Duke's global centers & initiatives

Center for Slavic, Eurasian and East European Studies

Mission Statement

The broad and shared purpose of the Center for Slavic, Eurasian, and East European Studies (CSEEES—founded in 1991) and the Slavic and Eurasian Language Research Center (SEELRC—founded in 1999) is to promote a deeper understanding of the countries, cultures, and languages of Eurasia (including Central & Eastern Europe, the post-Soviet states, India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan), as well as coursework, comparative research, teacher training, and graduate/undergraduate student training in the social sciences & humanities associated with these regions. Disciplines include anthropology, economics, environment, history, linguistics, literature, political science & public policy. The 34 nations of this region have a combined population in 2022 of approximately 2.2 billion and hundreds of languages and unique cultures.

CSEEES offers two interdisciplinary Graduate Certificates open to Duke graduate students (Slavic, Eurasian, & East European Studies & SEES Specialization in Legal Studies), as well as SEELRC/CSEEES joint programs that include conferences/workshops/institutes with NCCU, NCSU, UNC-CH, NC A&T, UNC-G, K-12 teachers in North Carolina & the DC Public Schools.

SEELRC outcomes include: (1) web-based language instructional & testing materials at the advanced & superior proficiency levels & development of new technologies; (2) research in cognitive neuroscience, second language acquisition, proficiency testing, heritage learners, & assessment; (3) professional development for language instructors, expanding diversity in SEE language/culture learners and faculty, & anti-bias training.

Summary of 2021-2022 Programs

In 2021 – 2022, CSEEES continued our partnership and collaboration with NCCU, NCA&T, Gardner-Webb, and Durham Public Schools.

During the 2021 Summer Institute, “STEM Talks – part 2: Play Your Part” continued the conversations surrounding achievement and opportunity gaps in our schools in the interest of enhancing the schooling experiences of all students in urban school settings. Participants were encouraged to create action plans and playbooks to serve as a guide in supporting and uplifting students in the urban STEM classroom and far beyond. In “Language Justice: What We’ve Learned & Next Steps in a Multilingual Elementary School,” our DPS K-8 educators provided an update to language justice in a local Durham elementary schools, sharing the outline of action they took, as well as the results.

CSEEES also continued to expand ScribeZone, a multi-media language instruction tool developed by the SEELRC along with the NSA. ScribeZone now hosts a total of 76 activities in multiple modules, with 13 languages represented (8 of which were added in 2021 – 2022): Bosnian, Chinese, Croatian, Kazakh, Montenegrin, Polish, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Turkish, Uighur, Ukrainian, and Uzbek. The Olympiada of Spoken Russian was held in the spring of 2022. 21 high school students from North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia participated, representing 3 schools. Our event was one of the few that took place, either virtually or in person. The SEELRC administered nearly 100 total proficiency tests in the areas of reading, writing, oral proficiency, listening comprehension, and grammar lexicon in 2021 – 2022. The CSEEES released new projects related to both Ukrainian language and the COVID-19 pandemic. A Ukrainian manual was published to develop the ability to listen to foreign students and teachers of Ukrainian as a foreign language, as well as those who seek to learn Ukrainian independently.

The Russian and COVID-19 project captures the influence of the COVID-19 epidemic on the Russian diaspora and documents. In her detailed examination, Marina Miroshnikova documents the spread of COVID-19 information via Russian media, the introduction of new terms into Russian, and how Russian speakers have found humor in the darkness.

The CSEEES continued to partner with the Mellon Sawyer Seminar Series on Language Discrimination in Fragile Communities. 9 events were held in the 2021 – 2022 academic year.

Selected titles include:  “Truth is a Linguistic Question” (Part 1 and 2)  “NOT hearing African American Vernacular English (AAVE): As shown by the trial of George Zimmerman for the murder of Trayvon Martin and the errors in the Automated Speech Recognition (ASR) systems used by Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Google and IBM”  “Discrimination in Academic Publishing”  “Identities Under Siege: the effects of essentialism, other-izing, & trauma on linguistic and cultural identities” (Part 1 and 2)

2021 – 2022 also brought several publications affiliated or originating from the CSEEES.

• “DTI Analysis of White Matter Integrity and Cognitive Brain Reserve in Lifelong Musicians and Controls” (with C. Eierud, D. Banks, T. Harshbarger, A. M. Michael, and C. S. Rammell). Submitted to Brain Connectivity, Jan 2022. 2 • “Effects of Lifelong Musicianship on White Matter Integrity and Cognitive Brain Reserve” (with C. Eierud, D. M. Banks, A. M. Michael, T. Harshbarger, C. S. Rammell). Brain Sci. 2021, 11, 67. https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11010067. • “Reimagining multilingualism and musicianship: Communities of Practice as an explanatory framework for analyzing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic” (with A. Bhatia, H. Folks, C. Gamard, H. Morales, D. Naphade, S. Sanchez, H. Stern, K. Wang). Glossos 16, December 2021. • “Lotman and Cognitive Neuroscience.” In The Bloombury Handbook of Juri Lotman, 2021. • “Jakobsonian Linguistics.” In The Encyclopedia of Slavic Languages and Linguistics. The Netherlands: Brill Publishers, 2021. 4

2021-2022 Notable Programs

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