In reality, our field has a lot of political relevance, possibly more than modern history - just spend an hour browsing Russian or Ukrainian Internet and see for yourself. When I get depressed, I remind myself about a reply to my post on the Gazeta.ru blog that I got about a year ago. I commented on all the nonsense about whether Vladimir Sviatoslavich was "really" Russian or Ukrainian and to whom Crimea "really" belongs.
Forwarded from Don Ostrowski:
Thinking about our ring-master's recent message and the responses to it is keeping me awake at night. So, at the risk of becoming tedious, I must write once more. You may take what follows cum grano salis, coming from a person who, were he ever to have a gravestone (unlikely), might have inscribed on it as a tribute a recent headline from the New York Times: “Neanderthals Were People, Too.”
Forwarded from Russ Martin:
As I wrote some time ago:
As for [the] relevance [of medieval and early modern studies], there are those who would argue that Putin's Russia cannot possibly be understood without some knowledge of pre-Petrine Muscovy.
[Review into the present state of Slavonic and East European Studies in thе higher education system of the UK. York: HEA, 2013, p. 28.]
It seems to me one of the questions we are facing is, what is the value of pre-modern Slavic Studies? Dan mentioned in his earlier response the current pressure to be concerned with more weighty matters. But does that mean that pre-modern Slavic Studies is bound to be marginal, and irrelevant to the present day? I would hope that the answer to that is 'no'. Two recent popular articles on early modern and medieval history (of other world regions) have tried to push for the immediant relevance of pre-modern history to the present day.
As one who has lamented (perhaps prematurely) the death of our "field", I read with interest Don's cautiously upbeat message and Cynthia's response posted under a different heading. I still think if we look ahead we are in trouble, since, as Cynthia indicates, if we want to get a new generation trained, it had better happen before those who remain in the current generation with teaching positions retire and those positions disappear, as, I think, inevitably will happen given the inexorable trends.
Forwarded from Don Ostrowski:
ESSA President’s State of the Field Message 12-30-2016
I am addressing this message to a wider audience than those of you who are already members of the Early Slavic Studies Association (ESSA).
“The times they are a-changing,” but we are still quoting an old white male to describe the situation. The Midwest has long been thought of as pretty monolithic: all white, all farms, all “average,” all cold, and flat. The borders of other US regions seem to be easier to define, but the Midwest has often been white-washed by too-easy defininitions of who lives there and what life is like.
H-Diplo Essay No. 133
An H-Diplo State of the Field Essay
Published on 10 September 2015
H-Diplo Essay Editors: Thomas Maddux and Diane Labrosse
H-Diplo Web and Production Editor: George Fujii
Commissioned for H-Diplo by Diane Labrosse
“Empire and the Early Republic.”
Essay by Emily Conroy-Krutz, Michigan State University