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MemberMaria Galmarini-Kabala

I am a historian of the Soviet Union with a particular interest in the history of political ideas and their impact on marginalized members of society. My work has so far explored ideas of social rights and welfare, relief to political prisoners, bio-political approaches to behaviorally problematic children, the rehabilitation of blinded WWII veterans, and ideas of justice among deaf people during the Russian Revolution. Most recently, I have published a book entitled The Right to Be Helped: Deviance, Entitlement, and the Soviet Moral Order (Northern Illinois University Press, 2016). Through an analysis of the treatment reserved to men, women, and children who deviated from the physical and gender norms of Soviet subjectivity, this book explores the moral order of socialism and interrogates its legitimacy in the post-revolutionary and Stalinist periods.  

MemberOlena Nikolayenko

I am an Associate Professor of Political Science at Fordham University based in New York City, USA. Originally from Ukraine, I received my Ph.D. in political science from the University of Toronto and held visiting appointments at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Harvard University, the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies, and Stanford University’s Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law. In my recent book, Youth Movements and Elections in Eastern Europe (Cambridge University Press, 2017), I examine interactions between nonviolent youth movements and incumbent governments in five post-communist states: Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Serbia, and Ukraine.

MemberGabrielle Cornish

Gabrielle Cornish is a PhD candidate in Musicology at the Eastman School of Music. Her research broadly considers music and everyday life in the Soviet Union. In particular, her dissertation traces the intersections between music, technology, and the politics of “socialist modernity” after Stalinism. Her research in Russia has been supported by the Fulbright Program, the Glenn Watkins Traveling Fellowship, and the Cohen-Tucker Dissertation Research Fellowship from the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies. For the 2019-2020 academic year, Gabrielle will be supported by a Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship as well as an honorary Alvin H. Johnson AMS-50 Fellowship from the American Musicological Society. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in the Journal of Musicology, Sounding Out!Slate, and The Washington Post. She has appeared as a guest to discuss Russian history, culture, and politics on NBC Nightly News, BBC World Service Television, and BBC Radio Newsday. In her free time, she performs Russian-to-English translation, does freelance graphic design, and makes loud (and soft) noises on drums.

MemberTatiana Klepikova

Tatiana Klepikova is a Faculty of Arts & Science Postdoctoral Fellow at the Women & Gender Studies Institute at the University of Toronto, where she is working on her postdoctoral project about contemporary Russian queer theater and drama. She defended her Ph.D. in Slavic Literary Studies at the University of Passau, Germany, in 2019, after obtaining degrees in Teaching Foreign Languages (English and Spanish) in Yaroslavl (Russia), and Russian and East-Central European Studies in Passau. She is co-editor of several collections of interdisciplinary essays on privacy, including Outside the “Comfort Zone”: Private and Public Spheres in Late Socialist Europe (forthcoming in 2020 by De Gruyter). Tatiana’s work strives to capture and elucidate sites, experiences, and articulations of “marginality” in Russian cultural imagination, especially in literature, media, and the arts of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. A meeting point of hegemonic and alternative discourses, “marginality” as a social, political, and cultural construct fascinates her by the multiplicity of meanings and readings that may be (counter-)coded in it. It thereby has immense potential to reveal the structures of power, control, and difference that have to do not only with political oppression, but also with imaginativeness and agency, which are often overlooked in connection to (neo)authoritarian settings like Russia. Tatiana’s broader research interests include Soviet and contemporary Russian history and culture, political art, cultural privacy studies, queer studies, performance studies, and histories and cultures of LGBT communities in Eastern Europe.

MemberAla Creciun Graff

Ala is a PhD Candidate (ABD) in Russian History at the University of Maryland, College Park. Her dissertation examines the nationalization of the Russian monarchy under Alexander III (1881-1894) and its far-reaching social, economic, and political implications. She holds an MA in Comparative History from Central European University (CEU) in Budapest, Hungary, awarded in 2013. Ala received her BA in Political Science and International Relations from the American University in Bulgaria in 2011. At the University of Maryland, she designed and taught during Fall 2016 and Spring 2017 her research methods course “Russian History in Art, Music, Literature, and Film.”  During Spring 2017, Ala also underwent a curatorial internship at the Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens in Washington DC, which holds the largest collection of Russian art in the West.  In January 2018, Ala was selected as a Cosmos Scholar by the Cosmos Club Foundation of Washington, DC.

MemberJulia Verkholantsev

I am a scholar of cultural, religious and intellectual history, early modern and medieval literary and linguistic culture. My publications and research are concerned with the cultural space of eastern, central, and southern Europe, particularly, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Bohemia, Poland, Croatia, Hungary, and Rus. In research and teaching, I deal with topics that include the history of and approaches to language, writing, and literacy; pre-modern historical writing and historical methods; Slavic (Cyrillic, Glagolitic, and Latin) and Greek paleography and cryptography; projects and theories of universal language; and Russian medieval and modern literature and culture. As a medievalist, I am convinced that the mapping of pre-modern Europe into the modern East – West divide creates unnecessary gaps between fields of knowledge that are inherently interconnected and impedes a dialogue between scholars who find themselves working in artificially bounded sub-disciplines. In my research and professional service I try to remedy this situation. In my teaching, I examine medieval literary and historical topics in the context of modern society and help students see their importance in the development of contemporary culture, politics, and social norms. I focus on the study of reading strategies of imaginative texts that leads to the advanced understanding of literature as part of cultural history.