Early Slavic Studies Association (ESSA)

The Early Slavic Studies Association is a scholarly, non-profit organization dedicated to fostering closer worldwide communication among scholars interested in pre-eighteenth century Slavic studies; and to promoting the dissemination of scholarly information on early Slavic studies through the organization of meetings and conferences and through the Association's newsletter.

President: Cynthia Vakareliyska, University of Oregon
Vice-President: Cornelia Soldat, Cologne-Bonn Centre for Central and Eastern Europe
Secretary: Ashley Morse
Treasurer: Justin Willson
Newsletter Editor: Russell Martin, Westminster College

Past newsletters (up to 2013) are available here

For information on membership or your current dues status, please contact Secretary/Treasurer Cynthia Vakareliyska.


The annual ESSA Book Prize and the ESSA Article Prize are awarded at the annual ESSA meeting at the ASEEES convention, and the winners are announced in the Newsletter. An additional ESSA Translation Prize is also awarded occasionally. Nominations may be made by members in good standing during the call for nominations. All nominated books, articles, and translations must be by ESSA members in good standing.


2020 Prize Winner

The Article Prize winner: Maria Grazia Bartolini, “Visible Rituals: Theology and Church Authority in the Iconography of the Seven Sacraments in Peter Mohyla's Trebnyk (1646).” The Slavonic and East European Review, Vol. 98, No. 1 (January 2020)
Honorable mention: Tomasz Grusiecki, “Michał Boym, the Sum Xu, and the Reappearing Image.” Journal of Early Modern History 23 (2019) 2.

2019 Prize Winners

The Book Prize winner: Matthew Romaniello, Enterprising Empires: Russia and Britain in Eighteenth-Century Eurasia (Cambridge University Press 2019).
Honorable mention: Elena Draghici-Vasilescu, Heavenly Sustenance in Patristic Texts and Byzantine iconography (Palgrave, 2018).

The Article Prize winner: Erika Monahan, "Moving Pictures: Tobol’sk ‘Traveling’ in Early Modern Texts,” Canadian-American Slavic Studies 52.2–3 (2018): 261–89.
Honorable mention: Alice Sullivan, “The Athonite Patronage of Stephen III of Moldavia, 1457-1504,” Speculum 94, no. 1 (2019): 1–46.

2018 Prize Winners

The Book Prize winner: Marika Mägi, In Austrvegr: The Role of the Eastern Baltic in Viking Age Communication across the Baltic Sea (Brill 2018).
Honorable Mention: Felicia Roşu, Elective Monarchy in Transylvania and Poland-Lithuania, 1569-1587 (Oxford University Press 2018).

The Article Prize winner: Nick Mayhew, ‘Banning Spiritual Brotherhoods and Establishing Marital Chastity in Sixteenth- and Seventeenth-Century Muscovy and Ruthenia’, Palaeoslavica 25/2 (2017): 80–108.

2017 Prize Winners

The Book Prize winner: Jan Hennings, Russia and Courtly Europe: Ritual and the Culture of Diplomacy, 1648-1725 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016).
Honorable mention: Nancy Shields Kollman, The Russian Empire, 1450-1801 (New York: Oxford University Press, 2017).

The Article Prize winner: Maria Grazia Bartolini, “’Judging a book by its cover’: Meditation, Memory, and Invention in Seventeenth-Century Ukrainian Title Pages,” Canadian Slavonic Papers/Revue canadienne des slavistes, 59 no. 1-2 (March-June 2017): 21-55.
Honorable mention: Sergei Bogatyrev, “The Patronage of Early Printing in Moscow,” Canadian-American Slavic Studies 51: 2-3 (2017): 249-88.

2016 Prize Winners

The 2016 Book Prize for most outstanding recent scholarly monograph on pre-modern Slavdom was awarded to Paul Knoll for 'A Pearl of Powerful Learning': The University of Cracow in the Fifteenth Century (Brill, 2016).

The 2016 Book Prize Honorable Mention was awarded to Erika Monahan for The Merchants of Siberia: Trade in Early Modern Eurasia (Cornell, 2016).

The 2016 Article Prize for most outstanding recent scholarly article on pre-modern Slavdom was awarded to David Goldfrank for "Litigious, Pedagogical, Redemptive, Lethal: Iosif Volotskii's Calculated Insults" from The Russian Review 75:1 (2016).

The 2016 Translation Prize for most outstanding recent scholarly translation of primary source material relating to pre-modern Slavdom to Moshe Taube for The Logika of the Judaizers: A Fifteenth-Century Ruthenian Translation from Hebrew (The Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, 2016).

2015 Prize Winners

The 2015 winner of the Early Slavic Studies Association Book Prize is Julia Verkholantsev's The Slavic Letters of St. Jerome: The History of the Legend and Its Legacy, or, How the Translator of the Vulgate Became an Apostle of the Slavs (Northern Illinois University Press).

The 2015 Honorable mention goes to Valerie Kivelson's Desperate Magic: The Moral Economy of Witchcraft in Seventeenth-Century Russia (Cornell University Press).