As Head of the IAS Department, I coordinate the work of the department’s seven programs (African, East Asian, West European, Global and International; Middle East; Slavic and Eurasian; and Spain, Portugal, Latin American and Caribbean) within KU Libraries and with other campus units. As Librarian for Slavic and Eurasian studies, I acquire materials from and about Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, and the Caucasus; provide research and instructional services to KU faculty, staff, students, visiting scholars, K-12 community, and the general public; and serve as library liaison to related academic departments and areas studies centers. I also engage in research and professional service and provide support for programs in Global & International Studies and European Studies.
I am a scholar of cultural, religious and intellectual history, early modern and medieval literary and linguistic culture. My publications and research are concerned with the cultural space of eastern, central, and southern Europe, particularly, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Bohemia, Poland, Croatia, Hungary, and Rus. In research and teaching, I deal with topics that include the history of and approaches to language, writing, and literacy; pre-modern historical writing and historical methods; Slavic (Cyrillic, Glagolitic, and Latin) and Greek paleography and cryptography; projects and theories of universal language; and Russian medieval and modern literature and culture. As a medievalist, I am convinced that the mapping of pre-modern Europe into the modern East – West divide creates unnecessary gaps between fields of knowledge that are inherently interconnected and impedes a dialogue between scholars who find themselves working in artificially bounded sub-disciplines. In my research and professional service I try to remedy this situation. In my teaching, I examine medieval literary and historical topics in the context of modern society and help students see their importance in the development of contemporary culture, politics, and social norms. I focus on the study of reading strategies of imaginative texts that leads to the advanced understanding of literature as part of cultural history.
Slavic literatures and cultures, exile and emigration, transnationalism, critical theory, material approaches to narrative and culture
Svetlana Rasmussen, Ph.D., is an adjunct instructor in World History at the University of Guam. Rasmussen has defended her dissertation “Rearing the Collective: Evolution of the Soviet School Values and Practices, 1953 -1968” in Fall 2019. Born in Perm, Russia, Svetlana Rasmussen first came to the United States in 2006 as a Fulbright scholar to study American History at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with Dr. Jeannette Eileen Jones. After defending her M.A. thesis, “‘Searching for Answers, for an Identity, for a Cause to Espouse:’ Ethnic Resurgence in the United States, 1963-1974,” Rasmussen returned to Russia to share her expertise in her home community. In 2010, Rasmussen returned to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to begin her Ph.D. studies in Russian history with Professor Ann Kleimola. Rasmussen’s dissertation examines collectives, essential Soviet social groups that organized the Soviet networks of control and surveillance. Apart from her dissertation research, Rasmussen has collaborated on a variety of digital projects. Currently, Rasmussen is administering her first autonomous digital project: Photoarcheology: Soviet Life in Photographs and Artefacts (http://photoarcheology.org). The project presents amateur and professional photographs from personal collections that recorded the everyday life of people in the Soviet era with thick descriptions of each photograph in English and Russian. Since Spring 2017, Rasmussen has been a volunteer collaborator in Prozhito (http://prozhito.org), a digital archive of personal diaries with most significant holdings of the Russian diaries covering the Russian Civil War and the early Soviet period. Throughout her career, Rasmussen has assumed a variety of teaching roles. In Perm, she taught English as a foreign language to middle school, high school, and university students. At the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Rasmussen served as a teaching assistant in a variety of classes offered by the Department of History and the Department of Classics and Religious Studies. Since 2013, Rasmussen has served as a tutor in History and Russian for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Athletics Department. Both in Perm and in Lincoln, Rasmussen has been involved in a variety of community projects. She has served as a judge for the History Day Nebraska state tournament every year since 2012. Since 2016, Rasmussen has also been a reviewer on the Undergraduate Creative Acts and Research Experience (UCARE) project selection committee. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln UCARE program awards grants to support undergraduate research and creative activity. Most recently, Rasmussen has organized a pre-conference workshop on Prozhito at the ASEEES 51st annual convention in 2019 and presented her research on the evolution of the Soviet secondary school system from 1917 to 1958, origins of the collectives at schools, the analysis of the Soviet school photographic narratives, and the Photoarcheology project at the Graduate Student Workshop at the University of California, Berkeley, the 57th Annual Meeting of the History of Education Society, and the 2017 ASEEES Annual Convention.
Faculty member of Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT), Department of History; Currently on Study-leave for PhD at Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom.
Susan Smith-Peter works on Russian history beyond the two capitals of Moscow and St. Petersburg. Beginning with a study of identity in the provinces of European (or central) Russia, she has branched out to investigate the regional identity of the Russian North and Siberia as well. Her book, Imagining Russian Regions: Subnational Identity and Civil Society in Nineteenth-Century Russia, was published with Brill in 2018.
I am a Ph.D. candidate in History at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA. My dissertation examines German prisoners of war in the Soviet Union from 1941-1956. I am interested in how they were treated, why they were held for so long, and their role in the Soviet forced labor economy. To access their labor contribution, I digitally map the camp locations with regards to resources and infrastructure developments with the program ArcGIS. The role of the POWs in the early stages of the Cold War is also a major part of my research.
Steven Seegel is Professor of Russian, East European, and Eurasian history at the University of Northern Colorado. He is the author of Map Men: Transnational Lives and Deaths of Geographers in the Making of East Central Europe (University of Chicago Press, 2018), Ukraine under Western Eyes (Harvard University Press, 2013), and Mapping Europe’s Borderlands: Russian Cartography in the Age of Empire (University of Chicago Press, 2012). He contributes to Chicago’s international history of cartography series and has translated over 300 entries from Russian and Polish for the US Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos, 1933-1945. He is a former director at Harvard of its Ukrainian Research Institute’s summer school and exchange program. Currently, he is a host on three channels at the New Books Network (NBN) for its podcasts, which now reach a million downloads monthly.