Soyuz: The Research Network for Postsocialist Cultural Studies

Soyuz is broadly conceived as a group of anthropologists and other scholars working in postsocialist studies. It is formally constituted as the Post-Communist Cultural Studies Interest Group of the American Anthropological Association (AAA) and is also recognized as an official unit of the Association for Slavic, East European Studies and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES, formerly AAASS). We gather at AAA and ASEEES meetings in North America and here on the web to distribute information on our projects.

Soyuz Listserv

Join the Soyuz listserv.

Column in Anthropology News

Read Soyuz’s column in Anthropology News.


Announcements are posted from messages sent to the Soyuz listserv. To post an additional announcement, please email Soyuz webmaster Kate Graber (graberk [at] indiana.edu).


The SOYUZ Postsocialist Studies Network announces its annual competition for the best article related to the culture, history, politics of postsocialism by a junior scholar. This prize recognizes significant contributions to the advancement of scholarly understandings of postsocialism, broadly defined.

Articles published in 2017 and 2018 by a scholar who has earned a PhD within the past six years (2012 or later) are eligible. Scholars from any discipline with any geographic area of interest are encouraged to apply.

Submissions should be sent electronically to Kathryn Graber at [email protected] no later than October 25, 2018.

Please include “Soyuz Article Prize” in the subject line.


The SOYUZ Postsocialist Cultural Studies Network is looking to fill several Board positions in the 2018-19 academic cycle.

1)ASEEES Liaison. We are looking for a scholar with strong affiliation with ASEEES who considers it their primary professional organization. The ASEEES Liaison will represent SOYUZ at the annual ASEEES conference. Along with the SOYUZ Convener and other SOYUZ Board Members, the Liaison will facilitate the SOYUZ Interest Group business meeting, and will work as the point of contact for Soyuz members participating in ASEEES. In the event that other SOYUZ board members are unable to go to ASEEES because of interference with the annual AAA conference, the ASEEES liaison will take on the task of representing SOYUZ at ASEEES, including running the business meeting, disseminating information about SOYUZ panels, and serving as point of contact for SOYUZ members participating in ASEEES. The Liaison will also report back to the other Board Members and compile notes pertinent to SOYUZ-related activities and relevant panels and conversation at the ASEEES Conference. The Liaison will hold the position for 2 years from the time of election, at which point the position will open for elections again.”

2) SOYUZ Student Representative. We are seeking a post-field graduate student (PhD candidate) to coordinate with AAA and ASEEES, working with the ASEEES liaison and other Board members to bring to the membership’s attention issues of importance to student members. The student representative would also work with the Programming Coordinator when appropriate to plan mentoring and social events at AAA, ASEEES and other conferences, such as the annual Soyuz Symposium. The Student Representative will hold the position for 2 years from the time of election, at which point the position will open for elections again.

If you would like to be considered for these positions, please contact [email protected] by Oct 30, 2018.

In order to vote, you will need to register on the SOYUZ website. This is a good opportunity to renew or update your registration and mailing address! Please go to http://soyuz.americananthro.org/soyuz-members/ and fill in the brief survey. We will contact you with the link to the voting page.

CFP: The 2019 Annual Soyuz Symposium

~~~Beyond the Soviet Slot: Race, Indigeneity & Identity~~~

University of Pittsburgh

March 29-30, 2019

Soyuz, the Research Network for Postsocialist Cultural Studies, invites presentation proposals for its 2019 symposium, to be held at the University of Pittsburgh, March 29-30, 2018. Ten years after Sharad Chari and Katherine Verdery’s provocation to “Think Between The Posts” (2009), the 2019 SOYUZ Symposium theme seeks to highlight scholarship carried out at the intersections of postsocialist and post-colonial studies. We invite research papers and multimedia presentations (including documentary/ethnographic/artistic films and performances) on the broad topic of race, indigeneity, and identity. We seek submissions that critically interrogate how these themes have been refracted through the legacies, afterlives, and reproductions of socialist and colonial projects writ large, and how they reemerge with new meanings at the meeting points between postsocialist & postcolonial cultural and political landscapes and imaginaries. Finally, we encourage projects that expand the geographical optic of postsocialist studies to include Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, East/Southeast Asia, the Caribbean, as well as highlight transnational approaches and connections.

How are political categories, official and vernacular classifications, collective performances, embodied experiences, and enterprises of knowledge-making pertaining to these themes maintained, enlivened, and reimagined in the context of changing power relations? What old and new social lives and enactments do they produce? What potential political projects and imaginaries can emerge at the intersection of post-colonial and postsocialist experience and research? We encourage considerations of these questions from a range of disciplinary angles, including, but not limited to anthropology, history, cultural studies, literature, Slavic studies, archaeology, material culture studies, political science and sociology.

We are delighted that Manduhai Buyandelger, Associate Professor of Anthropology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and author of Tragic Spirits: Shamanism, Gender, and Memory in Contemporary Mongolia (University of Chicago Press, 2013) will give the keynote address.

Possible themes include:
· States, taxonomies, optics and technologies of governance
· Imaginaries of civil rights across the Cold War divide, past and present
· Power and sovereignty
· Bodies, health, and inequality
· Mobility, migration, emplacement
· Gender and gendering
· Local ontologies and situated knowledge
· Language politics
· Whiteness and new nationalisms
· Infrastructure, development, ruins
· Power, administrative practice, and bureaucracy
· Invisibility, marginality, interstitiality
· Space and place making
· Self, subjectivity, performance
· Precarity, contingency, resilience
· Ethnofutures, alternative imaginaries
· Material culture
· Maps and other spatial imaginaries
· Altered ecologies and climate change
· Resource extraction/land use/land rights
· Education reforms

Our goal is to foster collegial conversations among generations of researchers in anthropology and cultural studies broadly conceived, with a special eye to building connections across traditional area studies boundaries. We welcome submissions from scholars at all career stages, including graduate students and colleagues in professions outside the academy. As always at Soyuz, other topics of research on postsocialisms that are not directly related to the year’s theme are also welcome.

Abstracts of up to 250 words should be sent to the Soyuz 2019 organizing committee at [email protected] by November 5, 2018. Please include your full name, affiliation, and paper title. Write “Soyuz 2019” in the subject line of your email. Papers will be selected and notifications made by December 2018.

The Soyuz Research Network for Postsocialist Cultural Studies is an interdisciplinary forum for exchanging work based on field research in postsocialist countries, including Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, Africa, East and Southeast Asia, and Latin America. Soyuz is an interest group of the American Anthropological Association (AAA) and an official unit of the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES). The Soyuz symposium has met annually since 1991 and offers an opportunity for scholars to interact in a more personal setting. More information on the Soyuz Research Network can be found at the website.

The 2019 Soyuz Symposium is made possible through the support of the University of Pittsburgh’s Department of Anthropology, Russian East European and Eurasian Studies Center, Global Studies Center, Center for Latin American Studies, and Asian Studies Center.


Now Accepting Applications for the 2019-2020 Fellowship Competition at USHMM

by Samantha Hinckley

The 2019–2020 Fellowship competition is now open and will close on November 15, 2018.



The Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies awards fellowships to support significant research and writing about the Holocaust. Awards are granted on a competitive basis. The Mandel Centerwelcomes proposals from scholars in all relevant academic disciplines, including anthropology, archaeology, art history, geography, film studies, German studies, history, Jewish studies, law, literature, material culture, philosophy, political science, psychology, religion, comparative genocide studies, and others. Proposals from applicants conducting research outside the discipline of history or on Mandel Center strategic priorities are especially encouraged.


The Mandel Center awards fellowships-in-residence to candidates working on their dissertations (ABD), postdoctoral researchers, and senior scholars. Immediate postdocs and faculty between appointments will also be considered. Awards are granted on a competitive basis. A principal focus of the program is to ensure the development of a new generation of Holocaust scholars. To this end, scholars early in their careers are especially encouraged to apply. Applicants must be affiliated with an academic or research institution. Proposals from applicants conducting research outside the discipline of history or on Mandel Center strategic priorities are especially encouraged, including literature and the Holocaust; America and the Holocaust,  projects utilizing the ITS collection; Jewish and especially Sephardic experiences of persecution; the Holocaust as it occurred in the Soviet Union, and the Holocaust as it occurred in North Africa.

The Mandel Center’s activities span both the fifth floor of the Washington Museum and the David and Fela Shapell Family Collections, Conservation and Research Center in suburban Maryland. Fellowship winners will have access to flexible work space stations, computer, telephone, facsimile machine, and photocopier. Mandel Center Fellows also have access to the Museum’s extensive resources, including approximately 102 million pages of Holocaust-related archival documentation; library resources in over 60 languages; hundreds of thousands of oral history, film, photo, art, artifacts, and memoir collections; a Holocaust survivors and victims database; plus over 200 million images from the International Tracing Service. The Museum’s artifact collection is readily accessible to research at the new Shapell Center.

The specific fellowship and the length of the award are at the Mandel Center’s discretion.  Individual awards generally range up to eight consecutive months of residency; a minimum of three consecutive months is required. No exceptions are allowed. Fellowships of five months or longer have proven most effective.

Stipends range up to $3,700 per month for the purpose of defraying local housing and other miscellaneous living expenses and are subject to US tax law. Awards include a stipend to offset the cost of direct travel to and from Washington, DC. Residents of the Washington, DC, metropolitan area receive a reduced stipend of $1,850 per month, and do not receive a travel stipend. The funds provided through this award may be subject to US federal and/or state tax. Please be advised the Mandel Center cannot provide individual tax advice.

The Mandel Center is able to provide visa assistance to fellows and their dependents, if necessary. Fellows are responsible for securing their own housing accommodations and health insurance. We do not provide support allowances for accompanying family members.

2019–2020 Fellowships may start as early as September 1, 2019, and must be completed no later than August 31, 2020.


All applications must be submitted in English via an online application process, found at apply.ushmm.org. The Fellowship Competition will close on November 15, 2018. All applications must consist of the following:

  • An online application form
  • A project proposal, in PDF format, not to exceed five single-spaced pages
  • A curriculum vitae summary, in PDF format, not to exceed four single-spaced pages
  • Two signed letters of recommendation that speak to the significance of the proposed project and the applicant’s ability to carry it out. Members of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council’s Academic Committee may not write letters of recommendation.  Only two letters will be considered. Any additional letters will not be included in the applicant’s file. All application materials, including letters of recommendation for the 2019-2020 competition should be received on November 15, 2018, and come directly from the references, not from the applicantDirections on how to submit letters of recommendation will be e-mailed to the references only after the applicant “submits” their application. Please note the deadline for all materials.
  • Applicants who have received a fellowship award from the Mandel Center in previous cycles may not re-apply unless seven years have passed since the end date of their previous residency.

Successful project proposals should highlight the resources available at the Museum that scholars will need to access in order to support their research. An addendum listing these resources may be attached in addition to the five-page project proposal. Important resources may also be referenced in the body of the project proposal. To search the Museum’s holdings, visit collections.ushmm.org.

Decisions for the 2019–2020 Fellowship Competition will be announced in late April 2019.



Please direct inquiries to:

International Academic Programs
Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
100 Raoul Wallenberg Place, SW
Washington, DC 20024-2126
[email protected]


The Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies 2019-2020 fellowships are made possible by generous donors:

  • Ben and Zelda Cohen Foundation
  • Fred and Maria Devinki Memorial Fellowship Fund
  • Gene and Neddie Mae Elkus Foundation
  • Yetta and Jacob Gelman Endowment
  • Alexander Grass Foundation
  • Phyllis Greenberg Heideman and Richard D. Heideman
  • Miles Lerman Center for the Study of Jewish Resistance
  • William S. and Ina Levine Foundation
  • William J. Lowenberg Memorial Fellowship Fund on America, the Holocaust, and the Jews
  • Matthew Family Charitable Trust
  • Margit Meissner Fund for the Study of the Holocaust in Czech Lands
  • Edith Milman Memorial Fellowship Fund
  • The Mueller-Weiner Fund for the Study of the Holocaust in Lithuania
  • Judith B. and Burton P. Resnick Foundation
  • Pearl Resnick Fellowship Foundation
  • Robert Savitt Visiting Scholars Fund
  • Joyce and Arthur Schechter Endowment Fund
  • J. B. and Maurice C. Shapiro Charitable Trust
  • The Sosland Family
  • Initiative on Ukrainian-Jewish Shared History and the Holocaust in Ukraine
  • Diane and Howard Wohl
  • Lydia and David Zimmern Memorial Fellowship Fund

This list may not include all potential named fellowships and is subject to modification.


Applicants to the Mandel Center’s annual fellowship competition may also be interested in the Conference on Material Claims Against Germany’s Saul Kagan Fellowships. Kagan Fellows present their work to Mandel Center staff and fellows at the Museum on a biennial basis.

Please note these are separate fellowship programs. You may not hold a Mandel Center fellowship concurrently with other funded fellowships.

Learn more about the Claims Conference’s fellowship program.

Back to top

PhD Scholarship – communication in Chinese health care settings, XJTLU

by Marius Wamsiedel

PhD scholarship: The interactional accomplishment of credibility in Chinese health care settings (中国医院患者信誉的互动生成)


Deadline: October 20, 2018


Applications are invited for a 3-year PhD scholarship at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University in Suzhou, China. Upon successful completion of the program the student will be awarded a PhD degree from the University of Liverpool.


The PhD project will focus on the practical assessment of patient credibility during interactions taking place at the emergency department of a Chinese public hospital. It will examine the interactional strategies used by practitioners and patients to discuss credibility, the consequences of the credibility assessment on the handling of patients at the emergency department, and the role of culture in the assessment of credibility. The project includes 6 months of ethnographic fieldwork in a hospital in China.


The candidate should have a first class or upper second class honors degree, or a Master’s degree (or equivalent qualification), in Sociology, Anthropology, Linguistics, or Communication. Evidence of fluent speaking, reading, and writing of both English and Mandarin Chinese is essential. Some familiarity with conversation analysis, ethnomethodology, or symbolic interaction constitutes an advantage.


The award covers tuition fees for three years (currently equivalent to RMB 80,000 per annum) and provides a monthly stipend of 5000 RMB as a contribution to living expenses. It also provides up to RMB 16,500 to allow participation at international conferences during the period of the award. It is a condition of the award that holders of XJTLU PhD scholarships carry out 300-500 hours of teaching assistance work per year. The scholarship holder is expected to carry out the major part of his or her research at XJTLU in Suzhou, China.


The application package contains

  • CV
  • Two reference letters with company/university letterhead
  • Personal statement outlining your interest in the position
  • Proof of English language proficiency (an IELTS score of 6.5 or above)
  • Verified school transcripts in both Chinese and English (for international students, only the English version is required)
  • Verified certificates of education qualifications in both Chinese and English (for international students, only the English version is required)


Interested applicants are advised to submit the application materials by email to the principal supervisor, Dr. Marius Wamsiedel ([email protected]), before October 20, 2018.


To find out more about the PhD scholarship, please check https://www.findaphd.com/search/ProjectDetails.aspx?PJID=100160