Southern Illinois University (Carbondale campus). Center for Soviet & East-European Studies. | Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center
The Center for Soviet & East-European Studies in the Performing Arts began in 1969. Its establishment was influenced by the United States's movement to ease Cold War tensions and develop closer cultural and trade relations with the Soviet Union. The Center's Spring 1969 Bulletin notes that scholars believed that developing these relations would require studying not only Soviet Union and Eastern European economies, but cultural history as well. The Bulletin also states that the Center's objective was to "maintain a repository of information for interested scholars on heretofore untouched areas of Soviet and East-European cultural life. Specifically...the theory and practice of the performing arts as they have been pursued in pre-revolutionary Russia and the USSR, Poland, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Rumania, and Yugoslavia." It was directed by Herbert Marshall, a British born filmmaker who studied under Soviet director Sergei Eisenstein. Marshall retired from Southern Illinois University in 1979.
In 1971 the name changed to the Center for Soviet & East-European Studies but maintained its arts and culture focus.