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From the Director

September 6, 2018

Dear colleagues and students,       

Welcome back! I hope you had a refreshing summer and are ready for an exciting academic year ahead.  

I’m delighted to open this letter with an important announcement: Our application for Title VI/FLAS funding was successful! This means CREES will continue to provide FLAS fellowships for our graduate and undergraduate students to study the languages of the region. I’m grateful to all of those who helped in the application process by providing and compiling the required information. Liz Malinkin deserves special thanks for her outstanding work on the proposal.

We have a stimulating academic year ahead, with a dense schedule of lectures, films, and performances. As in years past, we have curated lecture series on two themes: “Migrations and Multiculturalism” and “Europe, Old and New.”

Speakers and events in the Migrations and Multiculturalism series will focus on migration flows and explore the different meanings and challenges of cultural diversity—from the multiculturalism of the Austro-Hungarian empire to guest workers in socialist Yugoslavia, to anti-immigrant populist movements throughout contemporary Europe.
As 2018 marks the centennial of the end of the First World War, the collapse of empires, and the redrawing of Europe’s map, the series Europe, Old and New will explore those themes and critically examine where we are now, at a time of democratic crisis and rising populism throughout Europe. 

We also have planned events on current affairs in Russia and Poland, a special multimedia performance at the Michigan Theater, and a talk by award-winning author Dubravka Ugrešić on literature in the Balkans. I invite you to consult our list of upcoming events here, and to browse the CREES annual report for the previous academic year as well. The report outlines last year’s accomplishments, including our students’ recent achievements and faculty publications.
CREES is also proud to host Dr. Krzysztof Śmiszek, Polish human rights lawyer, activist, and managing editor of The Anti-Discrimination Law Review, as the first Weiser Center for Europe and Eurasia Distinguished Fellow. Dr. Śmiszek specializes in LGBTQI rights in Poland, and will be affiliated with CES and CREES during his month-long visit at U-M in September. He will be giving several lectures on campus during his stay.  We will also co-host Irina Khutsieva, director, Chamber Theatre, Moscow, who will be an Artist in Residence at the Residential College this fall and will give a CREES Noon Lecture.
Last but not least, Liz Malinkin and I are traveling to Russia this month to make connections on behalf of CREES with educational institutions in Moscow and St. Petersburg, and to touch base with our many alumni currently living and working in Russia. We’ll report on that trip later in the Fall.
We look forward to seeing you at our events.
Best wishes,

Geneviève Zubrzycki
Professor of Sociology
Director, WCEE
Director, CREES