Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Works that have cited my research since 2008

My research has held up well over the last decade. Even though my first book was published in 1997 and my second one in 1999 they are still frequently cited in the scholarly literature. This is a pretty big accomplishment. From 2008 to 2010 alone my work was cited in total of more than 20 scholarly works by other researchers. Some of these people are pretty big names. Nicholas Werth, Yaacov Ro'i and Martin Dean are all in the top of their field.

Books 2010

Steven Rosefielde,  Red Holocaust (London and New York: Routledge, 2010).

Journal articles and Book Chapters 2010

David Gerlach, “Beyond Expulsion: The Emergence of ‘Unwanted Elements’ in the Postwar Czech Borderlands 1945-1950, East European Politics and Societies. No. 24, 2010.

Nicholas Werth, “Mass Deportations, Ethnic Cleansing, and Genocidal Politics in the Later Russian Empire and the USSR,” in Donald Bloxham and A. Dirk Moses eds.,  The Oxford Handbook of Genocide Studies (Oxford University Press, 2010).

Books 2009

Richard Bessel and Claudia B. Haake,  Removing People: Forced Removal in the Modern World (Oxford University Press, 2009).

Zaur T. Gasimov,  Militar schreibt Geschichte: Instrumentalisierung der Geschichte durch das Militar in der Volksrepublik Polen und in der Sowjetunion 1981-1991 (Munster: LIT Verlag, 2009).

Anna Moltchanova, National Self-Determination and Justice in Multinational State(Heidelberg, London, New York: Springer, 2009).

David Priestland, The Red Flag: How Communism Changed the World (London: Allen Lane, 2009).

Marie-Carin von Gumppenberg and Udo Steinbach, eds.,  Zentralasien: Geschichte Politik, Wirtschaft: Ein Lexikon (Munich: C.H. Beck, 2009).

Journal Articles and Book Chapters 2009

Yaacov Ro’i, “The Transformation of Historiography on the ‘Punished Peoples’,”  History & Memory,  vol. 21, No. 2 (Fall/Winter 2009).

Alexander Statiev, “Soviet Ethnic Deportations: Intent Versus Outcome,”  Journal of Genocide Research , vol. 11, nos. 2-3 (June 2009).

Zoe Waxman, “The Unknown Black Book,” Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History, vol. 10, no. 1 (Winter 2009).

Books 2008

Per Brodersen, Die Stadt im Westen: Wie Koningsberg Kaliningrad wurde, Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2008).

Joseph Morse, Everybody Agrees: Book I: Words, Ideas, and a Universal Morality,(San Diego, CA: Amelior, 2008).

Kledja Mulaj, Politics of Ethnic Cleansing: Nation-State Building and Provision of In/Security in Twentieth Century Balkans, (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2008).

Walter Richmond, The Northwest Caucasus: Past, Present, Future (London and New York: Routledge, 2008).

Journal Articles and Book Chapters 2008

Golfo Alexopolous, “Stalin and the Politics of Kinship: Practices of CollectivePunishment 1920s-1940s,” Comparative Studies in Society and History, no.50 (2008).

Helmut Altrichter, “Ilse Bandomir im ‘Jahrhundret der Deportationen und Vertreibungen” in Klaus Hildebrand, Geschichtswissenschaft und Zeiterkenntnis: Von der Auflkaerung bis zur Gegenwart Festschrift feur Horst Moeller,(Oldenbourg Wissenshaftsverlag, 2008).

Martin Dean, “Soviet Ethnic Germans and the Holocaust in the Reichs Commissariat Ukraine, 1941-1944,” in Ray Brandon and Wendy Lower, eds., The Shoah in Ukraine: History, Testimony, Memorialization, (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2008).

Robert Geraci, “Genocidal Impulses and Fantasies in Imperial Russia.” In A. Dirk Moses, Empire, Colony, Genocide: Conquest, Occupation, and Subaltern Resistance in World History, ed., (NY and Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2008).

Mara Kozelsky, “The Challenges of Church Archaeology in Post-Soviet Crimea.” In Philip L. Kohl, Mara Kozelsky and Nachman Ben-Yehuda, eds., Selective Remembrances: Archaeology in the Construction, Commemoration, and Consecration of National Pasts (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008).

Monday, May 24, 2010

I Have Received an Anonymous Threat Regarding my Blogging on AUCA

Last night at 11:16 I received an anonymous text message threat on my cell phone regarding my blogging about AUCA. I have reproduced the complete message below.

"Otto, I'm a friendly. Please stop blogging on your firing. You're burning bridges for a pointless cause. Let it go."

The coward did not leave his name, but failed to block his phone number. It is listed below.


I have repeatedly tried to call the number, but I keep getting a message saying the phone is turned off. Maybe somebody else in Bishkek can track down who it came from. In the US such attempts at intimidation are clearly illegal.

For those of you in the US this attempt to silence me through anonymous threats is something else you can add to your letter to your local congressman regarding continued US funding of AUCA.

Friday, May 21, 2010

A Major Structural Problem with AUCA

American University of Central Asia must be the only place in the world calling itself a university where somebody with a mere MA can fire the only PhD in the department without any justification. In the US and Europe people with only MAs generally do not get hired at all yet alone as the chair of the department. But, at AUCA like the rest of Kyrgyzstan, appointments are all based solely upon ethnic-racial and political considerations. Merit, especially in the form of publications and teaching counts for absolutely nothing here.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

New Publication on 66th anniversary of Crimean Tatar Deportation

My new article, "The False Charges of Treason Against the Crimean Tatars" is now available in PDF form at the International Committee for Crimea website. The address is below.

The article will be published in Turkish translation in _Emel_ in a few weeks for their 80th anniversary issue. If you find the article to be informative and scholarly then I encourage you to write in protest of my recent firing. The relevant addresses are in the blog posts below.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Update on my Firing from American University of Central Asia and the Contact Details of AUCA's New President

I talked to my union representative today. She had a long talk with my chairman and could not get any straight answers as to why I was fired. He did admit, however, that my teaching was very good and my research excellent. She said she suspected my firing was ordered from higher up in the univeristy for reasons that are probably not legal.

AUCA is getting a new president next semester. I encourage everybody familiar with my academic work or teaching to write him. Before he assumes his work at the American University of Central Asia he should be familiar with their disrespect for scholarship and learning. The new president of AUCA is Andrew Baruch Wachtel, the Bertha and Max Dressler Professor of the Humanities and Dean of the Graduate School of the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at Northwestern University. His e-mail and phone number are below. I encourage as many people as possible to contact him and protest my firing.


phone: 847-467-1970

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

My Attendance Record at American University of Central Asia

During the three years I worked at AUCA I did not ever miss a single day of work. Even on days I thought I was going to die from various strains of Central Asian flu I managaed to teach all of my classes. The only time I did not teach class as scheduled was when the administration cancelled them.

Monday, May 10, 2010

My Publication Record While at the American University of Central Asia

Since starting work at AUCA I have had six scholarly publications published. They are listed below in the order of their publication. Given my high course work load of between three and five classes a semester I believe this is a fairly good record. It is almost certainly better than anybody else working at the university. I will have more on this last point later.

J. Otto Pohl., “Deportierte in der Sowjetunion im und nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg” trans. Jochen Oltmer in Klaus J. Bade, Pieter C. Emmer, Leo Lucassen and Jochen Oltmer, eds., _Enzyklopadie Migration in Europa: Vom 17 Jahrhundret bis zur Gegenwart_ (Paderborn, Germany: Ferdinand Schonigh Verlag, 2007).

This is an article summarizing the deportation and return of various nationalities in the USSR during and after World War II. It was published as part of an extensive academic encyclopedia on migration in Europe since the 17th century.

J. Otto Pohl, “A Caste of Helot Labourers: Special Settlers and the Cultivation of Cotton in Soviet Central Asia: 1944-1956” in Deniz Kandiyoti, ed., _The Cotton Sector in Central Asia: Economic Policy and Development Challenges_, (London: School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, 2007).

This article was published as part of a book on the role of cotton in the economies of the various Central Asian states. The book grew out of a conference organized by Deniz Kandiyoti at the School of Oriental and African Studies in 2005. The conference brought together academics, independent scholars, and people working for a variety of NGOs and international financial institutions such as the World Bank and Asian Development Bank.

J. Otto Pohl, “Loss, Retention, and Reacquisition of Social Capital by Special Settlers in the USSR, 1941-1961” in Cynthia Buckley, Blair Ruble, and Erin Trouth Hofmann, eds., _Migration, Homeland and Belonging in Eurasia_ (Washington DC: Woodrow Wilson Center and Baltimore, MD: John Hopkins Universtiy Press, 2008).

This book was published as part of a project by the Kennan Center in Washington DC to integrate current scholarship on migration in Eurasia. It involved two workshops in 2004 and 2005. Despite only coming out in print in December 2008 it has already garnered a number of positive reviews from prominent scholars in the field. I have quoted two of them below.

“This is a highly relevant book for scholars, policy makers, and government institutions, offering a glimpse at the myriad cross-country issues that emerge regarding the problems and opportunities associated with the movement of people across borders." - Kathleen Kuehnast, United States Institute of Peace

"This is an interesting book which brings a range of new and interesting case studies into view. There are only a handful of books on this subject and arguably none have the breadth of scope that this collection offers." - Hilary Pilkington, University of Warwick

At nearly the same time I had a chapter published in a collection of essays on German diasporas published by Wilfrid Laurier University Press in Canada.

J. Otto Pohl, “Suffering in a Province of Asia: The Russian-German Diaspora in Kazakhstan” in Mathias Schulze, James M. Skidmore, David G. John, Grit Liebscher, and Sebastian Siebel-Achenbach, eds., _Germanic Diasporic Experiences: Identity, Migration, and Loss_ (Waterloo, ON: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2008).

This book grew out of an international conference hosted by the Waterloo Center for German Studies in 2006. It too has already garnered a number of positive reviews from prominent scholars despite being published in December 2008. I have quoted one of them below.

“Thirty-nine brief but lively, evocative essays testify to the universal human experience of exile. The editors of this fascinating, wide-ranging collection have chosen their title well, as ‘diasporic experiences’ neatly sidesteps the thorny question of what constitutes a diaspora as such.” – Renate Bridenthal, Brooklyn College, City University of New York, _Journal of World History_

I also had two peer reviewed journal articles published in 2009.

J. Otto Pohl, “Volk auf dem Weg: Transnational Migration of the Russian-Germans from 1763 to Present Day,” _Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism_, vol. 9, no. 2, 2009.

J. Otto Pohl, Eric J. Schmaltz and Ronald J. Vossler, “‘In our Hearts we Felt the Sentence of Death:’ Ethnic German Recollections of Mass Violence in the USSR, 1928-1948,” _Journal of Genocide Research_, vol. 11, nos. 2-3. June-September 2009.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

AUCA Students on my firing

My students have been very supportive of me in the last week. I did not come to work on the 5th of May because it was a holiday. When I returned to work on the 6th, I found a series of notes by students on my desk. I have quoted them below.

"Dr Pohl!! You are the best advisor! We r for you!"

"Dr Otto Pohl! If they fire you I don't need AUCA's diploma!"

"Dr. Pohl! U R an awesome Professor!"

"Dr. Pohl! ICP/IR Needs You!"

"Dr. Pohl!!! ICP/IR Needs You!"

"Dr. Pohl!!!! We will fight for you!!"

"Dr. Pohl!!!ICP/IR desperately needs you!"

My students have been organizing on my behalf. They have taken up a petition and have confronted the Vice President of Academic Affairs, Bermet Tursunkulova. I am the only Ph.D. in the department and many of the students feel that being taught by people without a terminal degree is cheating of them of the education that they deserve. Many of them are on academic scholarships and the US State Department pays their tuition. So they worked hard to be taught by somebody with proper credenitials, not somebody with a mere MA. Why the US State Department allows their money to be wasted by AUCA in this manner is a good question to ask your congressman.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Another Union update

I saw my union representative today and she said that since I was only on a temporary one year contract the administration could legally not renew it for any reason. But, she said the "official" reason was obviously not correct and promised to try and find out the real reason for my termination. I still urge people to write in protest.

More on my firing from AUCA

Last year AUCA only paid foreign faculty 38 som to the dollar even though the exchange rate was 44 to the dollar. They fixed this by converting all salaries into som at the 38 rate. Then in the summer they refused to provide visa support. Now they have fired me. I contacted my union representative and they said that the firing was illegal under the labor legislation of the Kyrgyz Republic. (Update they have since said that refusal to renew my contract is legal since it was temporary). For those of you who know my academic work I urge you to write in protest to the following people:

Executive Assistant to the Vice President of Academic Affairs, Jamilya Karabaeva.

Also since AUCA is accredited through Bard College now you should write to their man on our board of trustees, Dean of International Studies, Jonathan Becker.

Finally, for those of you who are US citizens I urge you to write to your congressman. AUCA is funded largely by state department funds. Your tax dollars are paying the salaries of the administration here.

The one thing the administration here is most fearful of is publicity. So please spread the word. The more coverage the better.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Publish, Teach and Perish at AUCA

Two days ago despite getting good teaching and research evaluations the administration of American University of Central Asia unexpectedly refused to renew my contract. The "official" reason for firing me is that they are making curricular changes in the department to eliminate comparative politics and political history classes in favor of only IR courses. In the three years I have been here I have had six academic publications including two peer reviewed journal articles last semester. I have also gotten very good student evaluations including two perfect scores last semester. So apparently neither good research or teaching count for anything here. I am currently looking for work elsewhere in Central Asia and any advice would be much appreciated. I would also like to express my deepest gratitude to my students for their support in the last few days.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Grading Time

For the next few weeks I will be doing almost nothing but grading at work. I hope to finish it all before my vacation officially starts on 28 May 2008. It is times like this I really wish I had a graduate student slave to do the grading for me. I would much rather be working on my article on Stalin's national deportations as a form of internal colonialism.