Visiting Scholars

Elena Adasheva-Klein is an anthropologist and visual artist working in the polar regions. She is a PhD candidate in Sociocultural Anthropology at Yale University. Light and dark in the Arctic is the topic of Elena’s current ethnographic research projects. Her doctoral dissertation, based on a nine-month fieldwork in northern Siberia, explores human-environment relations, urban infrastructure, and energy governance in the Russian Arctic. Elena’s fieldwork was supported by the National Science Foundation and the American Councils for International Education. In 2023, Elena was one of the scientists selected to work on the ARICE-PONANT Polar Expedition Ship “Le Commandant Charcot” with her original research project, investigating perceptions of light in the Arctic landscape. Elena’s research interests also include science diplomacy in the Arctic and Antarctic. This collaborative work aims to center non-state actors in the international polar science, as opposed to nation-states, while regarding science diplomacy as serving and resulting from the production of scientific knowledge in the polar environments. Elena received the Summer Institute in Museum Anthropology Fellowship from the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., and the Eva Kastan Grove Fellowship from the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute in New York. She holds an MPhil in Sociocultural Anthropology from Yale University and a B.A. in Anthropology and Studio Art from Hunter College of the City University of New York where she was a Ronald E. McNair Scholar. Elena is a founder of the Polar Research and Education Library with a focus on social sciences and humanities of the polar regions.


Stanislav Budnitsky is a scholar of global and Russian media politics. His book-in-progress examines the post-Cold War struggles between Russia and the West over global telecommunication. Most recently, Budnitsky was a James H. Billington Fellow at the Wilson Center in Washington, DC. Before the Wilson Center, he held postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Duisburg-Essen, Indiana University in Bloomington, and the University of Pennsylvania. Budnitsky’s academic writings have appeared in the International Journal of Communication, Internet Policy Review, and European Journal of Cultural Studies, among other venues. His expert commentary recently were featured in The Conversation, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), Australia’s Sydney Morning Herald, and Poland’s Rzeczpospolita. Budnitsky received his PhD in Communication from Carleton University in Ottawa. He holds Master’s degrees in Nationalism Studies from Budapest’s Central European University and in Journalism from Moscow’s Higher School of Economics. Before graduate studies, Budnitsky was a Moscow-based media writer and producer.



Elena Chernyak is an Associate Professor of Sociology in the Department of Sociology, Criminology, and Human Services at Hartwick College (Oneonta, NY). She received her PhD in Sociology from the Department of Sociology, University of Windsor (Canada). She also holds her MA degree in Journalism from Saint-Petersburg State University (Russia), Master of Religious Education from Assumption University (Canada), and Master of Social Work from the University of Windsor (Canada). Elena’s research interests lie primarily in the area of gender and encompass gender-based violence, gender ideology, gendered discourses and social institutions, family relations, the impact of culture and religions on gender and identity, and Russia and Soviet/post-Soviet societies. She is the author of several articles on domestic violence against women in the countries of the former Soviet Union in which she examined, compared, and discussed the extent and determinants of intimate partner violence in the countries of this region and analyzed how patriarchal ideology and traditional gender norms in the post-Soviet societies contribute to gender-based violence by exploring the unique historical, political, and social context of the former Soviet Union. Currently, Elena is working on a book that draws from a broader ethnography and primarily consists of semi-standardized depth interviews, life histories, observations, discourse analysis, and content analysis of existing documents, historical and religious literature, and mass media. The book entitled A history of Russian women: A thousand-year of oppression and humility critically explores the experience of Russian women throughout over a thousand years and how the position and image of women changed in the Russian Empire, Soviet and post-Soviet Russia, and what role women play in contemporary Russia.


Severyan Dyakonov is a Swiss National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow. His current project explores how the Soviet Union promoted socialist modernity in the decolonized world during the Cold War. He defended his Ph.D. thesis “Soviet Public Diplomacy in India, 1959-1965” at the Geneva Graduate Institute in 2022. Before coming to NYU, he was a visiting fellow at Harvard University’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies (funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship). His current project deals with Cold War dynamics in neutral spaces of International Organizations, more specifically how the Eastern Bloc pushed for Socialist ideals through the International Red Cross movement. This project tackles Moscow’s influence on newly created societies of the Red Cross and Red Crescent in decolonized Africa and Asia from the 1950s to the 1980s.


Joan Neuberger is Earl E. Sheffield Regents Professor of History Emerita in the History Department at The University of Texas at Austin. Her most recent book, This Thing of Darkness: Eisenstein’s Ivan the Terrible in Stalin’s Russia won the American Historical Association’s George L. Mosse Book Prize. Her current research explores the politics of nature in Eisenstein’s films and writing. She is also working on several related projects to create an accessible digital library of Eisenstein’s publications and to digitally map his intellectual world. Neuberger was born in Stuyvesant Town and is currently living in Brooklyn and is enjoying re-exploring her hometown.


Chloë Kitzinger is an Associate Professor of Russian at Rutgers University, where she is also affiliated with the Program in Comparative Literature. She is currently serving as Acting Director of the Program in Russian and East European Languages and Literatures. She received her Ph.D. in Slavic Languages and Literatures from the University of California, Berkeley, and also holds an M.A. in Russian from Middlebury College. Before arriving at Rutgers, she was a Perkins-Cotsen Postdoctoral Fellow in the Princeton Society of Fellows. Her research focuses on the Russian, European, and American novel and on narrative and literary theory; other academic interests include translation studies and science fiction. She is the author of Mimetic Lives: Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, and Character in the Novel (Northwestern University Press, 2021), as well as articles on Vladimir Nabokov, Andrei Bely, Dmitri Merezhkovsky, Zora Neale Hurston, and narrative realism and television, among other topics. She is at work on two book projects: “Dostoevsky’s Afterlives” (a study of Dostoevsky’s early 20th century reception in translation) and “Seers of Flesh and Spirit: Russian Symbolist Writings on Dostoevsky and Tolstoy,” co-edited with Lindsay Ceballos and D. Brian Kim (an anthology of new translations of Russian Symbolist literary criticism, under advance contract with Amherst College Press).


Ilya Slavutskiy is a History PhD student at Rutgers University. His dissertation research focuses on the non-Bolshevik left in Ukraine, particularly the Party of Ukrainian Socialists-Revolutionaries, during the revolutionary and civil war periods in the former Russian Empire. The project aims to see the Ukrainian Revolution, often thought of in national terms, through a socialism-focused lens. He is also interested in anti-Jewish pogroms in the region, as well as the broader history of military conflict and upheaval in the twentieth century in the territories of the former Russian Empire and Soviet Union.


Maria Vinogradova is a film and media historian specializing in the study of Soviet film culture, in particular, nonfiction, experimental and amateur films: their creation, distribution, circulation, and afterlives in the post-celluloid era. She is currently working on her book manuscript “On the Public Rails: A History of Soviet Amateur Filmmaking (1957-1991).” This project has been supported by fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies (2021-2022) and National Endowment for the Humanities (2022-2023).


Raushan Zhandayeva is a Political Science PhD student at the George Washington University interested in how people and stories travel across borders. Her core area of expertise lies in Eurasian politics, with a specific focus on Central Asia. Her dissertation looks at the strategic narratives produced and promoted by states during international crises and the impact of emotions on public reception of such narratives. She is particularly interested in the impact of Russian strategic narratives within the Eurasian context. Her methodological toolbox includes statistical analysis, causal inference, experiments, and machine learning, including text analysis. Before joining George Washington University, she earned her B.A. in Political Science and International Relations from Nazarbayev University and a Master’s in Global Affairs from the University of Notre Dame.