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Brandesky named director of Slavic Center

Joseph BrandeskyJoseph Brandesky, the Martha W. Farmer endowed professor in the Department of Theatre at Ohio State Lima, has been named director of the Center for Slavic and East European Studies (CSEES) effective September 1. Brandesky will oversee the center’s promotion of the interdisciplinary study of the Baltics, the Balkans, the Caucasus, Central Europe, Eastern Europe, Eurasia and Russia, and the administration of a master’s degree in Slavic and East European Studies. CSEES is also home to the Polish Studies Initiative and the Slovene Research Institute. The center is one of Ohio State’s federally funded Title VI National Resource Centers which fosters education in area studies and awards Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship grants. Brandesky succeeds Yana Hashamova, chair of the Department of Slavic and East European Languages and Cultures, who led the center for seven years and inspired unprecedented growth.

Brandesky has long been involved in Russian and Czech theatre, served as associate director for CSEES in 2013-14 and assisted in the drafting of CSEES’ most recent Title VI grant application. Since 2012, Brandesky has held split appointments with the Department of Theatre and the Department of Slavic and East European Languages and Cultures at the Columbus campus.

Throughout his career, Brandesky’s work has focused on theatre production and performance, Russian theatre and drama and Czech theatre. His work with students in the theatre and on the stage earned Brandesky the Alumni Distinguished Teaching Award in 2003. Brandesky guest curated the “Strings Attached: The Living Tradition of Czech Puppets” exhibit, which attracted over 74,000 attendees to the Columbus Museum of Art; curated and organized a U.S. tour for Jaroslav Malina’s “Retrospective Exhibit”; produced and directed multiple productions at Ohio State Lima; and has extensive publications, including as contributing editor to the catalog Jaroslav Malina: Designs and Paintings. Currently, Brandesky is serving as guest curator and catalogue editor for “Shakespeare on Czech Stages,” an exhibit to be held at the Columbus Museum of Art in winter 2017, and developing a conference to be held in Columbus in conjunction with this exhibit in spring 2017.

The CSEES is supported by the Office of International Affairs and the College of Arts and Sciences.