Director’s Letter Fall 2020

September 2020 


To all: 


Greetings from New York City and virtual 19 University Place, the Jordan Center’s home for the Fall semester! We are very excited to be continuing our engagement with you all online. Although we will of course miss seeing everyone in person at the Center, we are so grateful to be able to continue connecting with our community virtually and expanding our reach beyond the Greater New York City area. 

Though the Center was faced with many unprecedented challenges last spring, we also experienced a series of great successes in the form of quarantine-induced projects and innovations! For starters, for the first time in our history we ran programming through the summer — with events no longer needing in person audiences in New York City, there was no reason to stop in May!  Instead, we featured programming through July, stopping for only a short break in August.  Professor Eliot Borenstein’s virtual lecture series “Russian Internet Memes: The Short Course” was certainly a highlight, as was the 19v Seminar Series, dedicated to the culture, literature and arts of nineteenth-century Russia (and which will continue throughout the fall). The New York City-Russia Public Policy series ran through the Spring and Summer, with virtual panels featuring academics and practitioners from all over the world. 

Our Teaching Russia Online Resources Database will remain available for all who are looking for openly accessible virtual resources to help supplement virtual, hybrid, and in-person instruction, as will our Resources on Race and Racism in Russian Studies, which we hope will continue to facilitate the conversation surrounding creating an equitable field. For both resources, we are always looking for more contributions and suggestions. Read more about everything we were able to accomplish together in our 2019-2020 Year in Review

We are pushing forward this fall with an absolutely packed schedule of events. Due to coronavirus, we will not be hosting any conferences, nor will we be holding our annual Distinguished Lecture. We look forward to returning to these events when large in-person gatherings are again permitted at NYU and when we are able to come together on campus. That being said, we do have a very full slate of (virtual) events this fall. We kicked off this semester today, Wednesday, September 9th, with another 19v Seminar, “Exoticism Abroad: Vasilii Polenov and Ilia Repin’s Visual Experimentations with Ethnic and Racial Difference in Paris,” with Maria Taroutina of Yale-NUS College and discussant Nathaniel Knight of Seton Hall University. This seminar series will run through the fall, with talks from Schamma Schahadat, Ani Kokobobo, Ilya Kliger, and more. 

In total, the Jordan Center will host 29 events this semester, including: 

… and much more!

We are also very excited to be continuing our New York City-Russia Public Policy series with Columbia University’s Harriman Institute, sponsored by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. Look out for more information on the Jordan Center website and email list regarding this year’s schedule, which will include panels on topics such as Russia and Belarus, the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Russia, approaches to US-Russia foreign policy, and Russia and the 2020 American Presidential Elections. You can visit our YouTube channel to view recordings of past panels. 

Though the Jordan Center has had to suspend it’s Short Term Visiting Scholar program this year due to coronavirus-related travel restrictions, we are very excited that a new gift Boris Jordan has provided us with the funds to support Post-Doctoral Fellows for the next two years! Our inaugural cohort of Postdocs for the 2020-21 academic year are:

Jennifer Flaherty is a postdoctoral fellow specializing in nineteenth- and twentieth- century Russian literature, culture and intellectual history, with current research interests in Hegel’s influence on Russian thought as well as labor theory. Her book project on representations of peasants investigates how the stylistic innovations of nineteenth-century Russian literature express the tensions of modernity that lie at the heart of its agrarian myth. She received her Ph.D. in Slavic Languages and Literatures from the University of California at Berkeley in 2019, her M.A. in Humanities from the University of Chicago in 2010, and her B.A. in Philosophy from Appalachian State University in North Carolina. She’s had academic appointments as a visiting assistant professor in the department of Modern Languages and Literatures at the College of William of Mary, and as a lecturer at in the Slavic department at UC Berkeley. Flaherty has conducted research as an American Councils Fellow in Moscow and with Harvard’s Institute for World Literature. Her doctoral dissertation received support from UC Berkeley’s Townsend Center for Humanities. She has a forthcoming article in The Russian Review and has published in Tolstoy Studies Journal and PMLA.

Delgerjargal Uvsh conducts research and teaches primarily in the field of comparative politics, with a focus on post-Soviet politics, the political economy of natural-resource dependence, institutional and regime change, and research methods. Using Russia as a critical case, Delgerjargal’s book project, Reversal of the Resource Curse? Negative Revenue Shocks and Development in Russia and Beyond, develops a theory of when and how declinesin natural-resource revenue (negative revenue shocks)  incentivize politicalelites to support private business activity and reverse the “resource curse.” You can read more about Delgerjargal’s work at


Vladimir Ryzhkovskyi studied Russian, Soviet and East European history in Ukraine, Russia, and the US, where he recently earned a PhD from Georgetown University. By foregrounding the link between empire, culture, and knowledge, Ryzhkovskyi’s research probes the place of Russia and the Soviet Union within global history, particularly in relation to forms of Western imperialism and colonialism. His current book project, Soviet Occidentalism: Medieval Studies and the Restructuring of Imperial Knowledge in Twentieth-Century Russia, explores the twentieth-century history of medieval studies in late imperial and Soviet Russia as a model for demonstrating the crucial importance of Soviet appropriation of Western culture and knowledge in the post-revolutionary reconstituting and maintaining the empire following 1917. In addition to pursuing the imperial and postcolonial theme in the history of Soviet modernity, Ryzhkovskyi has published articles and essays on the history of late imperial and Soviet education, the history of late Soviet intelligentsia, and Soviet philosophy. A volume of unpublished writings by the Soviet historian and philosopher Boris Porshnev, co-edited with Artemy Magun, is forthcoming from the European University Press in 2021.

If you haven’t yet spent time at the Jordan Center, it’s never too early to start thinking about our 2021-2022 fellowship opportunities! Visit our website to learn more, and feel free to reach out with any questions at

Finally, I would like to remind everyone that the Jordan Center blog, All The Russias, is always looking for pitches and submissions on “all things Russia”! Professor Maya Vinokour, blog editor, can be contacted directly at We welcome work on topics from all fields of academic inquiry relating to Russia. 

If you appreciate the Jordan Center’s work and programming, online and in-person, consider making a financial contribution to help support our lectures, panels, fellowship programs, blog, and more. Any amount can help us further our goal of promoting awareness and understanding of Russia’s past, present, and future, in all its disciplinary and cultural manifestations. Details can be found on our website, and as always feel free to reach out to me directly at

I hope you all have a wonderful fall, and I look forward to “seeing” you at the Jordan Center!



Joshua A. Tucker