BOSTON — The Distinguished Contributions to Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies Award (SEEES), which honors senior scholars who have helped to build and develop the field through scholarship, training and service to the profession, is presented annually, with the prize going this year to Ronald Grigor Suny, the Charles Tilly collegiate professor of social and political history and director of the Eisenberg Institute of Historical Studies at the University of Michigan and emeritus professor of political science and history at the University of Chicago.
Suny is a renowned historian and political scientist interested across the Eurasian field in both spatial and temporal terms. He is particularly noted for his studies of the Caucasus in the Soviet and post-Soviet period: he was the first holder of the Alex Manoogian Chair in Modern Armenian History at the University of Michigan (1981-1995), and the founder and director of the Armenian Studies Program there. He is the author of seven scholarly monographs, including The Baku Commune 1917-1918 (Princeton University Press, 1972); The Making of the Georgian Nation (Indiana University Press, 1988, 1994); Looking Toward Ararat: Armenia in Modern History (Indiana University Press, 1993); The Revenge of the Past (Stanford University Press, 1993); and The Soviet Experiment (Oxford University Press, 1998). He is also the editor of many collections of essays, including Making Workers Soviet (Cornell University Press, 1994); A State of Nations: Empire and Nation-making in the Age of Lenin and Stalin (Oxford University Press, 2001) and A Question of Genocide: Armenians and Turks at the End of the Ottoman Empire (Oxford University Press, 2011).
Suny’s provocative and pioneering work on nationalism is an obligatory citation not just across the Eurasian studies field, but also beyond, and he has recently also made contributions to the developing field of history of emotions.
Suny has served as chairman of the Society for Armenian Studies. He has also served on the editorial boards of Slavic Review, International Labor and Working-Class History, International Journal of Middle East Studies, The Armenian Review, Journal of the Society for Armenian Studies, Armenian Forum and Ab Imperio. He was elected president of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies for the year 2006.
Regarded with affection by former students and colleagues alike, he is a model of collegiality, and an exemplum, in the truly international scope of his interests, for the Association of Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies in its post-Soviet and post-Cold War present.