Russian, Central Eurasian, and East European Specialty Group of the Association of American Geographers

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Russian, Central Eurasian, and East European Specialty Group

of the

Association of American Geographers
2007 Annual Report

Reporting on Activities and Expenses in:

Activity Year 2007 (from immediately after the 2007 AAG Annual Meeting through the conclusion of the 2008 AAG Annual Meeting)


Financial Report from January 1 2007 through January 31 2008

Prepared by Shannon O’Lear President (serving 2007-2009)
1 May 2008

I. Specialty Group Mission Statement (no change)
The RCEEE Specialty group is a diverse community of researchers brought together by regional interests in Eastern Europe, Russia,the Caucasus and Central Asia. Current and past research has revolved around political, social, economic and cultural geography, as well as regional research on issues of energy, environment or migration

II. 2004 Dues
Faculty: $8; Student: $0
III. Membership

The RCEEE SG includes 143 members of which 58 are student members. Previous annual reports for our specialty group are not available, so we are unable to track changes in our membership at this time.

IV. Officers
Prof. Shannon O'Lear

Department of Geography

1475 Jayhawk Blvd.

213 Lindley Hall

University of Kansas

Lawrence, KS 66045-7613


Vice Chair
Jessica Graybill

Department of Geography

Colgate University

10 Oak Drive

Hamilton, NY 13346

Board Members:
Note: We are implementing a system that would have staggered representation on the Board.
As of the 2008 meeting:
Darren Purcell (to serve one more year)

Department of Geography

University of Oklahoma

Sarkeys Energy Center, Room 654

100 East Boyd Street

Norman, OK 73019-1008


Alexander C. Diener (to serve one more year)

International Studies & Languages Division

Pepperdine University

Malibu, CA 90263

Andrey Petrov (to serve two years)

(address likely to change)

Department of Geography

100 St. George Street, Sidney Smith Hall, Rm 5047

University of Toronto

Toronto, Ontario CA MSS 3G3
Grigory Ioffe (to serve two years)

Geography Department

P.O. Box 6938

Radford University

Radford VA 24142
Student Board Members
Note: We are implementing a system that would have staggered student representation.
Megan Dixon (to serve one more year)

Department of Geography

University of Oregon

Eugene, OR 97403
Ian Duncan (to serve one more year)

Department of Geography

University of Washington

Seattle, WA 98195-3550
Stefanie Gray (to serve two years)

Hunter College, NY

(contact information not available)

Award Committee Members
Committee Chair: Joel Quam

Professor of Geography

College of DuPage

Craig Young

Senior Lecturer in Human Geography

Manchester Metropolitan University

John Dalton Building

Chester Street

Manchester M1 5GD

Michael Bradshaw

Department of Geography

University of Leicester


Leicester, England

Alexander Diener

International Studies & Langauges Division

Pepperdine University

Malibu, CA 90263
Darren Purcell

Department of Geography

University of Oklahoma

Sarkeys Energy Center, Room 654100

East Boyd Street

Norman, OK 73019-1008
Lee Schwarz

U.S. Department of State
(Previous Chair of committee) Bella Bychkova Jordan

Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies & Department of Geography and the Environment

University of Texas at Austin

1 University Station F360

Austin, TX 78712

V. Accomplishments & Activities of Activity Year 2007 (from immediately following 2007 AAG Annual Meeting to conclusion of 2008 AAG Annual Meeting):
A. Updated RCEEE website.
Thanks to the work done by Jessica Graybill and server support at Colgate University, our group’s website has been updated. The new URL is:
During the fall of 2007 when there were significant problems with the AAG online communication system, our group used our website as an information source for proposed, organized sessions. We still had a difficult time communicating about sessions for the Boston AAG meeting. We ended up organizing and sponsoring fewer sessions than in previous years.
B. Specialty Group dinner at the AAG meeting in Boston
Continuing one of our specialty group’s traditions, we organized a dinner at a local restaurant. As in the past, we arranged with the restaurant to prepare a dinner for our group for a flat fee (this year, $35 per person), and the Specialty Group paid for student meals. Everyone paid for their own drinks. Twenty-four people came to the dinner, and seven of them were students. This event gives our members a chance to socialize and get to know other scholars working in the general area.

C. Awards Presented at 2008 AAG Annual Meeting
Our specialty group offers student awards in two categories:
1) Doctoral Enhancement Award, for $500; one is awarded each year depending on submissions.
2) Graduate student paper competition (including both MA and PhD students) with three awards given each year, depending on submissions:
1st place - $100

2nd - $75

3rd - $50
This year, we had very few submissions (again, this is in part because we had difficulty communicating to our group in the fall). We gave out only one Doctoral Enhancement Award to Cristin Burke for her dissertation fieldwork in Kazakhstan.
D. Business Meeting. The RCEEE SG Annual Business Meeting was held at the Annual AAG meeting in Boston, MA. Chair Shannon O’Lear moderated the meeting. Approximately 15 people were in attendance. Elections for new officers were held with a new plan to elect two board members each year to serve two-year terms. This will provide overlap as the board members’ terms of service will be staggered. Also at the business meeting, several announcements were made, and RCEEE business matters were discussed.

VI. 2008 Annual Meeting
There were 11 paper and panel sessions at the 2008 AAG meeting in Boston that were sponsored or co-sponsored by the RCEEE SG. Due to the problems with the AAG online communication system mentioned above in section V.A, the number of sessions organized and sponsored by our group was down quite significantly from previous years. The sessions that we organized and sponsored were:
* Author meets critics: Rebecca Kay's "Men in Contemporary Russia: The Fallen Heroes of Post-soviet Change?"
* How to study post-Soviet space II: issues of transition across regions and states
* How to study post-Soviet space: new categories and theoretical explorations
* New Geopolitics of the Arctic Region
* New Spaces and New Governance? Challenges for Central and Eastern Europe
* New Spaces and New Governance? Challenges for Central and Eastern Europe
* Russia and new urban life - policy and conflict
* Russia and the Circumpolar World: Transforming Nations, Contested Frontiers-I (Culture, Environment and Space)
* Russia and the Circumpolar World: Transforming Nations, Contested Frontiers-II (Economy, Politics and Space)
* Russian borders imagined and enacted through migration
* Russian, Central Eurasian, and East European Specialty Group Business Meeting
* The Pamir Mountains of Central Asia
VII. Financial Report from January 1 2007 through January 31 2008







Balance forward

$ 2,580.93


Dues collected for September 2006




Dues collected for October 2006




Dues collected for November 2006




Dues collected for December 2006




Dues collected for January 2007




Dues collected for February 2007




Dues collected for March 2007




Petrov - 1st place dissertation enhancement




Connor - 2nd place dissertation enhancement




Taff - 1st place graduate student paper




Pavlovskaya - RCEEE dinner reimb




Dues collected for April 2007




Dues collected for May 2007



Dues collected for June 2007




Graybill - Website maintenance




Dues collected for July 2007




Dues collected for August 2007




Final audited balance for FYE 2007

$ 1,764.56


Balance forward

$ 1,764.56


Dues collected for September 2007




Dues collected for October 2007




Dues collected for November 2007




Dues collected for December 2007




Dues collected for January 2008




Dues collected for February 2008




Dues collected for March 2008





$ 2,333.56

VIII. Future Directions
Discussion at the business meeting in San Francisco included the following items:
1. Plans for sessions at next year’s annual meeting in Las Vegas -- 2009 will mark the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall. Our group is planning to organize sessions that consider what we have learned in these 20 years and how we can understand “our” region now and in the future. Chad Staddon will be the main point of contact for these sessions, and he has offered to organize a book project to follow up these sessions.
2. The issue of better co-ordination of announcing the student awards was raised. We had very few submissions this year and hope to increase awareness of and interest in our awards. The newly formed Student Awards Committee may need to adjust the deadlines for the paper submissions – a matter to be discussed by the committee in the coming year.
3. Jessica Graybill, our current webmaster, has spent considerable time and effort on the group’s website, and she needs assistance. We would like to involve the student representatives in basic website support to ease the burden on Prof. Graybill.
4. One of our members, Joel Quam (College of DuPage), is putting together an e-textbook on the geography of Russia, and he has asked for short contributions from our membership to provide insightful, current introductions to key topics so that students would have a collection of daily readings for his class. This e-text may be more widely available once he has it up and running.

VIX. Special Requests for the Council
We continue to enjoy working with Teri Martin who has been very helpful in assisting us with financial matters.
As mentioned a few times in this report, we had considerable difficulty with the AAG online communication system during the critical late summer and early fall months when much of the planning for the spring annual meeting is done. We are delighted to know that the AAG has already signed a contract to move to a new software system (although we are aware that most of the problems we had were due to the AAG server being blocked by university e-mail systems). We hope that this new system is more user-friendly (i.e., allows users to respond directly to messages without having to login to the AAG website, allows hot links to be included in postings, etc.).

It would be a significant bonus if the new system could support specialty group websites!

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