources (Funding, Study Abroad, Internships, etc.), University of Chicago Events

Various Russian-speaking events in Chicagoland area

Facebook group, List of Events (in Russian)

Posted in: Chicago Events
Tagged: , ,

Memorial Program Commemorating the 69th Anniversary of Babiy Yar, September 29

Memorial Program Commemorating the 69th Anniversary of Babiy Yar, September 29



1:00 P.M. – 3:00 P.M.

If you would like to have a sit in one of the busses that will be waiting in 10 designated stops in Chicago and suburbs, please contact Alla Spector at 224-625-2703 or Irina Polishchuk

at 847-483-9197 for more information.


Holocaust Community Services is a program of *Jewish Child and Family Services,
*CJE SeniorLife, *HIAS Chicago and Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago,
supported by grants from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, Inc,
the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation and the Humanitarian Aid Foundation

*Partners in serving the community, receiving support from the Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation

Posted in: Chicago Events
Tagged: , ,

Winter Program Abroad, Center for International Education, Higher School of Economics, Deadline November 17

Title: International Winter Session 2011 at HSE (Moscow)

National Research University – Higher School of Economics is glad to offer an International Winter Session. The Winter Session gives students a unique opportunity to immerse in intensive studies at the Higher School of Economics – one of the biggest research universities in CIS and Eastern Europe. The International Winter Session will take place January 4-21, 2011. HSE provides a choice of courses enabling students to earn academic credit and speed up the progress towards their degree or focus on the enhancement of a particular skill. Students are offered courses in

  • Russian Studies,
  • Political Science,
  • International Relations,
  • Energy Policy,
  • Economics,
  • Mathematics,
  • Russian Language.

Rich and engaging cultural program will allow to fully experience the beautiness of Russian winter and participate in great networking events together with other international students. It is a great opportunity to study Russia from inside with internationally renowned professors and make full use of abundant intercultural and tourist opportunities. More detailed information is available at HSE website

Applications deadline for the Winter Session: November 17.

HSE is the leading Russian university in the socio-economic sciences, it is a dynamic and progressive university. This year QS have included us in top 500 world best universities. We are currently the biggest socio-economics think-tank in Russia and Eastern Europe. Our 18 000 students study at our four campuses – in Moscow, St.Petersburg, Nizhniy Novgorod and Perm.

Please address all your questions to

Posted in: Resources (Funding, Study Abroad, Internships, etc.)
Tagged: , , ,

Full-time lecturer position in Polish Studies at University of Florida’s Center for European Studies, Deadline October 25


The Center for European Studies (CES) at the University of Florida is conducting a search for a full-time, non-tenure track position in Polish Studies to begin August 16, 2011.  Primary duties include teaching two courses per semester: first or second year Polish language and a field-specific, area studies course. In addition, the successful candidate will assist in the continued development of the Polish Studies Program in collaboration with other Polish Studies faculty at UF. Program building tasks include but are not limited to: community outreach activities; enhancing collaboration with the on-campus Polish student organization; and co-directing a study-abroad program. The field of specialization is open and can include any aspect of contemporary Polish language, literature, culture, history, politics or society. Candidates with a demonstrated interest in language pedagogy and an interdisciplinary or comparative background are strongly encouraged to apply. Native or near-native fluency in Polish and English, as well as previous experience teaching Polish language are required. Candidates with Ph.D. are preferred, but qualified candidates who are A.B.D. may be considered. The successful candidate will be expected to participate fully in the scholarly and programming activities of the CES.

Send letter of application, CV, a writing sample (approximately 20 pages), 2 sample course descriptions (non-language), and three letters of recommendation to:
Chair, Polish Studies Search
Center for European Studies
3324 Turlington Hall
P.O. Box 117342
University of Florida
Gainesville FL 32611-7342.

Applicants are encouraged to apply as soon aspossible and to ensure full consideration, applications should be received by Oct 25, 2010. Only complete applications will be considered and the search will remain open until filled.
The University of Florida is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Minority and
women candidates are strongly encouraged to apply. The Center for European
Studies is a Title VI National Resource Center (NRC) for European Studies.

Additional information on the Center and its activities is available online

Posted in: Job Postings

Executive Director, Human Rights Watch, Europe and Central Asia Division, Deadline September 30

Full-Time Position Available:
Europe and Central Asia Division
Deadline for applications: September 30, 2010

Human Rights Watch (“HRW”) is seeking a highly-qualified, senior-level professional to head its Europe and Central Asia (“ECA”) Division.

Description: The Executive Director of Human Rights Watch’s Europe and Central Asia Division is responsible for developing effective research, advocacy and communications strategies for maximum impact on human rights in Europe and the Central Asian region. S/he is responsible for setting priorities and overseeing detailed research on human rights issues in the ECA region including emergencies, the publication of analytical and credible reports and other advocacy materials on those issues, and the use of these materials to generate domestic and international pressure to curb human rights violations. S/he represents the organization frequently before the international media and advocates with high-level officials from governments, UN, EU and other international and regional organizations. S/he coordinates with key colleagues, both within HRW and externally with allied organizations and NGOs. S/he manages staff based in three continents, supports staff and office development and oversees their security. The ECA Executive Director is also responsible for fundraising, identifying and recruiting donors, and drafting funding proposals.  The successful candidate will have excellent leadership skills and a depth and breadth of management and organizational skills, including the demonstrated ability to lead a team of talented professionals in multiple global locations.  S/he will be based in one of the organization’s European offices in Moscow, Berlin, Brussels, Paris or London, but other locations in Europe may be considered.  Frequent international travel required.

Qualifications: The ideal candidate will be a self-motivated, creative, strategic thinker with substantive, senior-level experience working on human rights issues in the ECA region and will have the capacity to serve as an effective advocate and activist.  S/he will have excellent leadership, management and organizational skills, including the demonstrated ability to lead a team of talented professionals in multiple global locations. S/he will be able to juggle multiple tasks and work collegially in a demanding, diverse, and fast-paced environment. S/he must have ease and demonstrated experience speaking to the media and cultivating relationships with journalists.  S/he must be able to develop effective working relationships with colleague organizations and with policymakers, including government officials and representatives of international organizations.  The ideal candidate must have excellent oral and written communications skills in English; fluency in Russian, German or French is highly desirable.  S/he must have keen political judgment, proven initiative and follow-through, the ability to work quickly and well under pressure, and a commitment to human rights. An advanced degree in law, international relations, European or Central Asian studies, public policy, or a related field is desired, as is familiarity with international human rights law.

Salary and Benefits: HRW seeks exceptional applicants and offers competitive compensation and employer-paid benefits.  HRW will pay reasonable relocation expenses and will assist employees in obtaining necessary work authorization, if required; citizens of all nationalities are encouraged to apply.
PLEASE APPLY IMMEDIATELY by emailing in a single submission: a letter of interest describing your experience, your resume, names or letters of reference, salary requirements and a brief writing sample (unedited by others) no later than September 30, 2010 to  Please use “Executive Director, ECA Division Ref ECA-10-1049-K” as the subject of your email.  Only complete applications will be reviewed. It is preferred that all materials be submitted via email.  If emailing is not possible, send materials (please do not split a submission between email and regular post) to:

Human Rights Watch
Attn: Search Committee (Executive Director, ECA Division Ref ECA-10-1049-K)
350 Fifth Avenue, 34th Floor
New York, NY  10118-3299
Fax: (212) 736-1300
Human Rights Watch is an equal opportunity employer that does not discriminate in its hiring practices and, in order to build the strongest possible workforce, actively seeks a diverse applicant pool.
Human Rights Watch is an international human rights monitoring and advocacy organization known for its in-depth investigations, its incisive and timely reporting, its innovative and high-profile advocacy campaigns, and its success in changing the human rights-related policies and practices of influential governments and international institutions.
Human Rights Watch began in 1978 with the founding of its Europe and Central Asia division (then known as Helsinki Watch).  Its primary goal was to monitor the implementation of human rights provisions established by the Helsinki Accords within the Soviet Union. Today, the division’s work has expanded well beyond monitoring the Helsinki provisions to include gathering detailed information on human rights abuses throughout Europe, the Caucasus, and Central Asia.  In addition to publishing reliable and comprehensive reports, the ECA division effects change through advocacy.  The ECA holds accountable not only governments who abuse internationally recognized human rights, but also those who support abusive governments.  The ECA division seeks to expand the implementation of human rights law in all of Europe and Central Asia.
Posted in: Job Postings

Call for Submissions: Ukrainian-American Writers: A New Generation of Literary Voices, Deadline: September 30


Ukrainian American Writers: A New Generation of Literary Voices, will present their annual reading on November 6th, 2010 at The Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art in Chicago.

Readers will be selected through a juried reading process. If you are a Ukrainian American writer and would like to submit your work for consideration, please send 3-5 poems or a 2-3 page excerpt from a short story or a novel you would like to read via e-mail to Please include your name in the subject line, along with the genre of work you are sending.

The submission period is August 15 through September 30, 2010, and selected writers will be contacted via e-mail by October 15th, 2010.

For more information please contact organizers Sonya Arko or Anna Golash at

Posted in: Calls for Papers and Upcoming Conferences
Tagged: ,