Manor Mullins picture

Marty Manor Mullins

Independent Scholar

When did you first develop an interest in Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies?

I first became passionate about the history and people of East Central Europe on a visit to Poland in 1997.  It was the first time I had travelled outside the U.S. and I turned 21 during the trip.  I remember thinking, “This is where history really happened” (East Central Europe as being central to the narrative of World War I, World War II, and Communism’s advancement behind the Iron Curtain).  I decided at that time that I wanted to live in Eastern Europe.  Little did I know that my resolution would come true and I’d eventually live for almost 7 years in the eastern Slovak city of Košice—the country’s second largest urban center.  Manor Mullins Ksice

 I taught English to Slovak high school and university students in Košice (including 4 years at Gymnázium Šrobárova) and conducted dissertation research there on a grant provided by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in conjunction with the Fulbright Program. 

How have your interests changed since then?

My experience in eastern Slovakia changed the course of my life as I wrote my Master’s thesis on Slovak interwar history, attended the University of Pittsburgh’s Summer Language Institute to learn Slovak, and finally earned my Ph.D. in East Central European History from the University of Washington in 2013.  

After talking with multiple Slovak and Hungarian co-workers, neighbors, grandparents of my friends, etc., I began to realize that the city of Košice had a remarkable history largely unknown to the English-speaking world.  Therefore I focused my dissertation research on Košice’s unique experience during the turning points of Czechoslovakia’s postwar history (1948, 1968 and 1989) as compared to that of Prague or Bratislava.  The city’s disenfranchised Hungarian minority, the outlawed Eastern Rite Catholics, and the state-sponsored steelworkers rise to the surface of my study.  Recently I published the article, “A Remarkable Reversal:  Communist Czechoslovakia’s Reinstatement of Eastern Rite Catholicism during the Prague Spring” in the Journal of Church and State (doi: 10.1093/jcs/csu128).  

What is your current research/work project?

I am currently revising my dissertation for publication as a book which further demonstrates how cities with multiethnic populations on the edge of empires have often been subject to nationalism being imposed as a homogenizing forge from above.  This was true in Košice as both the postwar Beneš administration (1945-1948) and the Communist regime (1948-1989) conformed the city (with its ethnically and religiously diverse population) to their desired norms.

What do you value about your ASEEES membership?

As a scholar endeavoring to publish her first book, ASEEES has provided invaluable resources including the recent Webinar on “Publishing Your First Book,” two upcoming panels at the 2015 conference on a similar topic, and the introduction of ASEEES’s First Book Subvention Program.  

Besides your professional work, what other interests and/or hobbies do you enjoy?

When I’m not working on my book I enjoy hiking with my husband in Glacier National Park, baking and coffee.