Melikian Faculty Affiliates

iveta_silova
Iveta Silova
TEACHERS COLLEGE, MARY LOU FULTON
Professor and Director of the Center for the Advanced Studies in Global Educations
PhD, Columbia University
Research Interests:
Globalization, Democratization, and Policy ‘Borrowing’ in Education

Current research: Iveta Silova is working on a project, which focuses on the memories of socialist childhood. The research project brings together cultural insiders who were brought up and educated on the eastern side of the Iron Curtain - spanning from Central Europe to mainland Asia - enabling participants to explore their own experiences of Soviet/socialist education and childhood by analyzing lived experiences, memories, and artifacts of socialist childhood and schooling. The goal is to make visible to ourselves as researchers how we have mastered (and been mastered by) particular theories and understandings of (post)socialist transition, education, and childhood. Our memories offer insights into the manifold nature of childhoods that cannot be simply reduced to an ideological oppression exercised through socialist state control or official school curriculum and pedagogy. Rather, these evocative memory stories illuminate the diverse spaces of childhoods interweaving with broader political, economic, and social life. They also highlight the multiple ways of becoming and being children in historical contexts that are far more ambiguous than previously acknowledged. Drawing on the research traditions of autobiography, autoethnography, and collective biography, we challenge what is often considered “normal” and “natural” in the historical accounts of socialist childhoods and engage in (re)writing histories that rub against traditional imaginaries of Cold War divisions between the East and West.

Danko Sipka
INTERNATIONAL LETTERS AND CULTURES
Professor
Ph.D., University of Belgrade, Ph.D., Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw
Research Interests:
Linguistics, Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian, Polish

Current research: Danko Sipka is working on a cross-disciplinarbook project titled From Society to Lexicography and Back: Slavic monolingual dictionaries as ideological maneuvers. His project concentrates on monolingual dictionaries as ideological maneuvers at the times of accelerated and condensed history. He will concentrate mostly on Romanticism (especially the aftermath of the Decembrist Revolt and the events around the Revolutions of 1848), Modernism (in particular in the aftermath of the October Revolution), and Postmodernism (most notably the period following the liberal revolutions of 1989). The present projects stem from Sipka's book titled Lexical Conflict: Theory and practice (Cambridge University Press, 2015) and the ensuing recently completed book project Lexical Layers of Cultural Identity (under a publication contract with Cambridge University Press). The latter monograph uses the material from Slavic languages to demonstrate that cultural identity of its speakers is shaped in three distinct lexical layers: deep (mostly in inherited lexicon), exchange (through lexical borrowing) and surface (in lexical engineering and refereeing). Monolingual dictionaries are front and center in the latter layer, which makes the present research projects narrowing down their focus on an important area of the field studied in the previous two monographs. Dictionaries are generally considered dull lists of words. Quite conversely, Sipka considers them rich depositories of socio-political and cultural practices and he sees them as entities that have agency on their own in their wider sociocultural context. The present book project strives to elucidate the mechanisms of societal influence on the dictionaries and the ways dictionaries contribute to shaping societies in Slavic cultures.  He will hold invited lectures on the topic of the recently completed monograph in Belgrade, Novi Sad, and Poznań (in June 2018), and conference papers in Montana (May 2018) and Ohrid (June 2018).

Professor Sipka shares about his research.

Professor Sipka's Language and Culture Clash course and History of Slavic Languages - Fall 2018.

David Siroky
POLITICS AND GLOBAL STUDIES
Associate Professor
Ph.D., Duke University
Research Interests:
Ethnic conflict and civil war dynamics; Institutional change and political instability; causal inference and statistical methodology
Henry Sivak
POLITICS AND GLOBAL STUDIES
Lecturer
Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles
Research Interests:
Politics of secession and self-determination, cultural globalization, and global cities.

Current research: Henry Sivak, lecturer in Global Studies, is in the early stages of a research project that focuses on urbanization and urban planning in Skopje, Macedonia, over the last 50 years. Cities are places where ideas about nation, nationalism, and identity are worked out 'on the ground'. The urban landscape and built environment offer ample opportunities for planners, architects, and politicians to anchor nationalist ideals in the body politic. At the same time, their efforts nurture forms of popular consciousness that do not always follow from what was initially intended. This research project traces the changes made to Skopje's urban landscape since the 1963 earthquake and the shifting uses of urban space that followed from this event. It hopes to identify the relationship between popular nationalism and urban form in the Macedonian capital and to identify the relevance of Skopje's experience to Balkan cities more widely. It also connects to research on catastrophe in the social sciences and humanities, which examines how catastrophes reshape places and generate new ideas about the role and importance of cities and regions in political and cultural life.

Andrew Smith
LIFE SCIENCES
Emeritus Professor
Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles
Research Interests:
Wildlife Biology, Eurasia
Stefan Stantchev
HUMANITIES, ARTS & CULTURAL STUDIES
Associate Professor
Ph.D., University of Michigan
Research Interests:
Religious and economic factors that shaped power relations within Europe and throughout the Mediterranean, circa 1000 to circa 1500
Laurie Stoff
BARRETT HONORS COLLEGE
Honors Faculty Fellow
Ph.D., University of Kansas
Research Interests:
Russian, East European, and women's and gender history and studies

Current Research: Laurie S. Stoff, Senior Lecturer and Honors Faculty Fellow, Barrett, the Honors College at ASU, is currently working on several projects. She is lead editor and contributor to an international, multi-author collection of essays on the experiences of individuals and groups who participated in the First World War in Russia on the "front," the first part of an entire volume in the Russia’s Great War and Revolution series about military affairs. Taking broad definitions of the “front” and military experiences, the volume spotlights not just combatants but also closely associated non-combatants such as nurses, military chaplains, front-zone civilian workers, POWs, and disabled veterans. This book seeks to promote and extend a non-traditional form of military history in relation to Russia, which rests on the premise that the military history of World War I in the Russian theater cannot be sufficiently understood by focusing exclusively on war plans, strategy, and operations, and that, precisely because war is a human activity, it is crucial to establish the place of humans in this military story. Stoff's two chapters in this volume concern the experiences of women soldiers and female nurses, respectively. With support of the Melikian Center, several of the Russian contributions to this book were translated into English by ASU graduate students. Stoff is also working on editing and annotating the memoir of experiences of an American doctor, Malcom Grow, who served with the Russian Imperial Army during the Great War, as well as an article for the Smithsonian on the meaning and importance of wearing uniforms for the women who served Russia as both soldiers and nurses in the First World War.

Henry Thomson
POLITICS AND GLOBAL STUDIES
Assistant Professor
Ph.D., University of Minnesota
Research Interests:
Political economy of authoritarianism and democratization with a special interest in role which agriculture plays in processes of development and democratization, and also in collective mobilization and repression under authoritarian regimes

Current research: Henry Thomson, Assistant Professor in the School of Politics & Global Studies, researches the political economy of authoritarian governments. He is currently working on a comparative project about the secret police agencies of the socialist dictatorships in East Central Europe during the Cold War. Although these dictatorships were very similar in institutional structure, including the structure of their coercive institutions, the size and activities of their secret police agencies varied dramatically. This project aims to explain this variation with reference to delegation and control problems between party elites and the leaders of their secret police agencies. The project's findings will inform our understanding of dictatorship in Cold War East Central Europe, but also of contemporary regimes such as those in Russia, Central Asia and China. In 2018, Thomson will present aspects of this research at several conferences in the United States and Europe.

Eric Thor
Eric Thor
AGRIBUSINESS
Professor Emeritus
Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley
Research Interests:
Agribusiness financing and resource management in Eastern Europe and Eurasia
Emil Volek
INTERNATIONAL LETTERS AND CULTURES
Professor
Ph.D., Charles University, Prague
Research Interests:
Czech, Soviet Formalist Writing

Current research: Emil Volek, Professor, School of International Letters and Cultures, is engaged, in one line, in ongoing research in literary theory, semiotics and aesthetics. While focused generally on modern and postmodern intellectual currents, he uses his intimate  knowledge of Slavic schools of criticism (Russian Formalism, Prague School of structuralism and theater studies) to introduce them into the Hispanic context in a cumulative series of publications in Spanish (Metaestructuralismo, 1985; an anthology of Russian Formalism and the Bakhtin circle, 1992, 1995; Mukařovský anthology, 2000; Prague theater theory, 2013); in 2016, he received for these efforts the Centennial Medal “José Lezama Lima” from the Cuban Government Instituto del Libro. Some of these projects have been later published in diverse venues in the Czech Republic (Mukařovský, articles in semiotics, language and communication, aesthetics and new humanism, Prague theater theory pending). In his second line of research, he is currently focusing on Latin American political and cultural thought of the twentieth century, using his vital insights from his life experience in communist and postcommunist Czechoslovakia.

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