2017 ASEEES Distinguished Contributions Award Recipient Christine D. Worobec
Established in 1970, the Distinguished Contributions to Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies Award honors eminent members of the profession who have made major contributions to the field through scholarship of the highest quality, mentoring, leadership, and/or service to the profession. The prize is intended to recognize diverse contributions across the Slavic, East European, and Eurasian studies field. The 2017 award is presented to Christine D. Worobec, Board of Trustees and Distinguished Research Professor Emerita at Northern Illinois University.
Professor Christine D. Worobec is a renowned historian and prolific author. She is particularly noted as a pioneering scholar in Russian and Ukrainian women’s history, family history, and rural history. Worobec’s research is characterized by its imagination and innovation. Her emphasis on the everyday lives of peasants and ordinary women in Russia and Ukraine is especially commendable in a field long dominated by scholarship on the intelligentsia and the political elites. She has written numerous path-breaking books and articles, especially her monographs Peasant Russia: Family and Community in the Post-Emancipation Period (Princeton University Press), which won the Association of Women in Slavic Studies (AWSS) Heldt Prize for the Best Book by a Woman in 1991, and Possessed: Women, Witches, and Demons in Imperial Russia (Northern Illinois University Press), which won the Heldt Prize for the Best Book in Women’s Studies a decade later. Worobec has also collaborated on significant reference works, most notably Women and Gender in Central and Eastern Europe, Russia, and Eurasia: A Comprehensive Bibliography (with Mary Zirin, Irina Livezeanu, and June Pachuta-Farris). Among Worobec’s edited essay collections, Russia’s Women: Accommodation, Resistance, Transformation (with Barbara E. Clements and Barbara A. Engel) is particularly noteworthy. Currently, she is working on mapping and analyzing Orthodox pilgrimages in modern Ukraine and Russia.
Worobec, who earned her BA, MA, and PhD degrees in History from the University of Toronto, has garnered numerous accolades of national and international distinction, among them grants from the Aleksanteri Institute at the University of Helsinki, the Institute for Advanced Studies (Paris), the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Worobec has generously served her profession. As a member of the AAASS/ASEEES since 1985, she served on its Board of Directors and chaired various committees, including the Committee on the Status of Women in the Profession for five years. Worobec has also advanced the position of women and women’s studies in academe as a long-time leader of the AWSS, where she has served as president, vice president, and board member, service that was honored by the AWSS Outstanding Achievement Award. She has served on the editorial boards of several journals and refereed seventeen additional journals. Worobec has advised countless organizations and administrative committees.
Fabled for her intellectual generosity and personal warmth, she has devoted a significant part of her career to advancing the status of women in our field, both in the US and abroad. Her accomplishments as a mentor have been recognized by funding from Open Society Foundation to mentor junior faculty and graduate students in Kyiv and St. Petersburg but also by the glowing letters of support from her colleagues.
Finally, Worobec’s nearly twenty years as editor of the Russian Studies Series at Northern Illinois University Press is noteworthy and laudable. Under her direction, this series has published an astonishing number of significant scholarly books and enabled many junior scholars to establish themselves in a challenging publishing environment. The contributions she has made to the field through this series cannot be overemphasized.
Through her pathbreaking scholarship, extraordinary mentoring, and invaluable professional service, Christine Worobec has clearly made distinguished contributions to Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies.