Visiting Scholars

Emily Holland is an assistant professor in the Russia Maritime Studies Institute at the U.S Naval War College. 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.



Dr. Alexis Lerner is a Presidential Data Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Political Science at Western University, where she conducts research on comparative authoritarianism, repression, and protest in the post-Soviet region. She is currently finalizing her first book, titled Post-Soviet Graffiti: Free Speech in the Streets, which examines graffiti as an alternative avenue for political expression in censored states. Her work has also appeared in Comparative Political Studies, The Arctic Review of Law and Politics, and The Journal of Jewish Thought. You can learn more at



Christy Monet (Brandly) is a dual PhD candidate in Political Science and Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Chicago. Her research interests lie at the intersection of political theory and literary theory, with a particular focus on the role of literature in the production of social and political ideologies and imaginaries. Christy has received several teaching and research fellowships over the course of her graduate studies, including a Boren Fellowship, a University of Chicago Grodzins Prize Lectureship in Political Science, an Alfa Fellowship, and a University of Chicago CEERES Graduate Student Teaching Fellowship. She has also worked as an editorial assistant for the Moscow-based Novoe Literaturnoe Obozrenie (NLO) publishing house since 2019. Christy’s most recent article, “Russia’s Post-Soviet Ideological Terrain: Zvyagintsev’s Leviathan and Debates on Authority, Agency, and Authenticity,” co-authored with Susanne Wengle and Evgenia Olimpieva, was published in Slavic Review in 2018. Her dissertation, entitled “Political Imagination and Liberal Reform: Figuring the Family in 19th-century Russian Literature,” explores the emergence of liberal ideas in the context of Russia’s late imperial period and the ways in which primarily Western ideas were reconfigured to respond locally to affective strategies of autocratic rule. The dissertation focuses on the gentry family as both a critical political subject in Russia’s era of Great Reforms and, simultaneously, a critical literary subject in the works of many of Russia’s Golden Age writers. Christy argues that contract rationality may not be the best lens through which to engage with the history of liberalism in Russia. Instead, attention to affective forms of rationality and, indeed, affective forms of liberalism more aptly illustrates the innovative and contradictory contours of Russian liberalism and its fate. In 2020-2021, Christy is a Visiting Scholar at the Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia at New York University.



Oksana Nesterenko is a music historian focusing on the (former) Soviet Union from the 1960s to present, with a particular interest in spirituality, broadly defined. Her interdisciplinary research draws from Soviet history and cultural studies, religious and secular studies, and music analysis. Oksana is a PhD candidate in Music History and Theory at Stony Brook University. Her dissertation, “A Forbidden Fruit? Religion, Spirituality and Music in the USSR before its Fall, ” addresses the 1960s spiritual upsurge in the USSR that flared up despite state atheist policies, and investigates the impact of state censorship on religious themes in concert music during 1968-1991. Her dissertation research in Saint Petersburg, Kyiv, Tallinn and Basel was supported by the Association of Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES), the American Musicological Society (AMS), and Paul Sacher Foundation. Oksana has presented her work at numerous conferences and published her research in Perspectives of New Music journal. She serves on advisory board of the annual Ukrainian Contemporary Music Festival in New York and is a co-founder and host of, a podcast and blog about contemporary music.



Brigid O’Keeffe is an Associate Professor of History at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York. She is the author of New Soviet Gypsies: Nationality, Performance, and Selfhood in the Early Soviet Union (University of Toronto Press, 2013) and Esperanto and Languages of Internationalism in Revolutionary Russia (under contract with Bloomsbury).  O’Keeffe is currently preparing a manuscript for Bloomsbury’s “Russian Shorts” Book Series that will present in compact and accessible format the history of the Soviet Union as a multiethnic empire.  She recently joined The Russian Review as an associate editor.



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.



Yulia Prozorova is a Senior Research Fellow at the Sociological Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg, Russia. She is affiliated with the Section of History of Russian Sociology and Centre for Civilizational Analysis and Global History. Previously, she was a curator in the Archive of the Russian Academy of Sciences. She graduated from St. Petersburg State University where she was trained in sociology and history/ archaeology and obtained a PhD in sociology. Her dissertation explored interaction rituals and their effects in “anonymous” self-help fellowships. Her research interests include microsociology of interactions, civilizational analysis and multiple modernities theory in historical sociology, religio-political nexus and political imaginaries, Russia’s path to modernity and post-communist transformations. Her current research focuses on reception of liberal democracy and post-Soviet version of modernity in Russia. She has a forthcoming chapter in the SUNY series Pangaea II: Global/Local Studies book entitled From World Religions to Civilizations and Beyond (Ed. by Said Arjomand and Stephen Kalberg).



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.



Elena V. Shabliy graduated with honors from M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University and received her Interdisciplinary Ph.D. from Tulane University in 2016. In 2009, she earned a Master of Liberal Arts degree from Tulane. She was a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University in 2015-2017 and Columbia University in 2017-2019. She is the editor of Representations of the Blessed Virgin Mary in World Literature and Art (Lexington, Rowman and Littlefield, 2017) and co-editor of Emancipation Women’s Writing at Fin de Siècle (Routledge, 2018), Renewable Energy: International Perspectives (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019), Global Perspectives on Women’s Leadership and Gender (In)Equality (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020), and Women’s Human Rights in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture (Lexington, Rowman and Littlefield, 2020). She was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard University in 2018. At the Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia, New York University, she is also going to work on the edited volume Discourses on Sustainability: Climate Change, Clean Energy, and Justice (under contract with Palgrave Macmillan, 2020).



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.