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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.

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.

MemberSusan Grunewald

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.

MemberMaria Galmarini-Kabala

I am a historian of the Soviet Union with a particular interest in the history of political ideas and their impact on marginalized members of society. My work has so far explored ideas of social rights and welfare, relief to political prisoners, bio-political approaches to behaviorally problematic children, the rehabilitation of blinded WWII veterans, and ideas of justice among deaf people during the Russian Revolution. Most recently, I have published a book entitled The Right to Be Helped: Deviance, Entitlement, and the Soviet Moral Order (Northern Illinois University Press, 2016). Through an analysis of the treatment reserved to men, women, and children who deviated from the physical and gender norms of Soviet subjectivity, this book explores the moral order of socialism and interrogates its legitimacy in the post-revolutionary and Stalinist periods.  

MemberBarbara Allen

  • Associate Professor of History at La Salle University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  • U.S. citizen born in North Carolina, USA.
  • Author or editor/translator of two published books, one forthcoming book, articles, book chapters, and book reviews about the Russian Revolution and oppositionism within the Soviet Communist Party.
  • Teaches using Reacting to the Past pedagogy.
  • Travels include Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Finland, United Kingdom, France, The Netherlands, Turkey, Canada, Mexico.

MemberChristopher Campo-Bowen

Christopher Campo-Bowen is an Assistant Professor/Faculty Fellow in the Department of Music at the NYU Faculty of Arts and Science. He completed his Ph.D. in musicology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He holds a B.A. in Music with honors in conducting from Stanford University and an M.M. in Orchestral Conducting from The Catholic University of America in Washington D.C. He is also active as a viola player, singer, conductor, and translator. Christopher’s research focuses on music in the Habsburg Monarchy in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, especially on the relationships between music, ethnicity, gender, and empire. He is particularly interested in the music of the composers Bedřich Smetana, Antonín Dvořák, and Leoš Janáček and how conceptions of ruralness in Czech opera structured notions of subjectivity and identity. His current project investigates the institutional and imperial relationships between Prague and Vienna in the context of operatic performance and exhibition culture. He has published articles in the journals Nineteenth-Century Music and Cambridge Opera Journal and presented at various national and international conferences, including the annual meeting of the American Musicological Society, the Council for European Studies annual conference, the North American Conference on Nineteenth Century Music, and the Branding “Western Music” conference hosted at the Universität Bern. Christopher received a Fulbright grant for the Czech Republic to perform dissertation research; he has also held a Howard Mayer Brown Fellowship from the American Musicological Society and was the recipient of a Council for European Studies Mellon Dissertation Completion Grant.

MemberJulia Verkholantsev

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.