The Early Slavic Studies Association recommends the following panels at the virtual ASEEES convention, October 13-14 to its members as well as to alle persons interested:


On the Margins of Enlightenment Russia

Thu, October 13, 10:15am to 12:00pm, ASEEES 2022 Virtual Convention, VR3

We are going to discuss the specifics of the deep internal contradictions inherent in the Russian 18th century. The most obvious and deepest contradictions were associated with the conflict between modernization and tradition, enlightenment and superstition. The precarity of Russian society is reflected in different documents: visual, textual, and performance sources. Our panel focuses on the reflection of precarity and marginality in various materials and contexts.

Chair Gregory Afinogenov, Georgetown U


Ernest Alexander Zitser, Duke U The Barber of Moscow, or What’s So Funny about State-Sponsored Religious Persecution of Old Believers?

William Forrest Holden, U of Michigan ‘Superstitious People’: Orthodoxy and Empire in Chulkov’s Dictionary of Russian Superstitions (1782)

Elena Marasinova, Institute of Russian History, RAS / NRU Higher School of Economics (Russia) Russian Eighteenth-Century Culture between Triumph and Vanity in Andrei Belobotskii’s Pentateugum

Erica Camisa Morale, U of Southern California Punishment after the Death Penalty: Attitude towards the Body of a Criminal in Russia in the 18th Century

Discussant Gary J. Marker, SUNY Stony Brooks


Early Modern Ukrainian Lands as a Space for Transregional and Transcultural Connections

Thu, October 13, 12:30 to 2:15pm, ASEEES 2022 Virtual Convention, VR14

The Early Modern Ukrainian territories remain highly invisible in the international scholarship as various political developments and visions as well as scholarly trends have continuously disfavored the study of this area. This tendency, apart from being problematic in itself, also comes as an obstacle against the backdrop of the increasing awareness of the importance of transregional and transcultural interrelations in the study of history. This panel seeks to address precisely this issue and demonstrate the ways in which the study of Ukrainian lands would contribute to our understanding of various historical developments which unfolded through social, cultural and political interrelations, networks and exchanges. Different papers analyze such topics as transfer of knowledge and practices, geographical mobilities, introduction and implementation of imperial law and rule, shifting power relations.

Chair Tetiana Grygorieva, National U of “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy” (Ukraine)


Stanislav Mohylnyi, Bonn Center for Dependency and Slavery Studies (Germany) Serfdom and Freedom in the Ukrainian-Russian Contact Zone in the Eighteenth Century 

Stepan Blinder, U of Cambridge (UK) Commune bibliotheca tam professorum, quam studiosorum? Interconnecting Library Visits in the Early Modern Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth

Bogdan Pavlish, Northwestern U Uses and Abuses of Church History in the Theatine Mission to Polish Armenians in the 1660s

Kateryna Pasichnyk, Martin Luther U Halle-Wittenberg (Germany) Medical Practice and Imperial Law in the Ukrainian Lands of the Russian Empire in the 18th Century

Discussant Alexandr Osipian, Freie U Berlin (Germany)


Early Slavic Studies in Digital History

Fri, October 14, 8:00 to 9:45am, ASEEES 2022 Virtual Convention, VR3

The panel presents various digital tools for working with sources. The presenters showcase possibilities for facilitating work with pre-modern Slavic sources, e.g. OCR on handwritten texts, the creation of digital and printed editions using OCR, as well as databases that present finished OCR projects based on various texts. The main tool shown will be Transkribus, which is used for recognizing handwriting in various languages and scripts and also provides a wide range of possibilities for creating philological editions of manuscripts, both digitally and in print. The Digital Livonia project shows how acts, charters, and letters can be transcribed and presented for further study via an Internet database accessible to all interested scholars.

Chair Cornelia Soldat, U of Cologne (Germany)


Achim Rabus, U of Freiburg (Germany) Handwritten Text Recognition for (pre-)modern Slavic

Marek Tamm, Tallinn U (Estonia) Digital Livonia: For a Digitally Enhanced Study of Medieval Livonia (ca 1200–1550)

Walker Thompson, U of Heidelberg (Germany) Digitizing Epifanii Slavinetskii's Greek–Slavonic–Latin Lexicon: Tools and Methods

 Discussant Kelly O'Neill, Harvard U


Precarious Privacy: Russian Epistolary Culture in the Long Eighteenth Century

Fri, October 14, 10:15am to 12:00pm, ASEEES 2022 Virtual Convention, VR3

Although Russians had written letters long before the eighteenth century, 1708 marked a dramatic change in epistolary culture: it witnessed the publication of the first printed letter-writing manual in Russia, Priklady kako pishutsia komplimenty raznye. As Lina Bernstein has demonstrated, these model letters based on German sources were supposed to provide new models of behavior and thus modernize and westernize Russian society. Letter-writing throughout the long eighteenth century became inseparable from dramatic social changes and new understandings of educated Russians’ “public role and subjective self” (Schönle, Zorin, and Evstratov). Contributing to the rapidly growing field of Russian epistolary studies, this panel will explore how the new letter-writing culture reflected the changing boundaries between the personal and the official, the family and the court, ego-documents and literary facts.

Chair Alexei G. Evstratov, U of Oxford (UK)


Sara Dickinson, U of Genoa (Italy) Early Eighteenth-Century Letters and the Origins of Women’s Writing in Russia

Kelsey Rubin-Detlev, U of Southern California Why Publish Correspondence in Eighteenth-Century Russia?

Victoria S. Frede, UC Berkeley The Boundaries between Public and Private: Pavel and Sof’ia Stroganov in the 1790s

Ekaterina Shubenkina, U of Southern California Such an Exercise… Shapes Both the Heart and the Mind': Children’s Letter-Writing in Early Nineteenth-Century Russia as Moral Education

Discussant Andrew Kahn, U of Oxford (UK)


Patronage Politics in Early Modern Russia and Ukraine

Fri, October 14, 12:30 to 2:15pm, ASEEES 2022 Virtual Convention, VR3

In this interdisciplinary and international panel, three Russia-based historians (Moscow, St. Petersburg, Ekaterinburg) will discuss their ongoing research on patron-client relations in early modern Russia and Ukraine, as well as between Russia and Ukraine (16th-18th centuries). The panel will also include commentary by one of the leading US authorities on the topic. The purpose is to look at the development of early modern Russian and Ukrainian patronage politics in both a regional and a broader comparative perspective.

Chair Ernest Alexander Zitser, Duke U


Mikhail Markovich Krom, European U at St. Petersburg (Russia) Patron-Client Relations in Early Modern Muscovy: Origins, Types, and Specific Features

Maya Borisovna Lavrinovich, NRU Higher School of Economics (Russia) 'Imagined Brothers': Transformation of Patronage and Clientage in the Age of Sensibility

Kirill Kochegarov, Russian Academy of Sciences (Russia) The Patronage of Late 17th to Early 18th-Century Russian Grandees towards Ukrainian Elites: From Occasional Support to a System of Patron-Client Relations?

Discussant Paul Alexander Bushkovitch, Yale U