REECAS NW Past Conferences


Divergent Paths:
Social, Cultural & Political Development
in Russia, East Europe & Central Asia

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

Saturday, April 21, 2012
10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
(coffee begins at 9:30)
Evergreen State College, Olympia Washington


Hosted by:
Herbert J. Ellison Center for Russian, East European and Central Asian Studies at the University of Washington and The Evergreen State College

The 18th Annual REECAS-NW Conference will be held on Saturday, April 21st , 2012, at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. The conference is organized by the Ellison Center for Russian, East European and Central Asian Studies in the Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington and Evergreen State College.

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 and there is no registration required. Coffee, tea and pastries will be provided between 9:30 am – 10:00 am. All conference participants are invited to attend a reception following the conference.

Directions to Evergreen State College can be found here. The conference sessions will be held in the Seminar II D (room numbers will be posted later). Lunch options (for purchase) are available on campus.

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

9:30am-10:00am COFFEE
10:00am-11:30am SESSION 1
Panel 1A – Roads to Prosperity: Current Development Policy in the post-Soviet Space  SEMINAR II, D3107

Post-Soviet Timber Use: Regional Impacts of Changing Russian Forest Regulations
John Simeone, MAIS/MS Candidate, REECAS/ Forest Resources, UW

Centrally Planned Innovation: Russia’s Answer to the Silicon Valley
Catherine Mangum, MAIS Candidate, REECAS, UW

Lessons from China’s “New Silk Road” in Kyrgyzstan
Nicholas Steiner, MAIS Candidate, International Studies, UW

Panel 1 B – Contagious Dreams: Strong Tales Crossing Borders SEMINAR II, D3109

Magically Strong Women in Central Asian Wonder Tales and Heroic Tales
Veronica Muskheli, UW Slavic Languages and Literature

Buta: Contemporary Women’s Literature in Azerbaijan
Alison Mandaville, Assistant Professor English and Women’s and Gender Studies, Pacific Lutheran University

Painted Red: Black Americans and the Bolshevik Revolution
Michael L Kent, Evergreen State College


11:30am-12:00pm BREAK/LUNCH

12:00 pm-1:30 pm (BROWN BAG) PLENARY SESSION (D1105)

Chair: Jim Augerot, Director & Chair, Ellison Center, UW

Patricia Krafcik, Professor, TESC
“The Carpatho-Rusyn Cultural Revival”

Robert Cole, Professor, TESC
“Lake Baikal and Climate Change”

Jean MacGregor, Sr. Scholar, TESC
“Lake Baikal and Climate Change”

Marla Elliott, Professor, TESC
“The Unique Qualities of Georgian Vocal Music”

Robert Smurr, Professor, TESC
“The Value of Intensive and Interdisciplinary Cultural Studies at an Undergraduate College


1:30pm-1:45pm BREAK

1:45pm-3:15pm SESSION 2


Panel 2A – Silent Suffering: Public and Private Challenges to Human Well-being in Russia and Eastern Europe  SEMINAR II, D3107

A Critique of Sex Trafficking Discourse: The Russian Federation and the Czech Republic
Eric Damiana, MAIS Candidate, REECAS, UW

Non-communicable Disease and State Strength in the Countries of the Former Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc
Marleyse Borchard MPH; MAIS Candidate, UW

The Quietest Loss: Human Trafficking in Central and Eastern Europe
David Peters, Evergreen State College

Panel 2B – Negotiating Security and Stability: Where Peacekeepers Rush In, Will Militants Fear to Tread?  SEMINAR II, D3109

The Ohrid Peace Accord – How is it Keeping the Peace in Macedonia Ten Years Later?
Dr. Michael Seraphinoff , International Baccalaureate Organization, Curriculum Center Cardiff, UK

A New Power in the Middle East: Russia’s Security and Political Goals in Iran
Jessie Jenkins, MAIS Candidate, REECAS, UW

3:15pm-3:30pm BREAK
3:30pm-5:00pm SESSION 3

Panel 3A –Agency, Authority and the Individual at the Fringes of Soviet Power

A Timid Flock: Investigating Propaganda Under Stalin
Crystal Dome, Evergreen State College

Beyond Bologna and Bolashak: Policy Talk and Student Agency in Kazakhstan’s Internationalization of Higher Education
Laura Lucht, MAIS Candidate, REECAS, UW

A Policy Analysis of the Russian Special Education Standards Project
Irina Vodonos, MAIS/MPA Candidate, REECAS/Evans School UW

Panel 3B – Leaders Larger Than Life: Pulling Aside the Curtain on Major Figures in Russian History   SEMINAR II, D3109

Turning Back Totalitarianism: Exorcising Stalin’s Ghost
Matthew Newton, Evergreen State College

No Land Behind The Volga: Examining Soviet Victory at Stalingrad
Eli Jacobsen, Evergreen State College

Catherine the Almighty: An Investigative Analysis on the Policies and Characteristics of Catherine the Great
Jacqueline Sechler, Evergreen State College