Schmaltz concludes series of summer conference talks

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Schmaltz concludes series of summer conference talks

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, delivered five different topic presentations at four conferences this summer. 

Going beyond university responsibilities and ongoing editing duties at two journals, Schmaltz receives invitations to present at regional, national and international gatherings.

“I feel quite indebted to colleagues, organizations and audience members who made these speaking opportunities possible this summer,” Schmaltz said.  “By listening to the other sessions, I also gained new insights and met interesting people from different walks of life.  I enjoyed the chance to see a number of my mentors, friends and old acquaintances as well.”

Schmaltz’s first summer conference took place in San Jose, Costa Rica, at the World History Association Conference on “Licit and Illicit Transnational Networks in World History.”  His presentation was “The Transnational Exchange of Ideas:  The Ethnic German Dissident and Emigration Movement’s Impact on Soviet Domestic and Foreign Policy, 1972-1987.”

From San Jose, Schmaltz traveled to Spokane, Wash., for the annual Germans from Russia Heritage Society (GRHS) Convention.  He opened the convention as keynote speaker with remarks on continuing global trends making an impact on this German Diaspora.  At two other sessions, he spoke again on “The Ethnic German Dissident and Emigration Movement’s Impact on Soviet Domestic and Foreign Policy, 1972-1987,”  and then delivered a final session talk on his experiences in South America with “A Historic October 2013 Tour of German-Russian Settlements in Argentina.” 

Following Spokane, Schmaltz journeyed to Lindsborg, Kan., where Bethany College played host to Concordia University’s (Ore.) Center for Volga German Studies special event “Celebrating the 250th Anniversary of the Founding of the First Volga German Colony.”  He presented at two sessions:  “The Ethnic German Dissident and Emigration Movement’s Impact on Soviet Domestic and Foreign Policy, 1972-1987” and “Reform, ‘Rebirth,’ and Regret:  A Brief History of the Former USSR’s Ethnic Germans in the Last Days of Communism, the Post-Cold War, and Beyond, 1988 to the Present.”

Schmaltz concluded his summer tour in Edmond for the annual All-State Meeting of the Central Oklahoma Chapter of the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia (AHSGR) held at the Edmond Mennonite Church.  He spoke there on “Ethnic Germans and the Recent Crimean and Ukrainian Crises in Historical Context.”

“I have begun revisiting some of my graduate school research interests from 15-20 years ago as I move ahead to publish more developed articles and what I hope will become one or two books in the areas of German, Russian and World History over the next few years,” Schmaltz said.  “The ethnic Germans of the former USSR once constituted one of the largest nationalities in that vast region, and their impact both there and in the Western Hemisphere over the past two centuries is often overlooked.

“Conference talks can help one further refine topic conceptualizations.  Also, the discussion of the history behind the current crises in Ukraine and the Crimea represents a great opportunity to engage the public by applying my craft to understanding significant issues that affect the world in myriad ways.”

Schmaltz has been invited to present in mid-October at an afternoon session and serve as the evening banquet keynote speaker at the “2014 Kansas Roundup” in connection with Fort Hays State University’s Volga German Society Oktoberfest in Hays, Kan.  He will be addressing topics concerning South America’s extensive German from Russia community as well as global trends affecting this German Diaspora. 

Next summer Schmaltz will continue his public talks and events in Portland, Ore., Bismarck, N.D, and Billings, Mont.