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UVa Center for International Studies Global Activities Grant Request Form

Please provide the following information when requesting funds from the CIS for global activities that are relevant to UVa's global mission:

1. Your name, title, department or unit, and contact information:

Dr. Piotr H. Kosicki, ACLS New Faculty Fellow and Lecturer, History;
Associate Director, Center for Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies

Professor Jeffrey Rossman, Associate Professor of History;
Director, Center for Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies

Professor Dariusz Tolczyk, Associate Professor of Slavic Languages & Literatures

Corresponding Applicant:
Jeffrey Rossman

2. The type of grant you are applying for:

University research initiatives or research groups

3. A detailed description of this project/activity including the purpose, participants, location, dates and other relevant information:

The focus of this project is to host a one-day major international conference at the University of Virginia. The conference will be a case study in international (i.e. Russian, Polish, British, and American) responses to one particular historical case of mass violence – the Katyń Massacres of 1940, in which Soviet secret police killed 22,000 Poles – that will serve as the basis for more global reflections on how instances of mass violence and genocide committed by one state against members of another state are addressed by citizens, politicians, and scholars alike as problems of history, memory, and law.

For the purposes of this one-day conference – to take place on Saturday, 23 March 2013, in Nau Hall 101 on University Grounds – six major Eastern European public figures (from Russia and Poland) will come to the University of Virginia to speak as both activists and scholars about how to deal with the consequences of mass murder – locally, nationally, and internationally. These speakers represent different fields of activism and inquiry essential to understanding the more global problem:
--an eminent historian, Russia's Natalia Lebedeva, will talk about making the initial discovery of documents of mass murder in the archives left by a totalitarian system;

--the president of the Polish NGO called the Federation of Katyń Families (literally, an association of relatives and descendants of the victims of the mass murder), Izabella Sariusz-Skąpska, who is also an academic specialist in literary representations of Soviet crimes against humanity, will speak about how families of victims over multiple generations preserve and operationalize memory of mass violence in order to turn it into an activist agenda for the prevention of future violence;

--international criminal lawyer and legal scholar Ireneusz Kamiński, who is presently serving as the legal representative of Katyń victims' families in their claims against Russia before the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, will speak on both the normative and the practical problems of dealing with questions of compensation and justice against perpetrators' successor states, in other words, in situations where the regime that committed acts of mass violence is no longer in power;

--museum specialist Sławomir Frątczak, curator of the Polish Army's Katyń Museum and a participant in the original archeological exhumations of the bodies of victims of the massacres, will speak on the process of shifting attention from mass graves to public museum displays, including the variety of issues involved in selecting artifacts, designing museum spaces, and framing accounts for public consumption;

--and two official representatives of the Republic of Poland – Dr. Andrzej Zawistowski and Dr. Łukasz Michalski – who are responsible for educating the Polish public about "crimes against the Polish nation" will discuss different challenges involved in moving from mass violence as an event to mass violence as a set of educational tasks for high-school and University students and as a basis for national self-identification in the international arena.

Participants will arrive either two days before or one day before the actual conference – some are more advanced in age and require additional adjustment time after traveling – which will take place over the course of one day on Saturday, March 23rd. Additionally, Poland's Institute for National Remembrance – which has agreed at our request to cover the travel costs of its two employees who will be attending our conference – has also agreed to our request to provide an English-language exhibit for public display at the University of Virginia (in the South Lawn Commons) over the course of 2-3 weeks in March-April 2013. Poland's Institute for National Remembrance is fully covering the costs of producing, transporting, and mounting the exhibit on University Grounds. In addition to its own merits, the conference will thus launch this public exhibit for the University community.

4. A brief statement on how the project contributes to UVa Center for International Studies' mission, and/or how it has the potential to deepen global learning:

This conference is precisely the kind of effort needed to advance global research and learning at the University of Virginia. This conference is a product of cross-disciplinary cooperation involving three departments (History, Slavic, and Sociology), two interdisciplinary programs (the Institute for Humanities and Global Cultures and the Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies, the latter of which administers the Uva Polish Lecture Series), and support from an existing Page-Barbour initiative (on International Criminal Justice). Although firmly grounded in Eastern European events, this conference speaks to global problems of transition out of authoritarian regimes, and we will be exploring the various facets of these transitions – legal, social, political – insofar as they shape local, national, and international identities and public conversations. This is an area of interest involving not just Russia and Poland, but also South Africa, Afghanistan, China, and above all the United States as it seeks to re-define its place in the global order. Students and faculty alike will benefit from this type of event and the breadth of issues that it raises in the context of a focused case study that will contribute to broader knowledge and learning at the University of Virginia and beyond.

5. An itemized overall budget and amount requested from CIS:


6. Sources of co-funding: