News from SSEES
Thursday 16 May
NEW HALF-UNIT BA LANGUAGE COURSES
SSEES is excited to announce that in autumn 2013, the School will be launching new half-unit (0.5 cu) undergraduate courses (beginners level) in Bulgarian, Czech, Finnish, Hungarian, Polish, Romanian, Serbian/Croatian and Ukrainian (Russian was introduced in 2012). These courses will widen the range of language options offered at UCL to students on non-language programmes, for the first time formally incorporating the chance to study these important East European languages.
In particular, we expect students from SSEES's Economics, History, Politics and Russian degrees to find these new language options attractive. The courses follow the model of the UCL Centre for Languages and International Education (CLIE) and are called Bulgarian A, Czech A, Finnish A etc. We anticipate launching the follow-on Intermediate level (B and C) courses in 2014 and 2015 respectively.
We are looking forward to welcoming students to these exciting new courses in 2013! For more information, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHERE TO GO IN EUROPE
edited by Wendy Bracewell and Alex Drace-Francis.
SSEES and the Centre for Publishing, UCL. ISBN 978-0-905-93708-3.
"Travellers both East and West have made this universal human necessity into a marker of fundamental cultural difference, passing judgment on other societies according to their lavatorial habits. Here the loos of Europe provide a place for a variety of travellers to ponder. Whether they express themselves with wit, outrage or po-faced pedantry, they all find the lavatory awash with meaning."
Tuesday 14 May 2013
Dr Richard Butterwick-Pawlikowski was a panellist in a public discussion on the last King of Poland, Stanisław August Poniatowski (1764-95) and his memoirs, held in the original eighteenth-century theatre at the Royal Łazienki Musem in Warsaw on 8 May 2013 to mark the first scholarly publication of the king's Mémoires and their Polish translation. He will be contributing two lectures to a programme of events on Stanisław August and his memoirs at Łazienki during the academic year 2013/14.
Dr Richard Butterwick-Pawlikowski gave a talk in Polish to the pupils, teachers and parents of the General Władysław Anders Polish Saturday School in Bristol on 11 May 2013. His subject was 'Poland in the Grip of the Soviet Empire, 1939/44-1989/91'.
Friday 26 April 2013
RECAPTURING POST-COMMUNIST RELUCTANT RADICALS
On 22 April SSEES hosted a discussion around the theme of Populism with Dr Eva Hoffman, Professor Alena Ledeneva, Dr Catherine Fieschi and Marek Beylin entitled, 'Recapturing Post-Communist Reluctant Radicals'. The panel examined the reasons why people vote for populist parties; the collective national myths - and sense of betrayal - which give rise to populism and explored the link between populism and democracy.
Co-organised by the Polish Cultural Institute and Counterpoint, the event launched the pamphlet Przygody Polaków z demokracja by Marek Beylin, the editor of Gazeta Wyborcza. More details
Counterpoint is a research and advisory group which "provides the intelligence to seek opportunities in risk and possibilities in change". Its Director is Dr Catherine Fieschi.
SSEES WINS GREEN AWARD
SSEES has received a Silver Standard 2012-13 Green Impact award from the National Union of Students. Staffing and Projects Officer, Rachel Quarmby, led a team which completed the bronze and silver Environmental Sustainability tasks around SSEES.
Monday 22 April 2013
'EUROPE' THEN AND NOW
On Thursday this week SSEES hosted the second Central Europe Symposium with six ambassadors and representatives from Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia. Entitled 'Europe' Then and Now, speakers at the symposium discussed the Question of 'Europe'; Economics and the Moral Society and Culture and the Public Sphere. Former Austrian Vice-Chancellor Dr Erhard Busek opened proceedings with a keynote speech on "What Central Europe contributes to the European project". This was followed by papers from Prof Jan Svejnar, Prof László Csaba, Dr Andraž Zidar, Nataša Williams, Dr Michal Vasecka and others.
More photos from the event
More about the event (Includes Youtube clips)
Saturday 9 March 2013
AVAILABLE ON UCL DISCOVERY
Karbic, D and Karbic, M (2013) The Laws and Customs of Medieval Croatia and Slavonia: A Guide to the Extant Sources. Studies in Russia and Eastern Europe: Vol.10. School of Slavonic and East European Studies, UCL: London, UK edited by Martyn Rady (UCL SSEES).
Friday 8 March 2013
WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?
On 22 February 2013, for the second time running, "WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?", the world's biggest family history event, got underway at London's Olympia hosting over 160 specialist exhibitors including genealogy experts and historians. Immigration and emigration were the leading topics this year and a number of workshops and lectures were organised over the weekend to attract members of the public.
Among the topics selected by the organisers for presentation was Agata Blaszczyk's "The experience of British migration policy towards the Polish refugees after the Second World War and Polish Resettlement Camps". Agata's presentation was very well received attracting a number of members of the public and institutions enquiring about the origins of the Polish community in Great Britain after the war. Agata was representing Kresy-Syberia, the organisation dedicated to researching, remembering and recognising the Polish citizens deported, enslaved and killed by the Soviet Union during the Second World War. Along with colleagues from Kresy-Siberia, she also helped people to find their long-lost ancestors among the Siberian survivors.
Agata was a research student at UCL SSEES.
Friday 1 March 2013
THE MAKING OF A NAZI HERO
by Daniel Siemens. Published by I. B. Tauris & Co.
On 14 January 1930, Horst Wessel, a young and ambitious member of the SA, was shot point-blank in Berlin. The crime was never completely solved, but the murder was most likely committed by a group of Communists. Using previously unseen material, Daniel Siemens provides a fascinating and gripping account of the background to Horst Wessel's murder, uncovering how and why the Nazis made him a political hero.
(Cover image courtesy I. B. Tauris & Co. )
Friday 22 February 2013
APPOINTMENT TO SCIENTIFIC ADVISORY BOARD
Congratulations to Slavo Radošević who has been appointed to the Croatian Scientific Advisory Board, as the fifth member of the international team of experts that personally advise the Croatian Minister for Science, Education and Sports. Slavo is the only social scientist on the Board.
Slavo recently gave an interview to the Croatian business weekly, Leader, on innovation policy issues in Croatia and Europe.
The Interveiw (in Croatian)
Friday 25 January 2013
WOMEN'S VOICES AND FEMINISM IN POLISH CULTURAL MEMORY
eds. Urszula Chowaniec and Ursula Phillips. Cambridge Scholars Publishing ISBN 978 1 443841870.
Every time a so-called "woman's voice" appears in the media in connection with any sphere of creative activity, it finds itself confronted by the almost formulaic expression "feminism today", instantaneously suggesting that feminism is, in fact, a matter of the past, and that if we want to return to this phenomenon, then we need to explain ourselves. Women's Voices and Feminism in Polish Cultural Memory seeks to elaborate the problem of generalisation, expressed by such formulas as "feminism today", while analysing how feminist sympathies have shaped Polish literature, film and language.
(Cover image courtesy Cambridge Scholars Publishing)
Thursday 17 January 2013
GAY CLIFFORD BURSARY
SSEES Politics and East European Studies student, Lauren Chandler, has been awarded a Gay Clifford Bursary for Undergraduate Women Students by the Joint Faculty Bursaries Panel.
Founded in 2002 in the will of Gay Clifford, up to six bursaries may be awarded in each session. The value of the award is £500.
Friday 11 January 2013
ESRC PhD PARTNERSHIP
SSEES has been awarded an ESRC 'PhD partnership' grant to further doctoral and post-doctoral collaboration in Health Economics with National University Higher School of Economics in Moscow. The partnership will be coordinated by Chris Gerry and also involves the UCL Department of Epidemiology.
SSEES has signed an agreement with Vilnius University to host a Visiting Scholar from Lithuanian for a three-month stay for four years. The Agreement mirrors those already in place for postdoctoral scholars from Estonia, Hungary and Poland.
Daniel Salbstein (SSEES 1959-62), was awarded an OBE in the New Year Honours List "for services to promote UK/Russia mutual understanding". Daniel helped set up the Great Britain-Russia Society and for some time was Hon Treasurer of the SSEES Old Students Association.
Tuesday 8 January 2013
Congratulations to Olga Cara who successfully defended her PhD thesis "Acculturation strategies and ethno-national identification - a study of adolescents in Russian-language schools in Riga". Olga's supervisors were Richard Mole and Allan Sikk.
Thursday 29 November 2012
NEW ON-LINE PUBLICATION: PHILOSOPHY AND LITERATURE: GENERATION AND TRANSFORMATION IN GENDER AND POSTDEPENDENCY DISCOURSE.
The current issue of ARGUMENT: Biannual Philosophical Journal (2012, vol. 2, no. 1), edited by Urszula Chowaniec and Marzenna Jakubczak is now accessible online:
"The main objective of this collection of papers is to explore ideas of generation and transformation in the context of post-dependency discourse as it may be traced in women's writing published in Bengali, Polish, Czech, Russian and English...we intend to juxtapose interpretations of literature originating in very different cultural milieus, such as the Central and East European, South Asian with the literary treatment of the philosophical dilemmas that challenge authors of various nationalities in eras of great political, economic and social upheaval and transformation following long periods of dependency and suppression, caused either by colonial and imperialist domination or by communist ideology". - Editors. See also: ARGUMENT: Biannual Philosophical Journal: http://www.argument-journal.eu
Thursday 15 November 2012
CONTESTED FRONTIERS IN THE BALKANS: OTTOMAN AND HABSBURG RIVALRIES IN EASTERN EUROPE
by Irina Marin. Published by I.B. Tauris. 978-1780761053.
From the Holy Roman Empire and the Ottomans to the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Russia, Eastern Europe has been a battleground between the East and the West and a region of fluid frontiers. Irina Marin follows the history of the Banat of Temesvár, a province situated on the edges of these competing empires and currently divided among Romania, Serbia and Hungary. The history of the Banat is, on a small scale, the history of Central and Eastern Europe as a whole - with its overlapping imperial rules, redrawing of boundaries, composite identities, Procrustean nation-states straddling multi-ethnic regions, the legacy of Communism and its vagaries, and the resuscitation of regionalism within the framework of the European Union. It is also the place where the Romanian Revolution of 1989 started which brought Ceauşescu's Communist dictatorship to an end.
The first history of its kind, this will be an important study of Serbian and Romanian ethnicity, culture and influence, explored through archival documents and a transnational historical approach, as well as providing new insights into the major empires of history and their relationship with the Balkan lands.
Irina Marin is Teaching Fellow in Romanian Literature at UCL SSEES.
(Image courtesy I.B. Tauris)
Monday 12 November 2012
The new electronic database Labyrinth has just been added to the SSEES Library collection and is now available via Eastview. Labyrinth 'provides 25,000 biographies of Russian politicians, officials and business people. Includes descriptions and guides to all federal government bodies, administrative units of the Russian Federation, major businesses, political organisations and federal elections at all levels'. Any questions to Wojciech Janik at email@example.com.
Congratulations to Oliwia Berdiak who successfully defended her PhD thesis "I exist, I belong, I contribute: the Self and the Collective in Croatian National Discourse". Oliwia's supervisors were Wendy Bracewell and Richard Mole.
Thursday 25 October 2012
SSEES RESEARCH BLOG LAUNCHED
SSEES has launched a new academic blog - http://blogs.ucl.ac.uk/ssees - which will draw on the research expertise of the School's academics and research students. The aim is to provide accessible, high-quality analysis and discussion of Russia, Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe and the Baltic, and will cover culture, economics, history, politics and societies of the region, as well as broader issues such as migration, diasporas and European identities.
Contributions - and ideas for contributions - are warmly welcomed from all disciplines and areas represented at SSEES. The blog's editorial coordinator is Seán Hanley.
TWO BOOK AWARDS
Congratulations to Kristin Roth-Ey whose book, Moscow Prime Time: How the Soviet Union Built the Media Empire that Lost the Cultural Cold War, has been awarded an Honorable Mention for The W. Bruce Lincoln Prize by the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ASEES). http://www.aseees.org/prizes/lincolnprize.html
The volume has also won first prize from the American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages (ATSEEL) for Best Book in Literary and Cultural Studies.
Friday 19 October 2012
WELCOME TO SSEES
We extend a warm welcome to Armanda Hysa, our new Alexander Nash Fellow in Albanian Studies who has taken up the post for two years. Armanda is a graduate of the University of Tirana and her proposed ethnografic research topic is looking at Serbian-Albanian mixed marriages in post-'Kosovo' times.
IPS AHRC FELLOWSHIP
Congratulations to research student Richard Morgan who has received an AHRC International Placement Fellowship for three months at the Library of Congress, Washington DC. The Scheme supports the placement of UK postgraduate students and early career researchers on short-term fellowships at a number of overseas research institutions.
Thursday 18 October 2012
SSEES STUDENT WINS BACKING OF Dragon's Den
SSEES research student, Artsiom Stavenka, has secured £90,000 to develop an advertising on bike wheels idea. The radical new technology, which won a Bright Ideas Award at this year's UCL Awards for Enterprise, allows coloured, moving images and animations to be displayed as a rider cycles the streets. Entrepreneurs from BBC2's Dragon's Den were taken with the idea and have put up the money to get the project underway.
Artsiom, whose research topic is "Gazprom's Role in Russo-EU Energy Relations (2000-2012)", said the idea was born when he and his friend, Kiryl Chykeyuk, decided to capitalise on the fact that around 400,000 bicycle trips a week are made by people in London to and from work.
Artsiom added that he particularly wanted to thank two people without whom "none of this would have been possible" - Pete Duncan, his supervisor at SSEES and Lillian Shapiro from UCL Advances.
The second edition of Russia and the Russians: From Earliest Times to the Present by Geoffrey Hosking with fully updated throughout, with a new chapter with a new chapter on the recent role of Putin and Medvedev, and their impact on Russia's economy, politics and its citizens.
Published by Penguin 2012. ISBN 978-0-718-19360-7.
Tuesday 9 October 2012
Hearty congratulations to Susan Morrissey, formerly Senior Lecturer in Modern Russian History, on her promotion to Professor and to Maria Rubins, promoted to Senior Lecturer in Russian.
Susan Morrissey is a historian working on the cultural, social, and political history of Russia. Her first book, Heralds of Revolution: Russian Students and the Mythologies of Radicalism (Oxford University Press: New York & Oxford, 1998), focused on the student movement in early twentieth-century Russia, exploring a range of issues from student radicalism and the genesis of revolutionary mythologies to questions of gender, everyday life, and sexuality. While researching this book, she came across a large body of sources on youth suicide in this period and decided to write her second book on this topic. Her interest soon broadened, however, and the result was her second monograph which charted the history of suicide from the earliest medieval sources up into the twentieth century: Suicide and the Body Politic in Imperial Russia (Cambridge University Press: Cambridge & New York, 2006). This book explores a wide range of themes across the entire panorama of Russian history, including secularization and modernity, subjectivity and the individual, the history of law, medicine, and social science, and political suicide. Her latest project, which has been funded by the British Academy, returns to the early twentieth century, this time to explore the upsurge of political violence, especially revolutionary terrorism. Her most recent article on this topic appeared in The Journal of Modern History: 'The "Apparel of Innocence": Toward a Moral Economy of Terrorism in Late Imperial Russia'. She is currently writing a monograph on political violence in late imperial Russia.
Maria Rubins is a literary and cultural scholar. Before joining SSEES, she taught Russian literature and language at Russian and American universities. Her research interests include Russian and French cultural relations, exile, Russian émigré literature, bilingual and transnational writing, Russian-language literature in Israel, and the interaction between texts and the visual arts. She is the author of Crossroad of Arts, Crossroad of Cultures: Ecphrasis in Russian and French Poetry (2000; Russian edition - 2003) and the editor of the volume Russian Émigré Writers of the Twentieth Century of the Dictionary of Literary Biography (2005), a university textbook on Russian émigré literature of the first wave (2011), and collections of academic articles. She has also edited and annotated volumes of selected prose by Russian émigré authors, including Irina Odoevtseva and Vasily Yanovsky. She has translated from French into Russian Judith Gautier's memoirs on Wagner and several novels by Irène Némirovsky and Arnaud Delalande, and from English into Russian Vasily Yanovsky's memoir on W.H. Auden. In recent years, she has taken part in a number of radio programmes on Russian culture of BBC Radio 4, the BBC Russian Service, and Voice of Russia. Currently, she is completing a monograph on Russian writers of the inter-war Parisian diaspora.
Monday 1 October 2012
THE FAVOR PROJECT AT SSEES
SSEES language teachers have recently completed work on FAVOR (Finding a Voice through Open Resources), a JISC-funded project exploring open practice in language teaching. The project was led by the Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies (LLAS) at the University of Southampton and participants included Aston, Newcastle and SOAS. SSEES teaching fellows and evening course tutors produced open resources in Estonian, Finnish, Hungarian, Latvian, Serbian, Slovak and Ukrainian, and published these in the LLAS Language Box repository. The resources produced by the SSEES group and a report on the project can be viewed at http://languagebox.ac.uk/group/10 and http://languagebox.ac.uk/3102/.
Friday 28 September 2012
IMESS AND CEELBAS
The International Master's Consortium (IMESS) has achieved the prestigious success of Erasmus Mundus recognition for a further five years. CEELBAS has been awarded an additional £100,000 by the AHRC to enhance its programme of activities in 2012-13. Great news for these two SSEES-led initiatives!
This year some 195 new undergraduates and 165 new Master's students are joining SSEES. We wish them all a very warm welcome. Along with all our returning and PhD students, this makes for a total of more than 900 students at SSEES.
WELCOME TO SSEES
We would like to extend a warm welcome to new staff joining us this academic year. They are: Lecturers in Economics: Elodie Douarin and Randolph Bruno; Mellon Foundation Postdoctoral
Fellow: Lora Koycheva; Leverhulme Postdoctoral Fellow: Andrew Willimott; Teaching Fellows in Russian: Anna Pleshakova and Snejana Tempest; Teaching Fellow in Czech & Slovak Languages: Terezie Holmerova; Teaching Fellows in Economics: Sviatoslav Rosov and Dragos Radu; Teaching Fellow in Sociology and Ethno-politics: Dariusz Gafijczuk; and Admissions Assistant: Natasha Clark.
Wednesday 22 August 2012
Congratulations to Bojan Bilic who has been awarded his PhD for his thesis "We are Gasping for Air: (Post-) Yugoslav Anti-War Contention and its Legacy". His supervisor was Eric Gordy.
Bojan's manuscript has been accepted for publication by Nomos Press of Baden-Baden and he will be taking a Fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Study in Budapest.
Monday 23 July 2012
Congratulations to Chiara Amini who successfully defended her thesis "Essays in Economic Development". Her supervisors were Chris Gerry and Tomasz Mickiewicz. Chiara's latest chapter has just been accepted for publication in the Journal of Comparative Economics.
Wednesday 11 July 2012
Three of the posters produced by CEELBAS scholarship holders showing the research students work-in-progress are now on permanent display on the fourth floor of the SSEES building at 16 Taviton Street. The posters were first on show at the CEELBAS conference 'Research without Frontiers: inter-university cooperation in East European area studies' held in UCL in June last year.
The aim was to provide a snapshot of the research supported through the 32 PhD / D.Phil. Scholarships and seven Postdoctoral Fellowships awarded by the CEELBAS since 2006.
Friday 6 July 2012
Congratulations to Chris Tooke who successfully defended his thesis, "The Presentation of Jewish Women in Pre-Revolutionary Russian Literature". His supervisor was Robin Aizlewood.
Tuesday 3 July 2012
POLISH CONSTITUTION OF 3 MAY 1791
On 22 June Richard Butterwick gave a public lecture at the University of Warsaw, organised jointly by the Museum of Polish History and the Society of the Descendants of the Great Sejm (1788-92) on "The Constitution of 3 May and the Catholic Church, 1791-1792" to mark the publication of the full, Polish edition of his book, The Polish Revolution and the Catholic Church 1788-1792. His main message to the audience was that Europe's first written constitution, passed on 3 May 1791, showed that despite the stereotypes of an incurably anarchic nation, eagerly propagated by the official historians of the partitioning powers, the parliamentary system of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth could work admirably.
A report (in Polish) and pictures are available on the Museum's website at:
Details of the book are available at:
See also news item 6 December 2011.
Friday 8 June 2012
Anna George (neé Swoboda) visited SSEES this week and met research student, Ondrej Timco, who has been awarded a scholarship from the Victor and Rita Swoboda Memorial Fund for Ukrainian Studies. Under the supervision of Andrew Wilson, Ondrej is researching for his PhD on the "Relationship between the abuse of off-shore financial services and the protocol corruption: a case study of Pavlo Lazarenko".
The Fund was established in 1992 by Rita Swoboda, in memory of her husband, Victor, who for many years taught Ukrainian at SSEES.
SSEES ALUMNA AWARDED NON-FICTION PRIZE
Last month SSEES alumna, Dr Katya Kocourek, was awarded the Czech Republic's Miroslav Ivanov prize for non-fiction for her 2011 biography on the soldier and poet Rudolf Medek, based on the PhD thesis she completed at SSEES in 2009. The prize, awarded annually in five categories by the Authors' Club of Literary Fact (KALF) at the Book World Literary Festival in Prague, was awarded to her in the category for authors aged under 40.
Further details (in Czech) can be found at the website of the Institute for Literature of the Czech Academy of Sciences http://www.ucl.cas.cz/ceny/?c=23
Monday 28 May 2012
Earlier this year second year undergraduate students taking Russian Politics and Society course took part in the competition for the best poster. The winners, Alexei Leshkov (First), Emily McGovern (Second) and Jessica Salmon (Third), were awarded book prizes.
The winning entries:
Saturday 19 May 2012
MALVINA, or THE HEART'S INTUITION
by Maria Wirtemberska. Translated by Ursula Phillips. Published by Northern Illinois University Press. ISBN: 978-087580-450-7.
Maria Wirtemberska's psychologically complex work is often considered Poland's first modern novel. "A work of genuine artistic daring and sophistication, the novel has been overlooked by critics for too long... In this splendid translation, Ursula Phillips restores Wirtemberska to her rightful place in the literary pantheon while providing fertile new ground for the study of the international development of the novel".
For more information contact Jeff Waxman at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Right: Ursula Phillips, 'Malvina's' translator
Friday 18 May 2012
Last Monday UCL SSEES hosted a roundtable to celebrate the launch of 130 books of Macedonian literature in English translation and the performance in Macedonian of Shakespeare's Henry VI, Part III at the Globe Theatre. Macedonian Minister of Culture, Elizabeta Kanceska-Milevska, and the Macedonian Ambassador, Marija Efremova were joined by playwright Goran Stefanovksi, novelist Venko Andonovski and Petar Milosevski, one of the actors from the National Theatre of Bitola.
Left: Her Excellency Marija Efremova, Ambassador of the Republic of Macedonia to the UK
The Minister spoke about the importance of publishing the 130 books in English translation while the Ambassador addressed the place of culture in relations between the Republic of Macedonian and the UK. Actor Petar Milosevski read the poem, "T´ga za jug" by Konstantin Miladinov and later participated with Patricia Marsh-Stefanovska in a reading from a play by Goran Stefanovski.
Right: Her Excellency Elizabeth Kancevska-Milevska, Minister of Culture of the Republic of Macedonia
Transcript of the Ambassador's Speech
The Ministry of Culture has very generously donated the 130 books of Macedonian literature in English translation to the SSEES library where they will be available for readers.
Wednesday 2 May 2012
THE BALTIC STATES FROM THE SOVIET UNION TO THE EUROPEAN UNION: Identity, Discourse and Power in the Post-Communist Transition of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania
by Richard Mole (UCL SSEES).
The post-communist experience of the Baltic States allows us to examine debates about identity as a source of political power; the conditional and constraining influence of identity discourses on social, political and economic change; and the orientation and outcome of their external relations.
For more information and to order: www.routledge.com/9780415394970
(cover image © Routledge)
Congratulations to Thomas Jackson who successfully defended his thesis, "Migrants as knowledge carriers: international mobility and the highly skilled in Serbia" earlier this month. His supervisor was Slavo Radošević.
Tuesday 17 April 2012
'THE GRAND DUCHY OF LITHUANIA: COMMON HISTORY, DIVIDED MEMORY'
On 19 March SSEES, in collaboration with the Lithuanian Embassy in London, hosted a roundtable discussion on "The Grand Duchy of Lithuania: Common History, Divided Memory" to coincide with the publication of Vanished Kingdoms by Professor Norman Davies. Europe's past is littered with kingdoms, empires and republics which no longer exist, but which were some of the most important entities of their day, Professor Davies told a packed audience in the Gustave Tuck lecture theatre. How long would it be before the Soviet Union was as forgotten as most of these?
Other speakers were Jim Dingley, Chairman of the Anglo-Belarusian Society; Prof Zenonas Norkus of Vilnius University and Dr Gintautas Sliesoriūnas from the Lithuanian Historical Institute.
A full recording of the event.
Tuesday 27 March 2012
ROUNDTABLE EVENT: 'RUSSIA AFTER THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS - WHAT FUTURE FOR PUTIN'S SISTEMA?'
Monday 5 March 2012
Panellists at the round table on the Russian elections.
The day after the Russian elections, UCL SSEES hosted a CEELBAS/Chatham House roundtable, posing the question 'Putin may have won, but will his "sistema" survive?'
From SSEES Alena Ledeneva argued before a packed audience that reform from within is impossible; Andrew Wilson described how Russia's 'managed democracy' is getting harder to manage, and Peter Duncan charted the rise and stall of the opposition movement.
Roy Allison of St Antony's College, Oxford, looked at change and continuity in Russian foreign policy from Putin to Medvedev and back, and the possibility of a period of introspection after the elections.
Oksana Antonenko also spoke in a personal capacity, and the session was ably chaired by James Nixey from Chatham House.
Monday 26 March 2012
GUEST LECTURE: THOMAS CAROTHERS
Tuesday 20 March 2012
In a wide-ranging and well attended SSEES Special Guest Lecture, Thomas Carothers, Vice President for Studies at the Carnegie Endowment, discussed parallels between transition in the post-communist world over the last two decades and the unfolding events of the 'Arab Spring'. While analogies with the collapse of communism were appealing and understandably had been drawn because of the unexpected scope and speed of change, a more careful examination suggested a need for caution: levels of economic development; patterns of authoritarian rule; the nature of civil society and role of religion suggested that the two regions were, in fact, quite dissimilar.
However, some of the early misjudgements and misconceptions about post-communist transformation might have valuable lessons for policymakers and scholars seeking to understand the Arab Spring. In hindsight, those studying and advising on the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, he argued, had underestimated the derailing effects on democratisation of inter-ethnic conflict; the ways in natural resource wealth tended to concentrate political power; the imperatives of state building; and the absence in some states of democratic and constitutional traditions. This had important implications both for how Western policymakers should approach change in the Arab world - a short-term focus on fair and free elections and electoral politics was likely to prove inadequate - and understanding where risks and danger points for in emerging democracies the region, in fact, lay.
In response to questions from SSEES staff and students as well as researchers from Chatham House and the University of Cambridge attending the event, he stressed he was cautiously optimistic about the prospects for democratic developments in the Arab Spring. The Carnegie Endowment was working very closely with a wide range of researchers and political actors across the Middle East and North Africa. Its experience so far suggests that many of the new Islamicist politicians and parties in the region would prove both willing and able to work within pluralist democratic systems.
A recording of the full lecture:
Friday 23 March 2012
AWARD-WINNING ROMANIAN ACTRESS VISITS SSEES
On 12 March Romanian actress, Anamaria Marinca, met SSEES students on the Cinema in Eastern Europe course. She talked to them about Four Months, Three Weeks and Two Days, the film that won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 2007. She focused in particular on her interpretation of Otilia, the protagonist of the film, and her experience of shooting some of the key scenes. She also provided details on technical aspects of the film and her on-set relationship with director Cristian Mungiu and fellow actors. The reception of the film and the issue of dealing with the Communist past were also brought into the discussion.
Anamaria has previously won the Best Actress award at the BAFTA's for her role in the Channel Four film Sex Traffic about women trafficked from Moldova.
The East European Cinema course is part the BA in East European Languages and Literature course.
UCL SSEES is the only institution in the UK offering a specialist degree in Romanian Studies.
Postgraduates interested in Romania or Moldova are welcome to join the Romanian-Moldovan Research group which is based at SSEES and which organises regular workshops, conferences and roundtables on Romanian and Moldovan topics.
Monday 19 March 2012
SLOVO LAUNCHES SPRING ISSUE
The Spring issue of Slovo, SSEES's postgraduate-run academic journal, was published on 14 March. To celebrate this issue and to mark the journal's transition into digital publishing, Slovo hosted a launch party in the SSEES Masaryk Senior Common Room.
SSEES academics Alena Ledeneva, Titus Hjelm, and Tom Lorman had a lively discussion about their experiences with academic publishing, the potential of digital publishing for academic journals and the role of postgraduate journals such as Slovo, providing useful insight and advice to the audience of SSEES postgraduates and staff.
The new issue of Slovo is available online at: http://ojs.lib.ucl.ac.uk/index.php/Slovo/index
Friday 16 March 2012
Congratulations to Olga Nikolic Damascus who successfully defended her thesis, 'Post-Conflict Nonforcible International Intervention: United States and European Union Political Programs on Serbia, 5 October 2000 to 12 March 2003'. Olga's supervisors were Peter Siani-Davies and Pete Duncan.
Wednesday 14 March 2012
LONDON STUDENT PHOTOGRAPHY EXHIBITION
SSEES research student, Richard Morgan, has had this photograph, "StreetWalker", selected for the London Student Photography exhibition. This was a competition in which over 500 entrants were whittled down to 40. His photograph is a scene from St Petersburg street-life. The show will be on 13-23 March in both UCL's Print Room Café and in King's College on the Strand.
Details of the Exhibition
Image © Richard Morgan
Friday 9 March 2012
NATIONAL ACCESS PRIZE
Congratulations to James Scanlan who has been awarded the Keith Fletcher Memorial National Access Prize in two categories: Outstanding Academic Achievement and Outstanding Commitment to Study with 33 out of 36 possible credits for subject essays at Distinction, and 21 out of 24 possible credits for study skills at Distinction. Alongside his Access studies James undertook an evening course in Hungarian at UCL SSEES.
The work presented to the judging panel to illustrate James's nomination included his 5,000 word independent research project on the collapse of Yugoslavia, which also formed the basis of a thirty-minute presentation to the class. His intellectual curiosity and gift for languages drove James to produce an extremely sophisticated and complex project addressing one of the most challenging topics of recent European history.
Commenting on James's nomination, the panel judges said; "James has clearly demonstrated outstanding knowledge and understanding in a subject area and the fact that he extended his academic interests by taking additional subjects is a remarkable achievement" and "I think it's absolutely outstanding - an Access student already performing at postgraduate level!"
James received his award from Nic Dakin MP at the House of Commons. James is reading Serbian and Croatian and East European Studies at SSEES.
WELCOME TO SSEES
Welcome to Jaanika Meriküll, Estonian Visiting Scholar, who will be with us until May. Jaanika, an economist, is from the Tallinn University of Technology and her area of research is FDI and host country job mobility.
Welcome also to Madina Howard who is Postgraduate Administrator, covering the maternity leave of Alexa Stewart.
Monday 13 February 2012
Mihai-Răzvan Ungureanu, who was Romanian Teacher Fellow 1996-97 at SSEES, was nominated on Monday as Romania's new Prime Minister by the Romanian President, Traian Basescu, and invited to form a government. He has 60 days in which to select a cabinet and obtain the approval of parliament. He lasted visited SSEES in 2007 when he was Foreign Minister.
Friday 3 February 2012
The CEELBAS application for Phase 2 has been approved by the AHRC and the British Academy. We expect the new Phase (c. £150,000 per annum, initially for two years) to get up and running from the start of March. The main strands of activity will be: User Engagement and Internships; Research Workshops and International Research Exchanges; Postgraduate Research Training and Language Projects.
Friday 27 January 2012
POSTDOCTORAL FELLOWSHIP AT UCL SSEES
SSEES will be sponsoring applications for the Leverhulme Trust's Early Career Fellowship competition in 2012. This is an excellent opportunity for early career researchers to access substantial and prestigious funding. Proposals should be sent to email@example.com by 19 February written on the Leverhulme Trust application form.
Applicants must check their eligibility before applying by accessing the Leverhulme's ECF scheme.
Friday 20 January 2012
Congratulations to Eszter Tarsoly and Riitta-Liisa Valijärvi! Eszter has been promoted to Senior Teaching Fellow in Hungarian Language and Riitta-Liisa to Senior Teaching Fellow in Finnish Language.
Eszter Tarsoly - Senior Teaching Fellow in Hungarian Language
Eszter Tarsoly started her employment with UCL SSEES as a Teaching Fellow in Hungarian in 2007, while also working on her doctoral thesis on linguistic purism and attitudes towards language. Having obtained an MA in Hungarian Language and Literature, Linguistics and Language Pedagogy in 2004 from Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, she completed an MA in Central and South-East European Studies at UCL SSEES in 2005.
Eszter's interest in teaching Hungarian in the UK goes back to her undergraduate years when, in 2003, she was an Erasmus scholarship-awarded visiting student at SSEES. Prior to her teaching appointment at the School, Eszter had taught Hungarian and English to speakers of other languages. She currently works as a language specialist and examiner for several academic and non-academic institutions in the UK and has collaborated with the Hungarian Cultural Centre and CEELBAS in organising workshops on translation, language, and literature. She has been engaged in outreach, widening participation, and recruitment activities at UCL and beyond.
Eszter's research interests include bilingualism, language contact, minority and endangered languages, ideas on language correctness, speech disorders, and teaching reading. She has participated regularly on conferences organised by UK subject centres on language learning, as well as on international conferences on language in a minority context. She has co-authored two journal articles since the start of her employment at SSEES and has been developing a graded reader of Hungarian since 2009.
Riitta-Liisa Valijävi - Senior Teaching Fellow in Finnish Language
Riitta-Liisa Valijärvi joined SSEES in 2007. She has taught Finnish language, history and culture for over ten years in Sweden and England. She has worked for Uppsala University, Medborgarskolan i Uppsala, Morley College, Communicaid and the University of Westminster. She has also taught Finnish to FCO employees and designed exams for the European Personnel Selection Office.
Riitta wrote her PhD on the grammaticalisation and lexicalisation of non-finite verb forms in the Finnish language. She has a diploma in teaching Finnish as a second and foreign language. Riitta's academic interests are minority and endangered languages, language pedagogy and typology.
Friday 13 January 2012
WELCOME TO SSEES
Welcome to Raul Carstocea who will be teaching on the History programme term; Edyta Nowosielska, Teaching Fellow in Polish to cover maternity leave of Urszula Chowaniec; Anneli Kaasa, Visiting scholar from Estonia and Farha Ahmad who is the new Student Enquiries Officer.
AWARDS TO SSEES STUDENTS
Congratulations to Oliwia Berdak, J.J. Gurga, and Simon Pawley who have been awarded the PhD Excellence Scholarships. Also, a very special mention to James Rann who is the first recipient of the Lindsey Hughes Postgraduate Bursary.
Wednesday 4 January 2012
TOP SOVIETOLOGIST STUDENT AT SSEES
Malcolm Mackintosh, who has died at the age of 89, was a key Cabinet Office adviser on Soviet affairs during the Cold War. He entered the Foreign Office after the Second World War during which he was posted to Cairo, the headquarters for SOE operations in the Balkans, and parachuted into Yugoslavia in support of Tito's partisans. Previously, in 1940 Mackintosh had attended a language course at the then School of Slavonic Studies in London (now UCL SSEES).
He went on to pursue his career in the Cabinet Office advising both the British governments and American and Commonwealth leaders. Following his retirement he held an Honorary Visiting Fellowship at SSEES.
BELARUS: THE LAST EUROPEAN DICTATORSHIP
by Andrew Wilson. Published by Yale University Press. ISBN: 978-0-300134-353
This is the first book in English to explore both Belarus' complicated road to nationhood and to examine in detail its politics and economics since 1991, the nation's first year of true independence. Andrew Wilson focuses particular attention on Aliaksandr Lukashenka's surprising longevity as president, despite human rights abuses and involvement in yet another rigged election in December 2010.
The author looks at Belarusian history as a series of false starts in the medieval and pre-modern periods, and at the many rival versions of Belarusian identity, culminating with the Soviet Belarusian project and the establishment of Belarus' current borders during the Second World War. He also addresses Belarus' on-off relationship with Russia, its simultaneous attempts to play a game of balance in the no-man's-land between Russia and the West, and how, paradoxically, Belarus is at last becoming a true nation under the rule of Europe's "last dictator".
More about the book Independent Review
(Image used with permission. Yale)
Tuesday 20 December 2011
VÁCLAV HAVEL 1936-2011
Staff and students at SSEES noted with great sadness the death on 18 December of the former president of Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic, Václav Havel. President Havel, who was a dramatist and essayist as well as Czechoslovakia's most prominent dissident in the final years of communist rule, became president in December 1989 during the Velvet Revolution that opened the country's path to free elections. After the break-up of Czechoslovakia in 1992 he served two terms as president of the Czech Republic, stepping down in 2003.
Václav Havel visited SSEES in March 1990 during one of his first foreign visits as his country's new head of state, addressing a packed audience of several hundred to mark the publication of a book on T.G. Masaryk, Czechoslovakia's first president, who had given the inaugural lecture at SSEES 75 years previously.
A major SSEES roundtable event looking back at Václav Havel's contribution to politics, culture and thought is planned for the New Year.
Visit of Václav Havel to SSEES, 22 March 1990
[More photos of the 1990 visit]
Monday 12 December 2011
ART IN SSEES ATRIUM
Colouring the Invisible, the art installation in the SSEES atrium last year, has been selected as the cover of the Aesthetica Annual Creative Works publication. The work was selected as the winner out of 3,000 submissions and will be featured in the international publication that has thousands of readers. See: http://aestheticamagazine.blogspot.com/
UCL Slade postgraduate, Julia Vogl, surveyed staff, students and visitors to SSEES over a two-week period in October 2010 and compiled data on the number of languages represented at the School - in total 56. The data was then 'translated' into the colours of the vinyl sheets that were applied to the windows of the atrium. The installation attracted attention beyond SSEES and at a reception with UCL Provost Malcolm Grant, Baroness Coussins commented that UCL and SSEES were a beacon in the field of modern languages.
Philipp Müller, former DAAD Francis Carsten Lecturer in Modern German History at SSEES, has been awarded a three-year fellowship by the German Research Foundation in cooperation with Göttingen University. The research grant of 240,000 euros, will enable him to write his second book, about the historical use of state archives in the long 19th century. Philipp attributes his success in part to the training and the opportunities he received at SSEES for which he is very grateful.
BLOGGING AND TWITTER
The use of blogging and Twitter by individual academics and university departments was discussed at an informal workshop this week with contributions from SSEES bloggers on their experiences. Examples of academically-oriented blogs written by SSEES staff can be found at:
For academics that have not yet experienced this form of social networking, a guide produced by the LSE can be found at http://bit.ly/mYOONm. Staff in SSEES Library are also able to help with the setting up and use of these sites.
Tuesday 6 December 2011
THE POLISH REVOLUTION AND THE CATHOLIC CHURCH 1788-1792
by Richard Butterwick. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-925033-2.
The Polish Revolution cast off the Russian hegemony that had kept the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth impotent for most of the eighteenth century. Before being overthrown by the armies of Catherine the Great, the Four Years' Parliament of 1788-92 passed wide-ranging reforms, culminating in Europe's first written constitution on 3 May 1791.
Probing both 'high politics' and 'political culture', Richard Butterwick draws on diplomatic and political correspondence, speeches, pamphlets, sermons, pastoral letters, proclamations, records of local assemblies, and other sources to explore a volatile relationship between altar, throne and nobility at the end of Europe's Ancien Régime.
Detailed summary of the book
(Image used with permission.OUP)
Congratulations to Anna Toropova, who successfully defended her PhD thesis, "Educating the Emotions: Affect, Genre Film, and Ideology under Stalin". Anna held an AHRC doctoral award and is currently Teaching Fellow in Russian History here at SSEES. Her supervisors were Susan Morrissey and Seth Graham.
Thursday 1 December 2011
Congratulations to Andreea Carstocea who successfully defended PhD thesis entitled "Ethnobusiness: the Unintended Consequences of Post-1989 Policies for the Political Representation of National Minorities in Romania". Andreea was jointly supervised by Seán Hanley and Dennis Deletant.
Friday 25 November 2011
Congratulations to Ian Klinke for the successful defence of his thesis, "Rethinking critical geopolitics in the context of EUrope/East". Ian held the SSEES Foundation Scholarship (2007-2010) and his supervisor was Felix Ciută.
Thursday 17 November 2011
UCL SSEES is participating in a project to create resources assisting prospective students with the transition from language study at school to the study of languages in higher education, which is being led by University of Southampton's Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies (LLAS). Total funding for the project is £144,000, of which UCL SSEES will receive £10,000. Fellow participants are Aston University, Newcastle University and SOAS. The project is being coordinated at UCL SSEES by Marta Jenkala, Senior Teaching Fellow in Ukrainian.
Wednesday 16 November 2011
TRUST: Money, Markets and Society
by Geoffrey Hosking. Published by Seagull in the 'Manifestos for the 21st Century' Series.
Evidence of waning levels of social trust in the UK and US in the 1990s exploded into a major crisis of economic distrust in 2007-09, taking the form of a 'credit crunch'. The crisis built up as a bubble of misplaced trust exercised by all of us as we sought security for ourselves and our families through financial markets and state welfare systems. A market economy without trust will lead us all to disaster.
An extensive summary of the book
SUCCESSFUL BID FOR LANGUAGE SUMMER SCHOOLS
SSEES has been awarded £4,395.44 by the UCL Outreach Fund following a successful bid to host language summer schools during the summer of 2012. The bid, entitled 'Meet the New Neighbours', was put together by Tim Beasley-Murray, Ramona Gönczöl and Roland Monger (SSEES Senior Admissions Officer) and aims to increase the awareness of SSEES languages among Year 12 students. Over a period of three days, the students will be able to try their hands at different languages, experience what life is like at a University and interact with current SSEES language students.
Anybody wishing to get involved should contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday 9 November 2011
Successful research grants awarded to SSEES staff during 2011. Ranging from £250 to £3,120, the recipients and their areas of research were: Richard Butterwick, Throne and Altar in the last decades of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth; Philip Cavendish, research trip to Gosfilmofond; Simon Dixon, History of the Russian Orthodox Church; Ger Duijzings, Conspicuous Consumption in Bucharest and Cities Methodologies 2011; Alena Ledeneva, Business Corruption in Russian Regions; Richard Mole, Allan Sikk, Titus Hjelm, Nordic/Baltic Research Group activities 2011-12; Martyn Rady, The Laws and Customs of Medieval Croatia; Daniel Siemens, Coming to terms with Socialisms in the GDR.
Congratulations to Nat Moser (PhD Oxford), who has been awarded a prestigious one-year ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowship at UCL SSEES starting in 2012. Nat will be mentored by Chris Gerry and will be continuing his theoretical and empirical work exploring the evolution of the Russian oil industry.
Monday 31 October 2011
It is with great sadness that we learnt of the death of Ryszard Gabrielczyk. As one of the founders of the M B Grabowski Fund and instigators of the Professorial Chair, Mr Gabrielczyk was associated with SSEES for many years. Apart from being an important member of our Advisory Board and the Polish Studies Advisory Committee, he supported the School in many ways. He became a familiar figure at our conferences and seminars and is remembered by many of us for his good-humoured cheerfulness and respect for others. He will be sadly missed.
Ryszard Gabrielczyk obituary
SUCCESSFUL RESEARCH PROPOSALS AND AWARDS 2011
We would like to highlight and congratulate members of SSEES staff who have been successful in their applications for research grants and awards this year.
Chris Gerry, who is co-investigator with Chris Davis (Oxford) and Charlie Walker (Southampton) in a project called Economic Change, State Priorities and the Wellbeing of Vulnerable Groups: Children and the Elderly in Russia (2011-2013). The project has received £14,993 from the Nuffield Foundation.
Alena Ledeneva, who is working with Seán Hanley and Allan Sikk on 'Anticorruption Policies Revisited. Global Trends and European Responses to the Challenge of Corruption' and has received £448,159 from the European Commission (EC).
Slavo Radošević, who has received £183,754 also from the EC for a collaborative project on 'Growth-Innovation-Competitiveness: Fostering Cohesion in Central and Eastern Europe' with Julia Korosteleva and Esin Yoruk.
Svetlana Makarova who secured funding jointly with the Universities of Leicester and Lille-3, France, for a collaborative project, "Probabilistic approach to assessing macroeconomic uncertainties". The grant to SSEES was £200,000 awarded by the ESRC/ORA.
Geoffrey Hosking, who is organising a conference on 'Trust and Distrust in the USSR' with a British Academy grant of £5,484.
WOMAN OF THE YEAR
Congratulations to Mary Hobson, BA, PhD (UCL SSEES) on her election to be one of the Women of the Year 2011, an event celebrated at the Intercontinental Hotel, Park Lane last week. Mary, who came to SSEES as a mature student, was the winner of the Pushkin gold medal for translation in 1999 and the Russian Peredvizhnik prize for translation in 2009.
Congratulations to Raul Carstocea, who passed his PhD viva outright last week for his thesis entitled "The Role of Anti-Semitism in the Ideology of the Legion of the Archangel Michael (1927-1938)". His principal supervisor was Rebecca Haynes.
Thursday 20 October 2011
RUSSIA AND THE RUSSIANS: A HISTORY
by Geoffrey Hosking. 2nd edition. Published by Harvard University Press.
In a sweeping narrative, Professor Hosking follows the country's history from the first emergence of the Slavs in the historical record in the sixth century C.E. to the Russians' persistent appearances in today's headlines. The second edition covers the presidencies of Vladimir Putin and Dmitrii Medvedev and the struggle to make Russia a viable functioning state for all its citizens.
Geoffrey Hosking is Emeritus Professor of Russian History at UCL SSEES.
Friday 14 October 2011
CLARE HOLLINGWORTH OBE
Over the last few days there has been wide media coverage of the 100th birthday of Clare Hollingworth OBE. Well-known for her 50 years of indefatigable news reporting from around the world, it is less well known that she is a SSEES alumna. She began her journalistic career with a scoop. She was the first journalist to witness the build-up of German troops on the Polish border - a fact that she reported to the British Consular-General and that consequently led to the outbreak of the Second World War. She went on to report for The Guardian and The Daily Telegraph from Algeria, Vietnam and China during the Cultural Revolution and the student uprising. She was also responsible for unmasking Kim Philby as the third man.
She wrote in her memoirs, Front Line, that a friend suggested she take an academic turn and she "worked towards securing a scholarship to the School of Slavonic Studies at London University where, later, I worked under the brilliant direction of Professor Seton Watson."
She did not, however, graduate, leaving before taking the final exams. Nevertheless, she remains one of the School's most distinguished alumni. For more on her remarkable career see: http://tinyurl.com/6z824op and http://tinyurl.com/68t6ayr.
Thursday 13 October 2011
VASILII ROZANOV'S CREATION AND THE REJECTION OF ESCHATOLOGY
by Adam Ure. Published by Continuum. New York.
"One of early 20th Century Russia's most important and original thinkers, Vasilii Rozanov has undergone a revival in Russia since the fall of communism and his impact continues to resonate amongst Russian intellectuals of all persuasions. Adam Ure's meticulously researched new book is the first substantive work in English on Rozanov. Its hugely impressive merit is that, unlike previous scholarship which has tended to treat the writer in purely literary mode, or in his philosophical context, it offers a holistic interpretation capable of unifying Rozanov's philosophical, political, theological and aesthetic activities within a single system: that of his theory of Creation. It is this that allows Ure convincingly to account for Rozanov's influence on Russian intellectual discourse more broadly, and on literary modernism in Russia and elsewhere. Rejecting conventional assumptions regarding Rozanov's associations with apocalypticism, Ure lays emphasis on this unique figure's abiding commitment to the vitality and dynamism of the human spirit. This enables him to restore Rozanov to his rightful place of prominence in the rich canon of Russian heretical thought. Ure's achievement will be of compelling interest to scholars and students of European literature, religious philosophy and intellectual history alike."
- Stephen Hutchings, Professor of Russian Studies, University of Manchester
Adam completed his PhD at UCL SSEES in May 2009.
More details of the book
Friday 7 October 2011
Congratulations to SSEES cataloguer, Vladimir Smith-Mesa, who was awarded his PhD last week for his thesis, "KinoCuban: The Significance of Soviet and East European Cinemas for the Cuban Moving Image". His supervisors were Phil Cavendish (UCL SSEES) and Professor Stephen Hart (UCL Hispanic Studies).
As part of his PhD research, in 2007 Vladimir founded the UCL Festival of the Moving Image to give film students at UCL the opportunity to premiere their works at the UCL Bloomsbury Theatre. Vladimir hopes that it will help UCL "become one of the leading university events for the exhibition, interpretation and study of audiovisual culture".
About the Festival
Vladimir's Biographical Details
The text of Vladimir's thesis will appear at UCL Discovery (e-prints) in due course.
BURSARY FROM VICE-PROVOST'S OFFICE
Congratulations also to Richard Mole who was awarded a fact-finding Teaching and Learning bursary from the office of Vice-Provost Professor Michael Worton. The bursary will fund a trip to George Mason University, Virginia, USA.
Monday 26 September 2011
NEW CEELBAS LANGUAGE REPOSITORY
The Centre for East European Language-Based Area Studies (CEELBAS) has developed a new digital repository of teaching and self-study materials for Slavonic and East European languages. The materials are designed specifically to meet the needs of postgraduate students who need language skills for fieldwork and archive research. There are already over 30 sets of materials in the Repository - with more forthcoming - covering 12 languages and also including fieldwork guides, articles and presentations on Slavonic linguistics, and guides to materials development. Curated by UCL Digital Collections, this open-access repository has been developed by CEELBAS as a major national and international resource to support language training for social sciences and humanities research on Central and Eastern Europe and Russia.
Browse the Repository
NEW PUBLICATIONS AT SSEES
MOSCOW PRIME TIME: HOW THE SOVIET UNION BUILT THE MEDIA EMPIRE THAT LOST THE CULTURAL COLD WAR
by Kristin Roth-Ey (UCL SSEES). Published by Cornell University Press. ISBN 978-0-8014-4874-4.
When Nikita Khrushchev visited Hollywood in 1959 only to be scandalised by a group of scantily clad actresses, his message was blunt: Soviet culture would soon consign the mass culture of the West, epitomised by Hollywood to the "dustbin of history". In Moscow Prime Time, a portrait of the Soviet broadcasting and film industries and of everyday Soviet consumers from the end of World War II through the 1970s, Kristin Roth-Ey shows us how and why Khruschev's ambitious vision ultimately failed to materialise.
Roth-Ey shows a Soviet media empire transformed from within in the postwar era. The result, she finds, was something dynamic and volatile: a new Soviet culture, with its centre of gravity shifted from the lecture hall to the living room, and a new brand of culture experience, at once personal, immediate and eclectic - a new Soviet culture increasingly similar, in fact, to that of its self-defined enemy, the mass culture of the West. Moscow Prime Time is the first book to untangle the paradoxes of Soviet success and failure in the postwar media age.
PERPETUAL MOTION? TRANSFORMATION AND TRANSITION IN CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE AND RUSSIA
edited by Tul'si Bhambry, Clare Griffin, Titus Hjelm, Christopher Nicholson and Olga G. Voronina. Published by UCL SSEES. ISBN 978-0-903425-85-8. Studies in Russia and Eastern Europe Series no.8
This volume is a collection of some of the papers delivered at the 9th International Postgraduate Conference held at SSEES February 2009. In the introduction the editors state that they share with the authors "a keen interest in the conceptualisation of Central and Eastern Europe. Space...is not only geographical and physical, but fundamentally cultural. The construction of regions in the minds of Europeans is something that historians have devoted attention to in the last few decades."
The aim of the volume is to present Eastern Europe "not merely as a place, but also as a process. Our aim, however, is to show that this process continues to evolve, and that rather than undergoing change passively, the region articulates its own voices, establishing intellectual boundaries and reinventing tradition."
The book is available on e-prints at: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/1322705/
Wednesday 14 September 2011
NEW PUBLICATION: CitiesMethodologies | Bucharest
Ger Duijzings published the catalogue of the CitiesMethodologies exhibition and workshop which was held in Bucharest during October-November 2010. It was co-edited with Simona Dumitriu and Aurora Király who collaborated with Ger Duijzings in curating the event.
CitiesMethodologies | Bucharest
Thursday 25 August 2011
SSEES RESEARCH STUDENT AWARDED AHRC LIBRARY OF CONGRESS FELLOWSHIP
Congratulations to SSEES research student, Benny Morgan, who has won an award for an AHRC Library of Congress Fellowship in Washington DC.
The Library of Congress Scholarship is a prestigious scheme run jointly between the AHRC and the ESRC. The scheme offers the chance for AHRC/ESRC funded doctoral students, postdoctoral fellows and research assistants to access the internationally renowned research collection at the Library of Congress. The collection contains over 142 million items on 650 miles of bookshelves and 10,000 new items are added each day. Successful applicants for the award have researched topics as diverse as the Roman Empire; the Conservative Party and the Extreme Right; Investments and Human Rights and Exploring of Physicality and Virtuosity in the Concertos of Kaija Saariaho and Magnus Lindberg.
Benny is researching the topic, 'Towards a poetics of European expatriation: Turgenev and Ford Madox Ford' for his PhD thesis. He will be staying in Washington DC for five months.
Monday 22 August 2011
Congratulations to Wendy Bracewell and Svetlana Makarova. Wendy Bracewell has been promoted to Professor and Svetlana Makarova to Senior Lecturer.
Wendy Bracewell is a historian working on the social and cultural history of the Balkans and eastern Europe. She started out writing on the early modern frontiers between the Habsburg, Venetian and Ottoman empires in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries; her main work on this subject, The Uskoks of Senj: Piracy, Banditry and Holy War in the Sixteenth-Century Adriatic (Ithaca, N.Y, 1992), has been translated into Croatian and Turkish. More recently, she has been exploring the ways that east Europeans have written about Europe and 'the West' in travel accounts and how, in the process, they have made sense of their own and their societies' place in the world. She directed a large AHRC research project on the subject, the results of which have been published in a three-volume set, East Looks West (Budapest, 2008-2009), and an additional volume, Balkan Departures: Travel Writing from Southeastern Europe (Oxford, 2009), edited together with Alex Drace-Francis. She will return to SSEES in 2011-12 after completing a two-year Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship, which she spent doing research on east European travel writing and, in particular, on travel polemics in the eighteenth century Republic of Letters.
Svetlana Makarova joined UCL SSEES in September 2007 from the Department of Economics of the European University of St Petersburg. Between September 2004-2007 she was a part-time Senior Researcher at the National Bank of Poland and also delivered various courses in time series econometrics for postgraduate students at Warsaw University. The policy-oriented part of her research is in modelling inflation and timing of monetary policies under inflation targeting. Her theoretically oriented fields of experience are in the nonlinear and nonstationary modelling of economic time series. Svetlana is currently working on an INTAS project, focusing on inter-country East European modelling, in which she collaborates with scholars from Poland, Russia, Ukraine and the UK.
AUDIO FOR BEYOND THE OLD AND NEW EUROPE
Audio links from the inaugural Central European Symposium, 'Beyond the Old and New Europe', held at UCL on the 2nd June, 2011:
Wednesday 28 June 2011
JANTAR PUBLISHING LAUNCHED AT SSEES
After collecting unpublished English translations of Czech and Slovak literary texts for a considerable amount of time, former SSEES students, Michael Tate and Jan Barker have set up a publishing company, Jantar Publishing, with a plan to publish "anything worthy in any language used in 'The Other Europe'" that is, Central and Eastern Europe. These will be texts that mainstream publishers chose not to attempt. Michael and Jan are busy developing contacts for titles beyond the former Czechoslovakia as well as distribution, reviews and subsidies for new translations.
The first two books, both translated by David Short (UCL SSEES), The Angel Maker by Michal Mares and Prague, I See a City by Daniela Hodrová were launched at SSEES in June this year.
Lenka Barker, David Short, Jan Barker, Michael Tate, Peter Zusi, Rajendra Chitnis at the launch of Jantar Publishing.
More Details of Jantar Publishing
(POST) YUGOSLAV FILM FESTIVAL AT UCL SSEES
To commemorate the great Yugoslav actor Bekim Fehmiu, UCL SSEES and the UCL European Institute organised a two-day festival in June of (post) Yugoslav cinema. Audiences were able to discover why Yugoslavia had one of Europe's largest and most successful film industries and how it was related to the state and its tragic collapse.
Friday 24 June 2011
On the last day of term, SSEES bid farewell to three academics who are retiring from SSEES at the end of this academic year - Professors Dennis Deletant, George Kolankiewicz and David Short who between them have a total of 92 years at the School. We wish them all good luck and best wishes for the future.
Dennis will be taking up a post at Georgetown University, Washington DC in the autumn as 'Visiting Professor and Ion Ratiu Professor in Romanian Studies'.
(L-R): Dennis Deletant, Andrea Deletant, David Short, Danusia Kolankiewicz, George Kolankiewciz, Robin Aizlewood.
Thursday 16 June 2011
POLISH RESETTLEMENT CAMPS IN PICTURES
During the course of her research into Polish migration history Agata Blaszczyk-Sawyer amassed more than 1,000 photographs depicting the everyday experience of the Polish resettlement camps in the UK at the end of the Second World War. The photographs formed the basis of an exhibition and presentation at UCL SSEES during the Spring term at which many of the guests were the children who had been part of that experience. The photograph exhibition is now showing at the Polish Centre - POSK - at 238-246 King Street, London W6 0RF.
A Recording of the Talk
Photo © Iwona Kadłuczka
FIFTH AEGIS CONFERENCE HELD AT SSEES
The fifth AEGIS Conference on "Advancing Knowledge Intensive Entrepreneurship and Innovation for Economic Growth and Social Well-Being in Europe" was held at SSEES on 6-7 June 2011.
AEGIS is an EU-funded large scale integrated project with more than 20 partners which explores the relationships between knowledge-intensive entrepreneurship, innovation and economic growth in EU in a comparative perspective. The aim of the project is to analyse knowledge-intensive entrepreneurship and innovation as well as policies from a variety of disciplines and research methodologies such as economics, organisation theory, strategic management, finance, economic history, economic geography, sociology, science and technology studies, and policy studies.
SSEES is one of the main partners and is involved in research in several work packages, particularly on the Central and Eastern European countries. For details of the partners see: http://www.aegis-fp7.eu/.
Tuesday 7 June 2011
CENTRAL EUROPEAN SYMPOSIUM
On 2 June UCL SSEES hosted the inaugural Central European Symposium in collaboration with the embassies of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia. The keynote speech was delivered by Dr Jan Fischer of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and high profile speakers on the three panels and a large audience all contributed to the success of the event. The speeches will be posted on the SSEES website shortly.
Right: Dr Jan Fischer delivers the keynote speech, "Europe: What about its Future?"
(Photo: © Jolly Thompson)
Details of the speakers
More photographs of the event © Jolly Thompson
Monday 6 June 2011
Congratulations to Gonzalo Pozo-Martin who was awarded his PhD this week for his thesis entitled "Russian Foreign Policy towards NATO since 1991: A Marxist Contribution to Contemporary Geopolitical Rivalries". His principal supervisor was Pete Duncan.
W CIENIU DRZEWA. WIERSZE
by Katarzyna Zechenter
Published by Wydawnictwo Austeria, Kraków.Budapeszt 2011.
A book of poems on the theme of spiritual aloneness and solitude by UCL SSEES Lecturer in Polish Literature, Katarzyna Zechenter. The volume will be launched at SSEES in the autumn.
Friday 27 May 2011
Novi List, an independent newspaper in Rijeka, Croatia, interviewed Eric Gordy under the title, "Crimes can no longer be denied". Eric was there and in Zagreb to deliver a lecture on "International Tribunals: What Are They Good For?" which will be the topic of a book that he is working on. Eric was also interviewed by the Zagreb weekly, Nacional.
Sergei Bogatyrev has contributed an essay about 'Ivan the Terrible, His Men and His Women' to the programme brochure for The Royal Opera's new production of Rimsky-Korsakov's The Tsar's Bride at Covent Garden.
Thursday 19 May 2011
MAPPING ST PETERSBURG
Mapping St Petersburg: Experiments in Literary Cartography, the website for a new Digital Humanities project being developed by Dr Sarah Young, has been launched at www.mappingpetersburg.org. It aims to produce visualizations of Petersburg literature to analyse the interaction of text and place and interrogate the relationship between the real and the imagined city. The pilot project, generously funded by SSEES Research Support for 2010, tests approaches to mapping Crime and Punishment, but also lays the groundwork for mapping historical data. This is the first stage of a larger project and we are currently making plans about how to take it forward. If you are interested in joining the project, or have any comments or suggestions, please contact Sarah Young at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friday 13 May 2011
UCL SSEES Library is very pleased to announce that almost all the library's content digitised under the EU-funded project "EuropeanaTravel" is now available for users in the UCL Digital Collections service. Just follow the link at www.ssees.ucl.ac.uk/library to find nearly 400 digitised books, 200 digitised maps and numerous images from our archives and special collections. There are tools available on the service to zoom in to the maps so they can be viewed in great detail, and there are three different methods for viewing the books including a page turner. Some of the images are also available in a new virtual exhibtion hosted by the European Library under the title "Travelling Through History". This can be found at www.theeuropeanlibrary.org. We hope you will experiment with the service and let us have any comments, and that the images will be useful for both teaching and research.
NATIONAL STUDENT SURVEY 2010-11
The National Student Survey 2010-11 has now closed. The rate of return from SSEES students reached 59.32% (105 out of a potential total of 177). This is a great improvement on previous return rates, and when the full report is published, will provide SSEES with feedback that helps us maintain a high quality experience for our students. The Director would like to thank all staff who helped highlight to their students the importance of participating in the Survey.
Congratulations to Sergei Bogatyrev who has been appointed an editor-in-chief for Brill's series Eurasian Studies Library. Brill is now seeking manuscripts for this series, which publishes historical, socio-cultural, and political studies stretching from Eastern Europe to East Asia with the emphasis on cross-cultural encounter, empires and colonialism, gender and nationalities issues, various forms of Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and other religions from the Middle Ages to the end of the Soviet Union. Enquires and proposals can be addressed to Sergei. See: http://www.brill.nl/publications/eurasian-studies-library
Congratulations to Raluca Musat who successfully defended her PhD thesis entitled,
'Sociologists and the Transformation of the Peasantry in Romania, 1925-1940'. Her supervisors were Wendy Bracewell and Dennis Deletant.
Congratulations to Claire Shaw who has been appointed Lecturer in Russian at Bristol University and Uilleam Blacker who has been made a Fellow of Wolfson College, Cambridge. Both Claire and Uilleam completed their PhDs at UCL SSEES.
Friday 6 May 2011
The application for continuation of Erasmus Mundus funding for IMESS 2012-17 was submitted on Thursday 28 April. The original IMESS consortium of UCL, Charles, Corvinus, Helsinki and Jagiellonian was joined by HSE, Moscow in 2009, and now Belgrade has joined in 2011. For this bid IMESS has also been joined by 11 Associate Partners from outside Higher Education, including the EBRD, Transparency International and the British Library.
Congratulations to Zlatko Nikoloski who was awarded his PhD at the end of March for his thesis, 'Institutions, Economic Crises and Well-Being'. Zlatko was jointly supervised by Tomasz Mickiewicz and Chris Gerry.
Friday 25 March 2011
SSEES ALUMNA HONOURED FOR CONTRIBUTION TO CZECHOSLOVAK MILITARY HISTORY
Cechoslovakista Rudolf Medek. Politický životopis (Czechoslovakist Rudolf
Medek - A Political Biography), a new book by Katya Kocourek (SSEES
graduate), was launched on 15 March 2011 at the Military Historical
Institute (VHÚ) in Prague. The book is based on part of the doctoral
dissertation Katya wrote at SSEES. The Director of the VHÚ, Colonel Aleš
Knížek, officially 'christened' the book with Rudolf Medek's sword from the
Czechoslovak Legions in Russia during the Great War. During the ceremony Dr
Kocourek was presented with a special commemorative medal named after
General Medek for her contribution to Czechoslovak military history. Petr
Pithart, the deputy chairman of the upper house of the Czech Parliament (the
Senate), wrote the introduction to the book.
There are more details (in Czech) at the Military History Institute's
Wednesday 23 March 2011
SSEES ACADEMIC ON RUSSIAN HUMOR ON BBC RADIO 4
Last Friday SSEES Lecturer in Russian, Seth Graham, explained Russian humour on BBC Radio Four's Today programme. Seth is the author of Resonant Dissonance: The Russian Joke in Cultural Context, the first in-depth study in English of the cultural significance and generic specificity of the Russo-Soviet anekdot, or oral joke.
Friday 18 March 2011
David Short has been long-listed for The Independent Foreign Fiction Prize 2011 for his translation from Czech to English of Gargling with Tar by Jachym Topol, published by Portobello Books. The Prize honours the best work of fiction by a living author, which has been translated into English from any other language and published in the UK during 2010. Uniquely, the Prize gives the winning author and translator equal status - each receives £5,000. Inaugurated by The Independent newspaper, administration of the prize has been taken over by Booktrust.
Tuesday 15 March 2011
VISIT OF BULGARIAN MINISTER
The Director welcomed the Minister of Education of Bulgarian, Sergei Ignatov to SSEES on 10 March. Discussion focused on the invaluable role of the Bulgarian Lecturer post at SSEES, which is supported by the Ministry, an on ways in which the presence of Bulgarian studies at UCL-SSEES could be developed further.
Left: Bulgarian Minister of Education, Sergei Ignatov, signs the visitor's book.
Excerpt from an interview with the Minister, touching on his views on education reform in Bulgaria and on UCL-SSEES.
Friday 4 March 2011
SSEES RESEARCH STUDENT INTERVIEWED BY BBC1
On Wednesday this week, SSEES research student, Agata Blaszczyk-Sawyer, was interviewed for the BBC1 programme, Heir Hunters. Agata was commenting on the Polish resettlement camps established in Britain at the end of the Second World War. The programme can be viewed at:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00z8j9y/Heir_Hunters_Series_5_Coleman_Dynak/ until 21 March.
Coincidentally, this is the same day as the talk and photographic exhibition being hosted here at SSEES.
See: http://www.ssees.ucl.ac.uk/polishcamps.htm for more details.
Tuesday 15 February 2011
BOOK LAUNCH: BULGARIA AND EUROPE: SHIFTING IDENTITIES
On 2 February the School hosted a book launch of Bulgaria and Europe: Shifting Identities, a volume edited by former SSEES research student, Stefanos Katsikas. A panel of three speakers, Professor Galin Tihanov (Manchester), Dr Eugenia Markova (London Metropolitan) and Dr Vesselin Dimitrov (LSE) was chaired by SSEES Lecturer in Bulgarian Studies, Ognyan Kovachev. Also in attendance was HE Lyubomir Kyuchukov, Bulgarian Ambassador to the UK, who made the concluding remarks.
The volume aims to examine how Bulgarian historiography and literature over the centuries have created different conceptions of Europe and in the process, shaped the country's own shifting identity. It also provides the broader cultural context and historical perspective required in order to understand the country's EU accession process as well as its aftermath. The work ultimately addresses what has arguably been the key question facing Bulgaria in the post-Cold War period: "Are we European?"
Stefanos Katsikas was awarded his PhD in International Relations at UCL SSEES. His supervisor was Pete Duncan.
Monday 14 February 2011
ROUNDTABLE ON THE 90th ANNIVERSARY OF ESTONIAN AND LATVIAN de jure INDEPENDENCE
On Monday 7 February SSEES hosted a roundtable to mark the 90th anniversary of the de jure recognition of Estonian and Latvian independence on 26 January 1921. Professors Jon Hiden and Geoffrey Swain of Glasgow University opened the event by examining the events leading up to international recognition and the role played by the United Kingdom. Professor David Smith, also of Glasgow University, went on to discuss the reorientation of the Baltic economies and the two states' efforts to attain guarantees of security during the 1920s and early 1930s. He was followed by Richard Mole, whose presentation looked at the significance of the legal continuity of Estonia's independent statehood throughout the period of Soviet occupation for the direction and outcome of the Estonian-Russian border negotiations after 1991.
© Zigrida Daskevica
The event was rounded off by Allan Sikk's presentation on the similarities and differences between the Latvian party systems of today and the inter-war period.
The roundtable was attended by the Ambassadors of Estonia, Ms Aino Lepik von Wirén, and Latvia, Mr Eduards Stiprais, members of the Estonian and Latvian communities in London and former British Home Secretary, Charles Clarke.
Thursday 3 February 2011
HE PÁL SCHMITT AT UCL
On 17 January SSEES hosted a visit to UCL by the Hungarian President, HE Pál Schmitt, who was in London touring European capitals as Hungary took over the presidency of the European Union.
At a meeting with the Provost, the President said that one of his missions as President was to promote the Hungarian language and to support lifelong learning. He also spoke about the challenges and opportunities young people have today in developing language skills, in an era of the internet and the global spread of English.
The meeting was also attended by members of the President's team and, on the UCL side, by the Vice-Provost, Professor Michael Worton, Sir John Birch, Chair of SSEES Advisory Board and former UK ambassador to Hungary, as well as SSEES Director Robin Aizlewood. Professor Worton picked up the theme of language skills and told the President about UCL's new policy for all students joining the university to have a language GCSE, while Robin Aizlewood was able to let the President know how Hungarian studies at UCL is currently flourishing. The President also spoke, as a former Olympic fencing champion, of his concern that more Europeans should practise sport.
HE President Pál Schmitt with IMESS and research students at SSEES
President Schmitt moved to the SSEES building where he met UCL staff and students, including PhD students and those of the International Masters degree, IMESS, who are studying Hungarian and will be going to Budapest next year. He expanded on the themes of the importance of language, the challenges of the modern digital world and sport, quoting the Olympic motto, "Faster, Higher, Stronger".
President Schmitt was pleased to hear that the focus of one lecturer was Hungarians living outside Hungary.
The President opened the floor to the students who commented that learning the language in Hungary was made easier thanks to the attitude of teachers and the general public, who were both helpful and encouraging and provided a better environment for learning than many other European countries.
Following the visit, President Schmitt left for the Houses of Parliament where he held meetings with ministers.
Friday 21 January 2011
Congratulations to Polly Jones, Lecturer in Russian, who has been awarded a Fellowship at the Davis Center for Historical Studies, Princeton University. The center's research theme for the year is 'Authority and Legitimation', and Polly's research monograph project within that theme is 'Burying Stalin: The Soviet Union between Past and Future, 1953-91', to be published by Oxford University Press.
Congratulations to Uilleam Blacker who has successfully defended his PhD thesis, "Representations of Space in Contemporary Ukrainian Literature". Uilleam held an AHRC doctoral award and is currently Post-doctoral Research Associate on the 'Memory at War' Project at the University of Cambridge. His supervisor was Tim Beasley-Murray.
Friday 14 January 2011
WELCOME TO SSEES
Welcome to Dr Jaak Tomberg, Estonian Visiting Scholar, who will be with us until the end of March. Jaak's research field is social sciences and culture, linguistics and literature. His research project at SSEES will be East European Science Fictional Space.
Congratulations to Claire Shaw, who successfully defended her PhD thesis, 'Deaf in the USSR: "Defect" and the New Soviet Person, 1917-1991'. Claire held an AHRC doctoral award and is currently a Past and Present Society Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Institute of Historical Research. Claire's supervisor was Susan Morrissey.
Congratulations also to Zbigniew Wojnowski, who successfully defended his PhD thesis, 'Patriotism and the Soviet Empire: Ukraine Views the Socialist States of Eastern Europe, 1956-1985'. Zbig held an AHRC doctoral award and is currently Teaching Fellow in Late Modern History at the University of St. Andrews. His supervisor was Susan Morrissey.
The Library is pleased to welcome Toby Reynolds to the staff, in the role of Acting User Services Librarian. Toby will be covering most of Gill Long's duties while Gill is on maternity leave and he is based in her old office (Room 114).
Friday 7 January 2011
Congratulations to Chris Gerry for his successful application to run a three year Regional Seminar for Excellence in Teaching Health Economics, funded by the Open Society Foundations (http://www.soros.org/) The project is being led by Chris in partnership with the European University St Petersburg with Yulia Vymyatnina.
Congratulations to former SSEES student Dr Mary Hobson who, following the award of the Pushkin prize for translation in 1999, was awarded the Russian Peredvizhnik prize for translation in 2009.
Monday 29 November 2010
Last month SSEES Reader in the Anthropology of Eastern Europe, Ger Duijzings, together with local partners in Bucharest, organised the first edition of CitiesMethodologies|Bucharest, an exhibition with workshops focusing on new and innovative methodologies in urban research. Following two previous editions at UCL in 2009 and 2010, this was the first to take place abroad. Among the participants were leading Romanian, British, Dutch and German visual artists and film-makers, - Phil Collins, Iosif Király, Călin Dan, Irina Botea, Mircea Nicolae, Alexandru Solomon, Margareta Kern, Anthony Luvera, Eva Weber - as well as Romanian architects, urbanists, and urban anthropologists.
Partners in the project were the National University of the Arts in Bucharest, Galeria Nouă, the Association for Urban Transition and the New Europe College. The event was funded by the Romanian Culture Fund (AFCN), the UCL Urban Laboratory, New Europe College, the Polish Institute Bucharest, Goethe Institut Bucharest, the Netherlands Embassy in Bucharest, as well as London-in-Motion.
The concept for CitiesMethodologies|Bucharest was taken from the first edition of CitiesMethodologies organised and curated by Ger Duijzings and John Aiken in London in May in the Research Centre of the UCL Slade School of Fine Art.
For more information and photos see: http://citiesmethodologies.wordpress.com/
Friday 26 November 2010
NOWHERE AT HOME - EAST EUROPEAN ROMA, FROM DISCRIMINATION TO EXPULSIONS
Last Friday the Romanian-Moldovan Studies Group at SSEES held a roundtable discussion, "Nowhere at Home - East European Roma, From Discrimination to Expulsions", which attracted around 70 people, among whom was the producer of BBC Radio 4's "Five O'Clock" News programme. Interviews with both speakers were taped and due credit was given to SSEES and UCL when these were broadcast over the weekend.
In his introductory remarks Chairman Dennis Deletant (UCL SSEES) stated that Home Office estimates put the number of Roma in the UK at present at between 25,000-60,000 and that this number was likely to rise after the lifting of labour restrictions upon Romanians (and therefore Romanian Roma) in December 2011.
In a Powerpoint presentation, Dr Aidan Mcgarry of the University of Brighton, reviewed the relevant EU legislation which affects the situation and treatment of the Roma by member states. He focussed upon the issues arising from the migration of Roma to Italy, Spain and France and their expulsion from France, pointing out that there were 400,000 Roma in that country. Of the 150,000 Roma in Italy, 50% are Italian citizens.
Dr Dan Oprescu of the Romanian Government's National Agency for the Roma, making it clear that he was speaking in a private capacity, argued that for some 20 years there had been several attempts throughout Central and Eastern Europe to design and implement public policies on the Roma. The pressure for action had come from international institutions and agencies and was driven by a concern to alleviate the situation of Roma in a short space of time. The emphasis, he claimed, had been on speed, to the detriment of consistency and practicality of the policies adopted.
Both speakers agreed that an emphasis upon education of the public throughout Europe on the tragic history of the Roma, and a willingness on the part of the Roma to recognise that alongside respect for their human rights, a corresponding responsibility of duty towards the host state, were essential elements in finding a solution to the their plight.
Without the initiative and enterprise of Raul Carstocea (SSEES) and Dan Brett (Open University) the roundtable would not have been the instructive and lively academic event that it was.
Wednesday 24 November 2010
On 17 November SSEES Lecturer in Modern South East European History, Bojan Aleksov, delivered the UCL Lunch Hour Lecture on, "Who or What Killed Franz Ferdinand?".
It is available for viewing online on theYouTube channel at: http://www.youtube.com/user/UCLLHL?feature=mhum#p/c/02FB95682C65FD62/8/XDVBoPzvvcg
It is also on UCL's LHL website at: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/lhl/lhlpub_autumn10/09_16112010
Friday 19 November 2010
Congratulations to Svetlana Makarova who has secured funding jointly with the University of Leicester and University Lille-3, France for a collaborative project, "Probabilistic Approach to Assessing Aacroeconomic Uncertainties (PRAM)". The duration of the project is three years and the amount awarded to SSEES is £200,000. The grant was awarded by the ESRC/ORA.
Congratulations to Barbara Madaj who successfully defended her thesis, 'The Migration of Medical Doctors from Poland to the United Kingdom Following the Expansion of the European Union in May 2004'. Barbara's supervisor was George Kolankiewicz.
Thursday 18 November 2010
On 11 November, Bojan Aleksov participated in the promotion of his book Nazareni među Srbima in Belgrade, Serbia. The extended version of his earlier book Religious Dissent between the Modern and the National, Nazarenes in Hungary and Serbia 1850-1914, (Harrassowitz, 2006) was published by Serbia's biggest publishing house, Zavod za udžbenike and promoted by distinguished Serbian historians, Professors Ljubinka Trgovčević, Slobodan G. Marković and Radmila Radić. The event in Belgrade was attended by around 100 people and raised considerable interest in the media that stressed that Bojan, who began his studies in Serbia, now lectured at UCL SSEES in London.
Friday 12 November 2010
EVENTS FOR TEACHERS OF POLISH IN THE UK
SSEES hosted teacher training events over two days - 30 and 31 October - the aim of which was to facilitate cooperation between Polish and British educators and to enhance the teaching of Polish in British schools. Schools, both mainstream and supplementary, from across England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland were represented. The workshops on Saturday focussed on enhancing language skills, such as vocabulary building, composition skills and reading comprehension. Chief examiners for Polish GCSE and A-Levels delivered sessions in which they presented their analysis of exam results, and advised on new changes to the syllabi. The workshop on Sunday, which was delivered by Dr Liliana Madelska, focussed on the challenges exhibited by phonological awareness as it evolves in a multilingual environment.
The events were organised by Dorota Hołowiak and received support from the Polish Consulate in the UK and the UCL Departmental Initiative Fund. The Saturday workshops were held in association with the Polish Education Society. Materials from the sessions and useful links are available on UCL Moodle (http://moodle.ucl.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=11869), through the 'login as a guest' option.
Saturday 6 November 2010
COLOURING THE INVISIBLE
Despite the inconveniences of the Tube strike, there was a good turnout in the SSEES foyer on Wednesday to hear Baroness Coussins, UCL Provost Malcolm Grant and Vice-Provost Michael Worton speak to the theme of languages against the background of the art installation in the atrium. Addressing the audience of Ambassadors, Cultural Attachés, representatives of the FCO, HEFCE, European Commission and others, Baroness Coussins said that UCL and SSEES were a beacon in the field of modern languages.
The display in the glass atrium is an art installation by postgraduate student at UCL Slade School of Fine Art, Julia Vogl. Entitled, "Colouring the Invisible", the installation is a visual representation of the languages spoken by the SSEES community - staff, students, library users and visitors. Language has been made visible in the glass atrium using 75 metres of translucent vinyl that coat 150 windows in different colours, from the ground floor to the roof, creating a memorable event and provoking a discussion on language as identity.
For her research, Julia surveyed 450 people who walked through the doors of SSEES and identified themselves as fluent in 53 languages. Languages were 'translated' into individual colours, (17 most frequent languages) with one colour being assigned to 'Other'.
Intended to be on display for two weeks, the art installation has now been extended to the end of this term.
Friday 29 October 2010
Congratulations to SSEES Director, Robin Aizlewood, who has accepted an Honorary Fellowship of the Chartered Institute of Linguists. In making the offer, the Council of the Institute said it was in recognition of his contribution to promoting the learning and use of modern languages.
Congratulations to Eugenie Markesinis who was awarded her PhD earlier this year. The title of her thesis was "Andrei Siniavskii: A Hero of His Time?" Eugenie was supervised by Jane Grayson.
SSEES, in collaboration with the University of Glasgow, has been successful in securing funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) of £10,941 for a project "Connecting Communities via Language: Reading Strategies and Translation Skills for Post-Intermediate Learners of Polish". The award will be used to offer a series of workshops for PhD students who require specialised reading competence for authentic sources and advanced archive researching skills. The workshops will be organised by Dorota Hołowiak (UCL SSEES) and Dr Elwira Grossman (University of Glasgow).
Congratulations to James Henderson who successfully defended his thesis: "The Impact of Local Knowledge on Bargaining between Domestic and Foreign Partners in a Weak State Environment". James was supervised by Slavo Radošević.
Thursday 7 October 2010
REAPPOINTMENT OF SSEES DIRECTOR
The Provost has announced the reappointment of Robin Aizlewood as Director for a further three years until 31 August 2014. The Provost has said that he "is especially grateful to Dr Aizlewood for agreeing to continue in the role of Director and for his leadership of SSEES since 2006".
WELCOME TO SSEES
Welcome to Louise Botley, Deputy Assistant Director, and to Rachel Quarmby, General Assistant in the Director's Office. Welcome also to: Dr Thomas Lorman, Teaching Fellow in Modern Central European History; Dr Zsuzsanna Varga, Research Assistant and Dr Ivana Vrtić, Croatian Lector.
WELCOME TO NEW STUDENTS
With an unusually take up of offers at BA level, SSEES has a large and excellent intake of new undergraduate students (220), and has maintained its remarkable intake at Master's level (150), double that of four years ago. A special welcome to the 100 new students from outside the UK and EU. The particular good news story this year is the intake of more than 20 new PhD students, double last year's intake. Congratulations to all involved in admissions across the board.
INDUCTION WEEK AND WELCOME FROM UCL SSEES DIRECTOR
As you know, SSEES is one of the world's leading specialist institutions, and the largest national centre in the UK, for the study of Central, Eastern and South-East Europe and Russia. This year we are welcoming some 220 new undergraduate students and 150 new postgraduate students, and I hope and trust that you will enjoy your study with us. Welcome also to all returning students.
For information on the programme for the first week of term, Induction Week, 27 September - 1 October, please follow the link for your degree below.
Friday 17 September 2010
THE TIES THAT BIND
On the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, a Symposium commemorating the establishment in Britain of the Central European governments-in-exile was organised by the Czech, Slovak and Polish ambassadors and the UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES).
Held jointly at both the Czech and Slovak embassies, a capacity audience heard keynote speaker, former US Secretary of State, Dr Madeleine Albright, recount her impressions as a young child in London during the Blitz when her father was part of the Czechoslovak government-in-exile. Dr Albright shared the insights and values - freedom, democracy, partnership and human decency - gained from her experience in the international arena over many years and emphasised their continuing importance for the increasingly complex problems facing the world today.
In his opening remarks on behalf of Provost Professor Malcolm Grant, the Director of SSEES, Robin Aizlewood, drew attention to the key role played by UCL in academic interaction between the UK and the countries of Central Europe, not least in seeking new ways of developing this interaction. He referred to the Visiting Research Fellowship for scholars from the region; the prestigious Erasmus Mundus supported international Master's programme led by UCL SSEES and the keynote speech at UCL by Slovak Prime Minister, Dr Robert Fico last November on the 20th anniversary of 1989.
It was hoped that this Symposium would be the first in a biennial Central European Symposium to be hosted at UCL, similar to the Symposium for the Baltic countries which has run very successfully since 2004.
Other speakers included Alexandr Vondra, Minister of Defence of the Czech Republic, HE Michael Žantovský, Czech Ambassador to the UK; Greg Hands MP, PPS to the Chancellor of the Exchequer; Professor Robert Pynsent (UCL SSEES); Professor Richard Overy (Exeter); Professor Anita Prazmowska (LSE) and Professor Vojtěch Mastný (Washington).
Dr Muriel Blaive, Prof Jiří Pribáň, HE Michael Žantovský and Dr Madeleine Albright
Thursday 2 September 2010
Congratulations to Richard Mole - Senior Lecturer in Political Sociology
Richard Mole is a political sociologist working on the relationship between identity and power, with particular reference to ethnicity, nationality, gender and sexuality in the Baltic States. He started out conducting research on nationality and citizenship in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania at the Baltic States Research Unit of the University of Cambridge, before shifting his focus to the impact of national identity on the foreign policies of the Baltic States, which was the subject of his doctorate at the London School of Economics. During his Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship at UCL, he developed an interest in the study of discourse, which culminated in the publication of an edited volume on Discursive Constructions of Identity in European Politics (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2007). His monograph entitled The Baltic States from the Soviet Union to the European Union will be published by Routledge in 2011. He is a founder member of the UK Baltic Study Group and the UCL Nordic/Baltic Research Group. He has had articles published in the European Journal of Social Psychology, Nations and Nationalism, Journal of Baltic Studies and Sexually Transmitted Infections, the latter resulting from research conducted as part of a large, interdisciplinary project funded by the UK Medical Research Council. In 2009 Richard received a Provost's Teaching Award in recognition for his work in setting up, with his colleague Chris Gerry, the Erasmus Mundus International Master's in Economy, State and Society, of which he is currently Programme Director.
Congratulations to Felix Ciută - Senior Lecturer in International Relations
Felix Ciută joined UCL SSEES in 2002. Between 2004 and 2008 he was Director of the SSEES Centre for European Politics, Security and Integration, and convener of the SSEES Guest Lecture Series. A theorist by inclination, Felix conducts research in several areas of International Relations and Security Studies, drawing very broadly on hermeneutics and narrative theory.
He has recently published work on securitisation theory, the concept of energy security, and the critical geopolitics of the 'New Cold War'. His latest research adventure is an attempt to develop a project analysing the interaction between IR theory and popular culture, with a focus on strategy video games. Felix is a member of the Editorial Board of European Security, and was a Visiting Fellow of the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at the Johns Hopkins University in Washington, DC (2010).
Monday 12 July 2010
SSEES GRADUATE AT THE HELLENIC CENTRE FOR EUROPEAN STUDIES
Congratulations to SSEES graduate, Jelena Radoman, Research Fellow with the Belgrade Centre for Civil-Military Relations, who has joined the Hellenic Centre for European Studies (EKEM) as a Visiting Researcher during the summer months.
Jelena's participation at EKEM constitutes a key part of the Centre's collaboration with the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. During her stay in Athens, Jelena will focus on how post-conflict, transition states respond to the challenges of democratisation and integration to Western institutions. Jelena is supported by the European Fund for the Balkans.
EKEM was founded in 1988 as an independent research centre and its main objective is the study, research and debate of European and international affairs.
Wednesday 23 June 2010
On 16 June, the Australian National ABC Radio broadcasted a programme
discussing the Polish presidential elections (first round: 20 June, second
round: 4 July). The discussants included Professor Janine Wedel and
Bronisław Misztal (United States), Andrzej Rychard (Poland) and Tomasz
Mickiewicz (UCL SSEES) who discussed the economic aspects of the elections.
Wednesday 16 June 2010
COLLOQUIUM ON THE POLISH-LITHUANIAN COMMONWEALTH
On 11 June the intercollegiate Forum on Early Modern Central Europe, hosted by the Centre for the Study of Central Europe at SSEES, held a colloquium on 'The Political Values of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (1569-1795)'. The three principal speakers were Professors Jolanta Choińska-Mika, Anna Grześkowiak-Krwawicz, and Edward Opaliński, all from Warsaw. Together they focused on values such as liberty, equality, fraternity, and trust in the political thought, culture, and praxis of the Commonwealth. Dr Natalia Nowakowska (Oxford) and Dr Richard Butterwick chaired the sessions, which yielded some lively discussion. The colloquium was generously sponsored by the Polish Embassy and the M. B. Grabowski Foundation.
Dr Nowakowska and Professors Grześkowiak-Krwawicz, Opaliński, and Choińska-Mika
Friday 4 June 2010
The SSEES Foundation Scholarship has been awarded to Philipp Köker whose project is 'Veto et peto: Patterns of Presidential Activism in Central Eastern Europe'.
The SSEES nominees for AHRC PhD studentships are Benny Morgan, Richard Morgan and Alin Vara. Benny's project is 'Towards a Poetics of European Expatriation: Turgenev and Ford Madox Ford', Richard's project is 'Being Without a State: The Thought of Petr Kropotkin'. Alin's project is: 'The Interpretation of Communist Repression in the Testimonies of Romanian Political Prisoners'. Alin has also been awarded a SSEES PhD Scholarships. The SSEES nominee for an AHRC Master's studentship is Simon Young.
Selection for further scholarships at SSEES is underway.
Congratulations to Gian Fazio who has been awarded his PhD for his thesis, 'Competition, Entrepreneurship and Growth'. Gian's supervisor was Tomasz Mickiewicz.
Thursday 27 May 2010
SSEES HOSTS PENGUIN CENTRAL EUROPEAN SERIES BOOK LAUNCH
Around 80 people gathered in the Gustave Tuck Lecture Theatre on 15 May for the launch of a series of 10 classic works of literatures from Central Europe published by Penguin Books. Entitled, "At the Heart of Europe: Great Writers and the Ruptures of the 20th Century", speakers included the ambassadors of Austria and the Czech Republic, HE Emil Brix and HE Michal Žantovský, Dorian Branea, Director of the Romanian Cultural Institute, and writers Eva Hoffman and Stephen Vizinczey.
Exploring the themes of what constitutes Central Europe and what the countries of the region share, the seminar addressed the literature's distinctiveness compared to other parts of Europe and it was pointed out that without the Central European writers the events of 1989 would not have happened and certainly not in such a peaceful way.
All speakers congratulated Penguin for its initiative in publishing the series and editorial director, Simon Winder asked the audience to suggest authors and countries that might make up a second series.
More details of the books and authors
Photographs of the event
The event was hosted by SSEES with Chairmen Rajendra Chitnis (Bristol University) and Peter Zusi (UCL SSEES).
Books featured in the first series are: Thomas Bernhard: Old Masters; Gregor von Rezzori: The Snows of Yesteryear; Karel Čapek: War with the Newts; E.M. Cioran: A Short History of Decay; György Faludy: My Happy Days in Hell; Gyula Krúdy: Life is a Dream; Czesław Miłosz: Proud to be a Mammal; Sławomir Mrożek: The Elephant; Ota Pavel: How I Came to Know Fish; Josef Škvorecký: The Cowards.
Friday 21 May 2010
Congratulations to Dorota Osipović who has successfully defended her PhD thesis, 'Social Citizenship of Polish Migrants in London: Engagement and Non-Engagement with the British Welfare State'. She was supervised by George Kolankiewicz and was a CEELBAS scholarship holder.
Friday 14 May 2010
Congratulations to Dorota Hołowiak and Roland Monger, SSEES Admissions Officer, whose proposal submitted to the UCL Outreach Panel has been successful. It has been awarded £13,490.25 worth of funding for Polish outreach activities.
Friday 7 May 2010
SSEES CALL FOR RESEARCH SUPPORT 2010
A call to support the efforts of SSEES academic staff to optimise their research outputs for submission to the REF (UK Research Excellence Framework) was circulated last term. A total of 11 applications were submitted of which six have been successful: Chris Gerry, Sean Hanley/Slavo Radosevic, Polly Jones, Richard Mole, Martyn Rady and Allan Sikk.
Thursday 6 May 2010
INTERVIEW WITH TYGODNIK POLSKI
Katarzyna Zechenter was interviewed by the Polish weekly magazine, Tygodnik Polski published in London. She discussed the role of translation in teaching Polish literature in Britain and the reasons behind the growing interest in Polish fiction. The interview was published in the Easter 2010 issue and she was pictured on the cover of the journal presenting traditional Polish pisanki (decorated Easter eggs) that she made herself using a traditional hot wax technique.
Friday 30 April 2010
INTERNATIONAL ADVISORY BOARD
Congratulations to George Kolankiewicz who has been appointed to the International Advisory Board of the Institute of Global and European Integration Studies at the Corvinus University of Budapest.
Monday 26 April 2010
POLISH GCSE IMMERSION COURSE AT UCL SSEES
14-16 April 2010
SSEES hosted a pilot three-day course aimed at school students who are taking Polish GCSE in 2010 but have not been able to receive any formal tuition. Twenty-eight participants from London schools were accepted and given the opportunity to develop their language and exam skills, gain insight into university life, and meet with professionals to discuss the importance of foreign languages for career prospects. The sessions were conducted by experienced tutors and aided by UCL student ambassadors. The course was coordinated by Dorota Hołowiak.
More Details and Photos
AWARD OF HONORARY DOCTORATES
Congratulations to Dennis Deletant who on 13 April received an honorary doctorate from the University of Targu-Mures in Romania (Transylvania) in recognition of his published research on the history of Romania and his contribution to the construction of a civil society in the country since 1990.
Photo of the ceremony
Congratulations also to György Schöpflin who last month was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Tallinn.
György Schöpflin's Acceptance Speech
Friday 23 April 2010
Congratulations on two accounts to Martyn Rady who has been awarded a two-year Leverhulme Fellowship from September 2010 for research on 'Hungarian Customary Law Tradition' and also for his appointment to the European Science Foundation (ESF) Pool of Reviewers. Congratulations also to Alena Ledeneva for a four-month Leverhulme award.
The Modern Humanities Research Association has awarded a second Research Associateship to the East Looks West project for Zsuzsa Varga for 2010-11. The award is intended to supply web-based support material that will collate and explicate digital resources on east European travel writing.
Congratulations to Judith Monori who has been awarded a PhD for her thesis: "Woman, Violence and the Prose Miniature in the Oeuvres of Kharms and Örkény". Judith was supervised by Robin Aizlewood and Daniel Abondolo.
Tuesday 30 March 2010
SSEES FOOTBALL TEAM PROMOTED TO ULU FIRST DIVISION
Congratulations to the SSEES Football Team that has once again ended the season on a high note - promotion to the ULU First Division! At the end of last season, the team was promoted from Division 3 to Division 2 and a second team was created that started playing in Division 4. They have put in some great performances in their first season, beating some of the top sides and laying the foundations needed to push on next year.
Meanwhile, there are plans to 'target' first year students during Freshers' Week to recruit for two more teams plus a women's team. At the recent Alumni event former students of the School heard of a proposal to form a SSEES Alumni Football Team.
Friday 19 March 2010
SSEES SPECIAL LECTURE - ANDREI CAPUŞAN
Diplomat and Historian, Andrei Capuşan of the Romanian Ministry for Foreign Affairs, gave a special SSEES lecture earlier this month on 'Friends and Allies: Romanians and the British Throughout History'.
In his introduction, Dennis Deletant, SSEES Professor of Romanian Studies said, "It is particularly appropriate that Mr Capuşan should be addressing this subject in SSEES, where the leading British authority on Romania in the first half of the 20th century - Robert Seton-Watson - taught over many years. Both he and his friend, Henry Wickham Steed, the editor of The Times, were instrumental in drawing the attention of British public opinion to the case for an enlarged Romania at the Paris Peace Settlement (1919-1920).
An overview of British-Romanian relations after 1918 suggests that Britain and Romania were never able to regard each other squarely until December 1989. Until that date, from the British point of view, Romania was part of something broader - French policies in south-east Europe, German domination of the area in the late 1930s and during the Second World War, and then the Soviet Union's postwar hegemony. As Maurice Pearton, a distinguished scholar of the subject and a visiting lecturer in SSEES has written, until 1989 'British-Romanian relations resolved themselves into successive attempts to establish a working rapprochment between two distinct sets of perceptions and aspirations which were slightly out of focus with each other.'
ESRC PEER REVIEW COLLEGE
Director Robin Aizlewood has accepted an invitation to join the ESRC Peer Review College.
VISITING FELLOW SCHEME
SSEES has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Centre for Albanian Studies, Tiranë for an Albanian Visiting Fellow to spend three months researching at the School. This is the fourth agreement in the new Visiting Fellow Scheme.
On Tuesday 16 March the language team of the EELC department ran a half-day session as part of the University of London tasters programme in four languages: Ukrainian (Marta Jenkala), Hungarian (Eszter Tarsoly), Finnish (Riitta Valijärvi) and Romanian (Ramona Gonczol), who also organised the session. Some 14 AS level students attended and enjoyed the interactive presentations on our languages and SSEES.
Over 100 SSEES alumni converged on the School this week to meet old friends and hear Chris Gerry talk on 'Drinking Practices in Eastern Europe'. Former SSEES students aged between 26 and 95 exchanged anecdotes, in many cases for the first time in the School's new building. Robin Aizlewood introduced Faith Wigzell, Emeritus Professor of Russian Literature and Culture, who will take over as President of the Alumni Association. Site President Rebecca Gosling also addressed the gathering with Nick Gardiner proposing the setting up of an alumni football team. We look forward to further alumni events and links with the SSEES alumni network worldwide.
POLISH 'A' LEVEL WORKSHOP
On Saturday 6 March 2010 SSEES again hosted the annual Polish 'A' level workshop, organised by Dr Dorota Hołowiak in conjunction with the Polish Education Society (Polska Macierz Szkolna). A total of 189 students attended - more than ever before - and the speakers included SSEES academics Katarzyna Zechenter and Richard Butterwick.
Saturday 6 March 2010
LITHUANIAN YOUTH ASSOCIATION
For the second year in succession the Lithuanian Youth Association in the UK held its annual student conference at UCL, in conjunction with SSEES. Almost 250 students participated in the event - a record. The panels included architecture, communications, economics, finance, higher education and law, and the speakers included HE Dr Oskaras Jusys, the Lithuanian Ambassador to the UK, and Dr Nerija Putinaitė, the deputy minister of education and science. Richard Butterwick made a short speech of welcome on behalf of the school.
Tuesday 9 February 2010
NEW STUDY PUBLISHED IN THE LANCET
LONDON - In January 2009 The Lancet published an article in which the authors claimed that mass privatisation had been a "crucial determinant" in understanding male mortality increases in the post-communist world. A new study, appearing in last month's Lancet, by Gerry, Mickiewicz and Nikoloski from the UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES) revisits and rejects this finding using the exact same data that the original authors used.
The new study argues that, where mass privatisation was implemented, male mortality rates had long since been increasing and that the experiences long after any mass privatisation effect had disappeared (eg. in Russia, mortality rates surged again from 1999) further complicate any attempt to establish a mass privatisation-mortality link. Indeed, the complex health and policy patterns before, during and after the reforms of the early 1990s make it particularly troublesome to pin down a meaningful story of causation or association. Gerry, Mickiewicz and Nikoloski show, in a number of steps, that when correctly accounting for these trends and patterns the controversial headline finding of a positive association between mass privatisation and the male mortality rate simply disappears.
The claim in the 2009 Lancet piece received great publicity and a very public debate followed in the pages of The Economist, the Financial Times, the New York Times and in the wider blogosphere. This new 2010 research and independent related work by American social scientists, Earle and Gehlbach, also appearing in last month's Lancet, finds that there is no robust evidence in the data that mass privatisation in the post-communist world can help explain the observed fluctuations in male mortality.
This new finding is far from trivial. Understanding the mortality patterns of this important part of the European neighbourhood could hardly be more important and this task will be greatly aided by removing the confusion associated with the 2009 research.
"Did Mass Privatisation Really Increase Post-Communist Male Mortality?" (by Christopher J Gerry, Tomasz M Mickiewicz and Zlatko Nikoloski) can be accessed in its fully refereed version from the UCL SSEES website at http://www.ssees.ucl.ac.uk/publications/working_papers/wp103.pdf and the corresponding piece with associated web-appendix can be accessed at
Thursday 4 February 2010
NEW BOOK ON NABOKOV
Barbara Wyllie's new book, Vladimir Nabokov, for Reaktion's Critical Lives series, was published on 1 February.
"A lively and informative introduction into the life and literary career of one of the twentieth century's most important writers. This concise yet comprehensive volume covers the essential details of Nabokov's biography as well as a wide range of works, from his early poetry and dramas to his mature short stories and novels. Well-researched and insightful, this book illuminates the central themes and underlying world-view of a complex and compelling author."
(Julian W. Connolly, editor of the Cambridge Campanion to Nabokov)
Barbara Wyllie is Deputy Editor of the Slavonic and East European Review.
SSEES STUDENT PUBLISHED IN RUSISTIKA
SSEES Site President, Rebecca Gosling, has published an article in РУСИСТИКА, the journal for teachers of Russian at all levels, published by the Association for Language Learning. Rebecca's article is entitled A First-Year University Student Reflects on a Summer in St Petersburg.
Reprinted, with permission, from issue 34, 2009 of Rusistika. The Journal for Teachers of Russian at all Levels, published by the Association for Language Learning (http://www.all-languages.org.uk)
Thursday 28 January 2010
ARTIST IN RESIDENCE AT SSEES - RASTKO NOVAKOVIĆ
From February to November 2010, SSEES will have its second artist in residence, Rastko Novaković, a moving image artist, whose work engages with issues of history and memory, space and place, to produce visceral collective experiences which question and reframe the ways in which we choose to remember events collectively and personally.
Recently, he has explored the manner in which we inhabit and shape the spaces and places we live in through experimental video projects, examining the urban and natural environment of London, as well as social and ethnic conflict in metropolitan areas and the Balkans. His work is collaborative by nature and engages local communities and people of all ages and backgrounds, academics, non-academics, as well as artists.
This residency has been made possible through a grant from The Leverhulme Trust and is hosted by Ger Duijzings, Reader in the Anthropology of Eastern Europe. To find out about Rastko Novaković's work, or if you want to get involved in the activities he is organising at SSEES during his residency, go to: www.geopoliticaleveryday.wordpress.com and
Monday 21 December 2009
THE PLASTIC PEOPLE OF THE UNIVERSE
Two members of the legendary band of the Czechoslovak underground, whose music constituted the unofficial anthem to Charter 77 and the Czechoslovak dissident movement were at SSEES for an evening of discussion. Joined by HE Michal Žantovský, the Czech ambassador to the UK, and playwright Tom Stoppard, the musicians spoke to a large audience of students and staff as well as those interested in central European affairs.
Tom Stoppard's article in The Times
Photo shows Band members Vratislav Brabenec and Eva Turnova, HE Michal Žantovský, Robin Aizlewood, Director of SSEES, with Peter Zusi, Lecturer in Czech with Slovak Literature, addressing the audience
Tuesday 15 December 2009
SSEES RECEIVES UCL PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT AWARD
SSEES has received the UCL Public Engagement Unit Prize for "the shift in outlook on public work that has taken place in the department in the last year. In this time SSEES staff have been involved in a range of public activities, including events to explore the experiences of London's East European migrants".
The Public Engagement Awards are funded by the UCL Public Engagement Unit, one of the six UK Beacons for Public Engagement. The Beacons act to encourage public work among universities and create a culture in which universities share their research, teaching and learning with a wider public audience. The Beacons for Public Engagement are funded by the UK Higher Education Funding Councils, the UK Research Councils and the Wellcome Trust.
These were the first annual Provost's Awards for Public Engagement at UCL.
SSEES CELEBRATES 90TH BIRTHDAY OF EMERITUS PROFESSOR
SSEES hosted a special guest lecture by Emeritus Professor Isabel de Madariaga to celebrate her 90th birthday. Entitled, 'On Studying Russian History at SSEES: From 1937 to 2009', the lecture was a fascinating account of Professor de Madariaga's life as a student in the early 1930s when her father was Republican Spain's representative at the League of Nations. Following exile, the family settled in Britain and Professor de Madariaga enrolled for the full-time honours degree in Russian at SSEES, becoming the first female student to do so. Later Professor de Madariaga taught Russian history specialising in Catherine the Great.
Congratulations to Nash Fellow Rigels Halili who has been awarded his PhD for his thesis, 'Orality and Literacy: Oral Epic Poetry among Albanians and Serbs', by the Commission of Cultural Studies at the Faculty of Polish Philology, University of Warsaw, and to Mellon Fellow Mi Zhou for her thesis 'Sublime Noise: Reading E. M. Forster Musically' from the English Faculty, University of Cambridge.
Congratulations to Joanne Roberts who successfully defended her PhD thesis entitled 'The City of Bucharest, 1918-1940'. Her joint supervisors were Robert Pynsent and Dennis Deletant.
Congratulations also to Robert Gray who has been awarded a PhD for his thesis on 'Land Reform and the Hungarian Peasantry, c.1700-c.1848'. Robert's supervisor was Martyn Rady.
Monday 7 December 2009
DESTINATION LONDON: WRITING CITIES FROM EASTERN EUROPE ON RESONANCE 104.4 FM
At 20.00 on Friday 11 December, Resonance 104.4 FM will broadcast an hour-long programme based on 'Destination London', a series of public events hosted by UCL's School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES) during autumn 2009 which explored east European perspectives on London and 'the west' and different approaches to writing about the city. You can listen at 104.4 fm, on-line at http://resonancefm.com/, or download podcasts from the Resonance site at http://podcasts.resonancefm.com/ after the broadcast.
The programme was produced by Resonance with postgraduate students from UCL (Vanessa C Barlow, Oliwia Berdak, Simon Cole, Elizabeth V Haines, Raluca Muşat, Linda O'Halloran, Julia C Vogl, and Zbigniew Wojnowski) in collaboration with Resonance producers Sarah Nicol-Seldon and Mark Robins. The broadcast includes recordings of a panel discussion held at UCL on 23 October with speakers Kapka Kassabova, Vesna Marić, Borivoj Radaković, Vitali Vitaliev, Andrea Pisac and Iain Sinclair, chaired by Tony White, Leverhulme Trust writer in residence at SSEES. Full speaker biogs and much more at www.ssees.ucl.ac.uk/destinationlondon.htm.
Destination London marked the completion of the AHRC 'East Looks West' travel writing project, which researched, developed resources and published work on East European travel writing from the 16th century to the present day. The events were Supported under the Beacons for Public Engagement programme, funded by the UK funding councils, Research Councils UK and the Wellcome Trust. The radio skills workshops and this programme for Resonance FM were developed by Resonance and supported by UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies with the Roberts Skills Initiative Fund.
Monday 23 November 2009
VISIT OF PRIME MINISTER ROBERT FICO
Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico visited UCL on Tuesday to deliver the inaugural UCL-BACEE lecture entitled, 'Slovakia in the 21st Century', at the invitation of SSEES. The lecture is available on Podcast.
The Prime Minister looked back to 1989, reflected critically as well as positively on the ensuing 20 years, and spoke optimistically about Slovakia's future. He answered searching questions from the audience. Both the Prime Minister and, in his concluding remarks, the Director took the occasion to applaud the contribution to SSEES and UCL of Robert Pynsent, Emeritus Professor of Czech and Slovak Literature.
BACEE was a Foreign and Commonwealth Office non-departmental public body founded to keep channels open to the countries of Central and Eastern Europe by organising conferences and seminars. Since the enlargement of the EU, which essentially fulfilled BACEE's mission, its Chairman, Lord Radice, approached SSEES with the proposal to continue BACEE's mission through an annual high-profile lecture at UCL.
More Photos from the Visit
Wednesday 18 November 2009
M B GRABOWSKI LECTURE 2009
The annual M B Grabowski Memorial lecture was this year delivered by Professor Michał Heller, the mathematical cosmologist, on the topic 'Creation of the Universe: Science and Philosophy'. Professor Heller's lecture presented a world view that combines mathematical physics, theology and philosophy. Before a packed audience, he spoke with elegance, clarity and profound knowledge.
Podcast of the Lecture and Photos
Professor Heller signing the Visitor's Book
with Robin Aizlewood, Director of SSEES
Thursday 5 November 2009
SSEES LIBRARY EXHIBITION
The 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall is going to be marked by the SSEES Library with an exhibition of books, newspapers, archive material and photographs. A real piece of the Berlin Wall will also be on display.
The exhibition will be held in room 210 on the second floor of the Library on Monday 9th from 12 until 5 pm, with a preview on Friday 6th November from 12 until 3. Do come along and see it.
Friday 30 October 2009
PhD SUCCESS OF SSEES FOUNDATION SCHOLARSHIP HOLDER
Congratulations to Rasmus Nilsson who has been awarded his PhD for his thesis: "Revanchist Russia? Russian perceptions of Belarusian and Ukrainian sovereignty, 1990-2008". He was supervised by Pete Duncan and Felix Ciută.
Rasmus was the first research student to be awarded the SSEES Foundation Scholarship in 2005. The Scholarship is offered annually to a newly-enrolled SSEES research student in any of our fields and is valued at £15,000 per annum. The Scholarship is awarded on the basis of academic excellence and research potential. To find out more see:
Wednesday 28 October 2009
GRAND DUCHY OF LITHUANIA CONFERENCE, 21 OCTOBER 2009
The Centre for the Study of Central Europe at UCL-SSEES hosted a well-attended international conference on 'Liberty, Power and Identity in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania: The Legacies and Lessons of the Commonwealth', organised in partnership with The Lithuanian Historical Institute, Vilnius, and The Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania in London, as part of Lithuania's millennium programme, with the support of the Ministries of Culture, and Education and Science of the Republic of Lithuania, the Polish Cultural Institute and the Anglo-Belarusian Society.
Scholars from Lithuania, the UK, the USA, Poland, Germany, and Sweden gave papers and participated in stimulating and good-humoured discussions.
Sessions were chaired by past and present academics of UCL-SSEES and UCL Hebrew and Jewish Studies. The conference was opened by HE Dr Oskaras Jusys, the Ambassador of the Republic of Lithuania, who was welcomed to UCL by Robin Aizlewood. For the programme, please see http://www.ssees.ucl.ac.uk/gdl.htm.
HE Dr Oskaras Jusys, Ambassador of the Republic of Lithuania and Dr Robin Aizlewood, Director of SSEES
Monday 26 October 2009
PART OF 'CHILDREN OF THE REVOLUTION 1989-2009'
On 5-6 June this year SSEES hosted the Solidarity/solidarities conference, the first in a series of events commemorating 1989. Declared "an unqualified success", the conference achieved its main aims of providing a high-profile public platform for serious consideration of Solidarity and other dissident movements of the late Communist period, their relation to the revolutionary year of 1989, and the relevance of their legacy today.
A total of some 200 people took part in different elements of the conference over the two days. The conference was successful in drawing a more diverse audience than is usually the case for academic conferences. In addition to academics and students from UCL and other British universities, the audience included members of the general public, the media, the diplomatic community, think-tanks and other institutions.
Neal Ascherson delivering the keynote speech
Polish television stations and the BBC took an interest and reported on the conference, as did a number of newspapers from Central and East European countries. The conference's web-presence via the UCL website and a podcast on its themes has ensured a continuing media interest and since the conference there have been interviews given to Australian radio and to the Yoimuri Shimbun, Japan's largest broadsheet.
In terms of ideas: the conference succeeded in its aim of thinking in an innovative fashion about its topic. Contributions were provocative and incisive. The conference managed to generate a sense of intellectual dynamism and excitement that extended to lively discussions with speakers and members of the audience. Above all, at the end of the two days there was a gratifying sense that the conference had raised more questions than it had answered and that there is far more to be said and far more to be
done on the question of solidarities and the legacy of 1989.
Tim Beasley-Murray addressing delegates
More Photos from the Conference
Wednesday 21 October 2009
How have east Europeans looked at London?
Listen to a suite of audio podcasts featuring a selection of extracts from East European writers describing their experiences of London over three centuries at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/news/news-articles/0910/09101901 and http://www.ucl.ac.uk/news/news-articles/0911/09110302.
These are part of 'Destination London', a series of public events starting this week to mark the completion of the 'East Looks West' travel writing project. The aim of the project, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and hosted by UCL's School of Slavonic and East European Studies, was to research and develop resources and publish work on East European travel writing from the 16th century to the present day. The public events programme will showcase a range of writers and literary works covering different thematic perspectives and runs from 19 October to 7 November. See http://www.ssees.ucl.ac.uk/destinationlondon.htm for details.
Monday 12 October 2009
UCL MELLON POSTDOCTORAL FELLOW AT SSEES
Welcome to Mi Zhou who will be at SSEES for the next two years. Mi completed her PhD in the Faculty of English at the University of Cambridge with a thesis entitled 'Sublime Noise: Reading E. M. Forster Musically'. She holds a BA, LLB and MA in International Relations from the University of New South Wales, Australia. Her research project at SSEES will be 'Balkanising the Balkan: Making Politics in Writing and Photography'. She is interested in translations between media, issues of intermediality, nonhermenutic meaning and notions of affect. Having practised as a lawyer, she is also broadly interested in human rights and the discourse of rights, and the nexus between art and political decisions.
Congratulations to Pawel Chojnacki who has been awarded his PhD for his thesis, 'The Making of Polish London through Everyday Life, 1956-1976', jointly supervised by George Kolankiewicz and Richard Butterwick.
Thursday 1 October 2009
JOHN SCREEN 1939-2009
It is with great sadness that SSEES has learnt of the sudden death of John Screen on Thursday 24th September. John was the SSEES Librarian for 26 years, from 1972 until his retirement in 1998. He remained actively associated with the School in connection with his research into Finnish military history, from which followed a number of very well received academic publications. He will be very much missed at SSEES and by many other people across the library and academic communities.
WELCOME TO SSEES
Welcome to new members of staff joining SSEES. In the Social Sciences Department, Chiara Amini, Teacher Fellow in Business Economics, Dr Randolph Bruno, Teaching Fellow in Economics of Industrial Change and Innovation, Dr Cissie Fu, Teaching Fellow in History of European Political Ideas, Dr Simona Manea, Teaching Fellow in International Relations and Aglaya Snetkov, Research Assistant; in History, Daniel Levitsky, Teaching Fellow in Modern Russian History and Dr Lenka Nahodilová, Teaching Fellow in Modern South-East European History; in Russian, Galina Oleksiuk, UCL Teacher of Russian; in EELC, Dr Ognyan Kovachev, Lector in Bulgarian Language and Culture. In the Library, Patrycja Barczyńska and Andrea Zsubori.
Also welcome to Dr Zbigniew Karpiński, Polish Visiting Fellow who will be with us until December 2009. Dr Karpiński is the first academic in the newly-established Visiting Scholar Scheme that is being set up between SSEES and the countries of our region.
We are delighted to announce that the result of the application to extend the IMESS consortium to incorporate the Higher School of Economics, Moscow has been approved.
The IMESS website will be updated in preparation for the new recruitment round. Richard Mole has taken over as SSEES Programme Director from Chris Gerry.
Congratulations to Fiona Robertson, Katya Kocourek and Irina Marin who have successfully defended their PhD theses. Fiona with her thesis on 'Youth Political Participation in Poland and Romania' becomes the first CEELBAS scholarship holder to complete a PhD at SSEES. Supervisors were Seán Hanley and Dennis Deletant. Several other CEELBAS research students will follow in the coming months.
Katya's thesis is entitled 'Patriots and Renegades - Andrej Hlinka and Rudolf Medek as Case Studies of Right-Wing Czechoslovakism'. She was supervised by Seán Hanley and Kieran Williams.
Irina was supervised by Dennis Deletant and Zoran Milutinović for her thesis, 'Allegiance Formation among the Military Elite Originating from the Banat Military Border'.
Congratulations to Dr Daniel Abondolo Reader in Hungarian
Daniel Abondolo is a linguist specializing in the architectonics of the lexicons of Hungarian, Finnish, Komi, and Nivkh. He started out doing research on Hungarian (Hungarian Inflectional Morphology, Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó, 1988). Since then he has published numerous papers and three books on the grammars and lexicons of other Uralic languages (Vowel rotation in Uralic: Obug[r]ocentric evidence, London: SSEES Occasional Papers 1996; The Uralic Languages, London: Routledge, 1998; Colloquial Finnish, London: Routledge, 1998) He has also written a book on European poetics (A Poetics Handbook: Verbal Art in the European Tradition, Richmond: Curzon Press, 2001). His more recent work centres on how we make sense of texts (including nonsense texts, and translation), on non-arbitrary aspects of the linguistic sign (iconicity, indexicality), and on ways in which these are exploited in verbal art; for recent examples of this kind of work see 'Attila József's 'Szürkület' and Covert Translation', Central Europe 4(2) (2006), pp. 149-160, and 'Phonosemantic subsets in the lexicon: Hungarian avian nomenclature and l'arbitraire du signe', Central Europe 5(1) (2007), pp. 3-22.
Congratulations to Wendy Bracewell - Reader in South-East European History
Wendy Bracewell is a historian working on the social and cultural history of the Balkans. She started out doing research on early modern frontiers between the Habsburg, Venetian and Ottoman empires in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries; her main work on this subject, The Uskoks of Senj: Piracy, Banditry and Holy War in the Sixteenth-Century Adriatic (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1992), has been translated into Croatian and, most recently, Turkish. More recently, she has been exploring the ways that East Europeans have written about Europe and 'the West' in travel accounts and how, in the process, they have made sense of their own and their societies' place in the world. She has directed a large AHRC research project on the subject, the results of which have been published in a three-volume set, East Looks West (Budapest: CEU Press, 2008-2009), and in an additional volume, Balkan Departures: Travel Writing from Southeastern Europe (Oxford: Berghahn, 2009), edited together with Alex Drace-Francis. She has just stepped down after a three-year stint as Deputy Director of SSEES, and has received a prestigious Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship for 2009-2011 to write a monograph on East European travel writing about Europe.
Photo © Martin Ossikovski
Thursday 24 September 2009
WELCOME TO ALL OUR NEW STUDENTS AND WELCOME BACK TO ALL OUR CONTINUING STUDENTS
We have some 174 new undergraduate students and approximately 160 new Master's and PhD students joining UCL SSEES from all over the UK, Europe and across the world. The MA levels are the highest we have ever had at the School. This brings the total student body at SSEES to over 660. We hope you'll find your studies intellectually stimulating and successful and that you'll find us to be a friendly and supportive community.
Induction week has lots going on (for staff as well as students) and it may at times seem more than a little hectic. But if you're not sure where you should be, or what's next on your programme, don't hang back - find a member of staff and ask!
Director of the UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies
Deputy Director of the UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies
Tuesday 15 September 2009
'1989' UCL-SSEES SUMMER SCHOOL (27 - 31 JULY 2009)
The '1989' UCL Summer School, a week long non-residential course, was attended by 21 Year 12 students from various London state schools. The participants had a chance to gain an insight into the legacy of Communism on the twentieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Neal Ascherson delivered the opening session and other sessions were conducted by UCL academic staff and PhDs. They addressed topics in modern history, economics, culture, media, language, nationality, power and social change. School students also attended a language taster session.
Comments from the participants:
"I thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of the Summer School and it has reinforced my desire to apply to UCL".
"Thank you for the invaluably helpful and enjoyable opportunity. Student mentors were really good and the diverse lectures really interesting, allowing good in-depth tasters of different aspects of Eastern Europe".
"Thank you for a great week!"
More about the Summer School
Photos from the Summer School
SSEES PRIZEWINNERS 2008-9
Congratulations to the winners of the SSEES prizes for 2008-09. These were:
Monika Koniuszek (Russian with EE) - The Georgette Donchin Prize
Malgorzata Krogulec (History) - The Alan Ferguson Memorial Prize
Kathryn van Eenam (Russian Studies) - The Rob Hudson Memorial Prize
Sarah Commons (Russian and French) - The M J Youhotsky Memorial Prize
Nicola Challenger (Romanian) and Monika Koniuszek (Russian and Czech) - The John Marshall Prize.
The five Sessional Prizes were won by: Katherine Lukjanec (EELC); Thomas Szydlowski (Russian); Theofanis Nicou (History); Neha Thakrar and William de Villiers (Social Sciences).
IMESS EXTENSION APPROVED
We are delighted to announce that the application to extend the IMESS consortium to incorporate the Higher School of Economics (HSE), Moscow has been approved. The IMESS consortium currently comprises UCL SSEES; Charles University, Prague; the Corvinus University of Budapest; the University of Helsinki; the Jagiellonian University, Krakow and the University of Tartu, Estonia.
The innovative two-year MA - International Masters in Economy, State and Society - is designed to attract and challenge the brightest international graduate students as well as professionals wishing to retrain to achieve European expertise and meet the challenges of the changing global environment.
IMESS publicity materials and the website will be updated within the next few weeks to include the HSE, ready for the new recruitment round.
Thursday 3 September 2009
SSEES DIRECTOR'S LETTER TO THES
A letter emphasising the importance of interdisciplinarity across the social sciences and humanities was published in the Times Higher Educational Supplement. The letter, written by Robin Aizlewood, was signed by the Directors of all five Language Based Area Studies Centres.
Tuesday 4 August 2009
Congratulations to SSEES Language Teachers:
Ramona Gönczöl - Senior Teaching Fellow in Romanian Language
For several years now Ramona Gönczöl has been involved in developing online and technology-based teaching and learning materials for Romanian. Ramona has also published two titles, Colloquial Romanian which is due for a third edition and Romanian: An Essential Grammar, a first of its kind in Britain. Both volumes were published by Routledge.
Ramona was recently appointed the BA courses coordinator for languages and continues her technology-based work by currently putting together an online course. She is also studying for an MA in Education with the prestigious CALT-UCL centre.
Jelena Čalić - Senior Teaching Fellow in Serbian and Croatian Language
Jelena Čalić has taught all levels of Serbian/Croatian language at SSEES since 2002. Before coming to SSEES she taught at the University of Belgrade. She has participated in and developed a series of projects for teaching Serbian/Croatian language that involve using new technologies which were funded by CETL and JISC, among others. Together with Celia Hawkesworth she has co-authored the textbook Colloquial Serbian, Routledge, London 2005.
Dorota Hołowiak - Senior Teaching Fellow in Polish Language
Dorota Hołowiak joined SSEES in 2001 and teaches Polish language courses at all levels. Dorota maintains a strong interest in modern languages, in the interplay between language and intercultural communication, and the ways in which new technologies can benefit language teachers and learners. She therefore combines her teaching with professional developments in teaching and learning methodology. Her particular interests lie in the use of new media in support of teaching modern languages. For example, she has developed a Polish language web taster for the ATLAS Project (http://www.ucl.ac.uk/atlas/polish/index.html) and taken part in a CELT funded project on the use of Smart Boards in HE institutions.
Wednesday 29 July 2009
Four Empires and an Enlargement: States, Societies and Individuals: Transfiguring Perspectives and Images of Central and Eastern Europe
edited by Daniel Brett, Claire Jarvis and Irina Marin
The relationship between states, societies, and individuals in Central and Eastern Europe has been characterised by periods of change and redefinition. The current political, economic, social and cultural climate necessitates a discussion of these issues, both past and present. It is this theme which the proposed publication intends to discuss using a selection of papers given at the 5th Annual Postgraduate Conference on Central and Eastern Europe held at the UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES) in 2003. The papers represent work from young international scholars from Europe and North America writing on Central and Eastern Europe.
This volume in the UCL SSEES series Studies in Russia and Eastern Europe no 4. ISBN 9780903425803 is available at http://eprints.ucl.ac.uk/view/subjects/17000.html
and individual papers can also be accessed.
Friday 12 June 2009
UCL HONORARY FELLOWSHIP
Sir John Birch will receive a UCL Honorary Fellowship on 17 June. Former Ambassador to Hungary, Sir John also served in Afghanistan. As Chairman of the SSEES Advisory Board, Sir John has been instrumental in strengthening the School's contacts with the business and diplomatic communities.
FUNDING FOR DIGITALISATION
Dennis Deletant has been awarded funding of £750 for a project entitled 'Digital Resource Creation for Security and Intelligence in Central Europe since 1945 and the Digitisation of Archive Material of the Revolutions of 1989 in Eastern Europe'. The project aims to create a Moodle unit for the course, Security and Intelligence in Central Europe since 1945. Funding was provided by Learning Technologies Support Service, UCL Information Services.
Congratulations to Oliver Smith and Adam Ure for the success in their PhDs. Oliver's thesis is entitled, Vladimir Solov'ev and the Spiritualization of Matter and Adam's is entitled, Vasilii Rozanov and the Creation. Both were supervised by Robin Aizlewood.
Friday 5 June 2009
Congratulations to Fiona Robertson whose PhD thesis on Youth Political Participation in Poland and Romania was passed subject to minor amendments after a successful viva defence. The thesis was supervised by Seán Hanley and Dennis Deletant.
Friday 29 May 2009
FAREWELL TO CEELBAS PDRF
The second CEELBAS Post-Doctoral Research Fellows at SSEES, Benoît Mathivet, will be leaving next week to take up the position of Long Term Health Policy Advisor in charge of the Health Policy Analysis Unit of the Ministry of Health, in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. Benoît's research focussed on 'Health and Health Care in CEECs and Russia'.
PRIZE FOR SSEES STUDENT
SSEES postgraduate James Rann has received first prize in the inaugural Rossica Young Translators Prize. The prize of £300 was awarded for the best English translation of a passage of contemporary Russian literature. The organisers commented, "Having got off to a sterling start, the competition will continue to cultivate the new generation of talented and dynamic translators."
Friday 22 May 2009
PROVOST'S TEACHING AWARD
Congratulations to Richard Mole who has been awarded one of this year's Provost's Teaching Awards. Commenting on the award, Vice-Provost Michael Worton said "There was very stiff competition for these Awards, but the panel was very impressed by all that you have done and are doing to enhance the learning experience of our students".
The ESRC Research Seminars Competition Panel has recommended the application by Richard Mole, Titus Hjelm, Allan Sikk and Mary Hilson (Scandinavian Studies) for an award for the Seminar Series, The Nordic and Baltic States in the European Political Imagination. The Research Seminars Competition was established with the objective of promoting discussion networks between academic researchers and to strengthen the contribution these networks make to the long term health of the social sciences.
PRIZE FOR IMESS STUDENT
Congratulations to Ilona Mostipan, a student on the IMESS Programme, for winning the second prize in an essay competition of the World Bank Institute (WBI).
Ilona's winning essay on the challenges and associated solutions of private sector-led collective fight against corruption in transition countries will be published on the WBI portal. She has also been invited to participate in the Executive Development Programme: "Fighting Corruption through Collective Action in Today's Competitive Marketplaces" in Washington DC, at the World Bank Head Quarters on 8-11 June.
For anti-corruption collective action competitions 2009, See http://info.worldbank.org/etools/antic/anticorruption_competition.asp.
SCHOLARSHIPS FOR IMESS AND MRES STUDENTS
Congratulations also to two IMESS (Paul Garrett and Ilona Mostipan) and one MRes students (Amanda Lucille Nelson-Duac), who have each been awarded highly sought after scholarships to further their Estonian language skills at the Tartu University Summer Language School, funded by the Education Council of ASELCA.
Further congratulations to Eric Seufert (IMESS) who has received the prestigious Foreign Language and Area Studies grant from the US Department of Education and a grant from the American Council of Learned Societies to attend the BALSSI program at the University of Wisconsin to develop further his Estonian language skills. All four students are grateful to Kristiina McCabe for her excellent tutoring during this academic year.
APPOINTMENT TO ESF
Congratulations to Slavo Radošević who has been appointed to the European Science Foundation (ESF) Pool of Reviewers for the period 1 May 2009-30 April 2010. Members of the Pool commit themselves to conduct, on a voluntary basis, up to three high quality peer reviews of proposals resulting from the calls announced in 2009.
Pool Members are selected by ESF on the basis of their scientific eminence, track record of high-quality reviewing or their achievements with regard to participation in ESF funded activities.
Friday 8 May 2009
Congratulations to Felix Ciută who has been awarded an ESRC/SSRC Collaborative Visiting Fellowship at the Paul H Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Johns Hopkins University, in the Spring term 2010. At SAIS, Felix will conduct research on his project "Lily-Pad Geopolitics: Strategic Representations of Romania in the Global War on Terror".
The Collaborative Visiting Fellowships are designed to enable exchange visits between researchers in the United Kingdom and the Americas in order to foster communication, cooperation and joint research. Fellowships support scholars from the Americas to visit ESRC-supported scholars in the United Kingdom and ESRC-supported scholars from the United Kingdom to visit scholars in the Americas.
VISIT OF SLOVAK POLITICAL DIRECTOR
On 7 May Igor Slobodnik, Political Director, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Slovakia, visited SSEES. He talked with the Director, Tim Beasley-Murray, Seán Hanley and David Short about Slovak Studies at SSEES and in the UK and about new directions in research Mr Slobodnik admired the new building and was shown the Slovak collection in the library.
Mr Slobodnik was accompanied by Slovak Director for Security Policy, Mr Juraj Podhorsky.
Friday 1 May 2009
Congratulations to Olivia Noble who has been awarded her PhD for her thesis Subjective Well-Being in Ukraine, supervised by Chris Gerry. While researching her PhD, Olivia received awards from the Gay Clifford Bursaries for Outstanding Women Students scheme and the Victor and Rita Swoboda Memorial Fund for Ukrainian Studies.
Monday 27 April 2009
HUNGARIAN POSTDOCTORAL VISITING FELLOWSHIP
This Hungarian Postdoctoral Visiting Fellowship is the first of a number of annual Visiting Fellowships. An agreement has been signed for the next four years and the Fellowship is now being advertised. Applications are invited for candidates for the pursuit of a three month research project in the field of Humanities and Social Sciences. It is hoped that the Polish Postdoctoral Visiting Fellowship, and Estonian Postdoctoral Visiting Fellowship will soon follow.
Congratulations to Peter Duncan who has been awarded a Leverhulme Research Fellowship for his research on "Nationalism and Pragmatism in Russian Foreign Policy". The award of £28,729, runs for a year from 1 September 2009 and Peter will be carrying out research in Russia, Ukraine and Georgia.
Wednesday 15 April 2009
SECOND SSEES GUEST LECTURE BY PROFESSOR BORIS USPENSKII
The second SSEES Guest Lecture of this academic year was delivered by Professor Boris Uspenskii on "Europe as Metaphor and Metonymy (in relation to the History of Russia)". Professor Uspenskii's thesis was that the name of Europe may function both as metonymy and as metaphor. In the one case we have a culture expansion, ie. when a name related to a centre becomes applied to the periphery of a given region; this is a natural process. In the other we have a cultural orientation; this is an artificial process.
Russia's belonging to Europe appears as a result not of the expansion of Europe as the centre of civilization to adjacent lands, but rather as a conscious and conspicuous orientation towards Europe: this was not a centrifugal but a centripetal process. The europeanisation (westernisation) of Russia began as an evolutionary process at the end of the fifteenth - beginning of the sixteenth century, but this evolution was impeded by the reforms of Peter I, which had not an evolutionary, but a revolutionary character - not a natural but an artificial one. As a result Europe became for Russia not a metonymy, but a metaphor. In the words of Pushkin (which go back to Algarotti), Peter cut a window from Russia to Europe. One could say that in order to cut his window Peter had to build a wall separating Russia from Europe.
Peter I created European Russia, but at the same time he created its opposite: the image of Asiatic Russia as backward, obscure and ignorant. Consequently, he is responsible for the basic cultural tension, which determined the subsequent evolution of Russian culture and, more generally, the course of Russian history.
Boris Uspenskii is currently Professor at the Russian State University for the Humanities; Naples Oriental University, Università della Svizzera italiana (Lugano) and Editor-in-Chief of the Annali dell'Università degli Studi di Napoli Orientale. He has been Visiting Professor at Vienna, Harvard, Graz and Cornell Universities. He is the author of over 500 publications in the fields of general linguistics, philology, semiotics, slavistics and history.
Friday 27 March 2009
TOMAS VENCLOVA AT SSEES ON POETRY, THE FALL OF THE BERLIN WALL, AND DISSIDENCE
Tomas Venclova, one of Europe's great poets, was at UCL on 24 March to take part in a discussion with Robin Aizlewood, Director of the UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies. Venclova was one of the trio of great poets, with the Nobel Prize Winners Joseph Brodsky and Czesław Miłosz, who were close friends, interlocutors and translators of each other's poetry.
Venclova spoke with elegance, wit and insight, drawing on his personal experience and on his poetry as a "witness to its time". Venclova was one of the five founding members of the Lithuanian Helsinki Group, and was forced to emigrate from the Soviet Union in 1977. He was stripped of his Soviet citizenship, joining an elite club of just some 40 people to receive this "honour", as he put it, starting with Trotsky and later including amongst others Solzhenitsyn and Rostropovich. Venclova spoke about Lithuania and Europe today, and also about the city of Vilnius. His third, new book on Vilnius is essayist in approach and has its origins in part in the conversations he once had with Susan Sontag on the occasion of his first book on the city.
The discussion began with a reading in English, by his translator, Ellen Hinsey, of a poem on the now absent Berlin Wall and ended with an inspiring recital in Lithuanian by Venclova himself.
The event was organised by SSEES in cooperation British-Lithuanian Society.
"It was an honour to take part in this discussion with Tomas Venclova", said Robin Aizlewood. "This is one of a number of events organised by SSEES this year on the 20th anniversary of the end of the Iron Curtain in Europe."
MARGINALIA - NEW JOURNAL CREATED BY SSEES STUDENTS
Marginalia is a new inter-disciplinary journal created by SSEES students that aims to provide a forum for creative writing and unconventional ideas in the SSEES community. The first issue of Marginalia was released in December 2008, and the second came out in March of this year.
The journal prints original texts of various genres together with a set of commentary from a group of readers. This marginalia appears alongside each text, creating a unique reading experience for subsequent audiences. Marginalia aims to highlight the fluidity of text and the need for conversation and creative approaches to the region we study.
The March issue contained a short story, short articles on linguistic and cultural historical topics, an original translation and a film review, all written by SSEES postgraduate students. Comments were provided by students and members of the staff.
Printed copies of the second issue are available in the Masaryk room and both issues can be downloaded from the Marginalia website, http://journalmarginalia.wordpress.com.
The next issue will be coming out in June, and the deadline for submissions is in mid-May. Marginalia accepts texts of 1,000 words or less on any topic relating to the SSEES region. More details about submission are provided on the website. For specific information about contributing or commenting, e-mail email@example.com.
Monday 23 March 2009
SSEES STUDENT WINS SCHOLARSHIP TO HARVARD
Congratulations to Joseph Livesey, student of politics at SSEES, who has been awarded a prestigious scholarship to study on the Master's programme at the Davis Centre at Harvard.
The Committee on Regional Studies - Russia, Eastern Europe and Central Asia recommended that Joseph, a PEES finalist, be admitted to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in September this year.
In 2007 Joseph was awarded the Theodosius and Irene Senkowsky Prize for Demonstrated Achievement in Ukrainian Studies by the Harvard Ukrainian Summer Institute.
Friday 20 March 2009
CATHERINE THE GREAT
by Simon Dixon
In attempting a fully rounded portrait of the empress, the biography not only makes available to a wide readership the fruits of modern scholarship, but also seeks to contribute to it by situating Catherine squarely in the context of her own Court and of eighteenth-century Court societies more generally. "Established fans of the Russian empress will find plenty of new material and those who are meeting her for the first time will be dazzled."
Thursday 12 March 2009
SSEES FOOTBALL TEAM TOPS THE DIVISION
The SSEES Football team has won the division for the second year running. The team is now ULU Division 3 Champions and will be promoted to Division 2. With a score of 72 goals and total of 51 points in 22 games, the team won 17 matches. Next year will be the first season that SSEES will enter two teams into the ULU league with the first team playing in Division 2 and the newly created second team playing in Division 4.
Congratulations from all at SSEES!
Sunday 8 March 2009
LITHUANIAN YOUTH ASSOCIATION AT UCL
The Lithuanian Youth Association held its third annual conference at UCL-SSEES, with the participation UCL and SSEES students and alumni as well as the Chargé d'affaires of the Republic of Lithuania, Mrs Jane Hanel. On behalf of the School, Richard Butterwick made a short speech of welcome. The conference was addressed by Vytautas Landsbergis, the first President of Lithuania after the country's declaration of independence in 1990.
Friday 6 March 2009
With the award of 15 studentships in the field of Russian, Slavonic and East European language and culture, the UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies has confirmed its position as the major centre of excellence in the UK for postgraduate training in our field. SSEES also joined with UCL History in the successful award in this subject area too.
SSEES's success in other recent postgraduate initiatives, such as the UCL-led inter-university Centre for East European Language Based Area Studies and an international Master's recognised by Erasmus Mundus, shows how we lead the way not only in our various disciplines but also in advancing interdisciplinarity - and I was delighted that the strategic thinking underlying such success helped inform UCL's overarching strategy for the humanities in the Block Grant bid.
UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies
THE 9TH INTERNATIONAL POSTGRADUATE CONFERENCE
The 9th International Postgraduate Conference on Central and Eastern Europe, Perpetual Motion? Transformation and Transition in Central, Eastern Europe and Russia, was hosted at UCL SSEES in February. The three-day conference brought together over 100 young scholars from across the world who came to present their work, discuss common research interests, debate the conference themes, make new contacts and reaffirm old connections. Programme topics reflected the series of disciplines taught at the School including economics, politics, history, literature, sociology and linguistics.
The Committee of the 9th International Postgraduate Conference
The conference committee wished to thank the sponsors, SSEES, UCL Graduate School, SSEES Centre for Russian Studies, SSEES Centre for the Study of Economic and Social Change in Europe, the Royal Historical Society, the Romanian Cultural Institute, and the Austrian Cultural Forum. The committee also expressed its gratitude to the panel chairs, presenters, volunteers, academic advisors and SSEES administrators for their kind support during the event.
For the full programme of the conference see: www.ssees.ucl.ac.uk/postgradconf9.htm)
Photos of the event can be seen on the conference committee's facebook (SSEES 9th International Postgraduate Conference).
Thursday 5 March 2009
Richard Mole and Chris Gerry have just been awarded further funding for the SALLEE project from North Central London Research Network, extending the project by four months to the end of February 2010. The award is worth around £9,200 to SSEES.
SALLEE is a joint study between SSEES and the UCL Centre for Sexual Health and HIV Research funded by the Medical Research Council. The study has used a mix of innovative sampling methods to conduct quantitative and qualitative research into the sexual attitudes and lifestyles of over 2,000 East Europeans living in London.
Congratulations to SSEES research students who have been awarded their PhDs:
Violetta Parutis for her thesis entitled 'At Home' in Migration: The Social Practices of Constructing 'Home' among Polish and Lithuanian Migrants in London, jointly supervised by Clare Dwyer (UCL Geography) and George Kolankiewicz.
Katya Richters for her thesis entitled The Russian Orthodox Church's Relations with the Post-Soviet State: A Study in Political Culture, supervised by Peter Duncan.
Saturday 14 February 2009
Congratulations to Chris Gerry who has been appointed as a Trustee to The BEARR Trust, a charity that supports and promotes health and social welfare and helps strengthen civil society in Russia and Eurasia, especially through cooperation between NGOs and other organisations with similar interests. Chris's role will be to advise the Trust on strategy and fundraising. Chris is Senior Lecturer in Political Economy. One of his many research interests is poverty and well-being with special emphasis on the Russian Federation.
This confirms the close cooperation between CEELBAS and The BEARR Trust.
Wednesday 4 February 2009
INNOVATION FOR COMPETITIVENESS
Slavo Radošević, Professor of Industry and Innovation Studies, has been appointed by the Czech R&D Council to moderate an international expert group that has set up a workshop under the Czech EU Presidency on the issue of Innovation for Competitiveness. Other members of the group are Professor Philippe Aghion, (Harvard University); Professor Rajneesh Narula, (Reading University); Jakob Edler, (Professor at Manchester Business School); Alasdair Reid, (Director of Technopolis Belgium) and Andreas Reinstaller, Michael Boheim and Fabian Unterlass, (Austrian Institute for Economic Research (WIFO), Vienna).
The workshop was held on 22-23 January 2009 at the Liechtenstein Palace in Prague under the personal auspices of the Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek. The audience included EC and OECD representatives, heads of research councils and innovation agencies, and independent experts and policy makers. The conference focussed on innovation and growth policies of the EU with special stress on the need to differentiate these policies across different sub-groups of countries in order to maximise their overall effects. The expert group has proposed action points to the EU Competitivness Council. It is hoped that a book will be published based on the contribution of the expert group.
Papers and Presentations
Photos from the Workshop
A group photo with Czech Prime Minister Mr Topolánek and vice-chairman of Czech National R&D Council Mrs Miroslava Kopicová and other Czech ministers and international experts.
Tuesday 3 February 2009
HIGHER SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS, MOSCOW
The Director and Chris Gerry were in Moscow on 26 January for discussions with the Higher School of Economics on joining the IMESS consortium for the next Erasmus Mundus call. The discussions were successful, and touched on other possible areas of collaboration.
PEĆI (kod) KUĆE
On 28 January SSEES held its first 'Peći (kod) Kuće' evening under the leadership of Tony White, Leverhulme writer-in-residence, and at the same time launched his new ebook in the Balkanising Bloomsbury series: Bring Me Sunshine (after Dubravka Stojanović) (see http://diffusion.org.uk/?p=715). The four presentations, focusing on new approaches to academic communication, used the 'Pecha Kucha' format: a PowerPoint performance lasting no more than six minutes and forty seconds. A lively discussion explored the possibilities of this format in a range of settings: teaching, seminars, public engagement.
Friday 30 January 2009
RAE 2008 RESULTS: WORLD-LEADING AND INTERNATIONALLY EXCELLENT RESEARCH AT SSEES
The results of the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) show the great volume of world-leading - 4* - and internationally excellent - 3* - research in the field at SSEES. The overall profile was 10% world-leading, 35% internationally excellent, 40% internationally recognised and 15% nationally recognised. All SSEES research-active staff were entered, and SSEES has played the leading role in the last five years in bringing new scholars into the field.
The results mean that some 80 books and articles published by SSEES staff in 2001-07 have been rated internationally excellent or world-leading, with a research environment - library resources; research centres, seminars and conferences; postgraduate students and research training - to match.
Friday 16 January 2009
TRAVEL WRITING PROJECT
The UCL news podcast features an interview with Dr Wendy
Bracewell, about her new travel writing project for which she has recently
been awarded a Leverhulme Research fellowship.
The podcast can be listened to straight from the UCL news page
BRITISH ACADEMY AWARD
Congratulations to Alena Ledeneva who has been awarded £7,484 by the British Academy for her research into Defects of the Russian Judicial Systems: Evidence from Russian Cases in the UK Courts.
Friday 9 January 2009
Congratulations to Beata Manthey who was formally awarded her PhD just before Christmas for her thesis: Regional Unemployment Dynamics and Active Labour Market Policy in Poland in Comparative Perspective. Beata was supervised jointly by Tomasz Mickiewicz and George Kolankiewicz. External examiners were Professor Nicholas Barr (LSE) and Professor Iraj Hashi (Staffordshire University). Beata is now working as an equity strategist in the investment research department of Citigroup.
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Thursday 16 May 2013.