Steve Barnes elected president of Southern Conference on Slavic Studies

Dr. Steve Barnes was recently elected to the office of President Elect for the Southern Conference on Slavic Studies.  The results were announced at the conference’s annual conference in March.  He will serve as President Elect from 2019-2021, then will serve a two-year term as the association’s president.


The Southern Conference on Slavic Studies is an affiliate of the Association for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies (ASEES).  The oldest and largest of ASEES’ affiliates, its purpose is to promote scholarship and education about Russian, Soviet, and East European studies.  Each year the conference includes over 50 panels and 200 speakers.  Dr. Barnes is actually the second Mason history faculty member to assume the position of President.  Dr. Rex Wade, Professor Emeritus of Russian History, served as President from 1995 to 1996.


Dr. Barnes’ election to this position reflects his stature as a leading scholar of Soviet history.  His first book, Death and Redemption: The Gulag and the Shaping of Soviet Society, published by Princeton University Press in 2011, was awarded the Herbert Baxter Adams Prize from the American Historical Association and the Baker-Burton Award from the European Section of the Southern Historical Association for best first book in European history. It was also short-listed for the Central Eurasian Studies Society book prize. Death and Redemption offers a fundamental reinterpretation of the role of the Gulag—the Soviet Union’s vast system of forced-labor camps, internal exile, and prisons—in Soviet society.  In 2016 Dr. Barnes received a prestigious NEH fellowship to support work on his second book project, Gulag Wives: Women, Family, and Survival in Stalin's Terror.  He has completed extensive research in Russia and Kazakhstan for the book, which will trace women’s lives in a camp for elite women during the height of Stalin’s Great Terror.