Maya Brin Residency
Learn about the Maya Brin Residency Program, which brings leading Russian scholars, artists and cultural figures to UMD.
When Emeritus Professor Michael Brin brought his family to the United States from the Soviet Union in 1979, he and his mother both found a home at the university. He researched and taught math for more than 30 years, and she, a former English teacher, taught in the Russian department for nearly 10.
“She liked the people, she liked the work,” Brin says. “It was good for her.”
That’s why he’s given $600,000 to establish the Maya Brin Endowment in Russian, following her passing in March 2012. The endowment will fund a residency, which will bring leading Russian scholars, artists and cultural figures to campus for short-term stays to promote Russian culture, and a new permanent teaching position.
“This has great potential, both for students studying Russian and those outside the field,” says former Russian department head Elizabeth Papazian. “It’s a way to bring Russian culture closer to non-Russian speakers. I hope this will inspire more students to take on this difficult language.”
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Recent Research Activities
Representations and Reception of French and Francophone Women Writers in the Media, (19th-21st centuries)
International two-day colloquium
Featuring a keynote address by Marie-Ève Thérenty and closing dialogue with Martine Delvaux, this two-day colloquium brings together scholars from around the world to expose, discuss, and debate the issues that inform the representation and reception of French and Francophone women writers in the media, from the nineteenth century to the present day, in light of their diverse social and political realities. Insofar as it implies the analysis of strategies of visibility, and even self-promotion, the study of representations of women writers in the media extends a significant current of contemporary literary analyses – that of posture and auctorial scenography – while also including perspectives on issues of gender and identity building, understood broadly, within the study of the reception and representations of women authors.
Making Levantine Cuisine: Modern Foodways of the Eastern Mediterranean
From family staples to national dishes, Making Levantine Cuisine addresses the transnational histories and cultural nuances of the ingredients, recipes, and foodways that place the Levant onto an ever-shifting global culinary map.
School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures
Melding the rural and the urban with the local, regional, and global, Levantine cuisine is a mélange of ingredients, recipes, and modes of consumption rooted in the Eastern Mediterranean. Making Levantine Cuisine provides much-needed scholarly attention to the region’s culinary cultures while teasing apart the tangled histories and knotted migrations of food. Akin to the region itself, the culinary repertoires that comprise Levantine cuisine endure and transform—are unified but not uniform. This book delves into the production and circulation of sugar, olive oil, and pistachios; examines the social origins of kibbe, Adana kebab, shakshuka, falafel, and shawarma; and offers a sprinkling of family recipes along the way. The histories of these ingredients and dishes, now so emblematic of the Levant, reveal the processes that codified them as national foods, the faulty binaries of Arab or Jewish and traditional or modern, and the global nature of foodways. Making Levantine Cuisine draws from personal archives and public memory to illustrate the diverse past and persistent cultural unity of a politically divided region.
Transnational Dimensions of Moroccan Gender History Sources, Access, Politics
This roundtable essay discusses the promises and challenges of adopting a transnational analytical approach to gender history in modern Morocco.
School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures
This essay is a contribution to a roundtable that brings together the work of gender historians whose research collectively ranges from Morocco to Afghanistan, and traces a variety of connections across the Mediterranean and the Atlantic. Collectively, we demonstrate the many ways that women in the Middle East and North Africa collaborated with one another and with women in other world regions in the name of national independence, women’s rights, and economic justice, often shaping gender norms in the process. This contribution demonstrates that multiple generations of Moroccan women activists engaged with ideas and movements circulating through the Middle East and beyond as they advocated for liberation. It examines how the nation-state sets up particular barriers to narrating these vital transnational dimensions of women's history in Morocco.
Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies 17:3, November 2021