Summer Research Laboratory 2011, UIUC

Summer Research Laboratory on Russia, Eastern Europe, and Eurasia

Summer Research Lab: 13 June – 5 August 2011

The Summer Research Laboratory (SRL) on Russia, Eastern Europe, and Eurasia (SRL) is open to all REEE scholars for eight weeks, from 13 June to 5 August. The SRL provides scholars:

  • access to the resources of the University of Illinois Slavic and East European Library
  • an opportunity to seek advice from the librarians of the Slavic Reference Service (SRS), and
  • specialized workshops for graduate students and junior scholars.

During the first four weeks of the Lab, the Russian, East European, and Eurasian Center also organizes conferences, evening films, noontime speakers, and social events for Lab associates.

For graduate students, it provides an opportunity to conduct research prior to going abroad for dissertation research or as they are working on their dissertation.

SRL Programming Dates: 13 June to 30 June

For programming information, click on Lab Programs

Research-Only Dates: 1 July to 5 August

SRL fyer (opens in a new window)

Application Procedures

All applicants are required to submit an on-line application and clearly stated policy relevant proposal. Limited funding is available for international applicants; applicants seeking funding for a research workshop or research practicum must be U.S. citizens. Additional funding is available for permanent residents.

The SRL application can be found here.

Eligibility Criteria

Limited funding is available for international applicants; applicants seeking funding for a research workshop or research practicum must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. All applicants must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Faculty or graduate students at a university or college.
  • Individuals with a PhD doing research on the region.
  • Credentialed independent scholars.
  • Individuals working in an area of government, NGO, or business related to the region.
  • Librarians specializing in the Slavic, East European, and Eurasian field.

A variety of other events and conferences are held in conjunction with the SRL:


This summer we will host two interdisciplinary research workshops for junior scholars.  Though the structure of the workshops is the choice of the individual workshop leader, participating scholars usually provide papers which are then critiqued by other participants.  The purpose of the workshops is to share interdisciplinary knowledge and sources on the regions, network with scholars of different fields, and hone current research.  In addition, participants receive an orientation to the SRS (Slavic Reference Service) and the Slavic and East European Library. Since the JSTW is an all-day event, participants are highly encouraged to apply for additional housing beyond the term of the workshop in order to conduct research in the UIUC Library.

Central Asian Sovereignty in the Face of Massive Economic Dislocation:Globalization, Labor Migration and Other Discontents

June 13-15, 2011

Moderator:  Russell Zanca, Ph.D., Northeastern Illinois University, Anthropology

When the U.S.S.R. disbanded, many western scholars reasoned that Central Asian countries would be well united and form a kind of economic development bloc that would enable the growth of prosperous states based on shared history, education, language, religion, and culture. Little of this reasoning has come to pass. Antagonism is strong, and prosperity seems more than limited for most citizens. One of the major globalizing elements in contemporary Central Asian society is labor migration to Russia, Europe, Asia and North America. While migration has proven beneficial for millions of people in myriad ways, it also has upset social relations and caused resentment between governments and citizens.

In bringing together young scholars who are cognizant of and interested in this main globalizing dynamic in Central Asia, participants will examine the question of why Central Asia has traveled down this road, and what innovations or mechanisms will need to arise or be put in place so that failing state models don’t characterize the Central Asian states in the future. Dr. Russell Zanca, Professor of Anthropology and Central Asia Specialist, Northeastern Illinois University, will be moderating the workshop.

Sources will include scholarship, institutional reports, and analytical journalism focusing on labor migration, weak and failed states, foreign aid/advice programs, international disputes, state resources management, attempts to strengthen alliances, and inter-ethnic conflict.

Space and Circulation in Russian and Eurasian Studies

June 13-15, 2011

Moderators: John Randolph, Ph.D. University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, History and Kelly O’Neill, Ph.D. Harvard University, History

This workshop will bring together scholars from a variety of disciplines who are interested in using the analysis of spatial relationships—and of the circulation of people, things and information across our geography—to discover and interpret important problems in Russian and Eurasian studies.  We will consider such topics as the potential meaning of recent literatures on space and mobility for our discipline; the variety of tools (such as Geographical Information Systems, or GIS) that scholars are using to analyze spaces and the relationships that cross them; and the question of how to frame and visualize research, in terms of space and circulation, to maximum effect. Dr. John Randolph, Associate Professor of History, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and Dr. Kelly O’Neill, Assistant Professor of History, Harvard University, will be co-moderating this workshop.

The workshop will build from a short selection of readings and web-based materials, as a basis for common discussion.  It will then revolve around presentation of participants’ ongoing research projects, focusing on the role of space and systems of circulation within them.  The moderators, who are currently working on projects imagining what GIS can tell us about the making of the Early Russian Empire, will present examples from their work. Participants will have time to consult with GIS experts at the University of Illinois Scholarly Commons; to work in the University’s famed Slavic Collections; and to attend a number of concurrent workshops and symposia, as part of the University’s Summer Lab.

2011 Ralph and Ruth Fisher Forum: June 27-28, 2011

The 2011 Fisher Forum will be held in conjunction with the 2011 SRL.  This year’s Forum is entitled“Finding a Place in the Soviet Empire: Cultural Production and the Friendship of Nations,” a free and public conference, will take place June 27-28, 2011 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The symposium brings together leading scholars from Russia, Canada, the UK, and the US, with expertise in a variety of disciplines (including history, literature, cinema, linguistics, and anthropology), who will explore the problem of empire, subjectivity, and cultural production in the Soviet Union. The conference will focus on: the theoretical underpinnings of the concept of national cultures developed in the new socialist society of the 1920s and 30s, language planning, the subsequent creation of national cultural heroes, the relation between emerging models of Soviet subjectivity and national identity, the institutions and institutional practices that provided the framework for the production, translation, and transmission of national literatures and cultures, the Soviet vision of world literature, and its translation into Russian, the impact of the Second World War on the development of Soviet and national cultures and subjectivities, the tension between Soviet and national histories and memories, late and post-Soviet consequences of policies and practices that were initiated in the 20s and 30s, and the role of post-colonial theory and other critical models in analyzing Soviet cultural practices and policies. Papers should address broad questions from a theoretically sophisticated perspective, but should also focus on a specific set of literary/cultural formations and subjectivities. Comparative analysis is most welcome, as well as work that situates Yiddish in the broad context of the friendship of nations. The co-conveners are Gennady Estriakh, Professor of Jewish Studies at NYU and Harriet Muray from UIUC.

Individualized Research Practicum

Slavic Reference Service

The SRS librarians are phenomenally well-versed in the reference sources of the region.  SRL scholars who are graduate students are highly encouraged to apply for an Individualized Research Practicum.  SRS staff will develop a personalized, project-based program for each participant covering electronic tools and software, print and electronic bibliographic resources and databases, archival sources, vernacular-language search techniques, vernacular keyboard options, vernacular full-text resources, and as needed, online consultations with information specialists located in Eurasia and Eastern Europe.  The practicum is also a wonderful way to learn of research resources available in a REEE country before travelling to that country.

In order to maximize the worth of the practicum, applicants are encouraged to contact the SRS before attending.  Scholars are asked to share the extent of research already accomplished, an abstract of their project, whether they have travelled to the region, and any other relevant information.

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