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MemberSasha Senderovich

Sasha Senderovich’s research focuses on the figure of the Soviet Jew as a multifaceted, unstable cultural construct located at the intersection of Jewish and Russian/Soviet cultures, literatures, and cinema. He considers this process of formation in two distinct settings that represent the core foci of his two ongoing research projects. His first project focuses on Russian and Yiddish literary and cultural sources during the 1920s and the 1930s, while the second considers the intersection of Russian Jewish literature and American Jewish literature, in Russian and in English, during the Cold War and post-Soviet periods. Senderovich’s first project consists of a monograph How the Soviet Jew Was Made: Culture and Mobility After the Revolution (in progress, under advance contract with Harvard University Press); and two critical editions of translated literary texts and authorship of critical apparatus, including David Bergelson’s Judgment: A Novel, translated from the Yiddish in collaboration with Harriet Murav (Northwestern University Press, 2017). Senderovich’s second project, to date, consists of two peer-reviewed articles, including in Prooftexts, a top tier journal in comparative Jewish literary studies, as well as public scholarship in publications like the Los Angeles Review of Books, The Forward, and The New Republic.

MemberAmber Nickell

Amber N. Nickell is a Ph.D. Candidate at Purdue University. Her primary research and teaching field is “Modern Central and Eastern European History”; however, she completed minor preliminary exam fields in “Transnational Germany” and “Russian Imperial Borderlands.”  She earned a Master’s degree in American history (2013) and a Bachelor’s degree in European history (2011) from the University of Northern Colorado. She has presented her work at numerous local, national, and international conferences, workshops, and symposia and received a number of awards for her writing, research, service, and teaching. Additionally, she is a recipient of several research grants and fellowships, including the 2016 Auschwitz Jewish Center Fellowship, Title VIII Grants, and most recently the Fulbright Fellowship (Ukraine). Amber’s training as a scholar of both Europe and the United States enables her to conduct research and teach across these fields. Her methodologies transcend the national, focusing on transnational phenomena, including migration, diaspora, deportation, ethnic cleansing, genocide, human rights, and internationalism. Her command of the spatial humanities augments these strengths. Amber’s most recent publication, “Time to Show the Kremlin America’s Full House: The Committee for Human Rights in the Soviet Union, Rabbi Gedalyah Engel, and their Refusnik Adoptees, 1977-1992,” which appeared in The Transnational Yearbook, Volume 1 (Fairleigh Dickenson, 2018), serves as one example. For more details, see: https://rowman.com/isbn/9781683930037/yearbook-of-transnational-history-(2018)-volume-1 Amber’s current project, tentatively titled “Brotherlands to Bloodlands: Ethnic Germans and Jews in Southern Ukraine, Late Tsarist to Postwar” examines coexistence and confluence between the two groups in territories which now fall in Southern Ukraine and Moldova. She considers the astounding territorial, political, and demographic shifts in the region and ponders their impact on intergroup relationships. In doing so, she illuminates historical processes that transformed interactions between ethnic Germans and their Jewish neighbors from neighborly to murderous.

MemberAla Creciun Graff

Ala is a PhD Candidate (ABD) in Russian History at the University of Maryland, College Park. Her dissertation examines the nationalization of the Russian monarchy under Alexander III (1881-1894) and its far-reaching social, economic, and political implications. She holds an MA in Comparative History from Central European University (CEU) in Budapest, Hungary, awarded in 2013. Ala received her BA in Political Science and International Relations from the American University in Bulgaria in 2011. At the University of Maryland, she designed and taught during Fall 2016 and Spring 2017 her research methods course “Russian History in Art, Music, Literature, and Film.”  During Spring 2017, Ala also underwent a curatorial internship at the Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens in Washington DC, which holds the largest collection of Russian art in the West.  In January 2018, Ala was selected as a Cosmos Scholar by the Cosmos Club Foundation of Washington, DC.

MemberJohanna Mellis

I am a doctoral candidate in History at the University of Florida. My dissertation, titled Negotiation Through Sport: Navigating Everyday Life in Socialist Hungary, 1948-1989, examines the changes in policies, social relations, and cultural norms in the elite sport community. More specifically, I examine how the 1956 Hungarian Revolution and mass defection of hundreds of athletes following the Revolution gradually influenced sport leaders and elite athletes that cooperating with one another enabled both groups to achieve their respective goals of gold medals and material prosperity. My research also explores the improving relations between Hungarian sport leaders and the International Olympic Committee, and how their relations impacted policies domestically and within the IOC. In sum, my research is a history of the politics of cooperation during the Cold War, through the lens of elite sport. My research has been awarded numerous prestigious grants, including the Olympic Studies Centre’s PhD Research Grant, the North American Society for sport History Dissertation Travel Grant, and a Fulbright Grant. I have also received several Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships to study Hungary. My research consists of archival materials from the National Archives and State Security Services Archives in Hungary, the Olympic Studies Centre’s archival holdings on the IOC in Switzerland, and over thirty oral histories that I have conducted with former top athletes, coaches, and sport leaders.

MemberMark Konecny

Dr. Mark Konecny is the Scholarly Communications and Digital Publishing Strategist at the University of Cincinnati. He has been involved in the development of digital media in teaching Humanities for the past 15 years with many disciplines across the curriculum compiling digital curriculum and materials for distance learning in the Humanities: Art History, International Relations, Political Science, Literature, Theater, and Communications, and he has created digital platforms and content for dissemination of rare materials from archive and rare book repositories as well as promotion of digital scholarship in the Humanities. He manages and administers a special collection and research institute that deals with digital content: writing grants, fundraising, supervision, budgeting and procurement and works with issues of digital technology and its application in academic projects and implement technology in the classroom and the interface between the library and academic departments.
He is an editor of the journal Experiment, a scholarly art history journal. In addition to duties as a curator and art historian specializing in Modern Art and the Avant-Garde, he oversaw the transition of the journal from a university published journal to one published and distributed by a major European firm, Brill Publishers, soliciting manuscripts, editing prose, proofreading, revising, and placing illustrations. He has experience negotiating copyright and image right issues. He has worked on several multiyear projects involving faculty and museum professionals from many disciplines from many international universities.