28 Jun 2016

Recent CREEES graduate Isaac Webb published an article on June 1, 2016 in Foreign Affairs, based on his capstone research. Isaac’s article “Ukraine’s Uneasy Justice,” offers insight into the politics behind a recent high profile prisoner exchange, which returned Ukrainian pilot Nadia Savchenko to her country after nearly two years in Russian detention, in exchange for two Russian soldiers, Alexander Alexandrov and Yevgeny Yerofeyev, who had been convicted by a court in Kiev of an unusual set of charges, including waging “aggressive war” and “terrorist activity leading to the death of a Ukrainian serviceman.”

Webb argues that the government in Kiev has instrumentalized terms like “terrorism” and “aggression” for political gain in these cases. By focusing on these as violations of state sovereignty, he argues, Ukraine has largely ignored international humanitarian law, and neglected then 1.6 million displaced residents of the Donbas, who are the real victims in need of justice.

28 Jun 2016
CREEES Chronicle, 2015-16

We are pleased to release this year's CREEES Chronicle! The CREEES Chronicle is the Center's annual newsletter for events, grant recipients, publications, and more.

To view the 2015-16 CREEES Chronicle in an online reader, click here. 

Download a PDF file of the 2015-16 CREEES Chronicle here.

18 May 2016
Tomas Balkelis, New Book

Tomas Balkelis is a CREEES Visiting Scholar in residence from December 2015 through November 2016. Coming to Stanford from Vilnius University in Lithuania, Dr. Balkelis recently received publication of the co-edited book, "“Population Displacement in Lithuania in the XXth Century: Experiences, Identities and Legacies” (2016).

“Population Displacement in Lithuania in the XXth Century: Experiences, Identities and Legacies” (Eds. Tomas Balkelis and Violeta Davoliūtė, Leiden: Brill, 2016) is an edited volume written by historians from several countries offering a series of ground-breaking case studies on forced migration in Lithuania during and between the two World Wars. Starting with the premise that the mass movement of peoples during and after the Second World War needs to be understood in relation to the population displacement of the First World War, the authors draw on theoretical perspectives ranging from entangled histories, cultural theory and studies of nationalism to trace the ethnic, social and cultural transformation of Lithuanian society caused by the displacement of Lithuanians, Poles, Jews and Germans. 

The volume may appeal to academics, students, specialists and educated laymen interested in the history of Baltic states, East European studies, Holocaust studies, Soviet studies, population displacement, forced migrations and military violence. It may be used as a textbook by students of late imperial Russian and East European history as well as in academic courses on nationalism, revolution, forced migrations, imperial decline, ethnic conflict, totalitarian regimes and war violence. The volume may attract attention of major university and national libraries as well as research institutes that specialize in population studies. The project was hosted by the Department of History, Vilnius University in 2013-2015 and funded by the Global Grant from the Research Council of Lithuania. The research team was led by Tomas Balkelis and included Daiva Dapkutė, Violeta Davoliūtė, Andrea Griffante, Ruth Leiserowitz, Klaus Richter, Vasilijus Safronovas, Vitalija Stravinskienė, Arūnas Streikus and Theodore R. Weeks.

16 Feb 2016
Dr. Ekaterina V. Klimenko

We are pleased to introduce Dr. Ekaterina V. Klimenko as the 2016 Wayne Vucinich Fellow. Ekaterina V. Klimenko is a Senior Lecturer at the Saint Petersburg State Institute of Culture. She received her PhD in Cultural Studies from the Higher Attestation Committee of the Russian Federation in 2009. Her research interests include ethnicity and interethnic relations; interethnic tolerance, intolerance and acceptance; migration, migrant-phobia and migrant integration; diversity management and multiculturalism.

The results of her research have been published in a number of recognized scientific journals, presented at a variety of scientific conferences. The research she is currently executing is concerned with the way the public policy of migrant integration introduced in Russia recently has evolved over political debates. The research will allow examining the role that ideas play in public policy elaboration under the specific socio-economic and legal-political conditions constituted in modern Russia. It will also provide the analysis of the tendency towards “culturalization” of the socio-economic and legal-political issues — that involves defining various “problems” and legitimizing the choice of “solutions” to these problems in terms of culture — prominent in Post-Soviet Russia.

Dr. Klimenko will be in residence during Spring 2016. Her research project is entitled, “Migrant Integration” in Post-Soviet Russia: Knowledge, Discourse, Policy. 

4 Feb 2016

We are happy to offer two new REES Courses for Spring Quarter 2016: Cities of Empire: An Urban Journey through Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean and Media, Democratization and Political Transformations in Post-Soviet Societies. Please find descriptions of each course below:

REES 204/304  Cities of Empire: An Urban Journey through Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean

Instructor: Jovana Knezevic

Day/Time: Thursdays, 1:30PM - 4:20PM

Description: This course explores the cities of the Habsburg, Ottoman and Russian empires in the dynamic and turbulent period of their greatest transformation from the 19th century through the Two World Wars. Through the reading of urban biographies of Venice and Trieste, Vienna, Budapest, Cracow, Lviv, Sarajevo, Belgrade, Salonica, and Odessa, we consider broad historical trends of political, economic, and social modernization, urbanization, identity formation, imperialism, cosmopolitanism, and orientalism. As vibrant centers of coexistence and economic exchange, social and cultural borderlands, and sites of transgression, these cities provide an ideal lens through which to examine these themes in the context of transition from imperial to post-imperial space.


REES 206/306  Media, Democratization and Political Transformations in Post-Soviet Societies

Instructor: Dariya Orlova

Day/Time: Fridays, 1:30PM - 4:20PM

Description: The course provides an introduction to the study of media transformations in post-Soviet countries and the role of media in the democratization of post-communist societies. The course addresses theoretical approaches and concepts developed for the study of media and their role in the democratization of societies in transition, provides an extensive empirical overview of media developments in the post-Soviet countries, with a central focus on Ukraine and Russia, and explores the relationship between media and politics in these countries.

4 Feb 2016
Dariya Orlova

CREEES is pleased to introduce Dr. Dariya Orlova. Dr. Orlova will serve as CREEES Visiting Professor during Spring Quarter 2016. During her time here, she will offer REES 206/306, titled "Media, Democratization and Political Transformations in Post-Soviet Societies."

Dr. Dariya Orlova is a Senior Lecturer and media researcher at the Mohyla School of Journalism (National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Ukraine). She received her PhD in Mass Communication in 2013 from the Autonomous University of Barcelona and National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy with a thesis on "Representation of 'Europe' in the Mediatized Discourse of Ukrainian Political Elites."

Dr. Orlova recently has been working on several research projects, including comparative analysis of media coverage of the conflict in Eastern Ukraine and exploration of the evolving changes in Ukrainian journalism culture after EuroMaidan. Her research interests include: political communication, media transformations in post-Soviet countries, journalism culture, media and national identity. She is also an editor of the Ukrainian website of the European Journalism Observatory network and used to work as a journalist for the leading English-language publication in Ukraine, Kyiv Post.

Her course will be offered Fridays from 1:30PM to 4:20PM. For more information about her course, click here

Eight new students will pursue their Master’s degrees in Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies at Stanford in 2015-16. The students come from diverse academic and cultural backgrounds and bring a variety of experiences and interests related to the area, ranging from public health to energy politics to social rights and welfare. At Stanford, the MA students will work closely with CREEES-affiliated faculty as they pursue both coursework and a year-long capstone project focused on their areas of interest.

Tom Koritschan received his BA degree from the University of Zurich and in his graduate studies will explore the history of upbringing in the Russian Empire and Soviet pedology and sports education. Prior to coming to Stanford, Tom worked on a research team investigating Soviet energy politics as well as at a startup company entering the Russian-speaking market.  Ian McGinnity graduated from Claremont McKenna College with a BA in International Relations and Russian & East European Studies. Ian’s previous research focused on renewable energy development, energy security, and energy finance in Armenia, where he spent a year on a Fulbright Scholarship.  Ophelia Lai, who graduated from University College London and wrote her undergraduate thesis on temporality in the thought of Hannah Arendt, will engage her interests in identity, collective memory, and image-making in the post-communist space. Uve Poom, a native of Estonia who spent the last five years managing the Unitas Foundation, an educational non-profit organization based in Tallinn, will focus his research on Ukraine in the aftermath of the 2014 revolution. Margarita Velmozhina, a graduate of Lewis University with a degree in Biology and a minor in Mandarin Chinese, plans on conducting comparative research on the health care systems of both Russia and China. Isaac Webb comes to Stanford from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where as a Junior Fellow he wrote about Ukrainian politics and American foreign policy.  Previously he was a Fulbright Fellow in Kyiv, Ukraine after earning his undergraduate degree at Washington & Lee University. Two Stanford undergraduates will pursue their Master’s degrees as co-terms at CREEES. Amanda Lorei, who studied English at Stanford and completed a language course and homestay in Moscow, will focus her MA on the interaction of politics and creativity in Soviet-era literature. Laura Marti, whose undergraduate studies focused on Russian language, history and culture, plans to study the stray dog populations in Eastern Europe and their impact on public health.

CREEES is delighted to welcome the new MA students to the CREEES and Stanford communities as they continue their academic endeavors and further explore their intellectual interests.

Read full student profiles here.

Read our annual newsletter.

Sony Pictures’ new documentary from writer, director, and producer Gabe Polsky tells the story of the Soviet National Hockey Team through the eyes of its captain and national hero, Slava Fetisov. Whitney McIntosh ‘17 of the Stanford Arts Review discusses the film here.

Alicja Curanović, Assistant Professor at the Institute of International Relations, University of Warsaw, conducted research on the concept of mission in Russian and US foreign policy and political thinking as a Visiting Scholar at CREEES in 2014. In this publication for the Transatlantic Academy, she discusses the current rapprochement taking place between the Russian state and the Russian Orthodox Church.

NATO is reassessing its fundamental relationship with Russia and focusing on new threats not imagined at its inception in the wake of World War II, Douglas Lute, the US ambassador to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, told Stanford students and faculty.

Video: "Wales to Warsaw: NATO and the Current State of Transatlantic Security"

The Overseas Resource Center (ORC) invites you to attend Spring Overseas Scholarship Information Sessions, Application Workshops and International Scholarship Events.

The aim of our outreach is to inform you about the many funding opportunities for study and research abroad. Through these sessions, we will provide an overview of major scholarships and awards, describe the ideal candidate, and explain the application process. 

The Overseas Resource Center (ORC) advises and mentors undergraduate and graduate students and administers the campus competition for a number of prestigious overseas scholarships, including the Rhodes, Marshall, Fulbright, Luce, Churchill, DAAD, Gates and many more.

information sessions

Please RSVP here for all sessions.

Schwarzman Scholars Program

(with IIE representative)

Wednesday, April 1 @ 10:00-11:00am

Bechtel International Center,

Conference Room 1st Floor

Rhodes & Marshall Scholarships

Thursday, April 2 @ 4:00-5:00pm

Bechtel International Center,

Conference Room 1st floor

Yenching Academy of Peking University

(with Yenching representative)

Monday, April 6 @ 4:00-5:00pm

Bechtel International Center,

Assembly Room

Fulbright Grants

Tuesday, April 7 @ 12:00-1:00pm

Bechtel International Center,

Conference Room 1st Floor

Stanford Global Studies

Wednesday, April 15 @ 3:30-4:30pm

East Asia Library room 224, Lathrop Library

Fulbright Grants

(Fulbright-Clinton, mtvU, National Geographic)

(with IIE representatives)

Tuesday, April 28 @ 3:30-5:00pm

Bechtel International Center,

Assembly Room

Joint Fellowship Info Session (Haas, UAR, ORC)

Thursday, May 14 @ 4:00-5:30pm

Haas Center, Kennedy Conference Room

Gates & Churchill Scholarships

Thursday, May 21 @ 4:00-5:00pm

Bechtel International Center,

Conference Room 1st floor


Application workshops

Please RSVP here for all sessions.

Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad

Wednesday, April 1 @ 12:00-1:00pm

Bechtel International Center,

ORC Conference Room 2nd floor

Fulbright Scholarship –

ETA Focus


Thursday, April 16 @ 4:00-5:00pm

Bechtel International Center,

ORC Conference Room 2nd floor

Fulbright Scholarship

Monday, April 20 @ 4:00-5:00pm

Bechtel International Center,

Conference Room 1st floor

Rhodes & Marshall Scholarships –

Thinking about your Application

Thursday, April 23 @ 4:00-5:00pm

Bechtel International Center,

Conference Room 1st floor

Rhodes & Marshall Scholarships –

Developing your Story

Friday, May 1 @ 12:00-1:00pm

Bechtel International Center,

Conference Room 1st floor


Rhodes & Marshall Scholarships –

Thinking about your Application

Monday, May 4 @ 7:00-8:00pm

Bechtel International Center,

Living Room 1st floor

Fulbright Scholarship

Thursday, May 7 @ 4:00-5:00pm

Bechtel International Center,

Conference Room 1st floor


Rhodes & Marshall Scholarships –

Utilizing Mentors & What to do over Summer

Monday, May 11 @ 4:00-5:00pm

Bechtel International Center,

Conference Room 1st floor

Fulbright Scholarship

Wednesday, May 20 @ 4:00-5:00pm

Bechtel International Center,

Conference Room 1st floor

Rhodes & Marshall Scholarships –

Preparing for Interviews

Tuesday, June 2 @ 4:00-5:00pm

Bechtel International Center,

Conference Room 1st floor

Fulbright Scholarship –

Graduate Student Focus

Wednesday, June 3 @ 4:00-5:00pm

Bechtel International Center,

Conference Room 1st floor


Events at Bechtel International Center

Please RSVP here for all sessions.

Conversations with Scholars

Conversation with Marshall Scholars

Wednesday, April 8 @ 4:00-5:00pm

Bechtel International Center,

Assembly Room

Conversation with Rhodes Scholars

Wednesday, May 6 @ 4:00-5:00pm

Bechtel International Center,

Conference Room 1st floor


For more information on overseas scholarships or Overseas Resource Center,

We hope to see you soon!

Nariman Skakov, assistant professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures at Stanford University, is the special section guest editor for the Winter 2014 edition of Slavic Review.

Skakov, Mieka Erley (Colgate University), Philip Ross Bullock (Oxford University), and Eric Naiman (UC Berkeley) all contributed articles to the issue on Soviet writer Andrei Platonov and his works on Turkmenistan. Platonov, whom Skakov calls an “engineer of the human soul,” was both a writer and a practicing engineer who traveled to Turkmenia in the early 1930s in both capacities.

All three authors tackle different aspects of Dzhan, the novella written by Platonov during this period. Erley offers up alternative readings for Dzhan and explores how the Turkmen Kara-Kum desert, the setting for Dzhan, presented a challenge to the Soviet visions of technological utopia. Bullock focuses on the importance of gaze as a path to ideological and emotional cognition and how Dzhan and it’s Central Asian setting heightened the importance of gaze in the text. Skakov’s own article explores the concept of borderline between human and animal domains in the Soviet Union and the appearance and implications of these themes in Dzhan.

by Marilyn Harris (’16)

How to heal the wounds of civil war? Fulbright Scholar Sabina Cehajic-Clancy brought a social-psychological perspective to this question at CREEES on Friday, January 16th in her talk, “The Role of Moral Exemplars for Intergroup Reconciliation.”

Originally from Bosnia, Ms. Clancy pursued her graduate study at the University of Sussex under social psychologist Rupert Brown to explore questions that were particularly relevant to her as a member of a post-conflict society: How do people deal with atrocities and human rights violations that have occurred in the past? And, what social-psychological processes might facilitate or obstruct intergroup reconciliation?

Professor Cehajic-Clancy’s research across Bosnia, North Ireland, Chile, South America, and Israel shows that intergroup contact--that is, contact between groups on different sides of a given conflict--is a “powerful social-psychological variable with the power to change relations.” She is particularly interested in the experience of younger members in society, “the new generations...who aren’t directly implicated, but are implicated in the society.”  A correlational study on the antecedents of acknowledgement of ingroup responsibility conducted in Serbian-populated East Sarajevo measured the quality and quantity of contact that students aged 17-18 years old had with people of other ethnic groups and how this impacted their acknowledgement of each group’s role in the Yugoslav wars. What she found was that when participants had interactions with outgroups that was frequent and familiar, this led to a willingness to acknowledge one’s own in-group responsibility in the conflict as well as a decrease in perceived victimhood.

These results and others have important implications for the contact interventions that are a popular tool among NGOs working in post-conflict societies as a way to promote intergroup contact and what Cehajic-Clancy terms “intergroup forgiveness.” However, the focus of such contact is critical to the success of these interventions. “What is shown is that contact intervention that focuses on the past, which makes the conflict salient in the room, contact which focuses on history...has a negative trend,” she explained. Cehajic-Clancy’s talk focused on an alternative approach to contact interventions and the historical narrative of such conflicts: moral exemplars. Citing three different studies, one from Poland and two from Bosnia, Cehajic-Clancy discussed how informing the participants about such exemplars, ordinary human beings who sacrificed or risked their own lives for others during a conflict purely because it was the right thing to do, produced significant positive changes in measures including trust, forgiveness, belief reconciliation, and contact intentions (the intent to interact with other ethnic groups other than one’s own).

During the Q&A that followed her talk, Professor Cehajic-Clancy made it clear the importance she places on using her research in a way that is relevant and useful to current post-conflict reconciliation efforts that are in process across the globe, aiming to “try to give some sense to this research and try to devise policies and implement them.”  As one of the only scholars in social psychology focused on this issue, she is uniquely positioned to offer her expertise to NGOs and other organizations working in this space. She currently consults on contact intervention workshops and assists in their implementations and in measuring the success of such efforts. Still, her talk demonstrated that there is a long way to go. She recalled the willingness with which many of her participants in interviews and focus groups engaged in hate speech in the course of their conversations, and knows that many people are still resistant to the idea of reconciliation itself. All the greater is the imperative to re-frame the default narrative in conflict re-telling, especially among the younger generations: “The idea of homogenous entities eases dealing with complexities...accentuating the heterogeneity of outgroups is important, and even more important to accentuate moral heterogeneity...What are we going to put in the history books? How are we going to depict the other?”

by Marilyn Harris (‘16)

Stanford's Office of International Affairs sat down with our Koç Lecture Series speaker, Suhnaz Yilmaz, for an in depth interview about the Koç Lecture Series.

Two internship positions are available for Stanford undergraduates through the Stanford Global Studies Internship Program at the Balkan Institute for Conflict Resolution, Responsibility and Reconciliation in Sarajevo, Bosnia during June-July 2015.  Applications are due on March 5.  Click here for more information and an application.

Learn about grants, fellowships, language immersion programs, internships and more across the REEES region.

Attend our Summer Opportunities Information Session for undergraduate students interested in Russia, East Europe and Eurasia. Learn about study abroad, funding, internship opportunities and speak with former grant recipients and langauge and study abroad participants.

Tuesday, January 27
12-1 pm
Encina Hall West, 4th Floor, Room 400 (Graham Stuart Lounge)

Lunch will be served.

Visit our Grants & Fellowship and Academic Opportunities pages.

by Marilyn Harris '16

The month of December signaled the one-year anniversary of Euromaidan, when the Ukrainian government’s decision to suspend preparations for signing an agreement with the EU triggered mass protests in Kyiv’s Independence Square. Although current coverage of Ukraine focuses on the military action taking place in the east of the country, on Friday, December 5, Carnegie visiting fellow Valeria Korablyova from Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv returned to the significance of the event itself in her presentation, “Euromaidan and its Aftereffects,” at the CREEES weekly noontime seminar.

Korablyova, a scholar of social and political philosophy who studies the development of post-Soviet symbolic space in her native country, examined Euromaidan as a topos and a rupture with the previous social order. Korablyova described these protests as a “breakthrough experience, a short-term event that was important in changing everything.” This rupture brought a return to fundamentally European values, social engagement on all levels of society, and the development of Ukraine’s new national narrative.

A native of Kharkiv, Ukraine, Korablyova was teaching philosophy at Kyiv University throughout the protests. Although she had been developing a habilitation thesis around symbolic space prior to Euromaidan, this case of mass unrest was an opportunity to test out some of her hypotheses. Maidan, meaning square in Ukrainian, refers to Independence Square itself in Kyiv and the protests that have been held there. The First Maidan, better known in the West as the Orange Revolution, brought people to the streets over alleged vote rigging in the election of Viktor Yanukovych in 2004. Euromaidan shares some characteristics of the First Maidan; both, in Korablyova’s eyes, “are ruptures, some kind of breaks in continuity in ‘normal society’ intended to bring about dramatic change in the social order.” However, this most recent movement, known in Ukraine as the “Revolution of Dignity,” went beyond a power play between two political candidates. “This Maidan was driven by ideas…it was about revising the general rules of common life,” Korablyova said in her lecture.

In this quest for change, demonstrators developed slogans and images reflecting this sense of shared purpose, such as “I’m a drop in the ocean that will change Ukraine.” People from all walks of life volunteered to support the demonstrators, rare in a country that did not previously have a strong tradition of volunteerism. At the same time, activists went to work on building a “parallel society” to support their movement: protestors created temporary institutions across several different areas, including fundraising, safety, medical care, food supplies, information policy, communications, and even education, developing the Open University of Maidan.

If there is now enough perspective to examine and draw conclusions, however preliminary, from this event, what might those be? Korablyova argued that for post-Soviet Ukraine, Euromaidan was a key moment in defining the new national project of the country, establishing a vision for Ukraine that its citizens have taken ownership of, even as conflict continues in the East. As one of the biggest states belonging to the Soviet Union, Ukraine’s identity over the past 24 years was largely shaped by a government that changed in name but not in those who held positions of power; crony capitalism and a Soviet inertia were several of the defining characteristics of the pre-Maidan nation that Korablyova cited in her talk. Yet the future that this movement seeks is not just about joining the EU. Korablyova called Euromaidan “a rebellion against the discrepancies of the world of late capitalism,” yet it is not a socialist revolution either. “Instead, it goes to the origins of modern Europe, marking a distinction between its ideas and basic values and its current implementation, between liberalism as a doctrine and neoliberalism as the process of marketization.”

A year after these historic events, Ukraine’s national project may have been defined by these protestors, but how close, if at all, is Ukraine to achieving this vision? "I think that all the attempts of these Maidans, by these events, we declared our will to choose the European path, because it was European in its slogans, its ideas, and its essence…right now we are struggling for it,” Korablyova says. The pessimists, she says, fear the country will collapse economically and that the current government is unprepared to help the nation weather this and potential further warfare in the east. Optimists, however, believe that if Ukraine can build a prosperous European country in whatever boundaries it has, sooner or later, other countries will seek to have that same prosperity. In the long run, however, Korablyova emphasizes that the ultimate goal is not only to join the European Union—although it is regarded as a desired step towards a prosperous Ukrainian future—but “to live in Ukraine itself, which is to be a European country, grounded on European values, European practices.”

Register for REEES-related courses for Winter Quarter 2015.

Course offerings include:

REES 220A/320A: Literature and Cultural Politics in the Former Yugoslavia
Explore issues of politics and ideology, social myths and taboos, language, culture and class identity, individual and collective rights through fictional texts by prominent Yugoslav writers.

HISTORY 424A; REES 224A: The Soviet Civilization
Explore Soviet socialist topics including socialist visions and practices of the organization of society and messianic politics, the Soviet understanding of mass violence, poltics and ethnic, and living space.

ANTHRO 150; FEMGEN 150A; REES 250A: Minaret and Mahallah: Women and Islam in Central Asia
Introduction to women's culture and art in Muslim countries of Central Asia, examining women as key figures in the transmission of traditional culture of folk Islam.

IPS 231; REES 231: Russia, the West and the Rest
Focus on understanding the diversity of political, social, and economic outcomes in Russian since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

REES 100/200: Current Issues in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies

For a full list of course offerings, visit Explore Courses.

Slavic and East European Curator Karen Rondestvedt will be retiring from Stanford University Libraries at the end of the calendar year. 

CREEES offers a number of grants to Stanford undergraduate and graduate students for summer language study and research. Grant application deadlines are in February.

CREEES is pleased to offer grants to undergraduate and graduate students for summer language study and advanced research. Undergraduates are eligible to apply for the Undergraduate Language Study Grant for intensive summer language study and the Globalizing Eurasia Grant for multi-country research. Graduate students can apply for Summer Travel/Research Grants, the Graduate Summer FLAS fellowship, and the Globalizing Eurasia Grant. For more information and applications, visit the Grants & Fellowships page.

Application Deadline: February 23, 2015

For non-Stanford language and study abroad programs, visit the Academic Opportunities page.

On September 30, Miroslav Lajcak, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic, participated in a panel co-hosted by The Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies and The Europe Center. Prime Minister Lajcak was joined by three other panelists: Michael McFaul, Professor of Political Science and Senior Fellow, Hoover Institute and Freeman Spogli Institute; Norman Naimark, the Robert and Florence McDonnell Professor in East European Studies in the History Department and The Director of Stanford Global Studies; and Kathryn Stoner, Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute and Faculty Director of the Susan Ford Dorsey Program in International Studies.

Video: "Europe-Russia Relations: The Impact of EU Expansion"

CREEES is now accepting applications for Master's program in Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies. The deadline for applications is December 9, 2014.

A new exhibit seeks to illustrate the context of the ongoing crisis in Ukraine

This academic year, two new visiting scholars will join CREEES: Alma Vadari Kesler and Zilka Spahić-Šiljak.

Read our annual newsletter

CREEES hosted a roundtable discussion on Ukraine on April 11, 2014 at Stanford Humanities Center.

This quarter, two additional visiting scholars will join the Center: Philipp Casula and Fabio De Leonardis, the Wayne Vucinich Visting Scholar.

Philipp Casula is a post-doctoral researcher at the History Department of the University of Zurich. He obtained his PhD at Basel University defending a thesis on the political discourse in contemporary Russia. At Zurich University, he works in a collaborative research project on representations of security in the Soviet Union and Russia. Within this framework, his current research focuses on the visual history of the Red Army’s occupation of Afghanistan in the Soviet media, paying special attention to depictions of the Other in Soviet newspapers.

Fabio De Leonardis is currently editor of the journal, Nazioni e Regioni (Nations and Regions – Studies and Researches on Imagined Communities).  He obtained his PhD in Theory of Language and Sciences of Signs from the University of Bari. De Leonardis’ intellectual interests are broad, and he has worked extensively on nationalism and nationalist ideology in a comparative context. His current research interests are focused n nationalism and nationalist ideology in comparative context. At Stanford, he will continue to work on his current research project, which analyzes Saparmurat Niyazov’s cult of personality in Turkmenistan in a comparative context with Kaddafi’s regime in Libya.

Philipp and Fabio will be joining two other CREEES visiting scholars. Sreten Ugričić will be here through June 2014, and Magnus Ilmjärv will be here through May 2014.

CREEES Visiting Scholars

The Overseas Resource Center (ORC) invites you to attend our ORC Scholarship Week, April 7-11, held at the Bechtel International Center.

The aim of our ORC Scholarship Week is to inform you about the many funding opportunities for study and research abroad. Through these information sessions, we will provide an overview of major scholarships and awards, describe the ideal candidate, and explain the application process.

The ORC advises and mentors undergraduate and graduate students and administers the campus competition for a number of prestigious overseas scholarships, including the Rhodes, Marshall, Fulbright, Luce, Churchill, DAAD, Gates and many more.


Rhodes/Marshall/Mitchell/Churchill/ ESU Scholarships
Mon. April 7 @ 4-5pm - Graduate Study in the UK and Ireland with scholar panel

Fulbright Grants - Fulbright Family of Awards
Tues. April 8 @ 12-1pm - Study/research/ETA/Fulbright-Clinton/Fulbright-Hays/Fulbright-National Geographic/mtvU

Luce Scholars Program and Awards to Asia
Tues. April 8 @ 4-5pm - Internship and study/research in Asia with Luce Scholar Panel

Undergraduate Scholarships for Study Abroad
Wed. April 9 @ 12-1pm - Boren, Gilman, DAAD, CLS, Clinton, CBXY, Fulbright-UK Summer Institutes with student panel

Gates-Cambridge and Churchill Scholarships
Wed. April 9 @ 4-5pm - With Gates Scholar Panel

DAAD Scholarships and Awards to Germany
Thur. April 10 @ 12-1pm - Study, research, internship & language study in Germany with student panel

Fulbright Grants
Thur. April 10 @ 4-5pm - Traditional - Research/Study & ETA - Worldwide with Fulbright Alumni panel

Worldwide Scholarships for Graduate Students
Fri. April 11 @ 12-1pm - Fulbright-Hays/Boren/Luce//DAAD/CLS and more

ORC Open House
Fri. April 11 @ 3-5pm - Light refreshments provided, advisors available

All info sessions will be held at the Bechtel International Center in the Assembly Room.

For more information: 
- Visit the ORC website 
- Fill out the Scholarship Interest Form 
- Contact Diane Murk, Manager, Overseas Resource Center, dmurk@stanford.edu to schedule an appointment with an advisor. 

The submission period for the 2014 Student Photo Contest has been closed.

The SGS photo contest presents an opportunity for students, faculty, and staff to see the world through a unique lens – that of our students. Enter your favorite photos (or several). What makes a photograph a winner? Technical quality, clarity and composition are all important, but so too is a flair for the unexpected and the ability to capture a picture-perfect moment.

The Hoover Institution's newest exhibition, Revolutions in Eastern Europe: The Rise of Democracy, 1989-1990,opens on Tuesday, March 11 2014, in the Herbert Hoover Memorial Exhibit Pavilion (next to Hoover Tower) on the Stanford University campus and will run through Saturday, August 16, 2014.

Norman Naimark discusses the historical context of the current crisis in Ukraine and prospects for the future

Historian Norman Naimark, Robert and Florence McDonnell Professor in East European Studies, director of the Stanford Global Studies Division and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, recently spoke to the Stanford News Service on the current crisis in Ukraine.  Naimark addressed Ukraine’s historical relationship with Russia, the reasons for the current unrest, the possible future of Ukraine and the implications of the current crisis for the United States.

Read the full interview here.

CREEES offers a number of grants to Stanford undergraduate and graduate students for summer language study and research.  Grant application deadlines are in April.  More information.

CREEES is pleased to offer grants to undergraduate and graduate students for summer language study and advanced research. Undergraduates are eligible to apply for the Undergraduate Language Study Grant for intensive summer language study and the Globalizing Eurasia Grant for multi-country research.  Graduate students can apply for Summer Travel/Research Grants, the Graduate Summer FLAS fellowship, and the Globalizing Eurasia Grant.  For more information and applications, visit the Grants & Fellowships page.


Application deadlines:

Undergraduate Grants
Language Study Grant: April 1, 2014
Globalizing Eurasia Grant: April 14, 2014
Graduate Grants
Summer Travel/Research Grant: April 1, 2014
Graduate Summer FLAS Fellowship: April 1, 2014
Globalizing Eurasia Grant: April 14, 2014



The Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies hosted international film director Želimir Žilnik for a one-night screening of his film One Woman, One Century in late October, which drew students and scholars of film, history, women’s studies, as well as numerous members of the general public.

The documentary film, which was based on the life of 100-year-old Dragica Srzentić, focused on her experiences as a member of the Communist Party in pre-World War II Yugoslavia, her involvement in the Partisan movement during the war, and her repression and imprisonment in the years following the Tito-Stalin split.  Žilnik created the film from statements and interviews as well as stylistically animated reconstructions of her life story. He drove the narrative with a journey Srzentić took to Moscow for a May Day parade in 2011. In a particularly memorable scene, Srzentić poses for a photograph with men dressed as Stalin and Lenin. After the experience, Srzentić offers a reflection on the two Soviet leaders that expresses the evolution of her own mixed experience with Communism in the span of her long life, “I respect them as revolutionaries, and believe they were both true revolutionaries. Even if Stalin went astray.” 

Six new students recently arrived at Stanford to pursue their master’s degrees in Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies. The students come from diverse academic and cultural backgrounds and bring a variety of experiences and interests related to the area, ranging from politics to physics to literature and music.  

At Stanford, the MA students will work closely with CREEES-affiliated faculty as they pursue both coursework and a yearlong capstone project focused on their areas of interest.

Jacob Parsley, who served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Kazakhstan and studied at Russian universities in Moscow and Saint Petersburg, will study post-Soviet civil society and language politics.  Charlie Powell, who holds a BA in physics, aims to reconcile his passions for science and the Russian language by researching the institutions and methodology of science in the Soviet Union.  Caroline Schottenhamel, who studied at University of Passau, Germany and Kazan State University in Russia, will continue exploring her interests in Russian and Eurasian history, politics, and culture.  Robin Swearingen, who has worked in Kazakhstan, Tajikstan, and Krygyzstan, will further explore his interest in Central Asian ethnic relations and nationalism as well as economic development.  Sheena Wildes, who spent a year studying at Saint Petersburg State University, will further explore her interests in Russian and European women’s history and literature.  Brigid Connor will investigate music of post-Petrine Russia.

CREEES is delighted to welcome the new MA students to the CREEES and Stanford communities as they continue their academic endeavors and further explore their intellectual interests.

29 Apr 2013

Two Stanford students have been selected as winners of CREEES's inaugural Globalizing Eurasia Grant for multi-country research. The grant provides $7000 for one undergraduate and one graduate student each for research in two or more countries in CREEES's purview, or at least one country within the region and one outside. The winners are:


Vladimir Trojanskis 2nd-year PhD candidate, history

Trojanskis will be conducting archival research on Circassian slavery in three countries — Turkey, Georgia, and Russia — and studying Ottoman Turkish. He is broadly interested in the political, socio-economic, and cultural interactions between the Ottoman Empire and Imperial Russia in the long nineteenth century, with particular emphasis on themes of transnational slavery, population migrations, and resettlement.


Miguel Boluda junior, international relations

Boluda plans to research the downfall of the post-Soviet film industry in Russia, with an accompanying comparison to the rise of the Spanish industry following the collapse of fascism there. He will conduct interviews in Moscow while in town for an internship with Ambassador/Professor Michael McFaul at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, after which he will travel to Madrid for an additional round of interviews.


The grant is an initiative of CREEES's new Globalizing Eurasia Fund, a new endowment announced earlier this academic year thanks to a generous gift from an anonymous donor. In addition to providing resources for student research and travel in more than one country, the Fund also targets our curriculum and faculty initiatives, including courses, guest speakers, and conferences, with an aim of placing our area more squarely in a global framework. This initiative links CREEES to other centers and academic units on campus, offering students a far broader and richer foundation of knowledge in preparation for dynamic global careers after Stanford.

For more information on giving to the Globalizing Eurasia Fund, please visit our Giving page.

headshot of Joseph Frank

Joseph Frank, Professor Emeritus of Slavic Languages and Literatures, died last week in Palo Alto. He was 94.

Frank came to Stanford from Princeton in 1985. He was best known for his magisterial biography of Dostoevsky, called Dostoevsky, a Writer in His Time, which was published in five volumes between 1976 and 2002 . The work is widely considered the best biography of the author in any language, including Russian, and it has been called one of the best author biographies ever written. He is survived by his wife, Marguerite Straus Frank, two daughters, a brother, and two grandchildren.

Read his entire New York Times obituary here, and his Stanford News obituary by clicking the link below.

31 Jan 2013
Alfa Fellowship Program

Maria Mammina, MA '11, and Zach Witlin, MA '12, have been awarded Alfa Fellowships for 2013. They are among a small handful of young professionals from the US and UK to receive the honor this year.

The Alfa Fellowship Program is a professional development program funded by Alfa Bank, Russia's largest private bank, which places accomplished young professionals in work assignments at leading organizations in Russia in the fields of business, economics, journalism, law, public policy and related areas.

The program accepts up to 15 American and British citizens per year. The program includes intensive Russian language training, seminar programs, and extended professional experience. Fellows receive travel, free housing, a monthly stipend, and health insurance.


cover image of Crime and Punishment in Early Modern Russia

Prof. Nancy Kollmann's new monograph, Crime and Punishment in Early Modern Russia, was published by Cambridge University Press in October. She delivered a book talk at CREEES on November 2 before an audience of more than 60 colleagues, students, and members of the public, in which she situated the work in the context of the historical scholarship of the era, as well as her own career.

The monograph draws heavily upon law codes, court proceedings, correspondence, and vivid anecdotes in order to touch upon the theory and actual practice of the judicial system from the tsars to local trials to sentencing and execution of punishment.  It also challenges commonly held notions of Early Modern Russia as a lawless, anarchical state.

According to Amazon, Crime and Punishment in Early Modern Russia is "a magisterial new account of the day-to-day practice of Russian criminal justice in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. Nancy Kollmann contrasts Russian written law with its pragmatic application by local judges, arguing that this combination of formal law and legal institutions with informal, flexible practice contributed to the country's social and political stability. She also places Russian developments in the broader context of early modern European state-building strategies of governance and legal practice. She compares Russia's rituals of execution to the 'spectacles of suffering' of contemporary European capital punishment and uncovers the dramatic ways in which even the tsar himself, complying with Moscow's ideologies of legitimacy, bent to the moral economy of the crowd in moments of uprising. Throughout, the book assesses how criminal legal practice used violence strategically, administering horrific punishments in some cases and in others accommodating with local communities and popular concepts of justice."

This is Prof. Kollmann's third book. She is also the author of Kinship and Politics: The Making of the Muscovite Political System, 1345-1547, as well as By Honor Bound: State and Society in Early Modern Russia.The William H. Bonsall Professor of History at Stanford, she is considered one of the world's most preeminent scholars of Early Modern Russia.  She is now currently working on a fourth book, The Russian Empire, 1450-1801, for Oxford University Press. Kollmann studied at Middlebury and Harvard, finishing her PhD at the latter in 1980. She has taught at Stanford since 1982.

2 Oct 2012
Globalizing Eurasia Fund

CREEES is pleased to announce the creation of a new endowment, the Globalizing Eurasia Fund, made possible by a generous gift from an anonymous donor.

CREEES director Robert Crews said, "The inherited model of area studies teaching and research must accommodate a rapidly globalizing world. The rise of China, the expansion of transnational Muslim networks, the political economy of oil and gas, and increasingly mobile people, commodities, and ideas are among just a few of the pressing issues that demand closer investigation."

The Globalizing Eurasia Fund targets three areas: 1) our curriculum, 2) student research and travel, and 3) faculty initiatives, including courses, guest speakers, and conferences. The Fund seeks to develop undergraduate and graduate courses that place our area more squarely in a global framework. It seeks to provide students with resources to conduct research and pursue language study in more than one world area or country (An undergraduate might, for example, combine work in Russia and China, or in Turkey and Georgia, in Tajikistan and India, etc.). This initiative links CREEES to other centers and academic units on campus, offering students a far broader and richer foundation of knowledge that prepares them for dynamic global careers after Stanford.

For more information on giving to the Globalizing Eurasia Fund, please visit our Giving page.

2 Oct 2012
Amir Weiner

With new access to KGB files, Stanford's Amir Weiner explores the differences between the "mind control" techniques employed by the KGB and domestic surveillance in today's Western-style democracies.

October marks the 11th anniversary of the Patriot Act – legislation that continues to arouse suspicions among many Americans about the limits to government surveillance.

Stanford historian Amir Weiner's recent investigation of the notorious surveillance agency, the KGB, finds that unlike in the USSR, a system of checks and balances in today's Western-style democracies prevents agencies like the FBI from engaging in domestic surveillance at the same invasive scale as the KGB.


17 Sep 2012
MA class of 2012

CREEES is pleased to welcome five new students into the master's program in Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies for the class of 2013. Meet them here.