Mary Neuburger was the 2019 Chair of the Provost's Teaching Fellows and serves on the Steering Committee as Immediate Past Chair.
Dr. Mary Neuburger is a Professor of history, the Director of the Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies (CREEES), and the Chair of Slavic and Eurasian Studies at the University of Texas of Austin. Dr. Neuburger has initiated numerous synergistic projects with departments and global area studies centers across UT campus and has secured and continues to administer numerous federal grants including a Department of Education, Title VI National Resource Center grant (2014-present), a Fulbright-Hayes Group Projects Abroad grant for the Moscow-Texas Connections program (2013-16), and a Department of Defense grant for Project Global Officers (2013-15). She is the author of The Orient Within: Muslim Minorities and the Negotiation of Nationhood in Modern Bulgaria (Cornell 2004), and Balkan Smoke: Tobacco and the Making of Modern Bulgaria (Cornell, 2012). Dr. Neuburger is also the co-editor with Paulina Bren of Communism Unwrapped: Consumption in Cold War Eastern Europe (Oxford, 2012) and has authored numerous articles on Bulgarian history. She is currently working on a cultural history of food in Bulgaria, and is co-editor of the Journal of Contemporary History.
With the support of the PTF program, Mary redesigned Introduction to Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies, which had calcified into a disjointed “parade of faculty” with a rotating primary instructor and no active/interactive learning, teamwork, or use of digital tools for student assignments. With a team, she reframed its structure and outcomes, developed methodological and thematic modules, and created a more interactive and meaningful student and faculty experience.
The first iteration of the newly designed course was held in the large Learning Lab at the PCL, which enabled exciting discussions and learning processes in a stimulating interdisciplinary environment. Here's one example: during one class, students had to dig through (PCL collection) magazines from the Cold War era produced by Eastern Bloc states for Western consumption. They had to choose and analyze images then produce slides with concise captions on everyday life in Eastern Europe. Student teams then presented and explained their choices at the end of class. Dr. Craig Campbell (a visual anthropologist) and Dr. Neuburger (a historian of this era) provided differing commentaries on life under communism and capitalism in the 1960s and 1970s. This built upon a presentation at the Harry Ransom Center by Dr. Steve Hoelscher (American Studies), who provided a compelling talk on the Elliot Erwitt collection, with its iconic Cold War images.