Dr. Eric Schmaltz wraps up lecture tour

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Dr. Eric Schmaltz wraps up lecture tour

September 26, 2012 

 Dr. Eric Schmaltz
Dr. Eric Schmaltz

Dr. Eric Schmaltz, associate professor of history at Northwestern Oklahoma State University and co-executive director of the Northwestern Institute for Citizenship Studies, recently concluded a lecture tour covering topics related to Germans from Russia.

Outside of his regular university duties and continuing publication and journal editing efforts, he delivered 11 presentations at local, regional and international gatherings, with several organizations requesting his speaking services on a number of topics, especially in the areas of German diaspora and Russian history.

In April, Schmaltz kicked off the 2012 speaking tour by giving two talks at Graceful Arts Center in downtown Alva, starting with “The German POW Camps of Alva and Tonkawa, Oklahoma (1942-1945).” He later discussed “The American Volga Relief Society and the North Dakota Citizens’ Relief Association in Relation to the American Relief Administration during Soviet Russia’s ‘Great Famine’ of 1921-1923.”

In mid-April, Schmaltz gave the talk “The Voices in Exile Have Returned: Recent Scholarship on Ethnic German Letters from the Soviet Union Published on the Great Plains from 1917 to 1937” for the Society for German-American Studies’ Annual Symposium held at the University of Kansas in Lawrence (Kan.).

Schmaltz continued his tour and spoke about his May 2011 trip to Ukraine, Germany and Alsace (in France) with the Golden Spread Chapter of the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia in Shattuck, the Northwest Oklahoma Genealogical Society in Alva, and a special Germans from Russia family gathering at Mahoney State Park in southeastern Nebraska.

In mid-June, with the assistance of Dr. Aaron Mason, associate professor of political science; J.W. Platt, instructor of history; Dr. Roger Hardaway, professor of history; Dr. Kay Decker, professor of sociology and chair of the Department of Social Sciences; Ken Kelsey, adjunct instructor of history and fine arts; and John Schmaltz, he conducted a summer teachers’ workshop on the subject of the U.S. Civil War through the Northwestern Department of Social Sciences and Institute for Citizenship Studies. This event was held in conjunction with the Oklahoma Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities. During this time, he also presented a session topic called “The Abolition of American Slavery and Russian Serfdom: A Comparison.”

In the latter part of June, he presented his paper “Carrots and Sticks ... and Demonstrations: Yuri Andropov’s Failed Autonomy Plan for the Germans of Soviet Kazakhstan, 1976-1980” at a conference sponsored by the Center for Volga German Studies at Concordia University held in conjunction with the 43rd International Convention of the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia in Portland, Ore.

Shortly after Portland’s conference, Schmaltz traveled to northern England to give the talk “‘A People on the Move’: The Germans from Russia Diaspora as a Transnational Community after the Cold War” at the workshop on the German Diaspora in Eastern and Central Europe and the Former Soviet Union sponsored by the School of Government and International Affairs at the prestigious Durham University.

In early July, following his return from abroad, Schmaltz also discussed before the Oklahoma Genealogical Society the topic of family history research in relation to various German migrations to Oklahoma, including Germans from Russia.

Schmaltz wrapped up the summer speaking schedule in Weatherford where he was invited to speak briefly at the annual state meeting of the Central Oklahoma Chapter of the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia.

“I want to thank various colleagues, organizations and audience members who made these speaking opportunities both possible and enjoyable during the past few months,” Schmaltz said.

“It has been a privilege to do so in each and every case, and they all have been most generous to me. As always, I intend to continue contributing occasional informative talks to different audiences in the future. In fact, a group in Shattuck and another in Wichita, Kan., have already invited me to speak to them in October.”

Many of Schmaltz’s talks and papers on the topic of Germans from Russia are in the process of being published.

Over the next two to three years, he also will be devoting more time to other publishing endeavors and academic projects, including work on an anticipated television documentary.

-NW-