February 14, 2022

Hristova Receives Graves Award in the Humanities

Assistant Professor of Russian and Russian Section Head Dr. Maria Hristova has been awarded a 2021-23 Graves Award in the Humanities. Dr. Hristova will use this $11,000 grant for her proposed project, “The Environmental Turn in Soviet and Post-Soviet Cultures”. Hristova’s research indicates that the Soviet environmental turn in literature during the 1960s and 1970s was a means of critically examining reality while staying within the bounds of socialist realism, the state-enforced aesthetic. Environmental themes were crucial to Soviet authors because they provided a safe means of raising objections to the state’s industrial goals by creating a sense of dissonance with official discourse through literary representation.

The Graves Award will allow Dr. Hristova to spend four months in Russia, working at the Russian State Library in Moscow, during her current sabbatical. If travel to Russia is not viable, she will access key periodicals at the New York Public Library. Hristova’s plan includes a multi-faceted approach to expand (post) Soviet Environmental Studies, both at Lewis & Clark and in the wider Slavic Studies community. As her research and teaching are fundamentally connected, she plans to accomplish this through scholarly publications and presentations, as well as curriculum development that expands students’ general knowledge base and attracts a wider attention to environmental issues in the (post)Soviet world. Dr. Hristova writes, “The ability to (re)design courses that align with my new research trajectory focusing on environmental art and criticism will be invaluable in helping me expand and diversify the Russian Section curriculum and improve enrollments by attracting students interested in environmental issues who might not otherwise consider taking a course in the Russian program.”

Administered by Pomona College and under the auspices of the American Council of Learned Societies, the Arnold L. Graves and Lois S. Graves Awards “encourage and reward outstanding accomplishment in actual teaching in the humanities by younger faculty members.” This competitive award, offered biennially, recognizes excellence in teaching; the funding that accompanies it supports research-related expenses. Hristova’s award continues a string of Graves Award successes by the Lewis & Clark faculty. In the last 20 years this includes Magali Rabasa (2020), Bryan Sebok (2018), Kristin Fujie (2014), Rachel Cole (2012), Joel Martinez (2010), Karen Gross (2008), and David Campion (2006).

The Graves Award is Dr. Hristova’s fourth external grant since she started at Lewis & Clark in 2017.

February 2022