A Message from the ESSA President

A recent note from AAASS headquarters advises that in the future affiliates of AAASS will have to reduce their expectations of a room and time slot every year during the AAASS convention. Noting that the number of affiliated groups has mushroomed in recent years, as has the number and quality of panel proposals directed to the convention program committees, AAASS Executive Director Carol Saivetz writes that the convention organizers have come to face an impossible task in assigning meeting rooms that will satisfy all the demand. Consequently, Ms. Saivetz reports, the association's "Board has initiated a new policy which will begin with the St. Louis meeting. From 1999 on, we can guarantee a meeting for affiliated groups only once every other year."

As you know, ESSA has traditionally met annually during the AAASS convention, but elects officers for two-year terms, usually during the ESSA business meeting in alternate years. We could, therefore, easily adjust to the new policy, but there will surely be a cost to our group's identity and the networking and conversation that our annual meeting provides us. Therefore, at our Boca business meeting I shall solicit your views on how our association ought to proceed. Should we henceforth meet, as the new AAASS policy suggests, only on a biennial basis? Should we meet annually, even if it means finding some other way of meeting-perhaps hire a room at a nearby hotel, or perhaps adjoin a business meeting to our annual dinner, or...? Perhaps we should adjust our elections to take place either by mail or over the internet, thereby dispensing with one of the on-site requirements for a business meeting? There are real losses in such an approach, but perhaps they are not too great as long as we continue to field a substantial number of panels at the AAASS convention.

A second matter that I propose to bring before the membership at Boca is our dues structure. As founders of ESSA will remember, from the very beginning (1987) our dues have been a modest $5 per year for all members. One consequence of this pricing has been our ability to attract graduate students and others who do not enjoy full-time employment in academia. Another consequence, however, has been that our treasury has never grown fat. While it would be an exaggeration to say that we live from hand to mouth, we do not in fact enjoy a reserve that would allow us to confront costs like those that have arisen in connection with the Boca meeting or which might ensue under the new regime dictated by AAASS headquarters. Nor does our current funding allow us to contemplate new initiatives that might further the purposes for which ESSA was founded.

For example, one idea that I have heard remarked on that I find very appealing is the institution of a cash prize to reward outstanding scholarship in the fields that interest us. As other affiliates have learned (for example, the Association for Women in Slavic Studies), such a

device can do much to bring to the attention of the broader AAASS membership scholarship that emanates from their associations. In my own view, early Slavic studies needs to solicit this attention much more aggressively than do many of our sibling organizations; too many of our colleagues relegate our scholarly concerns to the margins, and we would, I believe, do ourselves a great favor if we could find a way to publicize and reward scholarship that emerges from our fields. But the idea of a prize is only illustrative; without a bigger treasury, any new initiative will be hard to actualize.

Therefore, I would like to propose at the Boca business meeting that the association consider changing its dues structure. I propose that we introduce a system that continues the modest charge for those least able to afford dues, but which requires more from those at the upper end of the payscale (retain $5/annum for graduate students, etc., but perhaps $10/annum for full and associate professors, or perhaps follow the example of professional associations which determine different dues structure on self-declared income). I intend to bring a specific proposal to be voted on by the membership at the business meeting.

I hope that all of you will come to Boca Raton and will attend the ESSA business meeting which, according to the preliminary schedule, will take place at 1:30 PM Friday, Sept. 25. The officers would like to hear your views on our association's meeting frequency and how we can adjust to the new regime at AAASS. We would also like to hear your views on our dues structure, whether you would be willing to change it, and if so, in what way. Should you not be able to attend the Boca meeting, or even if you will attend, but would like to send along your opinions right away, please e-mail me with your thoughts on these issues (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

Daniel Kaiser


Minutes of the 1997 Meeting

The annual meeting of ESSA members was held on Friday, November 21, at 5:45 p.m. at the Sheraton Seattle Hotel as part of the AAASS program. The meeting was opened by the outgoing president of ESSA, Norman Ingham, who thanked ESSA's local liaison, Daniel Waugh, for helping with the arrangement of the annual ESSA dinner. He also expressed his appreciation to George Majeska for having successfully created a consolidated ESSA membership list. He further noted ESSA's commitment to an interdisciplinary approach to the field of medieval Slavic studies witnessed in the composition of this year's ESSA-sponsored roundtable. The Secretary-Treasurer then delivered the financial report for the 1996/97 year which was accepted unanimously (see below). The meeting then proceeded to the new elections of ESSA officers. The members unanimously accepted the recommendation of the nominating committee made up of Kira Stevens and David Birnbaum to put forth Ann Kleimola as the new vice-president elect, to elect the previous vice-president elect Daniel Kaiser president of the organization, and to reelect Isolde Thyrêt Secretary-Treasurer and David Prestel Newsletter-Editor.

The new president, Daniel Kaiser, then thanked Norman Ingham for his work during his presidency and explained his new billing system for the annual ESSA dinner. He further announced the publication of Culture and Identity in Muscovy, 1359-1589, ed. by A. M. Kleimola and G. D. Lenhoff, Moscow: ITZ Garant, 1997. George Majeska announced details concerning the ESSA directory. Several members gave details concerning new job announcements in early Slavic studies. Eve Levin announced details concerning the Fourth International Hilandar Conference that will take place at Ohio State University on August 14-15, 1998 (see below). Daniel Waugh noted his intention to put significant materials, such as translations of primary sources and art materials, on the WEB for students of Early Russia. David Birnbaum suggested the formation of a technology committee which Daniel Kaiser promised to take under advice.

After the official part of the meeting, attending ESSA members had the pleasure of enjoying an exquisite slide lecture by Dr. Engelina Sergeevna Smirnova on icon painting in Rostov during the Mongol period. Dr. Smirnova's talk was followed by a lively discussion. The meeting was adjourned at 7:15 p.m., and most members headed for the Edgewater Inn on the Seattle waterfront to enjoy local food specialties and good company at the annual ESSA dinner.

Respectfully submitted,

Isolde Thyrêt

Secretary Treasurer


Treasurer's Report

Balance 10/31/96 617.31

Dues received 376.00 Postage 269.08


Interest 17.80 Printing 0.00

Balance 11/13/97 732.03


Note from the Treasurer

ESSA again would like to thank Kent State University for its financial assistance to cover the printing of the Early Slavic Studies Newsletter. A special thank you goes to the secretaries of the KSU History Department, Bette Savicki and Ellen Denning, who provided computer support and technical assistance in the production of the Newsletter.


ESSA/SEEMSG Draft Directory

In the October 1996 Newsletter (Vol. 9 #2), a draft directory of ESSA members was included and members were requested to send corrections to Isolde Thyrêt. The changes have now been made by our former secretary/treasurer George Majeska and the final version of the Directory is included in this issue. We want to thank George for his hard work on this project. Without his heroic efforts this very useful list would not have appeared.


UCLA Third "Winter" Workshop

On March 20, 1998 the third interdisciplinary "Winter" Workshop on Topics in Medieval Slavic Culture was held at UCLA. The following reports were given: 1) Henrik Birnbaum (UCLA), "The Latest Research in Old Church Slavonic"; 2) Andrew Corin (UCLA),"The Relevance of Croatian Slavonic for the Reconstruction of the Cyrillo-Methodian Textual Corpus"; 3) David K. Prestel (Michigan State University), "The Primary Chronicle Account of Vladimir's Conversion"; 4) Anindita Banerjee (UCLA), "Afanasii Nikitin's India: A Journey Through the Mind of a Medieval Traveler"; 5) Andrea Hacker (UCLA), "Post-Factum Portrayals of Historical Events (Four Accounts of How Stepan Razin's Men Killed Metropolitan Iosif in 1671)"; 6) Norman W. Ingham (U. Chicago), "Muscovite Individualism Revisited"; 7) Janet Martin (U. Miami), "Land Tenure in Novgorod: Some Preliminary Observations"; 8) David Miller (Roosevelt U.), "Secular Literacy in Muscovy: Documentary Evidence from Land Records of the Trinity-Sergius Monastery"; Ann M. Kleimola (U. Nebraska), "Evfrosin'ia Staritskaia's Quest for Eternal Remembrance." The conference was sponsored by the UCLA Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures in cooperation with the Center for European and Russian Studies (CERS), the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies (CMRS) and the Consortium for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies in Southern California (CERES).


Fourth International Hilandar Conference

At the annual ESSA business meeting, Eve Levin, Ohio State University and editor of Russian Review, announced that The Ohio State University will host the Fourth International Hilandar Conference on the campus of OSU August 14-15, 1998. The conference will commemorate the 800th anniversary of the foundation of the Hilandar Monastery on Mt. Athos and the 20th anniversary of the Hilandar Research Library at The Ohio State University. Announced themes for the conference are "Hilandar Monastery's Role in the World" and "The Current State of Medieval Slavic Studies." ESSA members are invited to attend, and to submit proposals for papers and panels by May 15, 1998. Address all inquiries to Dr. Predrag Matejic, Hilandar Research Columbus, OH 43210-1286 (e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). You may also contact Professors Eve Levin or Dan Collins.


Annual Meeting of the Medieval Academy

The planning committee for the Medieval Academy's annual meeting at Georgetown University, April 8-11, 1999, welcomes proposals that focus on Europe's eastern and southeastern borderlands--either to be part of topical panels or to allow for a special panel on its own. Where, due to subject matter or methodology, it is appropriate, the time involved may reach beyond the late fifteenth century. Proposals should be addressed to Professor Penn Szittya, Department of English, Box 571131, Georgetown University, Washington, DC 20057. The deadline for submissions is May 15, 1998.


Culture and Identity in Muscovy, 1359-1584

Many ESSA members have articles in the recently published Culture and Identity in Muscovy, UCLA Slavic Studies, New series, volume 3, edited by A. M. Kleimola and G. D. Lenhoff. Moscow: ITS-Garant, 1997. The Table of Contents follows:

"Identity In Exile: Andrei Mikhailovich Kurbskii and National Consciousness in the Sixteenth Century," Inge Auerbach (Marburg/Lahn).

"The Changing Profile of the Liturgical Calendar in Muscovy's Formative Years," Richard Bosley (Tübingen)

"The Politics of Give and Take: Kormlenie as Service Remuneration and Generalized Exchange, 1488-1726," Brian Davies (University of Texas, San Antonio)

"Reception and Ideology in the Literature of Muscovite Rus'," Andreas Ebbinghaus (Freie Universität, Berlin)

"Confessional and National Identity in Early Muscovite Literature: The Discourse on the Life and Death of Dmitrii lvanovich Donskoi," Harvey Goldblatt (Yale University)

"The Trinity-Sergius Brotherhood in State and Society," Pierre Gonneau (Universite de Paris IV)

"Late Medieval and Early Modern Russian Civilization and Modern Neuroscience," Richard Hellie (University of Chicago)

"Genealogy and Identity in the Rhetoric of Muscovite Rulership," Norman W. Ingham (University of Chicago)

"Nejropsixologicheskie modeli i vozmozhnosti ix primenenija k istorii russkoj srednevekoj kul'tury," Viach. V. Ivanov (University of California, Los Angeles)

"Urban Identities in Sixteenth-Century Muscovy: The Case of Tula," Daniel H. Kaiser (Grinnell College)

"K istorii monastyrskogo zemlevladenija v Dmitrovskom udele v XV-XVI vv.," S. M. Kashtanov (Rossijskaja Akademija nauk, Moskva)

"Four Degrees of Separation: Constructing Non-Christian Identities in Muscovy," Michael Khodarkovsky (Loyola University of Chicago)

"Political Sorcery in Sixteenth-Century Muscovy," Valerie A. Kivelson (University of Michigan)

"Genealogy and Identity Among the Riazan' Elite," Ann M. Kleimola (University of Nebraska)

"Legends and Language in Sixteenth-Century Moscow," Emily Klenin (University of California, Los Angeles)

"Judaizing Without Jews? Moscow-Novgorod, 1470-1504," John Klier (University of London)

"Polemicheskoe sochinenie 1481 g. o xozhdenii `posolon'," B. M. Kloss, V. D. Nazarov (Rossijskaja Akademija nauk, Moskva)

"Unofficial Veneration of the Daniilovichi in Muscovite Rus'," Gail Lenhoff (University of California, Los Angeles)

"Astrology and Politics in Sixteenth-Century Muscovy: Fedor Karpov and the Scrutable God," Giovanni Maniscalco Basile (University of Palermo)

"Mobility, Forced Resettlement and Regional Identity in Muscovy," Janet Martin (University of Miami)

"Donors to the Trinity-Sergius Monastery as a Community of Venerators: Origins, 1360s-1462," David Miller (Roosevelt University)

"Pervoe poslanie Kurbskogo Ivanu Groznomu v biblioteke stranstvujushchego monaxa Iony Soloveckogo (k voprosu o rasprostranenii perepiski v konce XVI-nachale XVII v.)," B. N. Morozov (Rossijskaja Akademija nauk, Moskva)

"Forging a National Identity: Monetary Politics During the Reign of Vasilii I (1389-1425)," Thomas Noonan (University of Minnesota)

"Outlawry (Vorovstvo) and Redemption through Service: Ermak and the Volga Cossacks," Maureen Perrie (University of Birmingham)

"Russkaja cerkov' v XV-XVI vv. Vzaimootnoshenija Moskvy i Novgoroda," R. G. Skrynnikov (Sankt-Peterburg)

"Princess Mariia Golenina: Perpetuating Identity through 'Care for the Deceased'," Ludwig Steindorff (Westfälische-Wilhelms-Universität, Münster)

"Banditry and Provincial Order in Sixteenth-Century Russia," Carol B. Stevens (Colgate University)

"Requiem," Natalia Challis (University of Michigan)


ESSA Banquet in Boca Raton: ADVICE NEEDED!

A letter to members from ESSA Vice-President Ann Kleimola

Dear Colleagues,

Your elected flunkies are having a difficult time trying to think of an affordable way to organize our social gathering at Boca. As you may know already, this i