Ellison Center Summer Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellows
Nicole Burgund is a PhD Candidate in the Department of English Language and Literature. Her focus is on twentieth-century prose and poetry and her dissertation will be a comparative look at different prose works that deal with the trial of recounting one's life.
She is grateful for the opportunity a summer FLAS gave her to study Serbian in Novi Sad, Serbia. She hopes to apply her continued study of the language to her dissertation research, which includes two works in Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian: Irena Vrkljan's “Marina, or about Biography” and Meša Selimović's “Death and the Dervish.”
Gallagher Flinn is a second-year Master of Arts student in the Linguistics department at UW. His research interests include Slavic languages, scrambling in Japanese and Russia, and cross-linguistic patterns of ellipsis.
This summer, Gallagher spent about eight weeks in St. Petersburg, Russia, fighting off mosquitoes and taking intensive Russian conversation classes, as well as collecting contacts to use as native speaker sources for his master's thesis.
Sofia Harwell is a second-year Master of Arts student in the REECAS program who is focusing on Eastern Europe and the Balkans. She graduated from Bowdoin College with a degree in Russian and Archaeology in 2000. Originally from eastern Tennessee, Sofia worked as a Peace Corps community development volunteer in the Republic of Macedonia from 2006-2008. Sofia also received her Master’s of Public Administration from the UW in June.
Sofia's academic focus is the history and cultural policy of the Balkans, specifically Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia, and Macedonia. She is particularly interested in how public museums and monuments in the former Yugoslavia evolve, through commemorations of historical events, into powerful actors that present a political point of view which resists hegemony and asserts new national traditions in post-socialist states. Thanks to her FLAS Fellowship from the REECAS department, Sofia had the opportunity to attend an intensive Serbian language program in Novi Sad, Serbia, during the summer 2010. Her time in Novi Sad greatly improved both her proficiency in the language as well as her understanding of regional culture, both of which will be invaluable in completing Sofia’s research goals this year.
Curtis Reed is a second-year Master of Arts student in the China Studies program. His summer FLAS award was for Uyghur language. Curtis’ academic interests include Chinese politics and Chinese-related security issues, namely unrest among China’s minority Uyghur population. He is very interested in the policy side of academics and hopes to use his degree in China Studies to help shape U.S. policy toward China.
Fortunately, UW is one of only three institutions in the United States to offer Uyghur. Curtis was thus able to stay at UW this summer to study introductory Uyghur under Talant Mawkanuli. This class helped him gain a better understanding of the Uyghur people and how they fit into greater China.
Derek W. Hom is a second-year Master of Arts student in the REECAS program. His academic interests are post-Soviet security studies with a focus on Russian-Ukrainian relations in and around the Black Sea. He is also the Treasurer of the student chapter of the Institute of Nuclear Maintenance and Management at the University Washington.
This summer, Mr. Hom received a FLAS Fellowship to study second- year Russian. He returned to Ukraine - his country of Peace Corps service - to complete an intensive Russian language courses in Odessa. Mr. Hom was also awarded a FLAS Fellowship for Russian language and a Less Commonly Taught Language Tutorial in Ukrainian language for the 2010-11 academic year. Having returned from his summer in Ukraine and Eastern Europe, he looks forward to continuing his studies in Slavic languages and completing his thesis.
Andy Mullins is a second-year Master of Arts student in the REECAS program. He completed his BA in International Studies at the University of Washington in 2007 with a focus on ethnicity and nationality in political practice in the former Communist space. An incidental trip through Slovenia and Croatia in 2008 motivated his return to the UW in 2009 as an MA student. His current research interests include critical application of social exclusion theory to Finland and Slovenia, the changing role of the Catholic Church in Slovenian domestic politics, and the evolution of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans-gender rights in the former Yugoslavia. In order to enhance his ability to conduct research in the native languages of his geographical interest, Andy is currently studying Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian and Slovene.
Andy’s desire to speak Slovene in public and the dearth of opportunities to do so in Seattle necessitated a trip back to Ljubljana this summer, funded by a FLAS grant from the US Department of Education. With almost 150 other students from a number of countries, he took part in the 29th Summer School of Slovene Language. Highlights included an introduction to the coastal Primorska dialect that he has attempted to adopt, the opportunity to give a speech extolling Seattle's virtues to people from six countries, and an abortive attempt to learn polka at a Lower Carniolan village festival. In addition to gaining a better understanding of Slovenian domestic politics, Andy also now knows his side in the civil war between Slovenia's two biggest beer brands.
Sara Tomczuk is a third-year graduate student in the sociology department. Her interests include memory politics and the sociology of memory. Currently, she is working on her master's thesis exploring memories of communism in the Czech and Slovak Republics. The work will compare physical memory sites in the two nations, such as memorials and museums, in order to understand how the current political atmosphere influences public memory of the communist period.
This summer, Sara studied Czech language for three weeks in Prague and four weeks in Brno, Czech Republic, successfully completing the high-intermediate level in the second program. While in the Czech Republic, she was able to visit several memory sites of academic interest. At the completion of her program, she was also able to travel to Bratislava, Slovakia and visit the area's memorials to the victims of communism.