Medieval Slavic Manuscripts and Culture


Between Sessions at ASEEES 2012: the Place


At this year’s Association for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES) conference in New Orleans there were many things to do and many places to eat outside of the panel presentations and organizational meetings. The convention was held in the Marriott Hotel on Canal Street between Chartres (pronounced locally as “CHARters”) and the block-long Dorsiere Street, which is one block lake side of Decatur (locally pronounced “DeCAYter”) Street. The major complaint about the Marriott was that it charged $15 a day for wireless internet access in the individual hotel rooms, so most of the participants gathered in the lobby near the bar to access the free (although sporadic and weak) wi-fi.

Housed right on the edge of New Orleans’ famed French Quarter – Canal Street was the boundary between the French and the American sectors of town – ASEEES participants were in easy walking distance of a number of excellent restaurants: SoBou on Chartres, Olivier’s in the 200-block of Decatur* – where the ESSA held its dinner to honor Donald Ostrowski, and the Gumbo Shop on Saint Peter Street right next to St. Louis Cathedral. Couchon, a southern Cajun restaurant in the nearby Warehouse District, was also recommended. Café Du Monde, open 24 hours a day (except December 25th) on Decatur Street across from the Pontalba Apartment building on Jackson Square, offers beignets and cafe au lait for early morning breakfast and as a late night snack.

*Editor’s note: Olivier’s restaurant closed down in January 2015.

On a sunny day like today, one could buy lunch, such as a crawfish omelet with grits and French bread, from Cafe Beignet on Royal Street, sit on the steps of the Louisiana Supreme Court Building and listen to any one of several street bands, trios, and duos that were performing, and still get back to the conference in time for the afternoon panels.


Early Slavic Studies Association (ESSA) Annual Meeting 2012


The Early Slavic Studies Association, “a scholarly, non-profit organization dedicated to fostering closer worldwide communication among scholars interested in pre-eighteenth century Slavic studies” and “promoting the dissemination of scholarly information on early Slavic studies through the organization of meetings and conferences and through the Association’s newsletter,” held its annual meeting at the ASEEES conference in New Orleans today. Michael A. Pesenson (University of Texas at Austin), representing the ESSA Book Prize committee in the absence of the committee’s other two members, George Majeska (Emeritus, University of Maryland) and Julia Verkholantseva (University of Pennsylvania), announced the winners of this year’s ESSA Book Prize.

The Book Prize Committee found it difficult to choose only one winner and one honorable mention, so they awarded two first-place prizes and two honorable mentions.

First place honors went to:

David B. Miller, Saint Sergius of Radonezh, His Trinity Monastery, and the Formation of the Russian Identity (Northern Illinois University Press, 2010)

Image of the book cover for David Miller's "St. Sergius of Radonezh, His Trinity Monastery and the Formation of the Russian Identity." The Cover shows the onion domes of the monastery against a blue sky.

and Jan Klápště, The Czech Lands in Medieval Transformation: East Central and Eastern Europe in the Middle Ages, 450-1450 (Brill, 2011)

Image of the front cover of "Czech Lands in Medieval Transformation": spring green cover with title and author in white letters in the upper third of the cover, and an image of possibly a manuscript painting of a man entering a monastery in the lower two-thirds of the front cover. The subtitles are in white letters, written horizontally to the left and to the right of the centered title, author and image.

ESSA 1st Place 2012


The honorable mentions are:

Isaiah Gruber, Orthodox Russia in Crisis: Church and Nation in the Time of Troubles (Northern Illinois University Press, 2012)

Image of the front cover of Isaiah Gruber's book

ESSA Honorable Mention 2012


and Michael Ostling, Between the Devil and the Host: Imagining Witchcraft in Early Modern Poland, Past & Present Book Series (Oxford University Press, 2012)

Image of the front cover of Michael Ostling's book

ESSA Honorable Mention 2012



Organizational Meetings at ASEEES 2012


Many academic organizations find it convenient to meet at their annual national conferences. Among the association meetings included on the schedule for this year’s Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies convention (ASEEES) in New Orleans are:

American Association for Ukrainian Studies and Shevchenko Scientific Society (meeting together)

Association for Croatian Studies

Association for the Study of Eastern Christian History and Culture (ASEC) (see also its Facebook page)

Bulgarian Studies Association

Czechoslovak Studies Association

Early Slavic Studies Association (ESSA)

Eighteenth-Century Russian Studies Association

North American Association for Belarussian Studies

North American Society for Serbian Studies

Society for Albanian Studies (no website)

Society for Romanian Studies

Society for Slovene Studies (SSS)

Slovak Studies Association

Southeast European Studies Association

Slavic and East European Folklore Association