Current Visiting Scholars


Emily Holland is an assistant professor in the Political Science Department at the United States Naval Academy. Dr. Holland researches Russian foreign policy, energy politics, U.S.-Russia relations, and European security. Previously, she was a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, and a visiting fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations (Berlin) and the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW, Berlin). Dr. Holland’s work has appeared in the Journal of International Affairs, Lawfare, Newsweek, and the Christian Science Monitor. She holds a B.A. in political science and Russian studies, and an M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. in political science from Columbia University. 


Michael Iasilli is a political scientist obtaining his doctorate in History at St. John’s University. His dissertation currently entitled Nadezhda Krupskaya and the Creation of Soviet National Community: Education, Gender, and the Mobilization of a Collective Consciousness centers on exploring the national question in the Soviet Union by shedding light on the philosophy of Nadezhda Krupskaya, her contributions, and underestimated political impact in Bolshevik national policy. Another one of his goals is to demonstrate how changes in Russian gender norms carved out space for women to inform and lead in national development efforts. He has a forthcoming book chapter on the life of Aleksandra Kollontai in a book series entitled Women Who Changed the World and is authoring another work on Krupskaya’s impact on education theory. This past summer he was a Study Abroad Scholar with Stony Brook University and served as a TA for the New York Institute for Linguistics, Language, and Culture held at the Herzen State Pedagogical Institute in St. Petersburg, Russia. Iasilli teaches Political Thought, Comparative Politics, and History for SUNY Suffolk Community College. There he serves on the Political Science Assessment Committee for the Social Science Department underscoring research methodology standards–both qualitative and quantitative–for research and writing assessment goals.


Alexander Nakhimovsky received an MA in mathematics from  Leningrad University (1972) and a PhD in linguistics from Cornell  University (1979). From 1985 to 2018 he taught at Colgate University, first in the department of Computer Science, then as Director of the Linguistics Program, until retirement He is the author, co-author, or editor of several books and articles, both on computer technologies and on Slavic linguistics. In 2006-11 he was Director of an NSF project on Documenting Endangered Languages. Since 2013 he has been working on the history of the Russian language in the 20th century. He has published several articles on that topic. His book on the language of peasants in the 20th century is coming out in 2019.


Alexandra Novitskaya is a PhD candidate in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies and the 2018-2019 recipient of Stony Brook’s Graduate Graduate Fellowship and Faculty Research Program. In 2018-2019, she is a Visiting Scholar at the Jordan Center for the Advance Study of Russia, New York University. Her research interests are at the intersections of sexuality, national identity, migration studies, and queer theory. Together with Janet Elise Johnson, she contributed a chapter on gender in Russian politics to  Putin’s Russia: Past imperfect, future uncertain (Rowman & Littlefield, 2015, ed. S. Wegren). Her article “Patriotism, sentiment, and male hysteria: Putin’s masculinity politics and the persecution of non-heterosexual Russians” is published in the special issue of  NORMA: International Journal for Masculinity Studies in 2017. Since 2010, she has been translating films for Side-by-Side LGBT International Film Festival (St. Petersburg, Russia). Alexandra’s doctoral dissertation explores the experiences of non-heterosexual Russian-speaking migrants in the United States with a focus on their agency against the backdrop of the U.S.-Russia geopolitical power play. This project has been supported by grants from Stony Brook’s Graduate Student Employee Union, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign REEEC Summer Research Lab, and by the Association for Women in Slavic Studies’ Graduate Research Prize.


Nadir Ozbek received his PhD from Binghamton University in 2001. He has written and taught on such topics as philanthropy, social policy, Ottoman historiography, politics of taxation and public finance in the Ottoman context. His recent research concerns comparative empires and fiscal system in the late Ottoman and Russian empires. He is currently affiliated to Jordan Center/NYU as a senior Fulbright scholar. 


Jessica Pisano is Associate Professor in the Politics Department at The New School for Social Research. Her research focuses on contemporary and twentieth century politics and political economy of Eastern Europe, especially Ukraine, Russia, and Hungary. She is currently completing a book about the political economy of command performances of democratic institutions in post-Soviet space and writing a twentieth-century history of a single rural street in Eastern Europe. Her previous book, The Post-Soviet Potemkin Village: Politics and Property Rights in the Black Earth (Cambridge University Press, 2008) won the Davis Center Book Prize in Political and Social Studies. She has been an invited professor at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris. She has been awarded numerous fellowships nationally and internationally and is the recipient of grants from the National Science Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and the National Council for Eurasian and East European Research, among others. 


Brandon Schechter is a historian of the Soviet Union whose research focuses on the creation of meaning in times of crisis. His first book, The Stuff of Soldiers: A History of the Red Army in the Second World War through Objects (Cornell, 2019), has just been published. Schechter is working on a second monograph, The Search for Salvation in the Second World War, which is a comparative history of political workers in the Red Army and chaplains in the US Army during World War II. In addition to working on monographs, he has published essays on the integration of national minorities and women into the Red Army, the moral economy of rationing, property relations under Stalinism and how objects can narrate lived experience. He served as Elihu Rose Scholar in Modern Military History at NYU (2016-2019), a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard’s Davis Center (2015-2016), visiting assistant professor at Brown (2018), and Fulbright IIE fellow (2012-2013). Schechter is currently an adjunct at Columbia University. This spring he will co-teach a graduate level course on Russia at War with Anne Lounsbery at NYU. 


Ekaterina Vassilieva is a postdoctoral researcher at Humboldt University of Berlin. In her current research project entitled Fantasy in Power. Literary and Political Authorship in Contemporary Russia she puts forward the thesis that the state power in today’s Russia draws on strategies of legitimization that are usually associated with artistic production. Ekaterina Vassilieva received her PhD in Slavic studies from the University of Cologne. In her dissertation, she discussed postmodern approaches to the topic of Russian prison camps. She has also published on Russian film and questions of authorship. Recent publications include Vladimir Sorokin: Mesjac v Dachau – Ein Monat in Dachau. Die russische Erzählung, ed. by Bodo Zelinsky (2018) and Technologien der Autorschaft. Foucault und die russischen Formalisten. Textpraxis. Digitales Journal für Philologie (2018).


Zukhra Kasimova holds an MA in Comparative History from Central European University in Budapest, Hungary. Currently, she is a PhD candidate in the History Department at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The tentative title of her dissertation is “A Hybrid Modernity: Forging Soviet Uzbekistan, 1941– 1980”. In her dissertation, Kasimova argues that Soviet modernity was essentially a hybrid concept. Within this framework, Central Asia as a region ceases being a periphery of the Soviet world and becomes central for understanding processes of hybridization of Soviet modernity. Kasimova’s project is aimed at decentering Eurocentric narratives of modernity. Her Soviet modernity is multi-lingual; it allows a place for the persistence of Islam in the region (as both religion and cultural text); and it implies active role of local elites in [re]shaping messages and policies of the center and directly influencing them. The project also explores the heterogeneous nature of the Central Asian region itself, highlighting its internal social, gender and national stratifications and conflicts that defying any binary explanations and oppositions. By focusing on specific cases of human and institutional contacts, interactions and competitions, Kasimova plans to show how the post-WWII global reshaping of Uzbekistan as a Soviet national republic produced spaces of relative freedom that allowed imagining and exercising modernity in terms contradictory to official Soviet politics and discourses. On the other hand, Kasimova claims that the hybrid Uzbek modernity decisively influenced the normative Soviet project – by carving in it a place for “Muslim” cultural identification, a concept of national science, toleration of “national” traditionalism (as, for example, exemplified by extended Uzbek families that adopted evacuated children from “European” Russia and made them linguistically and culturally Uzbek), and so on. 


Natalia Koulinka is Ph.D. candidate at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Before she started her graduate studies in the History of Consciousness Department at the UCSC, she was a co-founder and editor of the first feminist newspaper, Women’s Newspaper, in Belarus (1992-1996) and taught Journalism in the Department of Journalism at the Belarus State University (2000-2008). In 2008-2009, she was a Knight Fellow in the John S. Knight Journalism Fellowships at Stanford University. Koulinka co-edited a collection of work by prominent Belarusian journalist Veronika Cherkasova, Krasnym po Belomu: stat’i, ocherki, esse (Moscow: Prestizh-Buk, 2005) and co-authored a collection of interviews, Vremia nesbyvshikhsia nadezhd: 17 interv’iu s Belorusskimi zhurnalistami o 1990-x (Vil’nius: Logvinov, 2014). Her most recent article, “A Portrait of the Worker against the Backdrop of the Soviet Union’s Collapse,” was published in issue 46 (2019) of the East Central Europe Journal


Joy Neumeyer is a PhD Candidate in History at the University of California, Berkeley. Her dissertation, “Dying Empire: Visions of the End in Late Socialism,” reveals the centrality of death in Soviet culture from the 1960s to 1980s. Combining biomedical discourse, science fiction, film, painting, and pop songs with the life stories of their creators and responses from fans, it explores perceptions of Soviet Communism’s ability to care for body and soul. She previously worked as a journalist in Moscow. Her writing has appeared in publications including Vice, Art News, and the Guardian. In 2019-2020 she is a visiting scholar at the Jordan Center. 


Maria Vinogradova is a Visiting Scholar at Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia (NYU), Visiting Assistant Professor at Pratt Institute, and Adjunct Assistant Professor at Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema (Brooklyn College, CUNY). She is a film and media historian specializing in the study of Soviet film culture, in particular,  nonfiction and amateur films: their creation, distribution, circulation, and afterlives in the post-celluloid era. She is currently working on a book manuscript based on her doctoral dissertation, defended with distinction at New York University’s Department of Cinema Studies (2016), on the Soviet culture of amateur filmmaking in 1957 – 1991.