To celebrate its 60th anniversary, in 2019-20, CREES has organized a series of signature events by prominent scholars, artists, and public figures that will feature the region and highlight important topics in the field. Among the distinguished speakers are Anne Applebaum, an author and foreign policy columnist for The Washington Post. She will talk about the Ukrainian Famine of the early 1930s that devastated the then-Soviet republic and relate those events to Russian-Ukrainian relations today. Author Ruta Sepetys will present the CREES Distinguished Lecture at the Michigan Theater, along with a book signing and screening of the film Ashes in the Snow, which is based on her historical fiction novel Between Shades of Gray.

In addition to 60th Anniversary events, CREES is presenting a series on environmental issues facing the region. This  includes a talk by Zsuzsa Gille on changing patterns of consumption and the increasing production of waste in postcommunist Eastern Europe, and a lecture by Laura Henry on the relationship of indigenous communities in Russia with oil companies.

See below for the full schedule or visit our Events Calendar for details.

Mon, Sep 9, 4-6 PM
CREES/Slavic Lecture.
Franz Kafka in Central European Cultures of Memory.” Marek Nekula, professor of Slavic languages & literatures, University of Regensburg. Sponsors: CREES, Department of Slavic Languages & Literatures. 1010 Weiser Hall.


Wed, Sep 11, 12-1:20 PM
CREES Noon Lecture. “Nature, Consumption, and Waste in the Cold War and Beyond.” Zsuzsa Gille, professor of sociology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Sponsors: CREES, CES. 1010 Weiser Hall.

Thu, Sep 12, 5:30-7 PM
Poetry Reading.
“Without Protection.” Gala Mukomolova, poet and essayist. Sponsors: Helen Zell Writer’s Program, CREES, others. Stern Auditorium, UMMA.    

Fri, Sep 13-Sat, Sep 14
“Austerity and Anti-Austerity beyond Capitalism.” Sponsors: Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies, CES, CREES, WCED, others. Hussey Room, Michigan League.

Fri, Sep 20, 5:30-7 PM
CREES 60th Anniversary Signature Lecture. “The Ukrainian Famine: What We Know Now—And Why It Matters.” Anne Applebaum, author and foreign policy columnist, The Washington Post. Sponsors: CREES, CCPS. 1010 Weiser Hall.

Thu, Sep 26, 8 PM
“Borders & Ballads.” Daniel Kahn, Yeva Lapsker, Jake Shulman-Ment, klezmer band. Sponsors: FCJS, CREES. Britton Recital Hall, Earl V. Moore Building, 1100 Baits Dr.

Fri, Oct 4, 5:30 PM
CREES Distinguished Lecture and Film.
“From the Soviet Gulag to Franco’s Spain: Historical Fiction’s Power for Global Dialogue.” Ruta Sepetys, author. Lecture followed at 7 PM by a screening of Ashes in the Snow. Marius A. Markevicius, director (98 min., 2018), based on the novel Between Shades of Gray, by Ruta Sepetys. Sponsor: CREES. Michigan Theater, 603 E. Liberty.

Thu, Oct 10, 7-8:30 PM
“What Does Europe Want Now?” Benjamin Paloff, associate professor of Slavic languages & literatures and comparative literature, U-M; others. Sponsors: Michigan Quarterly Review, CES. Literati Bookstore, 124 E. Washington.

Fri, Oct 11-Sat, Oct 12
“Moscow x Detroit: Transnational Modernity in the Built Environment.” Sponsors: Department of History of Art, Canadian Centre for Architecture, CREES, Taubman College of Architecture + Urban Planning, UMMA. UMMA and Rackham Amphitheatre.


Wed, Oct 16, 12-1:20 PM
CREES Noon Lecture.
“Extraction and Equity: Indigenous Communities and Oil Companies in the Russian Arctic.” Laura Henry, associate professor of government, Bowdoin College. Sponsor: CREES. 1010 Weiser Hall.

Thu, Nov 7, 5:10 PM
Penny Stamps Speaker Series. “Design Why?” Marina Willer, graphic designer and filmmaker. Lecture followed at 7:30 PM by a screening of the film Red Trees. Marina Willer, director (87 min., 2017). Sponsors: STAMPS, CREES. Michigan Theater, 603 E. Liberty.

Mon, Nov 11, 5:30-7 PM
Annual Copernicus Lecture.
“Working Around, Against, and Without: An Artist’s Excursion on Shifting Political Ground.” Artur Żmijewski, visual artist. Sponsors: CCPS, CREES, STAMPS. Stern Auditorium, UMMA.

Wed, Dec 4, 12-1:20 PM
CREES Noon Lecture.
“‘Stalin’s Master Narrative’: The General Secretary’s Rewriting of Party History in the 1938 Short Course.” David Brandenberger, professor of history, University of Richmond. Sponsors: CREES, HIST. 1010 Weiser Hall.