Paul Rischard, of C.D. Hylton High School in Prince William County, Virginia, is a passionate teacher whose efforts promote that most important of initiatives: the teaching of Russian at the pre-college level. Paul came to Russian later than some, but invested considerable effort in his own professional training, attending the Bryn Mawr summer Professional Development Program for teachers in the summer of 2008 and the ACTR Summer Russian Language Program for Teachers in 2009. He is the primary builder of the Russian program at his school, having taken it from a single beginning Russian class in 2000 to its current range from Level One through Prototype AP. Paul’s students have participated in the song competition in 2011 at the First International Russian Language and Culture Festival (MAPRIAL) in St. Petersburg, Russia, the National Russian Essay Contest, and the Virginia State Olympiada of Spoken Russian (which he also helps coordinate). An effective organizer and selfless teacher who gives much to his students beyond the curricular minimum, Paul Rischard richly deserves this year’s AATSEEL award for Excellence in Teaching (Secondary).
Dr. Alla Kourova, associate professor in the department of Modern Languages and Literatures at the University of Central Florida, is an exceptionally dedicated teacher whose work has a tangible impact on her students and her institution. It was her vision, motivation, and dedication which rebuilt the Russian Program at UCF. Not only does she skillfully weave the study of Russian culture into the learning of the language in her classroom, she conducts study abroad programs to Russia, mentors independent study students outside of class, advises the Russian club at UCF, and raises funds for charities (the Ukrainian Down Syndrome and the Balkan Flood Relief). She has also recently received a prestigious U.S. State Department grant for the US-Russia Dialogue Program “: "Getting Closer: A Cross-Cultural US-Russian project Focusing on Teaching Foreign Languages to US Students and Blind/Visually Impaired Students in Russia." For her impressive efforts on behalf of Russian studies at the University of Central Florida, AATSEEL is pleased to present her with this year’s award for Excellence in Teaching (Post-Secondary).
Nancy Condee, Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Pittsburgh, exemplifies a rare selflessness in her dedication to the profession. A highly accomplished scholar in the field of contemporary Russian film as well as Russian (post)imperial and cultural studies whose most recent book, The Imperial Trace, won an award from the Society for Cinema and Media Studies (an organization in no way beholden to Slavists), Nancy somehow finds time for indefatigable service as well. At Pittsburgh she headed the university’s Cultural Studies department for eleven years (from 1995-2006)—and in 2011-12 served as President of AATSEEL, a role which, when all is said and done, involves not two but six years of service. The list of Nancy’s specific contributions to the organization is long. She rationalized voting procedures within the Executive Council; worked tirelessly and with shrewd strategic insight to increase membership in AATSEEL and attendance at the annual conference, in particular extending AATSEEL’s presence into social media (putting us on Facebook and overseeing the redesign of AATSEEL’s webpage); she developed and refined the special events scheduled during the annual conference; in keeping with her media savvy, she set in motion the redesign of AATSEEL’s Newsletter; and she was directly involved in the successful recruiting of two of AATSEEL’s most crucial officers, its Executive Director, Elizabeth Durst; and its Conference Manager, Rachel Stauffer. The good health the organization enjoys today is due in large part to Nancy’s tenure as president. But beyond the myriad tasks she carried out, those of us privileged to work with her value her consummate professionalism, her uncanny ability to combine a sharp intelligence with supreme organizational skills—and a delightful sense of humor. For all these reasons, AATSEEL is delighted to present its 2015 Award for Distinguished Service to AATSEEL to Nancy Condee.
Caryl Emerson, A. Watson Armour III University Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures at Princeton University, scarcely needs an introduction. The most perplexing question facing the nominating committee was, in fact, why had she not received this award already? Caryl’s salutary influence on our field has been felt for decades. It can be measured in numerous ways — in the wealth of superlative scholarship she herself has produced in at least five distinct fields (prose, literary theory, opera, drama, religious philosophy); in the lectures (and even recitals!) she has given across the world; in the translations of her work into foreign languages (Russian, Western European, and Asian); in the two-volume Festschrift that honored her ten years back; in her status as that rare Slavist whose name is known beyond the confines of Slavic studies; in her mentorship not simply of the students at her own institution, but of graduate students and junior faculty throughout the country (and sometimes beyond). Open any book by an American Slavist and odds are good that you will find her lauded in the acknowledgments (often getting not simply a mention, but a few sentences). One member of our committee was once asked by a British colleague, apparently in earnest, whether it was true that no one gets tenure in the U.S. without Caryl’s approval. Patently not true—but so many have benefited from her generous support, her lively intellect, and her eloquent prose (Caryl thinks in well-rounded paragraphs) that it might as well be. There may be other scholars (though not many) who have published as much and on as high a level as Caryl. But few have spent so much time so selflessly trying to improve the quality of work in our field generally. In this setting we especially want to acknowledge that Caryl has always found time to participate in the AATSEEL conferences. Even in those lean years where very few senior scholars were present, Caryl was there, giving papers and serving as discussant for others. Moreover, she attended panels from morning to evening, offering comments that were invariably the highlight for everyone involved. Caryl Emerson has been, simply, God’s great generous gift to the field of American Slavic studies. It is with profound respect that AATSEEL presents her with this year’s Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Profession.
Michael Katz, C.V. Starr Professor of Russian and East European Studies at Middlebury College, is an outstanding scholar of Russian literature who for many years now has also communicated his love of the field through a series of masterful literary translations. Michael’s scholarship covers an impressive array of topics, from the literary ballad in the early 19th century to his now classic study of dreams and the unconscious in Russian fiction—and dozens of articles on the classics of 19th century Russian literature. Michael has written and taught about every major 19th century Russian author and numerous minor ones as well. It was Michael’s early work that first took Chernyshevsky seriously as an artist, and it was Michael’s explorations of certain awkward “orientations” in Russian literature that made their differing resonance comprehensible to readers of English (pornography in Artsybashev, anti‐Semitism in Dostoevsky, hooliganism in Akunin, wife-‐abuse in Leo Tolstoy). On top of this there is the sheer breadth, variety, and inexhaustibility of Michael’s annotated translations over three decades: the nineteenth realists (his Herzen and Chernyshevsky editions that became instant classics in the 1980s, and then the many mass editions of Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Chekhov) through Akunin’s Seagull. As recently as 2014, Yale University Press published Michael’s The Kreutzer Sonata Variations: Lev Tolstoy’s Novella and Counterstories by Sofiya Tolstaya and Lev Lvovich, a collection of works recording the family’s response to Tolstoy’s scandalous tale which had never been translated into English. We eagerly await Michael’s new translation of Crime and Punishment for a revised Norton Critical Edition, forthcoming in 2017. Although retired, Michael is nowhere near a resting place. For all these reasons, and for the fact that Michael’s circle of student and colleagues continues to grow—as do the numbers of readers who benefit from his meticulous and generous translations of Russian literature—AATSEEL is delighted to present to him its 2015 Award for Outstanding Contribution to Scholarship.