Director of the Visiting Fellows Programme
Anna Korhonen
Head of International Affairs
tel. +358-(0)50-563 63 07

Eeva Korteniemi
tel. +358-(0)50-4150 571

aleksanteri-fellows [at]

Aleksanteri Institute
P.O.Box 42 (Unioninkatu 33)
FI-00014 University of Helsinki

aleksanteri [at]
firstname.lastname [at]

Location & Connections


Aleksanteri Visiting Fellows 2008-2009 - Presentations

Visiting Scholars

Artemyeva, Tatiana

Fellowship period: January 12 – March 11, 2009

Professor Dr Tatiana V. Artemyeva (St. Petersburg, Russia) is Professor of the Department of Theory and History of Culture at Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia, Leading Researcher of the St. Petersburg branch of the Institute of Philosophy at the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Director of Research Programmes at the St. Petersburg Centre for the History of Ideas, and co-editor of the “Philosophical Age” almanac.

Her specialist subject is Russian philosophy in the “long” 18th century, its different aspects, comparative studies and theories of intellectual communication. Among her published works are books devoted to the history of metaphysics, the philosophy of history, natural philosophy and utopianism, and manuscripts of Russian thinkers from various archives.

The research project at the Aleksanteri Institute is “Traditions of Russian Utopianism: Forms, Genres, Types.

Email: tatart [at]

See also the web site:

Balmaceda, Margarita

Fellowship period:  February 1 – June 30, 2009

Prof. Margarita M. Balmaceda (Ph.D, Princeton) is Associate Professor, Whitehead School of Diplomacy and International Relations, Seton Hall University and Associate of the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute and the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University. Her publications include Energy Dependency, Politics and Corruption in the Former Soviet Union: Russia’s Power, Oligarch’s Profits and Ukraine’s Missing Energy Policy, 1995-2006 (Routledge, 2008) and, as editor/co-editor, On the Edge: the Ukrainian-Central European-Russian Security Triangle (CEU Press, 2000) and Independent Belarus (Harvard, 2002). A Fulbright Fellow at UCEPS (Razumkov Center) in Kyiv (2004) and at the Belarusan State University in Minsk (1997 and 1999), her work has also been supported by grants from the Ford Foundation, the International Research and Exchanges Board, the DAAD, and the Humboldt Foundation. At the Aleksanteri Institute, she will working on a book on Dealing with Energy Dependency: Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania Between Domestic Oligarchs and Russian Pressure, 1992-2009.

Email: balmaced [at]

Best, Ulrich

Fellowship period: May 1 – June 30, 2009

Ulrich Best teaches European Studies at the University of Chemnitz. He has studied geography, sociology and IT at the university of Heidelberg and has been a research assistant at Humboldt-University Berlin and IRS Erkner. Ulrich has studied towards his PhD at the University of Plymouth and the Uniwersytet Wrocławski, Poland. He has also been Lecturer in Geography at the University of Leicester in 2003-2004. Main research interests: critical geopolitics of Europe, border studies, urban politics. Recent publications: (1) Transgression as a Rule. German-Polish Cross-border Cooperation, Border Discourse and EU-enlargement. Münster: Lit, 2007. (2) Definitions of security in German and Polish debates about Russian gas pipelines. In: Geographische Rundschau / international edition , 3 (2007) 1, S. 36 - 42. (3) Between cross-border co-operation and neocolonialism: EU enlargement and Polish-German relations. In: Salvatore Engel-DiMauro (Ed.): The European's burden, New York: Peter Lang, S. 183-207.

Personal web site

Email: [at]

Buzalka, Juraj

Fellowship period: April 1 – May 15, 2009

Juraj Buzalka is a Senior Lecturer in social anthropology at the Institute of Social Anthropology in the Faculty of Social and Economic Sciences at Comenius University, Bratislava, Slovakia. He graduated from the Department of Political Sciences in the Faculty of Arts at Comenius University (MA, 1999) and from the Sussex European Institute at the University of Sussex, Brighton, UK (MA in Anthropology of Europe, 2002). As a doctoral candidate at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle/Saale, Germany, Buzalka defended his PhD in social anthropology at the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg in 2006. His monograph, ‘Nation and Religion: The Politics of Commemoration in South-east Poland,’ was published by Lit Verlag, Münster, Germany in 2007. His research interests include the political movements and social transformations, especially nationalism and populism, religion and politics, and the role of the past in the modern politics of Central and Eastern Europe.

Email: buzalka [at]

Hemment, Julie

Fellowship period: August 1-31, 2009

Julie Hemment received her Ph.D. from Cornell University and is currently Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.  Her research interests include gender and post- socialism, NGOs and global civil society, feminist anthropology and Participatory Action Research Methodology. She is the author of Empowering Women in Russia: Aid, NGOs and Activism (Indiana University Press, 2007), and has ublished in Signs, Anthropological Quarterly and The Anthropology of East Europe Review. Her current project investigates the restructuring of social welfare provision in Russia by examining provincial projects to promote youth voluntarism.

Email: jhemment [at]

Ilic, Melanie

Fellowship period: June 1-30, 2009

Melanie Ilic is Reader in History at the University of Gloucestershire, UK, and Research Fellow at the Centre for Russian and East European Studies, The University of Birmingham, UK. She has published widely on Soviet women's history of the Stalin and Khrushchev periods as well as victim studies of the Great Terror. She is currently working on a study of Soviet women's involvement in the Women's International Democratic Federation in the 1950s and 1960s.

Email: milic [at]

Lyapunova, Olga

Fellowship period: November 15 – December 14, 2008

Dr. Olga Lyapunova is an adjunct professor at the Department of Psychology, Pomor State University in Arkhangelsk, Russia. She is also a researcher for the Crisis Centres in Russia Today: a National Survey Study, a sub-project of the Welfare, Gender and Agency in Russia in the 2000s. The WGA is funded by the University of Helsinki and is based at the Aleksanteri Institute

Email: liapounova [at]

Malinova, Olga

Fellowship period: January 19 – April 18, 2009

Dr. Olga Malinova is a Leading Research Fellow in the Institute of Scientific Information for Social Sciences at the Russian Academy of Sciences. She is also Professor of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (University) and President of the Russian Association of Political Science.

She is the author of a number of books and articles about political ideologies and political communications, liberalism, nationalism, discursive identity construction, and political discourse analysis. She is currently working on a project about the discursive construction of Russian identity vis-à-vis Europe/the West in the 19th–20th centuries.

Email: omalinova [at]

Medvedev, Sergey

Fellowship period: February 1-28, 2009

Sergei Medvedev is Professor and Associate Dean at the State University – Higher School of Economics in Moscow. Born in Moscow, he studied at Universities in Moscow, Prague, and New York City, and holds a Ph. D. in history.

In the past 15 years, he has held research positions and professorships in Russia, Germany, Italy and Finland. He specializes in Russian and post-Communist studies, political geography, international relations and cultural anthropology.

Apart from numerous articles, his recent books include: Good Governance in Europe and Russia (Moscow, 2008); EU-Russia Relations: Alternative Futures (Helsinki, 2006), The Kaliningrad Partnership in EU-Russia Relations (Moscow, 2005); Russia and the West at the Millennium (Berlin, 2003) and Mapping European Security After Kosovo (Manchester, 2002, with Peter van Ham).

Email: smedvedev [at]

Mitrofanova, Anastasia

Fellowship period: November 1-30, 2008

Dr. Anastasia Mitrofanova is a senior research fellow at the Center for World Economy and Global Studies, Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Moscow) and an expert on religious politicisation with a special accent on Orthodox Christianity. Her current research project concerns the influence of Orthodox  Christianity on world politics. Other topics include nationalism in today’s Russia as well as the government-initiated nation-building projects in Belorussia and Moldova. Her recent publications include Politicization of Russian Orthodoxy: Actors and Ideas (Stuttgart: Ibidem-Verlag, 2005). There she argues that the influence of Orthodoxy on socio-political life in contemporary Russia tends to be exaggerated. Instead, the Russian leadership has been attempting to form some kind of civil religion.

Email: anastasia-mit [at]

Nadkarni, Maya

Fellowship period: May 1 – June 30, 2009

Maya Nadkarni is a cultural anthropologist who received her Ph.D. from Columbia University this February. Her research focuses upon memory of the socialist past and the challenge of historical subjectivity under postsocialism. She has published articles on socialist nostalgia, Budapest’s Statue Park Museum of communist monuments and spectacles of criminal and celebrity culture in postsocialist Hungary. At the Aleksanteri Institute, she plans to work on her book manuscript, "Remains of Socialism: Memory and anxieties of the national in postsocialist Hungary", before she returns to Columbia University as a postdoctoral fellow at the Harriman Institute next fall.

Email: man17 [at]

Obradovic, Jelena

Fellowship period: September 23 – December 22, 2008

Jelena Obradovic completed her PhD in Russian and East European Studies at the European Research Institute, University of Birmingham. Her PhD thesis is entitled Victimhood Discourse and Denial of War Crimes: Serbian National Mythology in Narratives of Ethnic Conflict. Her research interests include the Western Balkans and cooperation with ICTY, Serbia and nationalism, “Coming to terms with the past” and denial of war crimes in former Yugoslavia, ethnic conflicts of the 1990s, current political situation in the Balkans, socio-cultural legacies of the 1990s conflicts and human security issues.

Read more about Jelena Obradovic, her research and stay at the Aleksanteri Institute at

Scherrer, Jutta

Fellowship period: May 1 – June 30, 2009

Jutta Scherrer is Director of research at the l’ Ecole des hautes études en sciences sociales, Paris, and a research associate at the Centre Marc Bloch, Berlin. She teaches Russian history and is particularly engaged with analysis of socio-cultural and political phenomena of the 19th and 20th centuries. She has published extensively on Russian intelligentsia, Marxism in Russia, orthodox religion, and religious philosophy. Her more recent work deals with identity construction in post-Soviet Russia.

Jutta Scherrer has been a visiting professor at the University of Columbia and the New School for Social Research, New York, a Fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg, Berlin, "Leibniz-Professor” at the University of Leipzig and Research Fellow at the Centre Marc Bloch, Berlin. She is s member of the scientific council of the Institute of Cultural Studies at Essen (Wissenschaftszentrum Nordrhein-Westfalen), and a member of the scientific councils of the Institute for the Study of Eastern Europe in Leipzig and of the German-Russian museum Berlin-Karlshorst.

Among her recent books:

Requiem für den Roten Oktober. Die russische Intelligenzija im Umbruch, Leipzig 1996.
Kulturologie. Russland auf der Suche nach einer zivilisatorischen Identität, Göttingen 2003.

(With A. Pok and J. Rüsen), European History: Challenge for a Common Future, Hamburg 2002

Email: scherrer [at]

Simons, Gregory

Fellowship period: April 1 – May 31, 2009

Dr Greg Simons gained his doctorate from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand for his thesis titled Ideology, Image-making and the Media in Putin’s Russia in 2004. His primary research focus is on: the Russian mass media, Russian Orthodox Church and crisis communication. He has published a number of articles and small books since, including in the European Journal of Communication and Demokratizatsiya. Currently he is completing two book contracts; on the Russian Orthodox Church and its role in identity and influence with the Edwin Mellan Press in New York, and on the role played by the Russian mass media in Russia’s war on terrorism with Ashgate.

Email: greg.simons [at]

Utekhin, Ilya 

Fellowship period: January 1-31, March 1-31, June 1-30, 2009

Ilya Utekhin, PhD in Anthropology, is Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the European University at St. Petersburg, and Director of the Program on Semiotics and Theory of Communication St. Petersburg State University. He graduated from St. Petersburg State University in 1992 as a linguist, and completed his graduate studies in the Russian Academy of Sciences Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera). Since 1996, he has been teaching at the European University at St. Petersburg. Among the courses he has taught are semiotics, conversational analysis, ethnomethodology, visual anthropology, and methods of field research.

His best known research is in the anthropology of everyday life and in social history of the Soviet society, with particular focus on the ways in which living together in communal apartments reflected the Soviet mentality. Utekhin currently works in cognitive science, conducting research on communicative interaction as a part of socially distributed cognition. His academic interests include the anthropology of technology and human-computer interaction, ethnomethodology, and visual anthropology/visual ethnography.

See also the website - The web-based museum of Soviet everyday life:

Email: ilia [at]

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