Schmaltz participates in spring events in Nevada, Oklahoma; publishes recent articles

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Schmaltz participates in spring events in Nevada, Oklahoma; publishes recent articles

May 4, 2016

Dr. Eric Schmaltz Dr. Eric Schmaltz

Dr. Eric Schmaltz, professor of history at Northwestern Oklahoma State University and co-executive director of the NWOSU Institute for Citizenship Studies, participated in three recent spring events and published a couple of articles as the 2015-16 academic year concluded.

In mid-April, Schmaltz discussed his paper, “Coming Full Circle: Twenty-First-Century Reflections on the German from Russia Diaspora in North America,” on a panel as part of the Rural and Agricultural Studies Section at the Western Social Science Association Annual Conference held in Reno, Nevada. Here he elaborated on particular cultural and scholarly trends affecting this significant diaspora community in recent decades across the United States and Canada.

“Until about the 1960s and 1970s, this group in North America encountered a double stigma associated with the anti-German sentiment of the two world wars and any remaining connections, even if only tenuous at best, with the former Russian homeland that became Communist in 1917,” Schmaltz explained. “To a certain extent, however, the group, like many others, has embraced the post-1960s ethnic revival phenomenon characterized by the search for family roots and in reclaiming part of its historical narrative.”

In late April, Schmaltz also made introductory comments before showing the 2005 Prairie Public Broadcasting (Fargo) video documentary, “A Soulful Sound: Music of the Germans from Russia,” at the Golden Spread Chapter of the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia at the Senior Citizen Center in Shattuck, Oklahoma.

Schmaltz said, “Beyond more traditional musical forms, whether religious or secular, a number of famous musical luminaries in more recent times from this heritage have included late big band leader and television personality Lawrence Welk, late folk singer-songwriter and actor John Denver (previously Deutschendorf), and Randy Meisner, former bassist of the classic rock group the Eagles.”

Then at the end of April, Schmaltz served as session moderator for the topic “Homesteading in Oklahoma: Diverse Examples of Fortitude Applied on the Frontier” at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the Oklahoma Historical Society held at the Woodward Conference Center in Woodward, Oklahoma.

Meanwhile this spring, Schmaltz published a couple of articles in three venues: “Other Immigrant Destinies: An Overview of South America’s Germans from Russia” in the spring issue of the “Journal of the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia” in Lincoln, Nebraska; and “Personal Travel Report on New Hope (Neue Hoffnung/Nueva Esperanza): A Traditional Mennonite Colony in La Plata Province, Argentina” in both the March issue of the Germans from Russia Heritage Society’s quarterly journal “Heritage Review” in Bismarck, North Dakota, and the forthcoming issue of the “Germans from Russia Oregon and Washington (GROW) Quarterly Newsletter” in Portland, Oregon.

Schmaltz has been invited to give a handful of convention talks later this summer as well. In July, he will be presenting on two topics concerning the ethnic German dissident and autonomy movements in the former Soviet Union (roughly from the mid-1960s to the early 1990s) at the 47th International Convention of the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia held in Concord, California. Then in early September in Rapid City, South Dakota, he will be speaking at one session on a related topic at the 46th International Convention of the Germans from Russia Heritage Society.

Though reducing speaking commitments this coming academic year to focus more on teaching, editing and research-writing, in mid-November Schmaltz also has been invited to participate on a special academic panel on early Soviet-era (1917-1937) Russian letter correspondences sent to North America, including both Ingersoll and Alva in northwestern Oklahoma, at the Annual Convention of the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies held in Washington, D.C.

For more information on Schmaltz’ journey and the Social Sciences Department contact Schmaltz at (580) 327-8526 or