October 2015 Events

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“Public-Police Contacts in Russia: Revisiting the Predatory Model of Policing”
Olga Semukhina, Assistant Professor, Department of Criminology and Law Studies, Marquette University


When: Thursday, October 1, 2015, 4:00 PM
Where: 206 Ingraham Hall
Sponsors: The Center for Russia, East Europe, and Central Asia, the Department of Sociology, and the Legal Studies Program


About the Lecture: This lecture revisits the concept of "predatory policing" coined by Dr. Gerber and Dr. Mendelson in their 2008 article "Public Experience of Police Violence and Corruption in Contemporary Russia: A Case of Predatory Policing?". The central question of the lecture is whether the predatory policing continues to be a predominant theoretical concept within the context of Russian police. The talk is based on 34 semi-structured interviews with Russian police officers conducted by the author in three Russian cities during 2010-2015. The findings of this study suggest that while the predatory policing remains an important form of police behavior in Russia, other forms of public-police interaction has also emerged in the last ten years.


About the Speaker: Dr. Semukhina is an associate professor of criminology and law studies at Marquette University. Dr. Semukhina holds LLB/LLM degrees from Tomsk State University (Russia) and MS/PhD degrees in criminal justice from the University of Central Florida. She is the co-author of the book "Understanding the Modern Russian Police" which was published by CRC Press in 2013.




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The Polish Center of Wisconsin Presents:

Grazyna Auguscik Group


When: Friday, October 2 7:00pm

Where: 6941 S. 68th Street, Franklin, WI


For information please call: (414) 529-2140

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"Circle, Square, Network, Movement: Dissident Formations in Late Soviet Socialism"
Benjamin Nathans, Associate Professor, Department of History, University of Pennsylvania


When: Thursday, October 8, 2015, 4:00 PM
Where: 206 Ingraham Hall
Sponsors: The Center for Russia, East Europe, and Central Asia, the Department of History


About the Lecture: Soviet dissidents fashioned the first movement for civil and human rights in a socialist country.  What forms could unofficial campaigns for social change take in the wake of Stalin’s death and the Soviet state’s retreat from totalitarian mass terror?  What can the history of the dissident movement teach us about social trust, networks, and civil society under second-generation socialism? This lecture will explore forms of sociability and social action in the Soviet dissident movement and place them in the larger context of global reform movements in the 1960s and 1970s. 


About the Speaker: Benjamin Nathans, the Ronald S. Lauder Associate Professor of History at Penn, is currently finishing a book entitled To the Success of Our Hopeless Cause: A History of the Soviet Dissident Movement.  His most recent article, “Talking Fish: On Soviet Dissident Memoirs,” appears in the Sept. 2015 issue of the Journal of Modern History.  Nathans’ essays have been published in The Nation, the London Review of Books, and other venues.  His prize-winning book Beyond the Pale: The Jewish Encounter with Late Imperial Russia has been translated into Russian and Hebrew.


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AATSEEL Wisconsin Conference Keynote Address:
"Displaced Tyrannies: Allegories of Repression in East Central European Literature"
Jonathan Bolton, Harvard University


When: Friday, October 9, 2015, 4:00 PM
Where: Room 232, Pyle Center, 702 Langdon Street
Sponsors: The Department of Slavic Languages and Literature and the Center for Russia, East Europe, and Central Asia, with support from the University Lectures Committee


About the Lecture: Coming soon!


About the Speaker: Coming soon!






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AATSEEL-Wisconsin Conference


When: Saturday, October 10, 8:30AM - 4:40PM
Where: Room 232, The Pyle Center, 702 Langdon Street
Sponsors: Department of Slavic Languages and Literature, the University Lectures Committee, the Center for Russia, East Europe, and Central Asia, UW-Madison Slavic Department Graduate Student Organization






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"Nostra Aetate and the Future of Interreligious Dialogue"

A Public Conference


When: Sunday, October 11 to Tuesday, October 13, 2015
Where: Room 235, Pyle Center, 702 Langdon Street

Sponsors: The Lubar Institute for the Study of Abrahamic Religions

About the Conference: In 1965, the assembled bishops of the Second Vatican Council passed the “Declaration on the Relation of the Church with Non-Christian Religions,” commonly known as Nostra Aetate (after the opening words, “In our time…”). It constituted a major statement about how the Roman Catholic Church under Pope Paul VI considered its relationship to other faith traditions, notably Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism. The document announced that the Church “rejects nothing that is true and holy in these religions” and “reproves, as foreign to the mind of Christ, any discrimination against men or harassment of them because of their race, color, condition of life, or religion.”

To mark the Declaration’s fiftieth anniversary, this conference will examine the past—and potential future—of Nostra Aetate from multiple perspectives, primarily from outside the Roman Catholic Church. 

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Natural Materials Wreath-Making Workshop

When: Tuesday, October 13, 6:00-8:30pm

Where: Pinney Library, 204 Cottage Grove Road, Madison


About this Workshop: October is Polish American Heritage Month. Help celebrate by making your own Polish-style wreath for hanging inside or out-side your home. All natural, locally-sourced materials, such as herbs, grasses, nuts & grains, will be woven into a grape-vine base. All materials will be furnished. Bring a light wt. pruning shears and heavy kitchen scissors and a glue gun if possible. Free. This event is supported by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Sponsored by the Polish Heritage Club and the Friends of the Pinney Library, and presented by PHCWI member Gloria Welniak.


To register, visit:

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“Violence as a Generative Force: Rethinking ‘Ethnicity’ through a Bosnian Community”
Max Bergholz, Assistant Professor, Department of History, Concordia University


When: Thursday, October 15, 2015, 4:00 PM
Where: 206 Ingraham Hall
Sponsors: The Center for Russia, East Europe, and Central Asia, the Department of Political Science, and the International Studies Major


About the Lecture: How do ethnic categories change in the midst of violent conflict?  Lack of attention to this subject remains a striking gap in the literature on ethnic violence and nationalism.  This is surprising because recent, influential work on civil war has shown that violence can, in fact, profoundly shape and reshape pre-conflict political identities in unexpected ways, often producing far-reaching transformations in forms of categorization, social relations, and configurations of power, particular at the micro level.  This lecture draws on a rich set of empirics about intercommunal killing in a Bosnian community during the summer of 1941 in order to shed broader theoretical light on how violence can transform the meaning and practice of ethnic categories.


About the Speaker: Max Bergholz is Assistant Professor in the Department of History at Concordia University (Montreal, Canada), where he holds the James M. Stanford Professorship in Genocide and Human Rights Studies.  His current research examines the local dynamics of intercommunal violence and nationalism in the former Yugoslavia during and after the Second World War.  He has won support for this work from the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation and the American Council of Learned Societies, among others.  His most recent articles have been published in American Historical Review and East European Politics & Societies.




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"Writing Trauma: Henry Ries's Photographs of Berlin, 1937-1985"

Vivien Green Fryd


When: Thursday, October 15, 2015, 7:30 PM

Where: L140 Elvehjem Building

Sponsors: Center for German and European Studies, and the Departments of Art History and German


About the Event: Viven Green Fryd, who received her Ph.D. in Art History at UW-Madison in 1984, is currently Professor of Art History at Vanderbilt University, where she teaches American art from the colonial period to the present, as well as courses in nineteenth-century European art, methods in art history, American Studies, and gender studies. In addition to numerous articles she has published Art and Empire: The Politics of Ethnicity in the United States Capitol, 1815-1865 (Ohio University Press, 2001; reprint Yale University Press, 1992) and Art and the Crisis of Marriage: Georgia O'Keeffe and Edward Hopper (University of Chicago Press, 2003). On Thursday evening and Friday afternoon (In L170 at 1:20 PM) she will discuss the work and life of her uncle, the famed photographer of the Berlin Airlift, Henry Ries, and her family's experience in World War II Berlin.

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"Make it a Habit! Eat More Rabbit!"

Julie Engel


When: Friday, October 16, 5:30-7:00 PM

Where: Wisconsin Idea Room, Nancy Nicholas Hall, 1300 Linden Drive


About the Lecture: Join Julie Engel, and millions around the world, in eating rabbit.  Try a delicious sample of a healthy meat that is the most efficient to raise.  Learn why people around the world rely on rabbit as a source of meat, and specifically learn why the people in the country of Georgia have invested in this protein source.  She will describe her recent trip to that country and mentoring Georgian rabbit farmers through the ACDI/VOCA program funded by USAID.  She will contrast her Georgian experience with her own style of raising meat rabbits, called The Coney Garth, located in Jefferson, WI.
Public car parking in Lot 20 and a limited number of car spots in the basement of 1300 Linden Drive (parking fees apply).  Plenty of free bicycle parking in front of the building!


For more information: contact Julie Engel at or Lydia Zepeda at

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The Polish Center of Wisconsin Presents:

Kamil Tokarski


When: Sunday, October 18 2:00 PM

Where: 6941 S. 68th Street, Franklin, WI


For information call: (414) 529-2140

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"Testing Ground: A Cultural History of Soviet Scientists from Stalin to Gorbachev"
Maria Rogacheva, Honorary Fellow, University of Wisconsin-Madison


When: Thursday, October 22, 2015, 4:00 PM
Where: 206 Ingraham Hall
Sponsors: The Center for Russia, East Europe, and Central Asia


About the Lecture: Coming soon!


About the Speaker: Coming soon!





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"I Am Me"

Nicole Kontolefa


When: Russian Performance on Friday, October 23 at 4:00 PM, English performance on Saturday, October 24 at 10:00 AM

Where: For the Friday performance, gather on the first floor of Van Hise Hall, for the Saturday performance gather on the third floor of Vilas Hall, Park Street entrance
The Center for Russia, East Europe, and Central Asia


About the Performance: This piece, written by a young woman from the Urals, is the story about a woman and a bus; an exploration of personal space and identity, an examination of who we are to ourselves and to others. The performance will take place outside, unless it rains, in which case it will be relocated to Union South.


About the Performer: Nicole Kontolefa has studied and worked in both Moscow and New York and is the managing director and co-founder of Studio Six- an American company born out of her Russian education. She has performed from Montreal to Moldova to Moscow and New York.


For more information about Nicole and the performance, please visit:

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35th Anniversary Celebration of the Polish Heritage Club


When: Saturday, October 24 10:00 AM

Where: Olbrich Gardens, 3330 Atwood Avenue, Madison


There will be a garden walk at 10:00 AM followed by a social hour at 11:00, and a celebratory luncheon.

For more information, send an email to:

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"Justice in Moscow?"
Kathryn Hendley, William Voss-Bascom Professor of Law and Political Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison


When: Thursday, October 26, 2015, 4:00 PM
Where: 206 Ingraham Hall
Sponsors: The Center for Russia, East Europe, and Central Asia, the Department of Political Science


About the Lecture: The lecture explores Russians’ satisfaction with their experiences in court and with the legal system more generally.  The analysis draws on a nationally representative survey of Russians, fielded by the Levada Center in 2010.  The results show that most court veterans believe that the decision in their case was just and that the judge treated them well.  But these positive feelings do not extend beyond their case.  Russians who have no court experience tend to have more favorable views about the legal system than do court veterans.  These findings serve to remind us of the difficulty of building confidence in the legal system in post-Soviet Russia.


About the Speaker: Professor Hendley's research focuses on legal and economic reform in the former Soviet Union. Following in the Wisconsin "law in action" tradition, her research explores how ordinary Russians experience law.  To that end, she conducted a series of 28 focus groups during the summers of 2007 and 2008, leading to publications on the dualistic nature of the Russian legal system and on the willingness of Russians to make use of the formal legal system.  This project was supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, the National Council on Eurasian and East European Research, and the Graduate School of the University of Wisconsin.  She has also studied access to justice in Russia.  She received an Ed A. Hewett Fellowship from the National Council on Eurasian and East European Research to conduct research at the justice-of-the-peace courts in Russia and to explore the growing role of mediation during the summers of 2011 and 2011.  She also received a Fulbright research award to carry out this research during the 2011-12 academic year.  During the 2012-13 academic year, she was a recipient of a fellowship from the Program on Law and Public Affairs at Princeton University, where she was in residence.  Her current research focuses on the Russian legal profession.  During the 1990s, Professor Hendley was involved  in an inter-disciplinary project aimed at understanding how business is conducted in Russia and the role of law in business transactions and corporate governance. This project was funded by the World Bank, the National Science Foundation, and the National Council for Eurasian and East European Research. She has received the Kellett Mid-Career Award, the Vilas Associate Award, and a Romnes Fellowship.  She teaches Contracts, as well as courses related to her interest in Russia, such as Comparative Law, and Russian Law.  She holds a joint appointment in the Political Science department, where she regularly teaches Russian Politics, Law, Society and Politics and Comparative Legal Institutions. She has served as a consultant to the U.S. Agency for International Development and the World Bank in their work on legal reform in Russia. Professor Hendley previously served as the Director of the Center for Russia, East Europe and Central Asia, which receives Title VI funding from the U.S. Department of Education.


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