Ellison Center News
Michael Biggins (Head, Slavic and East European Section, UW Libraries and Affiliate Faculty, Slavic Languages and Literatures) was invited by the Slovene Public Agency for the Book to attend a five-day seminar in Novo Mesto August 17-22 involving 15 established translators of Slovene literature from around the world. Seminar activities included collaborative translation workshops, consultations with authors, meetings with publishers and literary critics, and development of a permanent network of expert Slovene literary translators. Following the Novo Mesto seminar, Dr. Biggins attended Vilenica (September 1-5), an annual conference of Central European writers held near the Slovene-Italian border. There, his just-published English version of a novel by Slovene author Mate Dolenc, Sea at Eclipse (set on an Adriatic island), was featured at a session on recent translations. He has also been invited by the Center for Jewish History in New York to moderate a day-long symposium on November 4 on Slovenes in the non-Jewish Holocaust.
Katarzyna Dziwirek (Slavic Languages and Literatures) was promoted to full professor. She was the chief editor of Studies in Cognitive Corpus Linguistics (Peter Lang Publishing Group, 2009) and co-author (with Barbara Lewandowska-Tomaszczyk) of Complex Emotions and Grammatical Mismatches: A Contrastive Corpus-Based Study (De Gruyter Mouton, 2010). She also published 4 chapters: “Syntax and Semantics of Polish Emotion Verbs: A Corpus Study,” in Hypothesis A/Hypothesis B: Linguistic Explorations in Honor of David M. Perlmutter, edited by Donna Gerdts, John Moore, and Maria Polinsky (MIT Press, 2009); (with Barbara Lewandowska-Tomaszczyk) “Emergence of Cognitive Corpus Linguistics,” in Studies in Cognitive Corpus Linguistics (Peter Lang, 2009); (with Barbara Lewandowska-Tomaszczyk) “Love and Hate - Unique Transitive Emotions in Polish and English: A Corpus-Based Study,” in Studies in Cognitive Corpus Linguistics (Peter Lang, 2009); and (with Bożena Nowicka McLees) “Polish in the U.S. 2010,” in Language Diversity in the USA (Cambridge University Press, 2010). Additionally, Professor Dziwirek assumed the position of Associate Editor for Linguistics for Slavic and East European Journal and became a member of the editorial board of Postscriptum Polonistyczne, a journal devoted to teaching Polish as a foreign language.
Firoozeh Papan-Matin (Assistant Professor, Near Eastern Languages and Civilization and Director of Persian and Iranian Studies) has received a 2010-11 Fulbright Research Award for a comprehensive study of the early Chishti mystics, whose influence remains powerful in India, especially in the Deccan region. This study will explore the scholarly contributions of these leaders in the context of medieval Islam and will analyze the roots of their present popularity in the folk-culture of the Deccan. Professor Papan-Matin has published extensively on subjects in modern and medieval Persian and Islamic texts. Her third book, Beyond Death: The Mystical Teachings of 'Ayn al-Qudat al-Hamadhani, was released in May 2010.
Amanda Swain (MAIS REECAS 1995, PhD Candidate, History) received a Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Award to conduct an oral interview project in Lithuania from September 2010 to August 2011.
Scott Radnitz (Assistant Professor Jackson School of International Studies) is publishing a book, Weapons of the Wealthy: Predatory Regimes and Elite-led Protests in Central Asia, which is forthcoming from Cornell University Press in December. He was recently admitted as a member of Program on New Approaches to Russian Security (PONARS) Eurasia, an international network of social scientists who specialize in Eurasia. He will be teaching a new course on failed states this academic year.
Gordana P. Crnković (Associate Professor of Comparative Literature and Slavic Languages and Literature) was the recipient of the Collaborative Research Grant in the Humanities fellowship as the main collaborator of the project’s primary investigator, Dr. Aida Vidan of Harvard University. Professor Crnković received the award from the American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS, with funding through the NEH, for the project on contemporary Croatian film. The resulting publication will be a KinoKultura (www.kinokultura.com) thematic issue on contemporary Croatian film, co-edited with Aida Vidan and forthcoming in January 2011, with a print version to be published in 2012 by the Croatian Film Association. Professor Crnković was also a participant in the University of Washington-University of Ljubljana Exchange Program (May 2010).
Paulina Bren (MAIS REECAS) received praise in an August online edition of the Economist for her book, The Greengrocer and His TV: The Culture of Communism After the 1968 Prague Spring. In the book, Ms. Bren, a Czech history student in the REECAS MA program, uses letters written to Czechoslovak TV during communism as a lens through which to explore public reaction to government-controlled programming that was meant to entertain and, at the same time, inculcate the population with ideology. Ms. Bren went on to get her PhD in Modern European History at NYU under Tony Judt and is currently Adjunct Assistant Professor of History at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY.
Natalia Wobst (MAIS REECAS 2010) recently joined the Eurasia Foundation in Washington D.C. as Communications Associate. She is responsible for the design and implementation of the foundation’s strategy in a number of different media. Wobst’s focus on Central Asia and the Uzbek language while in the REECAS program and her experience in the region makes her a good fit with the organization’s five major program areas: youth engagement, cross-border programs, public policy and institution building, independent media, and local economic development. Her job entails the synthesis of journalistic skills with her focus region and she is very much enjoying this aspect of her work thus far.