NEH 2011 Summer Institute: America Engages Eurasia at Columbia University
that I participated in back in June 2011.
As I am preparing for my Moldova Study Abroad course, I am drawing from the materials and resources I was able to obtain while at the institute.
So I thought "better late, than never," and I am posting about this workshop from a year and a half ago!
While at the institute, I participated in seminars all day and worked at the Columbia law library all night, accessing books and materials for my research project.
The Co-Directors did an amazing job organizing this Institute.
Each morning we had speakers, who approached the topic from a wide range of disciplines/perspectives. During the working lunches we had the opportunity to get to know fellow Institute scholars, the speakers, or meet with special luncheon guests. Lunch was followed by discussion/panel of discussants on the morning's topics. The Co-Directors had each of our interests/backgrounds/topics constantly in mind -- and during the breaks and over lunch -- they would be scurrying around to scholars, giving them someone's contact information or a book or suggesting one of the guests they should be sure to meet or a library/venue they should be sure to visit. It was truly impressive. The Co-Directors were constantly thinking about ways for each of the scholars to make the most of the Institute and their research time in NYC. Constantly. I very much appreciated the format of the working lunches -- assigning table hosts -- making sure that we each were sitting at different tables every day. Scholars were selected as table hosts pursuant to their research interests and those of the visiting speakers/discussants/luncheon guests for the day. This provided an excellent opportunity to network and to have more extensive discussions about the topics covered during the formal sessions.
I also was impressed by the cohort of scholars selected to participate in the Institute. Such diversity -- from graduate students to Full Professor/Chairs, from all regions of the US, from all kinds of institutions (or no institutional affiliation), from countries in Eurasia and from the US, from a variety of disciplines.... We learned perhaps as much from each other as from the speakers/discussants. I have participated in inter-disciplinary workshops and panels in the past, and sometimes it has been more of a challenge than one might expect to maintain a collegial environment when scholars approach the same topic from different methodological/pedagogical perspectives. Our group always maintained a collegial, friendly, thoughtful dialogue. Everyone showed a great deal of respect for each of the scholars, and each scholar was valued as having something to contribute from his/her perspective/experience.
It was truly a pleasure -- to be in seminars all day and at the library all night -- to be able to "eat, sleep, and drink" my research project during the Institute. While it was a hardship that I could not bring my family to join me for all/part of the institute at the university housing, in the end, I think the sacrifice was worth it, in terms of the late nights and early mornings I was able to spend, un-interrupted, working on my research -- as well as the opportunities to socialize with institute participants outside of our seminars.
|The American Girl Doll Store on 5th Avenue....yes, I stopped by to pick up a treat for Peggy|
|Institute participants took the LIRR out to Long Beach, where we enjoyed a lovely reception at the condo of one of our Institute Co-Directors|
|New York Public Library. We had a private tour through a fabulous exhibit of NYPL collection in honor of the 100 Year Anniversary of the library|
|NYPL. I am now a card-carrying member!|
Butler Library at night. This is where most of our seminars were held. My dorm was right next door.
on the stacks at Butler Library. Shelves and shelves of books about Moldova. In Romanian, Russian, French, German, and even English.
My dorm (Carman Hall) is the tall building behind the modern building in the foreground
Among the stacks at Columbia's law library. Added to my PPT slide (when we discuss this case in Law and Politics)
NYC subway stop at 116th St
|Eloise at the Plaza|
|Grand Central Terminal|
At the Lehman Social Science library
I stopped by the Moldovan mission to the UN
my shelf, at the law library
|NEH Summer Institute on Eurasian Studies participants and Co-Directors, on the balcony of the Columbia Faculty House, where we enjoyed our daily working lunches|
At the Romanian Consulate. I was able to borrow books about Moldova at the Romanian Cultural Institute library (next door)
Went to the Sunnyside neighborhood in Queens for dramatic performance by Ion Caramitru of works by Eminescu. Picked up 2 different Romanian language newspapers. This one features the results of the mayoral run-off election in Chisinau
Enjoyed dinner at a Romanian restaraunt in Queens (the Bucharest). Pictured is my tochitura and mamaliga. (Also enjoyed the ciorba perisoare and papanasi) Yum! The only thing that would have made the meal more enjoyable: wine from Moldova
|UN Security Council Chamber|
Outside UN HQ
Outside UN HQ
Columbia University's law school