Roman Koropeckyj, University of California, Los Angeles

The fourth issue of the Undergraduate Journal of Slavic and East/Central European Studies contains a wide array of articles by a talented cohort of fourteen SoCal undergraduates. As in the past, most of the articles were presented as papers at the annual UCLA Undergraduate Research Conference on Slavic and East/Central European Studies, the thirteenth, in this case, which was held on 1 May 2010. Despite the variety of topics addressed in these essays, one can, nonetheless, discern among them several broader areas of interest. Both Fiona Hay (UCLA) and  Sydney Heller (UCLA) examine issues of gender as depicted in recent Russian cinema, with the former focusing on representations of women and the latter on masculinity. Film, albeit in its animated and genderless variety, is also the focus of Mariya Krivoruchko’s (UCLA) comparative analysis of Russian and American adaptations of A. A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh stories. Two of the articles—by Alyssa Haerle (UCLA) and by Anthony Vasquez (CSULB)—discuss the impact of the internet on Russian and Belarusian politics respectively. Technology is also the subject of Matthew Honea’s (UCSB) essay, which, explores the early days of the Soviet space program (and thus pays tribute to the fiftieth anniversary of Iurii Gagarin’s path-breaking flight into space). Traditional philological topics are in evidence in the articles by Karen McIlhargey (UCLA) and Coral Marshall (UCSD), both of whom discuss the work of Dostoevsky in a comparative context, as well as in the essay by Allen Wang (UCSD), who “peruses” the mazurka as at once a social, literary, and musical phenomenon. The remaining four essays address issues ranging from the emergence of national consciousness among the Polish peasantry during the latter half of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth centuries (Jeffrey Hayman, UCLA) to paganism among the East Slavs and its recent revival (Irina Yakubin and Mariya Gershkovich, both of UCLA); and from the efficacy of sanctions during the Yugoslav War (Milica Cosic, UCSB) to an overview of Russian immigration to North America from its beginnings in the eighteenth century to the present.

We would like to extend special thanks to Susie Bauckus, Yelena Furman, and Professor Olga Kagan for helping to bring this project to fruition. Helen Zhao has proven herself to be an even better managing editor (if that were possible) this second time around. In order to lighten her load, the journal has this year also availed itself of the editing services of Jeffrey Riggs, a graduate student in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at UCLA, whose meticulous work is in evidence in nearly every one of the articles. Nadya Dorsht at the UCLA Center for World Languages formatted and uploaded all papers and abstracts. The International Institute's Kaya Mentesoglu provided invaluable technical assistance.

We look forward to submissions from undergraduates everywhere interested in the literary, political, and social dynamics of Russia and East/Central Europe.