Schmaltz presents research, completes speaking engagements, plans publishing projects

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Schmaltz presents research, completes speaking engagements, plans publishing projects

April 17, 2017

Dr. Eric SchmaltzDuring academic year 2016-2017, Dr. Eric Schmaltz, professor of history and co-executive director of the endowed Northwestern Oklahoma State University (NWOSU) Institute for Citizenship Studies, has published a number of articles both here and abroad. Many of his publications in the field of ethnic and nationality studies relate to ethnic German communities in Russia and the former Soviet Union and their many descendants dispersed worldwide.

Despite ongoing commitments to serving as editor of the Bismarck, North Dakota-based quarterly journal “Heritage Review” and the NWOSU Institute’s annual volume “Civitas: Journal of Citizenship Studies,” Schmaltz was able to produce original as well as reprint expanded versions of his own scholarly work.

These publications included the article “Carrots and Sticks…and Demonstrations: Yuri Andropov’s Failed Autonomy Plan for Soviet Kazakhstan’s Germans, 1976-1980” in the “Journal of the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia” (Lincoln, Nebraska) as well as a brief article and German translation piece in the “Germans from Russia Oregon and Washington (GROW) Quarterly Newsletter” (Portland, Oregon).

In 2017, a few more of his publications will be appearing in print, including two book reviews in the “Yearbook of the Society for German-American Studies” (University of Kansas-Lawrence), the article “What’s in a Name?: Russian Germans, German Russians, or Germans from Russia, and the Challenges of Hybrid Identities” in Hans-Christian Petersen and Jannis Panagiotidis, eds., “Schriften des Bundesinstituts für Kultur und Geschichte der Deutschen im östlichen Europa. Band 64,“ 2017 (De Gruyter Publishing, Oldenburg and Berlin, Germany), and two updated Holocaust biographical entries in the new and expanded online edition by Michael Fahlbusch, Ingo Haar, Alexander Pinwinkler, and David Hamann, eds., “Handbuch der völkischen Wissenschaften: Personen—Institutionen—Forschungsprogramme—Stiftungen” (De Gruyter Publishing, Berlin, Germany). Meanwhile, he also has been completing short book reviews for the journals “Heritage Review” and “Civitas.”

This past winter and spring, Schmaltz also has conducted a local and statewide speaking tour on the topic “Letters to Pauline (Schlegel) Lehl: Family Correspondences from Russia to Oklahoma, 1913-1937.”

He has been investigating a large body of 180 handwritten letters mailed between 1913 and 1937 from Russia’s Saratov Province in the Volga Region and elsewhere to rural Ingersoll and Alva. This extensive corpus of correspondences from family and friends spanned the period preceding the First World War’s outbreak to Soviet Communist dictator Joseph Stalin’s Great Terror. The preserved letters offer a glimpse into daily life during one of the most transformative and violent eras in modern world history. Sometimes through subversive writing techniques and coded language to avoid official censors, they related to the outside what was happening inside the old country.

Schmaltz first presented on the letter collection in mid-November 2016 at the Annual Convention of the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ASEES) hosted in Washington, D.C., as part of a special academic panel concerning early Soviet-era letter exchanges from Russia and the Soviet Union to North America. Since then, he has been invited to give talks at the monthly Brown Bag Lunch and Learn Program at the Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center in Enid (in January), the Central Oklahoma Chapter of the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia (AHSGR) in Oklahoma City (in February), the Northwest Oklahoma Genealogical Society at the Alva Public Library in Alva (in March), and the Golden Spread Chapter of the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia (AHSGR) at the Senior Citizen Center in Shattuck (in April).

In early June, Schmaltz will discuss related letter topics in his presentation “Germans from Russia in Oklahoma and Family History Research” at the monthly meeting of the Pioneer Genealogical Society held at the Ponca City Public Library in Ponca City.

By invitation, he will present on the Lehl letter collection at the 47th International Convention of the Germans from Russia Heritage Society (GRHS) held in mid-July in Bismarck, North Dakota. He also has plans to speak on the topic once more at the annual meeting of the Oklahoma Historical Society (OHS) in April 2018.

After this spring, Schmaltz will be limiting the number of public speaking and conference engagements to devote more attention to publishing projects.

First, he is developing an article concerning extensive German from Russia family correspondences sent between 1913 and 1937 to northwestern Oklahoma for “The Chronicles of Oklahoma,” which is the quarterly journal of the Oklahoma Historical Society (OHS).

Second, he is completing work on an article regarding ethnic Germans in Russia’s Kaliningrad exclave for the online journal “The Eurasia Studies Society Journal of Great Britain and Europe.”

Third, he is seeking the completion of two major scholarly book projects, both representing longer-term efforts. One book is an original study on the cultural and political history of Soviet Germans after Stalin, while the other is an edited compilation of German from Russia letters directed to relatives in northwestern Oklahoma in the early decades of the 20th century.

For more information on Schmaltz’s publications or speaking schedule, contact him at (580) 327-8526, or visit the NWOSU Institute for Citizenship Studies at

Contact for Release
Ali Gavitt, University Relations Specialist, 580-327-8480