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America's Russian-Speaking Immigrants and Refugees: Twentieth Century Migration and Memory

Summer Seminars and Institutes for College and University Teachers

Postmark Deadline: March 4, 2013

A three-week institute for twenty-five higher education faculty to investigate four waves of Russophone immigrants to America.

Veteran directors Timothy Frye (Columbia University), Robert Davis (Columbia University), and Edward Kasinec (The New York Public Library) conduct a new institute that explores the particular characteristics, motivations, and experiences of the four waves of Russophone immigrants to America from the territories of the former Soviet Union. According to the directors, "while the achievements of notable individuals from this milieu have been celebrated, sometimes uncritically, the specific post-Bolshevik/post-Soviet transnational, and Russian-American milieu from which they emerged is little-known." The institute enables participants to interact with an array of master teachers, scholars, and community representatives of the last three waves of emigration, in order to investigate in detail the core issues for these immigrant groups. They examine the reception, adaptation, and assimilation of the various waves of ethnic Russian immigrants; the formation of various ethnic organizations; and the implications of gender, class, and politics in the interaction between Russophone immigrants and non-Slavic ethnic groups. Furthermore, the readings and discussions integrate post-Soviet historiography within the broad sweep of immigrant studies in America, through specific methodological and conceptual approaches. Using the key terms "diaspora," "transnational," "accommodation," and "memory," the institute creates a "sophisticated narrative of the 'Russophone Experience' in America that could be integrated into broader courses on American politics and immigration, sociology, and ethnic studies."

Faculty: Thomas Beyer, Steven Cassedy, Zvi Gitelman, Michael Gordin, Phil Kasinitz, Thomas Kessner, Rebecca Kobrin, Laurie Manchester, Olga Matich, Catharine Nepomnyashchy, Maxim Shrayer, and Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak

Dates: June 9—29 (3 weeks)
Director(s): Timothy Frye, Columbia University, Robert Davis, Columbia University, and Edward Kasinec, The New York Public Library
Grantee Institutions: Columbia University
Location: New York, NY

About NEH Summer Seminars and Institutes for College and University Teachers

Each year the NEH’s Division of Education Programs offers teachers opportunities to study a variety of humanities topics in Summer Seminars and Institutes. Each NEH Summer Seminar includes sixteen participants working in collaboration with one or two leading scholars. Participants have access to a major research collection, with time reserved to pursue individual projects.

Amount of Award

NEH Summer Scholars are awarded fixed stipends to help cover travel costs, books and other research expenses, and living expenses. Stipend amounts are based on the length of the NEH Summer Seminar or Institute: $2,100 (2 weeks), $2,700 (3 weeks), $3,300 (4 weeks), $3,900 (5 weeks), or $4,500 (6 weeks).


NEH Summer Seminars and Institutes are designed primarily for teachers of American undergraduate students. Qualified independent scholars and those employed by museums, libraries, historical societies, and other organizations may be eligible to compete provided they can effectively advance the teaching and research goals of the project.

You may request information about as many projects as you like, but you may apply to no more than two NEH Summer Programs (seminars, institutes, or Landmarks workshops) and you may attend only one.

Please note:

Adjunct faculty, community college faculty and first-time participants are encouraged to apply.

Up to two seminar spaces and three institute spaces are reserved for current full-time graduate students in the humanities.

How to Apply

For more information and application instructions, please visit the program website listed above.