Program in East Europe Studies Fellows and Grantees

The American Council of Learned Societies is pleased to announce the results of competitions in the Program in East Europe Studies, which provides fellowships and grants to scholars pursuing research in the social sciences and the humanities pertaining to Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Kosovo/a, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, and Slovenia. Language-Training Grants were also made to three institutions for language-training programs in summer 2008 and to one institution for advanced-mastery language training in summers 2007 and 2008.

This program has been supported until 2012 by funding administered by the U.S. Department of State under the Research and Training for Eastern Europe and the Independent States of the Former Soviet Union Act of 1983, Title VIII.

Read more about this fellowship and grant program.

Please note: affiliations shown are as of time of award. Please click on fellows' names for current information.

Sarah A. Cramsey
Sarah A. Cramsey  |  Abstract
How did liberals, once the strongest proponents of integration and minority rights, come to think of Jews as a separate ethnic identity excluded from European citizenship? This project traces how a particular idea of Jewish identity evolved, asking when and how Polish and Czech liberals became convinced that Europe could not shelter the Jews. The questions that drive this research touch on fundamental ideas about the meaning of citizenship and ethnic identity in the modern period. This dissertation promises to view the decade between 1938 and 1948 from a novel, comparative vantage point while positioning this period as a penultimate moment in a broader story of Jewish citizenship in modern Europe.

Doctoral Candidate, History, University of California, Berkeley  -  Uncertain Citizenship: Czechs, Poles, and the Jewish People, 1938-1948

Kyrill M. Kunakhovich
Kyrill M. Kunakhovich  |  Abstract
This dissertation explores efforts to construct a distinctive socialist culture in two major cities of the Soviet Bloc: Krakow in Poland and Leipzig in East Germany. Local officials in both cities treated culture as a political priority and devoted much time and resources to organizing cultural life on the ground. This dissertation investigates what they sought to accomplish and what they did to bring this about. It uses a comparative approach to examine the Polish and East German cultural projects and trace their evolution over time. It also assesses how these changing projects affected each city's cultural scene. The dissertation explores key artistic developments in Krakow and Leipzig, as well as shifting patterns of popular cultural participation. It follows the triangular relationship between cultural officials, artists, and audiences, and analyzes how the interaction between these three groups shaped cultural life in both Krakow and Leipzig.

Doctoral Candidate, History, Princeton University  -  In Search of Socialist Culture: Culture and Politics in Krakow and Leipzig, 1945-1970

Emily R. Gioielli
Emily R. Gioielli  |  Abstract
This dissertation examines the relationship between violence and political legitimacy. Using post-World War I Hungary as a case study, it analyzes how individuals participated in and interpreted the relationship of the Red and White Terrors to the regimes they claimed to promote. In the international political arena, it investigates how a variety of groups both inside and outside of Hungary used the violence perpetrated during the Terrors to wage propaganda wars against their political opponents. It also shows how certain circles instrumentalized violence to advocate for foreign policy strategies that would undermine Hungary's sovereignty. This project grapples with the question of how individuals and states decide who has the “right to rule.”

Doctoral Candidate, Department of History, Central European University  -  'Primitive Cruelty' and 'Refined Vengeance': Violence and the Struggle for Legitimacy in Post-World War I Hungary

Molly Pucci
Molly Pucci  |  Abstract
This dissertation is a comparative study of the rise and fall of the Stalin-era East European secret police in Poland, Czechoslovakia, and East Germany. It focuses on the political police and intelligence services of these countries, including their recruitment strategies, institutional development, and relations with the Soviets. It examines how the Soviets administered each country and the role of local elites in “self-Sovietizing.” It follows the secret police from the Second World War to the period of de-Stalinization, showing the improvised nature of early East European communist policies and the radical political climate of East Europe during WWII and the Cold War.

Doctoral Student, History, Stanford University  -  Security Empire: The Secret Police in Stalinist East Europe, 1944-1956

Elena Ion
Elena Ion  |  Abstract
Following Romania’s accession to the European Union, Bucharest has witnessed a resurgence of state-led urban development on a scale not seen since the socialist period. EU Structural Funding and public funding financed many of these projects and in the process transformed the dynamics of central and local governance. Through an ethnography of urban planning decision-making, and the challenges mobilized against it, this project examines the emergence of a new regime of urban governance that is reliant on EU and public funding and focused on the procurement of public projects. This project analyzes how this allocative mode of urban governance differs from entrepreneurial modes of governance, which recent scholarship views as the dominant forces shaping urban transformations in Central and East European cities.

Doctoral Candidate, Architecture, University of California, Berkeley  -  Public Funding and Urban Governance in Romania: State-Led Urban Development in an Era of Crisis

Robin E. Smith
Robin E. Smith  |  Abstract
This project analyzes the interaction between Croatian vintner associations and local governance institutions. Here, the Europeanization debate is turned on its head, asking: to what extent and with what effect has industry initiated and influenced democratic reforms? By framing this within an analysis of the constraints levied on the transformation of vintner groups and tracing the history of vintner-state relations, we link the region to larger European processes. This project focuses on the cultivation of cultural capital, re-crafting traditional products, and EU-agribusiness relations, referencing industrial organization and transition theories.

Doctoral Student, School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography, University of Oxford  -  The Balkan Transformation: Vintner Associations and Democratic Governance in Croatia