Mary Zirin Prize

Call for Submissions: 2016 Mary Zirin Prize

The Association for Women in Slavic Studies (AWSS) is pleased to announce a call for nominations for the Mary Zirin Prize in recognition of an independent scholar in the field of Slavic Studies. The award of $500 is named for Mary Zirin, the founder of Women East-West.

Working as an independent scholar, Zirin produced and encouraged fundamental works in Slavic/East European Women's Studies and has been instrumental in the development of the AWSS. The Prize aims to recognize the achievements of independent scholars and to encourage their continued scholarship and service in the fields of Slavic or Central and Eastern European Women's Studies.

The Committee encourages the nomination of candidates at all career stages. For the purpose of this award, an independent scholar is defined as a scholar who is not employed at an institution of higher learning, or an employee of a university or college who is not eligible to compete for institutional support for research (for example, those teaching under short-term contracts or working in administrative posts). We welcome nominations from CIS and Central and Eastern Europe.

The Zirin Prize Committee will accept nominations (including self-nominations) until September 1, 2016. Nominations must include: (1) a nomination letter of be no more than two-pages double-spaced; (2) the nominee's current curriculum vitae; and (3) a sample publication (e.g., article or book chapter). The nomination letter must describe the scholar's contribution to the field, as well as work in progress.

Nominations should be sent to Marilyn Smith at, or by postal mail to Marilyn Schwinn Smith, 14 Allen Street, Amherst, MA 01002.

2015 Mary Zirin Prize

The Association for Women in Slavic Studies is pleased to announce Dr. Rosamund Bartlett and Dr. Ellen Elias-Bursac as the two recipients of the Mary Zirin Prize.

Dr. Bartlett received her DPhil from the Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages, University of Oxford in 1991 and has a sterling record of scholarly publications, academic teaching and activism. Dr. Bartlett is a well-known public intellectual and she has disseminated her research in Russian cultural history at various public forums throughout the world. Her scholarship reveals a broad and deep understanding of Russian cultural history in its intersection with Western Europe. The field would find it hard to fit her into a single category. She is widely known as a translator, thanks to her unsurpassed translations of nineteenth-century Russian prose. Her volumes of Chekhov's stories are hauntingly beautiful. Her new Anna Karenina (2014) is the best there is. But Bartlett is also an immensely talented literary biographer and her excellent studies of Chekhov: Scenes from a Life (2004), and Tolstoy: A Russian Life (2010) set new standards in the field of Russian literature. In addition, Dr. Bartlett is widely published in the field of music, beginning with her multidisciplinary monograph, Wagner and Russia (1995). Her edited volume, Shostakovich in Context (2000), is an indispensible companion for anyone working critically on that composer, while her edition of the futurist opera, Victory over the Sun (2012), is the definitive one. Bartlett is also an important activist on many fronts. She played the central role in raising the funds needed to preserve Chekhov's house in Yalta.

Bartlett has modeled for young women scholars on both sides of the Atlantic what someone CAN do—without sponsorship, without salary, without affiliation—and do it brilliantly. The AWSS is pleased to honor Dr. Bartlett's multiple contributions to the field with the award of the Mary Zirin prize.

The Association for Women in Slavic Studies is pleased to announce Dr. Ellen Elias-Bursac as recipient of the 2015 Mary Zirin Prize.

Dr. Elias-Bursac received her doctorate in Croatian Languages and Literature from Zagreb University in 1999. Her thesis provided a comparative/contrastive linguo-stylistic analysis on translations of Anglo-American literature into Croatian. A prolific literary translator from South Slavic languages, Dr. Elias-Bursac, along with Ronelle Alexander, is the co-author of Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian, a Textbook, winner of AATSEEL Best Contribution to Language Pedagogy in 2009 and, currently, the most used textbook in U.S. and foreign Slavic departments.

Over the course of her six years work as translation reviser at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, she discovered that the roles of translation and interpretation in international criminal courts had received little scholarly attention. Dr. Elias-Bursac has begun to rectify this situation, publishing in 2012 "Shaping International Justice: the Role of Translation and Interpreting at the ICTY in The Hague," in the Journal of Translation and Interpreting Studies. This year, her monograph Translating Evidence and Interpreting Testimony at a War Crimes Tribunal: Working in a Tug-of-War was published by Palgrave Macmillan.

With Translating Evidence and Interpreting Testimony at a War Crimes Tribunal, Dr. Elias-Bursac has accomplished multiple services to the field. The monograph's cogent and detailed account of the history and workings of international tribunals promises to raise the profile of the critical work done by translators and interpreters within the broader public. Further, it makes a sophisticated case for the importance of language study. Highlighting the necessity for both diverse linguistic and cultural competencies, the book demonstrates the relevance of inter-disciplinary academic work to the "real-world" work of justice. Indeed, it will inspire women and men interested in applying their linguistic skills to such critical work defending human rights.

The AWSS is pleased to recognize and honor Dr. Elias-Bursac's work as scholar and translator with the award of the Mary Zirin Prize.

For a list of past recipients click here.