February 2015 Events

    1. 25
    2. 26
    3. 27
    4. 28
    5. 29
    6. 30
    7. 31
    8. 1
    9. 2
    10. 3
    11. 4
    12. 5
    13. 6
    14. 7
    15. 8
    16. 9
    17. 10
    18. 11
    19. 12
    20. 13
    21. 14
    22. 15
    23. 16
    24. 17
    25. 18
    26. 19
    27. 20
    28. 21
    29. 22
    30. 23
    31. 24
    32. 25
    33. 26
    34. 27
    35. 28

"Communism’s Shadow: Communist Legacies and Attitudes Towards Social Welfare"

Joshua Tucker, Professor of Politics , New York University


When: Thursday, February 5, 4:00pm

Where: 206 Ingraham Hall

Sponsors: The Center for Russia, East Europe, and Central Asia and the Comparative Politics Colloquium


About the Speaker:Joshua A. Tucker is Professor of Politics and (by courtesy) Russian and Slavic Studies at New York University, a co-Director of the NYU Social Media and Political Participation (SMaPP) laboratory (, and a co-author of the award winning Monkey Cage blog at The Washington Post. He specializes in mass political behavior in East-Central Europe and the former Soviet Union, including elections and voting, the development of partisan attachment, public opinion formation, mass protest, and social media. In 2006, he was awarded the Emerging Scholar Award for the top scholar in the field of Elections, Public Opinion, and Voting Behavior within 10 years of the doctorate.


About the Lecture: Post-communist citizens – all else being equal – are more supportive of government redistribution than citizens in the rest of the world.  Professor Tucker seeks to assess the extent to which these patterns are legacies of communist rule and what mechanisms brought them about.  To do so, he introduces two general theoretical arguments for why post-communist citizens might hold systematically different views on these types of questions.  The first focuses on the context in which post-communist citizens live (e.g., demographic, economic, and political conditions) and makes no reference to the actual experience of living through communism.  The second is based on the idea that it is the actually exposure to communist rule that may have led to people adopting a particular set of attitudes. Furthermore, Professor Tucker suggests that exposure effects may be intensified or diminished by predictable factors (i.e., a year of communist exposure is not likely to have the same effect on all individuals or in all countries or time periods.)  He presents a method for testing both of these approaches, and provides empirical evidence in regard to the attitudes of post-communist citizens towards the welfare state. Surprisingly, there is little support for the contextual effects explanation for the higher post-communist welfare state support.  Even when we control for pre-communist differences, conditions at the end of communism, and demographic, economic, and political differences between post-communist and non-communist countries at the time our surveys were conducted, we continue to find persistent and large differences in support for welfare states/redistribution among post-communist citizens. Instead, exposure to communism seems to be quite important, but the effect of exposure is moderated by the timing and social, economic and political context in which a given individual was socialized. 


Return to calendar arrow up

"Road Blocks and Roses Along the Silk Road Public Lecture"

Madeline Uraneck, International Education Specialist


When: Tuesday, February 10, 7:00pm

Where: Madison Central Library - Room 301

Sponsors: Dane County Chapter of the United Nations


About the Speaker:International educator Madeline Uraneck will share reflections on women's culture, nomadic lifestyles, Islamic heritage and presidential elections at the UNA-USA of Dane County's February meeting. Uraneck, who worked for the US Peace Corps as Director of Programming and Training, and for Wisconsin's Dept. of Public Instruction as International Education Supervisor, has traveled extensively in Africa and Asia.


About the Lecture: The years since 1991 have brought fascinating changes to places once on the ancient Silk Road, as countries like Turkmenistan and Kyrgyz Republic, with deep traditional and ethnic ties, have moved into a post-Soviet era, meeting challenges and stepping through doors of opportunity.


Return to calendar arrow up

"Sex in the Bourgeois Family: Prostitution and the Middle Class Home in Partitioned Poland"

Keely Stauter-Halsted, Professor of History , University of Illinois-Chicago


When: Thursday, February 12, 4:00pm

Where: 206 Ingraham Hall

Sponsors: The Center for Russia, East Europe, and Central Asia and the Department of History


About the Speaker: Keely Stauter-Halsted is Professor of History and Hejna Family Chair in the History of Poland at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her teaching and research examine issues of identity, ethnicity, gender and class in modern Poland. Professor Stauter-Halsted has published dozens of journal articles and book chapters in Polish and English on topics ranging from peasant nationalism to Polish-Jewish relations and gender history. Her first book, The Nation in the Village: The Genesis of Rural National Identity in Austrian Poland (2001) was awarded the Orbis Prize for the best book in any aspect of Polish affairs. Her second monograph, The Devil’s Chain: Prostitution and Social Control in Partitioned Poland is forthcoming with Cornell University Press in 2015. She also co-edited Sexual Deviance and Social Control in Late Imperial Eastern Europe with Nancy Wingfield in 2011. Stauter-Halsted is currently researching on Polish return migration in the partitioned period.


About the Lecture:The Polish lands at the end of the nineteenth century saw intense social turmoil as thousands of villagers moved to the burgeoning cities in search of jobs. Among these was a cohort of young women hired as housekeepers, nannies, and wet nurses in bourgeois households. Here they were expected to act as paragons of middle class propriety and yet, low wages and lack of support networks prompted many to turn to part-time prostitution. At the same time, "respectable" male professionals, members of the Polish intelligentsia and even male university students frequented urban brothels in unprecedented numbers. This presentation considers the contradictions of Victorian-era East European society as philandering husbands and poor country girls contaminated the bourgeois home with deadly venereal diseases and sexual debauchery co-existed with middle class morality. Meanwhile, Polish charity workers were constrained in their efforts to remedy the prostitution problem by the politics of the foreign powers ruling Polish territory. The lecture is drawn from the speaker's forthcoming book, "The Devil's Chain" on prostitution and social control in partitioned Poland.


Return to calendar arrow up

"Stuck in Limbo: Why do groups seek independence and why it is so hard to get?"

Nadav Shelef, Professor of Modern Israel Studies and Associate Professor of Political Science, UW-Madison


When: Friday, February 13, 12:30pm

Where: Madison Museum of Contemporary Art

Sponsors: Madison Museum of Contemporary Art


About the Speaker: Nadav Shelef is the Harvey M. Meyerhoff professor of modern Israel studies and associate professor of political science at University of Wisconsin-Madison. Professor Shelef teaches and studies nationalism and ethnic conflict, religion and politics, Israeli politics and society, and Middle East politics. His current projects focus on understanding how homelands change and the conditions under which religious parties moderate their positions. His book, Evolving Nationalism: Homeland, Religion, and Identity in Israel was published in 2010 by Cornell University Press.


About the Lecture: Professor Nadav Shelef will offer a gallery talk in conjunction with the exhibition, Narayan Mahon: Lands in Limbo, on view at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art. Lands in Limbo documents the lives of people stuck in the liminal world of unrecognized states. Nadav Shelef will explore why groups seek independence despite the costs and the reasons they stay in limbo. The talk will take place in MMoCA's State Street Gallery and is free and open to the public; there is no admission fee to the museum.


Return to calendar arrow up

"Russian Folk Orchestra Concert"

Victor Gorodinsky, Music Director/Founder


When: Saturday, February 14, 7:30pm

Where: Sun Prairie Performing Arts Center


About the Event: Enjoy Russian and other East-European music performed on authentic folk instruments, such as balalaikas and domras. Soloists: Vladislava Henderson (piano), Anna Gubenkova (vocals) and Anne Gath (flute).


Return to calendar arrow up

"Davids and Goliaths: Military Propaganda in Orthodox Russia, 1700-1856"

Andrey Ivanov, Assistant Professor of History, University of Wisconsin-Platteville


When: Thursday, February 19, 4:00pm

Where: 206 Ingraham Hall

Sponsors: The Center for Russia, East Europe, and Central Asia


About the Speaker:Andrey Ivanov (a native of Zaporizhzhia and Crimea, Ukraine) finished his PhD in History at Yale University in 2012. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Russian history at the University of Wisconsin at Platteville and Program Affiliate at the Center for Russia, Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Prior to moving to Wisconsin this September, Andrey spent two years as a Post-Doctoral Fellow in History at Boston College. His past and present research interests focused on studying theology, politics and culture of the Orthodox Church in Imperial Russia and Soviet Union. He is working on his manuscript, titled "Orthodoxy Reformed: Protestantism, Enlightenment and the Russian Church, 1700-1825" which is currently under review.


About the Lecture:For much of the modern history, nations used media-based propaganda as an indispensable instrument in carrying out mass mobilization for the larger war effort.  Yet for most of the eighteenth and even the nineteenth centuries, what we properly call “the media” – newspapers, for example – was out of reach for the vast majority of residents of the Russian Empire. As this lecture will demonstrate, the state in early imperial Russia relied on the Orthodox Church to serve as a major purveyor of wartime propaganda to the high society and the lower classes alike. A special genre of wartime homiletics emerged, that roused up patriotic feelings, lamented strategic blunders, as well as provided the parishioners with battle news, progress of the war, strategic analysis of world events and more.

This lecture will examine the use and content of the military sermons in imperial Russia preached during the campaigns of the eighteenth and early nineteenth century - Northern War, Ottoman War, Napoleonic War, and up to the Crimean War. The paper discusses how the propaganda’s images of Russia’s enemies differed in its depiction of the European adversaries on the one hand, and the Ottomans, on the other. For much of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, Russian “enlightened” preachers sought to present Russia as an ecumenical Christian power, a participant in the European system of alliances and even a defender of Europe’s ecumenical interests - not a bastion of Orthodoxy juxtaposed against its heretical neighbors. However this ecumenical embrace of the country’s enemies did not extend to Islam: sermons preached during the wars with the Ottoman Empire showed a clearly different dynamic, presenting such conflicts as purely religious in nature.





Return to calendar arrow up

"Russia and the Global Crisis"

Boris Kagarlitsky, Director of the Institute of Globalization and Social Movements, Moscow


When: Thursday, February 19, 4:00pm

Where: Inn Wisconsin, 2nd Floor Memorial Union

Sponsors: Havens Center


About the Speaker: Boris Kagarlitsky is Director of the Institute of Globalization and Social Movements in Moscow and a well-known international commentator on Russian politics and society. Kagarlitsky was co-ordinator of the Moscow People's Front between '88 and '90, and also advised the Workers' Committee of Prokpievsk and Karaganda during this period. He was a deputy to the Moscow City Soviet between 1990-93, during which time he was a member of the executive of the Socialist Party of Russia, co-founder of the Party of Labour, and advisor to the Chairperson of the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Russia. Previously, he was a student of art criticism and was imprisoned for two years for 'anti-Soviet' activities. His books include Empire of the Periphery: Russia and the World System, Russia Under Yeltsin And Putin: Neo-Liberal Autocracy, and New Realism, New Barbarism: The Crisis of Capitalism.


The event is free and open to the public.





Return to calendar arrow up

"Film: The Linguists"


When: Thursday, February 19, 6:00pm

Where: The Marquee Union South


About the Film: Did you know one language disappears every two weeks? Or how about the fact that by the end of the century, half of the 7,000 languages in the world will be gone forever. In celebration of International Mother Language Day, the Language Institute is pleased to announce the screening of the film The Linguists, which documents two ethnographers as they travel to the furthest reaches of the globe to research vanishing and hidden languages. Watch professors David Harrison and Gregory Anderson race around the globe to save languages as they observe a Kallawaya healing ritual in Bolivia, attend a traditional ceremony in a remote village in India and travel to Siberia. Additionally, Professor David Harrison, featured in the film, will host a Q&A at The Marquee after the screening.




Return to calendar arrow up

"Russian Folk Orchestra Concert"

Victor Gorodinsky, Music Director/Founder


When: Saturday, February 21, 11:30am

Where: International Festival at the Overture Center for the Arts


About the Event: Enjoy Russian and other East-European music performed on authentic folk instruments, such as balalaikas and domras and more than 30 more free performances celebrating the rich cultural heritage of two dozen nations on five continents, all by artists who currently call Dane County home.


Return to calendar arrow up

International Festival


When: Saturday, February 21, 10:30am to 5:00pm

Where: Overture Center for the Arts, 201 State Street


About the Event: Experience a rich tapestry of cultures woven by Dane County artists. The event features music, dance, arts, crafts, and food of more than 25 cultures. Admission to the event is free.


Event Schedule:


Performance venues abbreviations:

OHL – Overture Hall Lobby  –  Level I
OH – Overture Hall  –  Level I
PH – Promenade Hall  –  Level II
WS – Wisconsin Studio  –  Level III
CT – Capitol Theater  –  Level I
RS – Rotunda Studio  –  Lower Level


11:30-12:15 AM   Overture Hall, Level I

UW Russian Folk Orchestra -- Russian & Eastern European music played on balalaikas, domras & bayans. 


12:45-1:10 PM   Capitol Theater, Level I 

Zaibas Lithuanian Dancers 


2:05-2:30 PM   Promenade Hall, Level II

Mesoghios Dance Troupe -- Greek Macedonian dances in traditional costumes.


2:15-3:00 PM   Wisconsin Studio, Level III 

Veseliyka -- Bulgarian music, old style village instruments & tight vocal harmonies.


3:35-4:00PM   Promenade Hall, Level II

Tri Bratovchedki -- Traditional songs of Eastern & Central Europe - Croatia, Slovakia, Serbia, Macedonia.


3:45-4:45 PM   Overture Hall Lobby, Level I

Yid Vicious Klezmer Ensemble -- Traditional & contemporary Klezmer (Yiddish) dance music. 





Return to calendar arrow up


"Exodus from the East: Emigration and the Making of the Free World, 1889-present"

Tara Zahra, Professor of European History, University of Chicago


When: Thursday, February 26, 4:00pm

Where: Banquet Room, The University Club, 803 State Street, Madison, WI 53703

Sponsors: The Center for Russia, East Europe, and Central Asia and the Department of History


About the Speaker:Tara Zahra is Professor of East European History at the University of Chicago. She is the author of Kidnapped Souls: National Indifference in the Bohemian Lands, 1900-1948 (Cornell, 2008) and The Lost Children: Reconstructing Europe’s Families after World War II (Harvard, 2011, coming out in paperback in 2015). She is currently working on a history of emigration from East Central Europe to the “West” from 1889-present, which will be published by Norton Press in 2016. In 2014 she received a Macarthur Fellowship.


About the Lecture:Beginning in the 1880s, millions of East Europeans left their homelands for the West, whether in search of work or in flight from war or persecution.  This exodus immediately provoked intense anxieties at home about the loss of fathers, mothers, children, soldiers and workers, and about the status of East Europeans in the world. Many emigration reformers feared that far from finding a better life, East Europeans risked becoming the “slaves” or “coolies” of the twentieth century. This talk examines how debates about and experiences of emigration shaped ideals of freedom in both Eastern Europe and "the West" over the course of 150 years. After the Second World War, the "captivity" of East Europeans behind the Iron Curtain came to be seen as a quintessential symbol of Communist oppression. The Iron Curtain was not, however, built overnight in 1948 or 1961. Its foundation was arguably laid before the First World War, when Austrian Imperial officials began a century-long campaign to curtail emigration in the name of demographic power and humanitarian values.





Return to calendar arrow up

"Sickle and Stars: The New Soviet-Jewish Literary Phase"

Boris Fishman, Novelist


When: Friday, February 27, 4:00pm

Where: Memorial Union

Sponsors: The Mosse/Weinstein Center for Jewish Studies and CREECA


About the Lecture: Join novelist Boris Fishman, author of A Replacement Life (HarperCollins, 2014; New York Times Notable Book of the Year, Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection), for a wide-ranging conversation about the flurry of books by young Soviet-Jewish émigrés that have surfaced over the last decade and now dominate the literary conversation. (The 2014 New York Times 100 Notable Books of the Year features no fewer than four.) Is this how Jewish literature takes its next step in America? Is immigrant literature of this sort the future of American books? And what do these books reveal about the relationship between ex-Soviet Jews and the American Jews who worked so hard for their release?





Return to calendar arrow up

Slavic Winter Celebration





When: Saturday, February 28, 7:00pm

Where: Upper Carson Gulley, 1525 Tripp Circle

Sponsors: Department of Slavic Languages and Literature, Russian Flagship Program, International Learning Community (Russian House), and the Center for Russia, East Europe, and Central Asia


About the Event: Coming Soon!




Return to calendar arrow up