Irish Association for Russian, Central and East European Studies
Cumann Slaiviseach na hEireann
Award of Pushkin Medal to Sarah Smyth
On the 4 November in the Moscow Kremlin by Presidential Decree, Sarah Smyth, Head of the School of Languages, Literatures and Cultural Studies (TCD), was awarded the prestigious Medal of Pushkin.
This medal is awarded annually to no more than ten recipients in recognition of their outstanding contribution to the promotion of Russian language and culture in the world.
Asked about how she felt being the first Irish person to be honoured in this way, Sarah said: ‘In the context of Bono’s concert in Moscow and meeting with President Medvedev during the summer, President Mary MacAleese’s visit to Russia in September and the Taoiseach’s planned trip in the coming year, the award highlights a significant shift in Irish-Russian relations and bodes well for future developments.”
Previous recipients have included the renowned Russian scholar and lexicographer, Professor Marcus Wheeler, formerly of The Queen’s University Belfast, and Lyudmila Putina, for her pioneering work in and with the Russian-speaking diaspora since the formation of the Russian Federation.
Sarah’s career as a Russianist began in the early eighties. She is the author of a number of widely acclaimed Russian language textbooks and is currently principal investigator on a major IRCHSS-funded research project on Russian speakers in Ireland.
Source: TCD Department of Russian and Slavonic Studies
Death of a colleague
It is with great sadness that we report the death on Saturday 13th November 2010 of one of our members, Ros Dixon. Ros was a Lecturer in Drama and Theatre Studies in the English Department at the National University of Ireland, Galway. She wrote her doctorate on the work of the Soviet theatre director Anatolii Efros, she published articles on varied aspects of Russian theatre history. She was also engaged in research on productions of Russian plays in Ireland and Irish plays in Russia, a study that concerns issues of translation, adaptation, and cross-cultural exchange. Irish Times Obituary
Ron Hill was conferred Honorary Life Membership of the Association.
Professor Ronald J. Hill is an Emeritus Fellow of Trinity College Dublin. He retired as Professor of Comparative Government, Trinity College Dublin in September 2007, a position to which he was appointed in 1991. Previously he had been Junior Lecturer, Lecturer, and Associate Professor of Political Science at TCD. He is also a Senior Associate Member, St. Antony's College, Oxford and an Associate of Institute for Soviet and East European Studies, University of Glasgow. He has been a Visiting Fullbright Professor at Lafayette College, Easton, PA (1981-82) and a Fellow-in-Residence, at the Netherlands Institute of Advanced Studies.
Ron’s contribution to the study of Soviet and Russian politics in Ireland and globally is immense. His first book Soviet Political Elites: The Case of Tiraspol (London: Martin Robertson and New York: St. Martin's Press, 1977), was one of the first books to look in detail and at first hand at Soviet political practices in local government. His Soviet Politics, Political Science and Reform (Oxford: Martin Robertson and Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 1980) mapped out the reform debates that what were to become the intellectual origins of perestroika. His The Soviet Communist Party (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1981; 3rd edn 1986; co-authored with Peter Frank) was – and remains – the most complete description of the workings and nature of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. His other books include The Soviet Union: Politics, Economics and Society (London: Pinter, 1985; 2nd edn. 1989), Communist Politics Under the Knife: Surgery or Autopsy? (London: Pinter, 1990), Gorbachev and Perestroika: Towards a New Socialism? (Aldershot: Edward Elgar, 1990; co-editor), Beyond Stalinism: Communist Political Evolution (London: Cass, 1992; editor), Modern Irish Democracy: Essays in Honour of Basil Chubb (Blackrock: Irish Academic Press, 1993; co-editor), and Putin and Putinism (London: Routledge, 2009; co-editor). Ron’s contribution to global Russian and Soviet studies also included editorial work on book series and journals. He is General Editor of Studies of Communism in Transition (Edward Elgar Publishers) and Style and Managing Editor of the Journal of Communist Studies and Transition Politics. Internationally he has served as General Editor, ICCEES Warsaw Congress Proceedings (Macmillan Publishing). In Ireland he was for many years a mainstay of IARCEES and was editor, of Irish Slavonic Studies for many years. (Neil Robinson)