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Rossi Fund Offers Funding for Research on Soviet Gulag

April 15, 2015—Georgetown students at all levels and disciplines are invited to apply for funding for research on any aspect of the Soviet Gulag. The Jacques Rossi Gulag Research Fund has up to $20,000 to distribute for 2015-16 and can fund travel for research to Russia, Ukraine, the Baltics, and any other location that houses important sources.

Please submit a short description (2–3 pages) of the research topic and its import that identifies intended sources and includes an itemized budget by Monday, May 11, 2015. Applications should be sent via email to Michael David-Fox, chair, Rossi Fund Committee at The committee will include two other historians in the field.

Past funded projects have included a comparison of Soviet and North Korean camp systems; humor in the Gulag; prisoner newspapers and “political enlightenment” sections of the Soviet camps; and Polish prisoners in Soviet captivity. Possible research topics include, for example, the origins and functioning of forced labor camps; forced labor and the Soviet industrialization projects; the Gulag in Bolshevik and Stalinist ideology; the Gulag’s place and role in the Soviet economy; daily life, nutrition, and mortality; the Gulag in literature, art, and intellectual life in the USSR, post-Soviet Russia, and abroad; individual biographies of inmates; Gulag scientists and doctors; art, theater, music, and literature inside the Gulag; oral histories and memoir literature; mass releases from the Gulag during Khrushchev’s Thaw and effects on Soviet society; the comparative study of camps and forced labor; the legacy of the Gulag for the Russian penal system; the current depiction of the Gulag in Putin’s Russia; and many others.

The Jacques Rossi Gulag Research Fund is named in honor of Jacques Rossi, a Polish-French writer who was arrested in the USSR in 1937 and later wrote about his experiences in the Gulag. Georgetown University provided refuge and hospitality to Jacques Rossi between 1979 and 1985, which allowed him to complete the testimony of his years of incarceration in his Gulag Handbook: An Encyclopedia Dictionary of Soviet Penitentiary Institutions and Terms Related to the Forced Labor Camps. The Jacques Rossi Gulag Research Fund is made possible by a generous gift from Elisabeth Salina Amorini.