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.
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.
World literatures, translation, postcolonial theory, transnationalism, globalization, literature as commodity, paratextual studies, diaspora, exile, immigration, gender studies, critical race studies, climate fiction, global Anglophone literature, Haitian literature, Francophone literature, Czech literature, African literature, African American literature
Russian and Soviet literature; postcolonialism; cultural studies
Russian poetry, women writers, literary translation, translation theory and practice, Slavic folklore, Croatian literature, Serbian literature, gender and sexuality in Slavic cultures, science fiction
Anna Zofia Gąsienica Byrcyn is a literary translator and a lecturer. She is interested in modern & ancient languages, literature, translation, art, photography, film, myths in literary texts, folklore, language acquisition & pedagogy, the Tatra Mountains in Polish literature, art, and music.
Slavic literatures and cultures, exile and emigration, transnationalism, critical theory, material approaches to narrative and culture
I’m interested in Central and Eastern European literature, culture, film, and intellectual history, from Germany to Russia. My current research focuses on the intersection of literature, philosophy, narrative, and aesthetics from the 18th century to the present day. I work primarily on the 20th and 21st centuries, although I have a continuing interest in the 19th century as well (particularly Romanticism and the development of narratological paradigms). I am currently finishing a book project on constructing non-narrative temporalities in Central Europe. I argue that Central European authors rejected narrative constructions of time, opting instead for forms of episodes, collage, and spectral traces to develop alternative temporal constructions. My next project takes me to the 1980s in Central Europe where the second generation of dissidents rejected not only the socialist regimes but also the opposition of the previous generation.
My research interests are guided by a broad question of what inspires contemporary composers, in particular, the influence of spiritual or philosophical beliefs on their music and its reception. My current research focus is music during the last two decades of the USSR.