Beth Holmgren Graduate Student Essay Prize

2012 Citation Recipient

Bathsheba Demuth

The Beth Holmgren Graduate Student Essay Prize, established in 1990 and named in honor of Professor Holmgren in 2021, is awarded for an outstanding essay by a graduate student in Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies.

Winner: Bathsheba Demuth, University of California, Berkeley
Title: “More Things on Heaven and Earth: Modernism and Reindeer in the Bering Straits”

Bathsheba Demuth’s paper, “More Things on Heaven and Earth: Modernism and Reindeer in the Bering Straits,” is a highly original piece of research, one that employs an anthropological-ecological approach to produce historical scholarship that is truly interdisciplinary. In addition, her paper is an outstanding example of transnational history, comparing developments in both Siberia and Alaska to offer brilliant insights into the two regions’ respective political systems, ideological goals, native customs, and practices of animal husbandry. Theoretically informed yet clearly written, Demuth’s paper combines sophisticated analysis with impressive empirical research, based on a range of primary sources in Russian and English. Her work also provides a model of historical inquiry that looks beyond human agency to also take into account the role of the environment and ecological evolution.