The Ellison Center for Russian, East European and Central Asian Studies at the University of Washington promotes in-depth interdisciplinary study of all major post-communist subregions - Eastern and Central Europe, the Baltic region, the Caucasus and Central Asia, and Russia - in order to understand the legacies of the imperial and communist past as well as to analyze the emerging institutions and identities that will shape Eurasia's future.
We share audio of interesting and relevant events hosted by our Center.
Evgeniya Chirikova | Russian Grassroots Activism for the Environment and Beyond
Prominent Russian environmental activist Evgeniya Chirikova (who begins speaking at minute 6:30) discusses recent environmental and political protests in Russia and the awakening of civil society both in Moscow and elsewhere in the country. This talk took place on October 21, 2019 at the University of Washington's Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies with the generous support of the Henry M. Jackson Foundation.
William Pomeranz | Law and the Russian State: Russia’s Legal Evolution from Peter the Great to Putin
Kennan Institute Deputy Director William Pomeranz is interviewed by Ellison Center Director Scott Radnitz at the 2019 REECAS Northwest Conference (ASEEES) about his book "Law and the Russian State: Russia’s Legal Evolution from Peter the Great to Putin."
From the publisher: "Russia is often portrayed as a regressive, even lawless country, and yet the Russian state has played a major role in shaping and experimenting with law as an instrument of power. In Law and the Russian State, William E. Pomeranz examines Russia's legal evolution from Peter the Great to Vladimir Putin, addressing the continuities and disruptions of Russian law during the imperial, Soviet, and post-Soviet. The book covers key themes, including:
* Law and empire
* Law and modernization
* The politicization of law
* The role of intellectuals and dissidents in mobilizing the law
* The evolution of Russian legal institutions
* The struggle for human rights
* The rule-of-law
* The quest to establish the law-based state
It also analyzes legal culture and how Russians understand and use the law. With a detailed bibliography, this is an important text for anyone seeking a sophisticated understanding of how Russian society and the Russian state have developed in the last 350 years." https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/law-and-the-russian-state-9781474224246/
Timothy Snyder | On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the 20th Century (4.26.2018)
Timothy Snyder is the Richard C. Levin Professor of History at Yale University, a member of the Committee on Conscience of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and a permanent fellow of the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna. His book, On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century (Tim Duggan Books; February 28, 2017), has resonated with a world-wide audience. On Tyranny has been published in over a dozen countries and is a #1 New York Times Bestseller. His latest book is The Road to Unfreedom (Tim Duggan, April 2018).
A frequent guest at the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna, he has spent about ten years in Europe, and speaks five and reads ten European languages. He is a regular commentator on radio, TV and in print publications, and an award-winning author of books such as Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin and Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning.
Snyder received his doctorate from the University of Oxford in 1997, where he was a British Marshall Scholar. Before joining the faculty at Yale in 2001, he held fellowships in Paris, Vienna, and Warsaw, and an Academy Scholarship at Harvard.
Lauren McCarthy | Trafficking Justice: How Russian Police Enforce New Laws (4.16.2018)
Lauren McCarthy is an Associate Professor of Legal Studies at UMass, Amherst.
In response to a growing human trafficking problem and domestic and international pressure, human trafficking and the use of slave labor were criminalized in Russia in 2003. In this talk, Lauren McCarthy explains why Russian police, prosecutors, and judges have largely ignored this new weapon in their legal arsenal, despite the fact that the law was intended to make it easier to pursue trafficking cases. Based on her extensive research in Russia, she shows how trafficking cases make their way through the criminal justice system and explains why the system has had a difficult time combating this crime.
Serhii Plokhy | Harvard historian on Lost Kingdom: Ukraine & the Search for Russian Borders 3.2.18
Serhii Plokhy is the Mykhailo Hrushevsky Professor of Ukrainian History and the director of the Ukrainian Research Institute at Harvard University. His research interests are in the intellectual, cultural and international history of Ukraine and Eastern Europe in general. His numerous books and other scholarly work deal with history of religion, origins of Slavic nations, history of the Cold War era and collapse of the Soviet Union, and were translated into several languages and won numerous awards.
Publisher's abstract from the book Lost Kingdom: In 2014, Russia annexed the Crimea, attempting to seize a portion of Ukraine. While the world watched in outrage, this blatant violation of national sovereignty was only the latest iteration of a centuries-long effort to expand Russian boundaries and create a pan-Russian nation. In Lost Kingdom, award-winning historian Serhii Plokhy reveals the central role Ukraine plays in Russia’s identity, both as an “other” to distinguish Russia, and as part of a pan-Slavic conceptualization used to legitimize territorial expansion and political control. Spanning over 500 years, from the end of the Mongol rule to the present day, Plokhy shows how leaders from Ivan the Terrible to Joseph Stalin to Vladimir Putin exploited existing forms of identity, warfare, and territorial expansion to achieve imperial supremacy.
Dr. Plokhy's visit to the University of Washington was made possible by the Ukrainian Studies Initiative in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures.
Baltic Ambassadors | Celebrating 100 Years of Baltic Independence (3.2.2018)
"Looking Back, Looking Forward"
In celebration of 100 years of Independence in the Baltic States, the Scandinavian Studies Department and the Baltic Studies Program at the University of Washington hosted lectures from:
Lauri Lepik, Ambassador of Estonia to the USA
Andris Teikmanis, Ambassador of Latvia to the USA
Evelina Petrone, Political Officer at the Embassy of Lithuania to the USA