Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies

Summer Institute on Conducting Archival Research

The Summer Institute on Conducting Archival Research (SICAR) is a four-day seminar in which Ph.D. students receive training in conducting archival research. Although archival research is an integral part of many academic disciplines, it is virtually never taught at the graduate level. In an effort to address this deficiency, the George Washington University began the Summer Institute in 2003. SICAR welcomes Ph.D. students from the US and abroad working on international relations and modern history. In 2014, the Summer Institute continued to welcome participants from various disciplines including history, government and politics, international relations, sociology, anthropology, and public policy, as well as area and regional studies. Preference will be given to students who have defended their dissertation proposal and who are about to embark on archival research.

Details concerning the 2015 workshop are forthcoming. Applications should include the application form, as well as a two-page proposal indicating how the workshop is important for your dissertation research, one letter of recommendation (sent directly by the recommender), and a curriculum vitae. Please send applications via e-mail to sicar@gwu.edu with the subject line reading "SICAR application." GW will cover the cost of student accomodations in Washington and will generally help cover the cost of transportation. For further information, please contact sicar@gwu.edu.

Application form

The Summer Institute is directed by the faculty of the GW Cold War Group and researchers at both the National Security Archive and the Cold War International History Project. It is part of the Program on Conducting Archival Research (POCAR). SICAR and POCAR are generously funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Testimonials from previous participants

"Aside from all of the incredible insight into conducting fieldwork, whether it is archival or even interview based, SICAR provides a truly one-of a kind opportunity to network with leading scholars and experts in the broad and very interdisciplinary field of archival research. The contacts and scholar exchange alone made this seminar truly exceptional… In our training as academics (particularly my field of political science, there is a glaring omission — how does one actually go about the business of doing dissertation research. SICAR contributes greatly to the fulfillment of this gap."
Michele Leiby, Ph.D. candidate in political science, University of New Mexico

"The program was outstanding. It increased my awareness of the archival opportunities for students working in international history, and gave me the chance to network with historians and scholars working in related fields."
Charles Sharpe, Ph.D. candidate in history, University of Pennsylvania

"At SICAR, we learned everything from how to prepare, plan and strategize archival research to filing for the release of classified documents under the Freedom of Information Act… But most importantly, the director of the program, Dr. Hope Harrison, served as a mentor to all of us, often asking speakers questions that we needed to answer but didn't know how to ask. She also spent time with each participant during breaks and meal times, made personal introductions to speakers relevant to our fields, and offered her own research experiences and advice… In short, SICAR's lessons will enhance my anthropological research on torture, memory and transitional justice in Argentina. SICAR is extremely well organized and provided a rich learning experience. Every participant I spoke with felt the same way about the program — we all were surprised by how much it exceeded our expectations. (Who knew that archival research could be so exciting and stimulating?!)"
Rebekah Park, Ph.D. candidate in anthropology, UCLA

Agendas from previous SICAR seminars

SICAR 2013
SICAR 2012

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News

Professor Henry Hale co-authors piece on Russians' opinion of Ukraine in the Washington Post's blog The Monkey Cage.

Professor Marlene Laruelle interviewed by Steppe Dipatches on Central Asian states' relations with Russia and China.

Professor Sebastien Peyrouse publishes article on Central Asian states' management of religion on Eurasianet.org.

Professor Marlene Laruelle publishes op-ed entitled "The Power of Soft Power in Kazakhstan" in the Monkey Cage blog of the Washington Post.

Professor Cory Welt is a guest editor (and co-authors the introduction) of a special issue of Problems of Post-Communism on Russian foreign policy.

Alexander Reisenbichler publishes an article on the creation of the Financial Stability Forum in the Review of International Political Economy.

Professor Marlene Laruelle authors article "Russia as a 'Divided Nation'" in the journal Problems of Post-Communism (also available on Academia.edu)

Professor Kimberly Morgan and Alexander Reisenbichler (a former IERES PhD fellow) publish a chapter entitled "The German Labor Market: No Longer the Sick Man of Europe" in an e-book on the German economy. Other contributters include Peter Hall, Philippe Schmitter, and many others.

Professor Marlene Laruelle publishes article on recent presidential elections in Uzbekistan on eucentralasia.eu.

Professor Marlene Laruelle authors article on US sanctions on Alexander Dugin in Foreign Affairs.

Professor Harris Mylonas publishes article on events in Greece in 2013 in the European Journal of Political Research.

Professors Marlene Laruelle draws attention to Kazakhstan's attitude toward the Eurasian Union and Sebastien Peyrouse analyzes Kyrgyzstan's prospects for accession therein in the most recent edition of the Russian Analytical Digest.

Professor Robert Orttung quoted in an article in Vice News about online tactics used by EU, NATO, and Russia.

Professor Marlene Laruelle publishes a paper on the mythmaking of Novorossiya (available on Academia.edu).

Professor Robert Orttung and two undergraduate IERES students - Elizabeth Nelson and Anthony Livshen - write an article in the Washington Post on how Russia Today operates across different language platforms on Youtube to spread Kremlin messages about Ukraine. 

Professor Eliot Sorel to lead panel on mental health in Bucharest from June 24 to June 27 as part of an international congress integrating primary care, mental care, and public health.

Professor Robert Orttung, together with students from GWU and the University of Chicago, publish an article on Russian television and the Internet.

Professor Marlene Laruelle writes an article on youth patriotic clubs in Russia (available on Academia.edu).

Professor Marlene Laruelle publishes article entitled "The Ukrainian Crisis and its Impact on Transforming Russian Nationalism Landscape" in Ukraine and Russia: People, Politics, Propaganda and Perspectives

Professor Cory Welt was quoted by the Voice of America on the implications of Ukraine’s Minsk II cease-fire agreement.

Professor Cory Welt was interviewed by Imedi, a Georgian television station, on the role of Georgian officials in Ukraine’s government.

Professor Robert Orttung is interviewed by the National Public Radio in an audio clip entitled "'Frozen Conflict' in Ukraine Opens Door for Corruption."

Professor Robert Orttung co-authors article for Foreign Policy website about how Russia uses frozen conflicts to destabilize its reform-minded neighbors.

Professor Cory Welt was quoted by Deutsche Welle on the possibility of U.S. arms provision to Ukraine. His comments on the same subject for PONARS Eurasia were published in the Washington Post’s blog The Monkey Cage.

Professor Harris Mylonas discusses the Greek financial crisis in a Voice of America article.

Professor Robert Orttung co-authors op-eds in the Washington Post about Putin's approval ratings and in the Moscow Times about Russian propaganda.

Professor Peter Rollberg, IERES director, was quoted in the New York Times' review of Andrey Zvyagintsev's new film "Leviathan." He was also interviewed in an original IERES video about his thoughts on the work.

Professor Harris Mylonas was interviewed by Bulgarian newspaper Presa about Greek elections, and he and Akis Georgakellos wrote a report on the elections as well as an analysis of the new government's attempts to re-negotiate Greece's bailout terms. These pieces are part of the Washington Post's blog The Monkey Cage, and the latter has been mentioned by other Washington Post articles and the German-language Blogumschau news forum.

Professor Marlene Laruelle published a paper in the Russian Analytical Digest on Central Asian nations' reactions to the crisis in Ukraine.

Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, a visiting scholar at the Institute from 2002-2003, was recently elected president of Croatia.

Professor Henry Hale was interviewed about his new book Patronal Politics on the Scholars' Circle radio show.

Professor Harris Mylonas was quoted in a Wall Street Journal article about the political situation in Greece.

Professor Peter Rollberg, IERES director, was quoted in the New York Times' review of Andrey Zvyagintsev's new film "Leviathan."

Professor Henry Hale was interviewed by CNN on Putin's popular support.

Professor Peter Rollberg was interviewed by BuzzFeedNews about Johnson's Russia List, which is published through IERES. The article was reprinted by the Ukrainian service StopFake.org

Professor Robert Orttung co-authors article on increasing media censorship in Russia.

Professor Marlene Laruelle writes article on Russia's policy-drivers in the Arctic.

Professor Eliot Sorel analyzes recent presidential elections in Romania.

Professor Marlene Laruelle's paper on Russia's policy towards Central Asia published in EUCAM.

Associate Director Cory Welt analyzes the current Georgian political climate in Foreign Policy.

Professor Hope Harrison authors an article in The Washington Post about five myths surrounding the Berlin Wall and another article in The Wilson Quarterly about German perspectives on the fall of the Wall. Read the articles here and here. In addition, a German-language article of hers devoted to the fall of the Wall recently appeared in the Berlin Tagesspiegel, and she was recently filmed in a video created by the US Embassy in Germany where she explains the building and fall of the Berlin Wall.

Assistant Director Robert Orttung authors an op-ed in The Moscow Times about Ukraine's recent elections.

Assistant Director Robert Orttung authors an op-ed in The Moscow Times on the Kremlin's international propaganda practices.

Recent Mumbai water conference covered by the Times of India.

Participants in a recent conference Central Asia Program speakers quoted by Al Jazeera on Uyghur affairs.

Professor Marlene Laruelle authors an op-ed in The Moscow Times on Russian nationalism and Eastern Ukraine.

Associate Director Cory Welt was interviewed on Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict, Russia, and U.S. policy. Read the transcripts here and here.

Professor Marlene Laruelle writes a policy memo for PONARS on the Kremlin's views on Russia's European identity.

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