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History professor wins prestigious award for contributions to Slavic studies

Andrea Lynn, Humanities Editor
(217) 333-2177;


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- University of Illinois history professor Keith Hitchins has won a prestigious award for his distinguished contributions to Slavic studies.

The award is the highest honor the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies (AAASS) bestows. Hitchins received the award, a scroll, Nov. 11 at the association's annual convention, held this year in Denver.

Hitchins' "scholarship is recognized internationally for its volume and breadth, its cumulative quality and its lasting relevance," the AAASS said.

Hitchins specializes in the history of Central Asia, Hungary, Romania and Southeastern Europe. His current work focuses on the social and economic development of Romania, the history of the Tajiks, and the old regime in Southeastern Europe from 1350 to 1800.

He is the author of 11 books and 60 articles. Hitchins is the editor of the Journal of Kurdish Studies and past editor of Rumanian Studies and Studies in East European Social History, and a former member of the editorial board of Slavic Review.

He received honorary degrees from the universities of Cluj and Sibiu in Romania, and he was made an honorary member of the Romanian Academy of Sciences. Hitchins teaches courses on Eastern European history since 1815, Eastern Europe between the World Wars, the Hapsburg monarchy and nationalism in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

Hitchins joined the UI history department in 1969. He earned a bachelor's degree at Union College in Schenectady, N.Y., and a doctorate at Harvard University.

The AAASS is the leading private nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of knowledge about Russia, Central Eurasia and Eastern and Central Europe.