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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.

MemberRachel Stauffer

Currently I am an instructor of Russian and Spanish at James Madison University. I have taught Russian language, literature, culture, and/or cinema at the University of Virginia, the University of Richmond, Northern Virginia Community College, and Ferrum College. Since 2013, I have worked as the Conference Manager for the American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages (AATSEEL). In addition to teaching, I am also currently pursuing a M.Ed in Equity and Cultural Diversity in the JMU College of Education.

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.

MemberSvetlana Rasmussen

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.

MemberMichael David-Fox

Michael David-Fox is a historian of modern Russia and the USSR, whose work has ranged from cultural and political history to transnational studies and modernity theory. At the outset of his career, he became one of the first foreign researchers to work in formerly closed Communist Party archives during the collapse of the Soviet Union. He went on to become a founding editor of Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History [https://kritika.georgetown.edu/], now based at Georgetown, a transformative journal that has helped to internationalize the field of Russian Studies. For this, he received the 2010 Distinguished Editor Award from the Council of Editors of Learned Journals. In a series of books, nine edited volumes, twelve edited special theme issues of journals, and over forty-five articles and chapters, David-Fox has probed unexpected connections between culture and politics, institutions and mentalities, and domestic and international shifts. His latest work explores covert entanglements across borders, ideologies, and cultures. He has strong interests in transnational and comparative history and in the history of Russian-German relations, broadly conceived, as well as in the history of the Russian Revolution and Stalinism. David-Fox received his A.B. from Princeton and his PhD from Yale. He is author of Revolution of the Mind: Higher Learning among the Bolsheviks, 1918-1929 (1997); Showcasing the Great Experiment: Cultural Diplomacy and Western Visitors to the Soviet Union, 1921-1941 (2012, translated into Russian and Chinese, a Choice Outstanding Academic Title); Crossing Borders: Modernity, Ideology, and Culture in Russia and the Soviet Union (2015, under translation into Russian, winner of the 2016 Historia Nova Prize for Best Book in Russian Intellectual and Cultural History). David-Fox has been a Humboldt Fellow (Germany), a visiting professor at the Centre russe, EHESS (France), and was awarded the title of honorary professor from Samara State University (Russia). He has been a visiting scholar or fellow at the W. Averill Harriman Institute at Columbia University, the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study, the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies, the Mershon Center for Studies in International Security and Public Policy, the National Academy of Education, the Davis Center for Historical Studies at Princeton University, the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation (2017). His current book project, “Smolensk under Nazi and Soviet Rule,” is a study of the exercise of power in a Russian region under Stalinism and the German occupation during WWII. Aiming squarely at the place where regional history meets the grand narrative, it cross-fertilizes three rapidly evolving fields: the study of Stalinism, German occupation on the Eastern Front during World War II, and the Holocaust. Since 2013, David-Fox has served as scholarly advisor to the International Centre for the History and Sociology of World War II and its Consequences at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow.