Sunday, March 22, 2015
article which cites me, this tweet by a person whose identity completely eludes me, this long drawn out message board debate in Spanish about my second book, and most impressively this academic piece in Russian from a member of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine's Institute of History of Ukraine on the English language historiography of the Crimean Tatars under Stalin and Khrushchev. So that means that there are at least a few people that I did not know about before who have recently been reading some of the stuff I have written. I realize that I am always going to be an extremely marginal figure in the academic world. But, it is nice to know that the extremity of the marginality is just a tiny bit less than it was before. I would never have dreamed that any historians at the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine would ever have heard of me yet alone considered me an important part of the English language historiography on the Crimean Tatars or anything else.
Friday, March 13, 2015
Sunday, March 08, 2015
Balkars from their homeland in the Caucasus to Kazkhstan and Kyrgyzstan. The Stalin regime falsely accused the Balkars of mass treason and used this pretext to disperse them across the vast expanse of Central Asia. In total the NKVD loaded a recorded 37,713 Balkar men, women, and children onto 14 train echelons bound east during 8-9 March 1944. Like other mass deportations, the forced eviction of the Balkars coincided with a major Soviet holiday. In this case International Women's Day. The Balkars spent the next twelve years living under the special settlement regime as second class citizens. During the first eight years they suffered over 7,000 excess premature deaths due to the harsh material conditions of their exile. The Soviet government only released the Balkars from the special settlement restrictions on 28 April 1956. After 1957, the Soviet government finally allowed the surviving deported Balkars and their children to return home to the Caucasus.
Friday, March 06, 2015
I have reached the point where I take it as a victory if a big name academic journal sends my manuscript out to peer reviewers rather than the editor rejecting it outright for arbitrary reasons. So I have cause today for a small celebration to coincide with Ghanaian Independence Day. Of course I have no hope that the peer reviewers will approve the piece for publication. But, the last piece I sent out was a lot more controversial and the peer review reports were not hostile. I found that extremely surprising. So I am banking on that.
Thursday, March 05, 2015
one celebrating the guards and other workers in the penal apparatus. The rehabilitation of Stalin's regime in the former USSR and other places has been going on for a while now. But, if you had told me in the 1980s at a time when Europe from Berlin to Baku was eagerly shaking off the yoke of Soviet rule that Stalinism would be undergoing a full rehabilitation from Madison to Moscow I would have thought you nuts. However, it turns out that the tepid attempts by Khrushchev at destalinization completely failed to take any root in Russia or Central Asia.
Hppy Independence Day to Ghana.
Friday, February 27, 2015
Most people will remember the late Leonard Nimoy for his iconic role as Spock in the first Star Trek franchise. Indeed, reruns of that show were where I first remember seeing Nimoy's acting. But, I think my favorite Nimoy related show might have been In Search Of one of the very first documentary series on paranormal events. Nimoy was an important cultural figure for those of us who grew up in the 1970s because despite other models of coolness there was no way you could get any cooler than Spock.
Monday, February 23, 2015
deportation of the Chechens and Ingush. To celebrate Red Army Day in 1944, the NKVD systematically deported almost the entire Chechen and Ingush populations from their mountain homeland in the Caucasus to Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. There they lived under severe legal restrictions and in dire poverty. As a result of the extremely poor material conditions in their new places of settlement over 145,000 died prematurely before the end of 1952. Only in 1957 did the Soviet government restore the Chechen-Ingush ASSR and sanction the return home of the deportees and their children.