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REEI R600: Proseminar in Russian and East European Area Studies

Instructor, IU Bloomington, Fall 2011
Description: R600 is a required course for students seeking the M.A. degree at Indiana University’s Russian and East European Institute. The course is also open to graduate students from other departments.
This course provides students with a broad overview of Russian and East European Area Studies.
We will examine many of the critical issues currently under discussion in the field. The collapse of socialist regimes since 1989 provides the unifying framework for the course, just as it has for the field. The field of “Russian and East European Studies,” as it developed in American institutions after World War II, took for granted that state-socialism united the (historically, linguistically, religiously, and culturally) diverse countries of the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe as a unit of intellectual study and political importance. Since 1989, specialists in area studies have been asking the following questions: How did socialism collapse? What was socialism? Are the formerly socialist states “transitioning” to market capitalism and electoral democracy? If so, how (quickly) will they get there, and what can we do to help? Will some not get there? Who is making policy (political, economic, social, environmental, and linguistic) in the new countries, and what effects will these policies have? Is life getting better or worse (since 1989) for ordinary citizens?
Specialists are also asking: Why did nationalism and ethno-separatist movements emerge at the same time as the collapse of socialism? Are violence, war, and political instability inevitable in the region? Do we need to look beyond political structure and ideology to history, culture, religion, or social relations in order to understand what is happening in these countries? If so, how do identity, memory, and nostalgia relate to the transition, especially its political dimensions? How do we incorporate gender, youth/generations, and class into our analyses of social process in the region? And – can we still think of the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe as constituting a single “area” for multi-disciplinary study? If yes, what unites it, and how do we study that unity? If not, what are the sub-areas, what unites them, and how do we study them?
As a class, we will also ask these questions. Using the wealth of information found in readings, guest presentations, and course assignments, we will work towards understanding what tentative conclusions the field has reached over the past twenty years, and what more needs to be studied. We will use class discussion time to identify points of debate, divergent interpretations of data, and gaps in our knowledge, so that we can all – collectively and individually – contribute to a better understanding of the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.
Area Studies is also a multi-disciplinary field, and students will be exposed to the primary methods and findings of the constituent disciplines. Most weeks’ readings are organized around a common set of questions or themes, but some weeks feature key research that is better confined to one or a few disciplines (e.g. political science, sociology, and religious studies). The attention given to different methods in this course should help prepare you to conduct and write research projects in other courses.

WOST W105: Introduction to Women's Studies

Instructor, IUPUI, Fall 2007
Description
: Women's Studies is about examining the "gendered meanings of experiences, events, ideas, and social institutions for women and men" (Sapiro, Virginia. Women in America Society Mountain View, CA: Mayfield Publishing Company, 1994, pp.8). "Increasingly, women's studies takes account of and reflects the experiences and insights of women bearing the burdens of racial, class, ethnic, and other subordinations along with the burden of gender subordination" (Women's Realities, Women's Choices. Hunter College Women's Studies Collective. New York: Oxford University Press, 1995, pp.16-17). I would also like to believe that a course on women studies is not just about "woman" as a subordinated category but also about how women thrive in and support our cultures. It is also about women as integral parts of society and recognizing the contributions that women have made to our cultures and societies.
This course is designed to introduce students to the many ways gender experience is understood and studied. We will examine how the differences and resulting inequalities between men and women, as well as among women, have been studied and explained, by considering the impact of social structure, class, culture, age and sexual orientation on gender roles. Class discussion is welcomed within a framework of courtesy, respect and the sharing of time. [description provided by the Dept of Women's Studies]

 

Special Lectures

102nd Gellner Seminar,"Recruiting Agencies: The Role of Recruitment Firms in Czech Healthcare Worker Migration"

sponsored by the Masaryk Czech Sociological Society and the Czech Association for Social Anthropology, Prague, Czech Republic (22 October 2009)
Abstract: As European healthcare shortages increase, the new EU member states provide a larger labor market on which to draw. Healthcare professionals are an especially in-demand population and are heavily recruited to fill these labor shortages.  Therefore, they provide an interesting case through which to examine migration processes.  I suggest that merely having the opportunity for migration does not inspire many people to migrate.  However, that when informed and offered resources by recruitment firms, healthcare workers are more likely to leave their jobs and homelands to work in foreign countries.  At the same time, the recruiters are representing migration as a benefit to not only the migrant herself but also to the larger national body.  My research examines the ways in which migration recruitment firms influence migration flows while serving their own needs, the needs of their clients, as well as the needs of local social policy.  I additionally explore the specific strategies of women in healthcare migration.  Since November 2008, I have been in the Czech Republic collecting data for this project.  In this paper I will present the initial findings and analysis my fieldwork.    Key concepts that I will explore include the agency of various actors in the  project, as well as gendered implications for healthcare migrants.

Cultural Competency for Nurses

3rd Medical Faculty, Charles University, April 2009
Description: Cultural Competency in nursing is becoming increasingly important. Not only are more nurses moving abroad to work, but they are also seeing an increase in foreigners in their hospitals. Based on the premise that they must understand how to work with foreigners, this lecture explained the necessity of cultural competecny in today's global world and EU environment. Once we established the differences among people from different countries, we discussed how to work with people of any country or culture, including their own, and how they must ethically treat all patients alike, regardless of personal biases.
This lecture was given in English and translated to Czech by the course professor.


I have also taught the following academic support courses at Texas A&M University or the University of Maryland, College Park:
UNIV 379: Seminar in Internship Experiences
Responsibilities included designing and implementing distance learning component
Taught Summer 2003, Fall 2003, Spring 2004 and Summer 2004
EDCP 108D: Career Planning and Decision Making
CAEN 101: Succeeding in College
Taught Fall 1998, Spring 1999, Fall 1999, Fall 2000