Emerging Scholar Prize

The SHERA Emerging Scholar Prize aims to recognize and encourage original and innovative scholarship in the field of East European, Eurasian, and Russian art and architectural history. Applicants must have published an English-language article in a scholarly print or online journal, or museum print or online publication within the twelve-month period preceding the application deadline. Additionally, applicants are required to have received their PhD within the last 5 years and be a member of SHERA in good standing at the time that the application is submitted. The winner will be awarded $500 and republication (where copyright allows) or citation of the article on H-SHERA. Send a cover letter summarizing the context and significance of the essay, the essay, and a cv to shera.artarchitecture@gmail.com. Deadline: Oct. 15, 2022.

Past Winners

  • 2021

    Tomasz Grusiecki

    Boise State University

    “Close Others: Poles in the Visual Imaginary of Early Modern Amsterdam,” published in The Slavonic and East European Review, October 2020.

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    Tomasz Grusiecki

    The committee report praises his well-researched and well-written essay that encompasses an impressive range of mediums. It addresses wider scholarly issues such as identity and transnational relationships; cultural relationships between the Poles and the Dutch; and the image of the “cultural other.” The essay covers a wide range of material and relevant theoretical issues within clearly defined and limited parameters. They concluded that is an exemplary work of scholarship.

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  • 2020

    Antony Kalashnikov

    Higher School of Economics

    “Historicist Architecture and Stalinist Futurity,” Slavic Review

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    Antony Kalashnikov

    The committee described the essay as follows:

    The essay adopts a nuanced understanding of “temporality” and “the future” in Stalinist architecture using a wealth of material (both primary and secondary) to support it. Kalashnikov innovatively combines research on material sciences and durability in Stalinist architecture to expand his argument, that historicity and enduring materials were used “to ensure posterity’s grateful and perpetual remembrance of the heroic Stalinist era.” This is an impressive display of erudition and research, particularly in relation to the debates of the period and the issue of the “durability” of materials, which enriches our understanding of the activities, motives, and intentions that stimulated architects in the Soviet Union during the period 1930s-1950s. The final section mentions parallels in thinking between Stalin’s Russia, Hitler’s Germany, America, and Britain, and Kalashnikov’s research throws vital new light on the architectural practice of the period.

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  • 2019

    Alice Isabella Sullivan

    University of Michigan

    “The Athonite Patronage of Stephen III of Moldavia, 1457-1504,” Speculum 94.1 (2019)

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    Alice Isabella Sullivan

    The committee felt this highly original study deserves the Prize for its new and significant contribution to our understanding of not only how sacred landscapes developed within the northeastern Greek territories in the nearly fifty-year period of Stephen III’s rule, but also how princely patronage from Europe’s eastern borderlands had a direct and profound impact on the broader reification of Byzantine culture after the fall of Constantinople in 1453. Whereas previous scholarship has tended to focus on the study of Byzantine ideology in these lands (historical Wallachia, Moldavia) in the sixteenth-eighteenth centuries, Sullivan turns a conventional center-periphery argument on its head. An impressive linguistic and material array of primary sources that includes liturgical artifacts, vestments, manuscripts, buildings, inscriptions, and monetary records in Church Slavonic, Greek and Romanian underpins Sullivan’s deft elucidation of the connection between cross-cultural exchange and contemporary patronage. The committee would like to recognize and praise the intellectual work that a study of this type requires, the clarity of its presentation, and the demonstration of how the study of “borderland” territories is essential to how we interpret and theorize cross-cultural exchange. (from the report of the Selection Committee)

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  • 2018

    Aglaya K. Glebova

    University of California, Irvine

    “Elements of Photography: Avant-garde Aesthetics and the Reforging of Nature,” Representations 142 (2018)

    “Elements of Photography: Avant-garde Aesthetics and the Reforging of Nature”…is highly innovative in its approach to the interpretation of a famously problematic episode in the career of Aleksandr Rodchenko: the work produced during his visit to the White Sea-Baltic Canal, one of the first Soviet forced labor camps, in the early 1930s. As Glebova argues, Rodchenko’s “in-the-moment” White Sea Canal photographs, especially the colorized ones, revolutionized visual thinking and also reveal the conflicting impulses inherent in the execution of the first five-year plan. Through a close reading of the artist’s photographs of nature and of a range of texts by, among others, Nikolai Chernyshevsky, Sergei Tretiakov, and Leon Trotsky, Glebova reframes Rodchenko’s apparent rejection of avant-garde aesthetics to introduce the critical potential of his work—and of the theme of landscape more generally—in relation to what she describes as the “official censure of formalism and ‘contemplation’” in this period. At the same time, she situates Rodchenko’s visceral disdain for nature—an attitude in line with the Soviet subjugation of the vision of nature that had been epitomized by bourgeois eighteenth- and nineteenth-century landscape paintings—in relation to the immediate will of “the people” and “the state.” Her incisive and original argument follows from an evocation of a paradox that yokes totalitarian policy to aesthetics and ultimately yields a new understanding of Rodchenko’s 1930s practice as ideologically incorrect and un-Soviet. (from the report of the Selection Committee)

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  • 2017

    Christina E. Crawford

    Emory University

    “From Tractors to Territory: Socialist Urbanization through Standardization,” Journal of Urban History 44:1 (2017)

    Rigorously researched and theoretically astute, Christina Crawford’s essay “From Tractors to Territory: Socialist Urbanization through Standardization”…examin[es] the design and construction of both the Kharkiv Tractor Factory (1930-31) and the neighboring planned city for its workers, Crawford details the importation of a Fordist model of industrial standardization into a Soviet context and demonstrates how the concept of priviazka, taken from contemporaneous architectural discourse, was productively applied to other spheres in order to facilitate rapid growth in manufacturing and distribution. Her essay illuminates the importance of adaptability within the ostensibly standardized design practices that fueled the breakneck tempo of industrialization and urbanization during Stalin’s first Five-Year Plan. Innovative and authoritative, Crawford’s scholarship offers a methodological model for considering the relationship of architectural design and economic development during the process of early Soviet industrialization. (from the report of the Selection Committee)

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