Current Writers in Residence


Sergei Antonov teaches Russian history at Queens College, CUNY, and at Columbia University. His research focuses on Russia’s legal culture, government, and capitalism during the late imperial period. He received a Ph.D. from Columbia in 2011 and a J.D. from NYU Law in 2002. His first book, Bankrupts and Usurers of Imperial Russia: Debt, Property, and the Law in the Age of Dostoevsky and Tolstoy, will appear from Harvard University Press in October, 2016.




Misha Avrekh is currently writing a book on statistics, state, and literary genres. He also occasionally writes on statistics; noise; and fatherhood. He received his PhD in Comparative Literature from Yale University in 2014.



Olga Bertelsen


Olga Bertelsen (Ph.D., University of Nottingham) held fellowships at the Harriman Institute (Columbia University) and the Munk School of Global Affairs (University of Toronto), and has published monographs on Les Kurbas and the Ukrainian theatre “Berezil” (Smoloskyp, 2016) and Ukraine’s House of Writers in the 1930s (Carl Beck Papers, 2013), as well as translated documents in two volumes on the persecution of Zionists in Ukraine (On the Jewish Street, 2011). She also edited a collection of essays Revolution and War in Ukraine: The Challenge of Change (ibidem-Verlag/Columbia University Press, forthcoming, 2016). She is currently working on a book project on post-Soviet imperial consciousness among Russian writers.




Sam Casper is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of History at the University of Pennsylvania; He holds a B.A. with Honors in History from the University of Chicago. His dissertation, written under the supervision of Professors Benjamin Nathans and Peter Holquist, deals with the posthumous rehabilitation of leading Party, military, and cultural figures in the Soviet Union during the decade-and-a-half following Stalin’s death. His research has been supported by a Title VIII grant through the American Councils for International Education, and he has presented at ASEEES, NESEEES, and the University of Pennsylvania’s Russian History and Culture Workshop.


DSC_0119_RTThomas Nemeth received his PhD from the University of Louvain, Belgium in 1977, after which he did post-doctoral work in Australia and in Germany. He translated Gustav Shpet’s Iavlenie i smysl into English as well as published several articles on Husserlian phenomenology in Russia. His recent work is on the reception of Kant in Imperial Russia, resulting in a book-length study that is presently under review. He has contributed to the Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy as well as the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, including the entry there on “Russian Philosophy” and is presently an active member of the editorial board of the Russian journal Solov’evskie Issledovaniya/Solovyov Studies. As part of his current project, Nemeth in 2014 published a study of Solovyov’s early life and thought up to 1881 and in 2015 a critical translation of Solovyov’s Opravdanie dobra. He is presently engaged with Solovyov’s “return” to philosophy in the 1890s.

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Margaret Samu (pronounced SHAH-moo) is a freelance art historian in New York City who earned her M.A. and Ph.D. at NYU’s Institute of Fine Arts. Dr. Samu works on 18th– and 19th-century European with a special interest in the intersection between Russian and Western cultures. The volume she co-edited, From Realism to the Silver Age: New Studies in Russian Artistic Culture, appeared in 2014 with Northern Illinois University Press. Her articles have been published in the journals Iskusstvoznanie, Nineteenth-Century Studies, Experiment, and Woman’s Art Journal. She has presented lectures and conference papers on her work in the U.S., Canada,  Russia, and England, and has received grants from the Mellon Foundation, the Fulbright Program, and the Library of Congress, among other institutions. Dr. Samu is currently working on a book-length project titled Russian Venus. She served as president of the Society of Historians of East European, Eurasian, and Russian Art and Architecture (SHERA) from 2013 until early 2015.


Schechter NYU JC HSBrandon Schechter- is the Elihu Rose Scholar in Modern Military History in the History Department and a Writer in Residence at the Jordan Center. He received his Ph.D. in History at the University of California Berkeley in 2015. Last year he was a postdoctoral fellow at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University. Prior to finishing his Ph.D. he studied at Smolny College, European University in St. Petersburg, Kazan Federal University, The Higher School of Economics (with support from Fulbright IIE) and received a B.A. in Russian Studies from Vassar (2005).

He is currently finishing a book manuscript Government Issue: The Material Culture of the Red Army 1941-1945 which tells the story of the Great Patriotic war through objects from spoons to tanks. His second major project, which he will begin to work on here, is Commissars, Chaplains and Psychiatrists: The Search for Salvation in World War II, a comparative study of the roles of commissars and other political workers in the Red Army with chaplains and psychiatrists in the US Army during the Second World War. Dr. Schechter is on the editorial board of The Journal of Power Institutions of Post-Soviet Societies and has published stand alone articles on women in the Red Army and nationality politics in the Red Army. His research interests focus on violence, material culture and the diversity of experiences based on gender, class and nationality.

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Yana Skorobogatov is a PhD candidate in the Department of History at the University of California, Berkeley. She is currently writing her dissertation, “Violence Tamed: The Death Penalty in the Soviet Union, 1945-1991, which explores the Soviet party-state’s embrace and use of the death penalty after World War II. Based on sources generated by Soviet courts, state bodies, and individual citizens, this project traces how state killing became decentralized, legitimized, and normalized in Soviet Russia during the second half of the twentieth century.



Julia Sweet comes from Novgorod, Russia, where she attended the Novgorod State University and received a Master degree in history. She is currently a Ph.D. Candidate in the Division of Global Affairs at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. Her interests focus on the Post-Soviet region and the modern political situation in this area: the post-Soviet authoritarian regimes, the coexistence of religion and new regimes, terrorism and national security, media and extremist propaganda on the Russian Internet sector. Her dissertation aims to analyze the radical segment of the Russian cyberspace in order to define its visual representation, symbolic culture, the content of terrorist forums, strategic targets, and a set of crucial issues discussed on the Internet by radicals.