REECAS NW Past Conferences


Time and Transition:
Reflecting on the Past 20 Years in
Russia, East Europe and Central Asia

The Sixteenth Annual
Russian, East European and Central Asian Studies
Northwest Conference

Saturday, April 17, 2010
9:00 AM – 6:00 PM


Hosted by:
Herbert J. Ellison Center for Russian, East European and Central Asian Studies and the Center for East Asian Studies, Western Washington University

Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education Building (SL)
Science Lecture Hall Rooms 120 & 130
Western Washington University
Bellingham, Washington

The Sixteenth Annual REECAS-NW Conference will be held on Saturday, April 17th, 2010, at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington. The conference is organized by the Ellison Center for Russian, East European and Central Asian Studies in the Jackson School of International Studies and the Center for East Asian Studies at Western Washington University.

We welcome students, faculty and staff from institutions of higher learning from throughout the Pacific Northwest, as well as K-12 educators and the general public. Admission to the conference is free. Advance registration is required by April 14th, if you would like to order a box lunch.

To order lunch, email your selection to the Center by April 14. Lunch is $12 and should be paid the morning of the conference. Lunch options are: turkey on sourdough; roast beef on whole grain; Tuscan chicken wrap; veggie wrap (v); chicken cobb salad; or citrus green salad (v).

NOTE: No registration is required, unless you plan to order lunch. Details will be available soon.

For further information or questions, please call The Ellison Center at (206) 543-4852 or email

9:15am-9:45am REGISTRATION

10:00am-11:30am SESSION 1

Panel 1A – Politics and Society in the Arts

Chair: Edward Vajda, Director, Center for East Asian Studies

*Click on the title to read the abstract or paper

The Problematic Ceremony in Bohemia and the Trial of Six
Sarah Guthu, MA Candidate, School of Drama, UW

Portrayal of Abortion in Russian Women’s Literature
Jennifer Harkins, MAIS Candidate, REECAS, UW

Free Fall: Moving from a State-supported to a Free-market Literary Environment in Azerbaijan
Environment in Azerbaijan
Alison Mandaville, MFA, PhD, Pacific Lutheran University

Panel 1B – Foreign Relations and Shifting Orientations in Russia, East Europe and Central Asia

Chair: Amir Abedi-Djourabtchi

Looking Westward? Attitudes in the Caucasus toward the US, NATO and Europe
Julia Hon, MAIS Candidate, REECAS, UW

The Russia Crucible
Karl Starns, MAIS Candidate, REECAS, UW

Turkish Foreign Policy towards Central Asia: A New Era in Sight under the AK Parti?
Jeanene Mitchell, PhC, Interdisciplinary Program in Near and Middle Eastern Studies

11:30am-12:00am BREAK


Time and Transition: Reflecting on the Past 20 Years in Russia, East Europe and Central Asia

Speakers: Edward Vajda, Robert Huber and Przemek Chojnowski

1:45pm-3:15pm SESSION 2

Panel 2A – From the Street to the State: Identities in Transition

Chair: Marta Mikkelsen

Post-Soviet Transformations on Krasnaya Street, Krasnodar, Russia: An Issue-based Case Study
Corinna Welzenbach, MA Candidate, Department of Landscape Architecture, UW

The Post-Soviet Transition through the Eyes of a Communist Party Lecturer
Mariana Markova, PhC Socio-cultural Anthropology, UW

From Liberator to Oppressor: the 1968 Soviet Invasion of Košice, Czechoslovakia Examined Through the Lens of Public Squares
Marty E. Manor, PhC Department of History, UW

Panel 2B – Nations and Nationalism

Chair: Edward Vajda

Construction and Deconstruction of Nations in Central Asia: Anti-Roy
Ochil Zohidov, Visiting Fulbright Scholar (Tajikistan), UW

Characteristics of the immigration group from the former Soviet Union after 1990 in Washington State
Judit Molnar, PhD, Department of Central and East European Studies, University of Glasgow and Department of Geography, UW

3:15pm-3:30pm BREAK

3:30pm-5:00pm SESSION 3

Panel 3A – Identity, Nationalism and Education in Russia, Eastern Europe and Central Asia

Chair: Judit Molnar

Ethnic self-identification and education in Bosnia-Hercegovina
Natalia Martinez-Paz, MAIS Candidate, REECAS, UW

Kyrgyz Secondary Educational System since the Disintegration of the Soviet Union
Natalia Wobst, MAIS Candidate, REECAS, UW

From Friends to Foes: The Deterioration of Soviet-Israeli Relations in the Mid-20th Century
Ruben Shimonov, Jewish Studies/JSIS/NELC, UW

Panel 3B – Mongolian and Turkic Literature in Translation

Chair: Ilse Cirtautas

A View of Islam in Central Asia through Modern Turkic Literature
David E. Merrell, PhD Student, University of Washington School of Law

Buddhist Love Poetry in the New Mongolia: The Work of B Odgerel and T Sodnomnamjil
Simon Wickham-Smith, MAIS Candidate, REECAS, UW

On the History of Translations of Central Asian Turkic Literature
Ilse Cirtautas, Professor, NELC