2017 Summer Research Laboratory Programs

Section 1


The Summer Research Lab (SRL) provides scholars access to the resources of the University of Illinois Library, the largest Slavic collection west of Washington, DC, and an opportunity for individual consultation with the Slavic Reference Service (SRS).

2017 Ralph and Ruth Fisher Forum

"Central and Eastern Europe in the Global Middle Ages"

June 22, 2017, 9:00 A.M.

General Lounge, 210 Illini Union (1401 W. Green St., Urbana, IL 61801)

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


Michael Bechtel (University of Chicago)

Donna Buchanan (University of Illinois)

Gabriela Currie (University of Minnesota)

Eva Doležalová (Center for Medieval Studies, Prague)

Ines Garcia de la Puente (Boston University)

Paul Milliman (University of Arizona)

Olenka Pevny (Cambridge University)

Robert Romanchuk (Florida State University)

Matthew Romaniello (University of Hawaii)

Julia Verkholantsev (University of Pennsylvania)


The conference aims to contribute to an ongoing academic discussion at UIUC, inspired by the journal The Medieval Globe, which promotes a global understanding of medieval civilization and challenges anachronistic boundaries, categories, and expectations. Specifically, in this forum, we hope to demonstrate to the broader scholarly community that the lingering anachronistic division of Medieval Europe into “Eastern” and “Western,” imposed by contemporary notions of geopolitics and inherited from Cold War scholarship, obscures the study of pre-modern topics and even misconstrues the realities of Central and Eastern European culture, life and politics. Instead, we propose to explore divisions and affinities in Medieval Europe in the framework of networks, communities, and other forms of association. Focusing on the central, eastern, and southern European lands, invited speakers will examine how their individual research projects contribute to a holistic understanding of the Global Middle Ages, demonstrating cross-regional interconnectivity, illustrating the deeper roots of global processes, or offering new perspectives on the pre-modern and its importance for our understanding of the present global situation. Integrating the study of history, literature, religion, fine-arts, and many others, the interdisciplinary and trans-national nature of medieval studies is especially relevant today, when nineteenth-century Romantic visions and twenty-first century short-sighted nationalisms encourage a pigeonholing projection of the past, while an understanding of the deep roots of our global interconnectivity can offer new perspectives on and approaches to the problems of globalization.

Organized by: David Cooper (Associate Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures, University of Illinois)

Sponsored by: Russian, East European, and Eurasian Center (REEEC) Ralph and Ruth Fisher Endowment; Program in Medieval Studies; College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; School of Literatures, Cultures, and Linguistics; Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures

For more information, please see here.

2017 Ralph T. Fisher Workshop

"The Soviet Home: Domestic Ideology and Practice"

June 23-24, 2017

101 International Studies Building (910 S. Fifth St., Champaign, IL 61820

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Sponsored by: Russian, East European, and Eurasian Center (REEEC); Center for Advanced Study; Department of History; Department of English; Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory

“Home” is a universal but diffuse category, one that suggests a common sense of belonging and even nostalgia, while simultaneously dependent on individual or group subjectivities. Within Russian and Soviet studies, the concept of home has played a critical role in many fields, including the study of political culture, everyday life, gender and sexualities, work and labor, consumer patterns, and childhood. The concept of the home—and its sometimes adjunct ‘homelessness’—also invokes questions about the meanings of modernity, the categories of public and private life, and of Russian-then-Soviet development vis a vis the image of the West.

For more information, please see http://fisherworkshop.weebly.com/.

SRS Individualized Research Practicum

Consultation with a Slavic Reference Service Librarian for a personalized bibliographic session. For details and application procedures see SRS Practicum.


  • Graduate Student at dissertation stage or post-doctorate scholar (<5 years following PhD).
  • Available to attend SRL during June 2017

International Studies Research Lab (CLICK FOR MORE DETAILS)

  • Current faculty or instructors at community colleges or minority-serving institutions
  • Available to attend SRL during July 16-29, 2017

Other SRL Programs

History and Culture Discussion Group

The Discussion Group on History and Culture offers Summer Research Lab participants an opportunity to discuss their work in a very informal setting, whether the project is at the beginning stages or closer to completion. All topics and time periods are welcome. 

This summer's group will meet June 13-16 at a location TBD. All participants are welcome to attend, speak about their research projects, and even present a paper.

For more information, please contact Ann Kleimola at akleimola1@unl.edu