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.
2021 REECAS Northwest Panel | Feminist Anthropology of Old Europe: Marija Gimbutas (4.30.2021)
The Ellison Center presents the panel "Feminist Anthropology of Old Europe: Celebrating the Centennial of Marija Gimbutas" on April 30, 2021.
This panel was part of the virtual 2021 REECAS Northwest Conference. Find more information about the conference here: jsis.washington.edu/ellisoncenter/reecas-nw/
Marija Gimbutas (1921-1994), Professor of European Archaeology and Indo-European Studies at UCLA, wrote numerous popular and controversial books about the prehistoric gods and goddesses of Old Europe. Her research was a source of inspiration for environmentalist, feminist, neo-pagan, and other social movements on both sides of and transgressing the “Iron Curtain.” Born in Lithuania, educated at the Universities of Vilnius, Tübingen and München, Gimbutas immigrated to the United States to teach at Harvard University before moving to the West Coast. This roundtable celebrates the Centennial of her birth.
Moderator & Organizer:
- Guntis Šmidchens, Kazickas Family Endowed Professor in Baltic Studies; Associate Professor of Baltic Studies; Department of Scandinavian Studies, University of Washington-Seattle.
- Rasa Navickaitė, Visiting Lecturer, Central European University; Navickaitė's 2020 dissertation examines the transnational reception of Gimbutas’s work and persona in diverse feminist and women’s activist contexts on both sides of the “Iron Curtain.” Among her other publications are “Postcolonial Queer Critique in Post-Communist Europe -Stuck in the Western Progress Narrative?” Tijdschrift Voor Genderstudies (2014); “Under the Western Gaze: Sexuality and Postsocialist ‘Transition’ in East Europe,” in Postcolonial Transitions in Europe (2015), and numerous articles and essays in Lithuanian scholarly publications.
- Ernestine Elster, Associated Researcher, UCLA Cotsen Institute of Archeology; Elster was a graduate student of Marija Gimbutas and participated in four of her archeological expeditions. She has authored numerous publications on Italy and Greece in the Neolithic and Bronze Age, among them Excavations at Sitagroi, a prehistoric village in northeast Greece (1986), coauthored with Marija Gimbutas and this panel’s discussant Colin Renfrew.
- Colin Renfrew, Senior Fellow of the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, Cambridge; Renfrew was a friend and colleague of Marija Gimbutas. He is author of many articles and books, among them Before Civilisation: The Radiocarbon Revolution and Prehistoric Europe (1973); Transformations: Mathematical Approaches to Culture Change (1979); Archeology and Language: The Puzzle of Indo-European Origins (1990); Loot, Legitimacy and Ownership: The Ethical Crisis in Archeology (2000); and Prehistory: The Making of the Human Mind (2008).
This panel is cosponsored by the Lithuanian Culture Institute, the University of Washington Baltic Studies Program and the Association for the Advancement of Baltic Studies. The 2021 REECAS Northwest Conference, an ASEEES Regional Conference, is organized by the Ellison Center for Russian, East European, and Central Asian Studies at the University of Washington, Seattle.
Image courtesy of Ernestine Elster. From left to right, Ernestine Elster, Colin Renfrew, and Marija Gimbutas in 1986 at the publication celebration for the first volume of the Sitagroi excavations.
Elżbieta Korolczuk | Anti-Gender Politics and Right Wing Populism in Poland (4.27.2021)
Elżbieta Korolczuk presents her lecture "Anti-Gender Politics and Right Wing Populism in Poland" on April 27, 2021.
This lecture is part of Talking Gender in the EU, a lecture series hosted by the Center for West European Studies at the University of Washington, covering gender politics in Poland, Latvia, France, and the European Parliament. This lecture is also a Pre-Conference Lecture for the 2021 REECAS Northwest Conference, hosted by the Ellison Center for Russian, East European, and Central Asian Studies.
Elżbieta Korolczuk, PhD is an Associate professor in sociology working at Södertörn University in Stockholm and American Studies Center, Warsaw University. Her research interests involve: social movements, civil society, politics of reproduction as well as right-wing populism and mobilizations against “gender”. She co-edited two books on motherhood and fatherhood in Poland and Russia (in Polish) and published two volumes on social movements and civil society in Central Eastern Europe: Civil Society Revisited: Lessons from Poland co-edited with Kerstin Jacobsson (Berghahn Books, 2017), Rebellious Parents. Parental Movements in Central-Eastern Europe and Russia co-edited with Katalin Fábián (Indiana University Press, 2017). Most recent publications include an edited volume Bunt kobiet. Czarne Protesty i Strajki Kobiet [Women’s Rebellion. Black Protests and Women’s Strikes] co-authored with Beata Kowalska, Jennifer Ramme and Claudia Snochowska-Gonzalez and published by European Solidarity Centre in 2019 and a monograph Anti-gender Politics in the Populist Moment written with Agnieszka Graff (in press, Routledge). She is also a commentator and a long-time women’s and human rights activist.
The Talking Gender in the EU lecture series is organized by the Center for West European Studies and the Jean Monnet Center of Excellence with support from the Lee and Stuart Scheingold European Studies Fund, the EU Erasmus+ Program, the Ellison Center for Russian, East European and Central Asian Studies, and the Center for Global Studies, at the University of Washington, Seattle.
2021 REECAS Northwest Panel | The Future of Nagorno-Karabakh (4.29.2021)
The Ellison Center presents the panel "The Future of Nagorno-Karabakh: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Peacebuilding and Development in the South Caucasus" on April 29, 2021.
This panel was part of the virtual 2021 REECAS Northwest Conference. Find more information about the conference here: https://jsis.washington.edu/ellisoncenter/reecas-nw/
Following the war between Armenia and Azerbaijan in Nagorno-Karabakh during the fall of 2020, what comes next for the region? This roundtable brings together an interdisciplinary panel of experts to discuss the opportunities and uncertainties created by the ceasefire, the prospects for building a lasting peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan, and potential ways to foster economic and social development in Nagorno-Karabakh and the broader South Caucasus.
Organizer and Moderator:
– Jeanene Mitchell, PhD, Visiting Scholar, Ellison Center, University of Washington
– Arman Grigoryan, Associate Professor of International Relations, Lehigh University
– Fariz Huseynov, Professor of Finance and Faculty Fellow, Challey Institute for Global Innovation and Growth, North Dakota State University
– Emin Milli, Founder, Restart Initiative
This panel and the 2021 REECAS Northwest Conference, an ASEEES Regional Conference, is organized by the Ellison Center for Russian, East European, and Central Asian Studies at the University of Washington, Seattle.
Conor O'Dwyer | Coming Out of Communism: The Emergence of LGBT Activism in Eastern Europe (11.8.19)
Conor O'Dwyer presents his book talk "Coming Out of Communism: The Emergence of LGBT Activism in Eastern Europe" on Nov. 8, 2019 at the University of Washington, Seattle.
This book talk is a part of the Ellison Center's "1989 30th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall" lecture series.
While LGBT activism has increased worldwide, there has been strong backlash against LGBT people in Eastern Europe. Although Russia is the most prominent anti-gay regime in the region, LGBT individuals in other post-communist countries also suffer from discriminatory laws and prejudiced social institutions. Combining an historical overview with interviews and case studies in Poland, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic, Conor O’Dwyer analyzes the development and impact of LGBT movements in post-communist Eastern and Central Europe. He argues that backlash against LGBT individuals has had the paradoxical effect of encouraging stronger and more organized activism, significantly impacting the social movement landscape in the region. As Eastern and Central European countries vie for inclusion or at least recognition in the increasingly LGBT-friendly European Union, activist groups and organizations have become even more emboldened to push for change. Using fieldwork in five countries, O’Dwyer explores the intricacies of these LGBT social movements and their structures, functions, and impact while also considering their ability to serve as models for future movements attempting to resist backlash.
Conor O’Dwyer (Ph.D., UC Berkeley, 2003) is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Florida. He specializes in comparative politics, with a thematic focus on LGBT politics, social movements, democratization, and the state and a regional emphasis on East Central Europe and the European Union. He is the author of Coming Out of Communism: The Emergence of LGBT Activism in Eastern Europe (New York University Press, 2018) and Runaway State-Building: Patronage Politics and Democratic Development (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006). In addition to his time at the University of Florida, he has been an Academy Scholar at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University and a Visiting Scholar at the Center for Baltic and East European Studies at Södertörn University in Sweden.
This lecture is sponsored by the Ellison Center for Russian, East European, and Central Asian Studies at the University of Washington, Seattle.
PANEL | The Politics of Memory in Eastern Europe, Ukraine and Russia (11.7.2019)
The University of Washington presents the panel, "The Politics of Memory in Eastern Europe, Ukraine and Russia 30 Years After the Berlin Wall" on Nov. 7, 2019.
Conor O'Dwyer, Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Florida
Laada Bilaniuk, Professor of Anthropology at the University of Washington
William Hill, Global Fellow at the Kennan Institute and former U.S. State Department
Scott Radnitz, Associate Professor and Ellison Center Director at the University of Washington (Chair)
The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 was supposed to give rise to a "Europe Whole and Free." Today, the idea of a united Europe is under severe threat. At a time of rising authoritarianism, struggles over how to study, remember, and move past the Communist era are central to the political futures of countries east of the Iron Curtain. Our panel of three experts discuss the politics of history and identity in Poland, Czechia, Ukraine, and Russia.
This panel is organized by the Ellison Center for Russian, East European, and Central Asian Studies at the University of Washington, Seattle.
William Hill | No Place for Russia: European Security Institutions Since 1989 (11.6.2019)
Dr. William H. Hill presents his book talk, "No Place for Russia: European Security Institutions Since 1989" from his book of the same title, published by Columbia University Press. This lecture was given on Nov. 6, 2019 at the University of Washington.
This lecture is part of the 1989 30th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall series, organized by the Ellison Center of Russian, East European, and Central Asian Studies.
The optimistic vision of a “Europe whole and free” after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 has given way to disillusionment, bitterness, and renewed hostility between Russia and the West. In No Place for Russia, William H. Hill traces the development of the post–Cold War European security order to explain today’s tensions, showing how attempts to integrate Russia into a unified Euro-Atlantic security order were gradually overshadowed by the domination of NATO and the EU—at Russia’s expense.
William H. Hill is professor emeritus of national security strategy at the National War College in Washington and a retired foreign service officer who served in various posts in Europe, the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of Defense, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. He is a Global Fellow at the Kennan Institute.