Visiting Fellows 2010-2011

Visiting Fellows 2010-2011

Visiting Fellows 2010-2011

Bogdanova, Elena

“Evolution of a Legal Order from the Late-Soviet to the Post-Soviet Russia”
Fellowship period: March 1 – May 31, 2011

Elena A. Bogdanova is Researcher and Acting Deputy Director in the Centre for Independent Social Research, St. Petersburg. She has a Ph.D. (Kandidat nauk) in Sociology since 2006. She has received  the Merit Award Certificate of International Sociological Association for one of her publications. She has taught qualitative methods in sociological research at the State University - Higher School of Economics in St. Petersburg, Department of Sociology.  Currently, she is writing a book on the legal order of the Russian society since the late Soviet period till the present day. Her research interests include anthropology and sociology of law and justice, soviet society, social structure, qualitative methods in sociological research.

Email: el_bogdanova [at]

Bystrova, Irina

“The Military-industrial complex of the USSR and post-Soviet Russia: from the period of the Cold War to the present, 1945-2010”
Fellowship period: January 1 – March 31, 2011

Professor Irina Bystrova is a Leading Research Fellow at the Institute of Russian History, Russian Academy of Sciences and Professor at the Russian State University for Humanities. She holds a Doctoral Degree in Russian History (Doktor nauk, 2002) and Kandidatskaya Degree (1989) in history of the USSR of the XXth century. She has received Fulbright Scholarship twice; she was a visiting researcher in Washington D.C. in November 2008 – May 2009 and August 1997 – April 1998. She has also been a visiting researcher at the Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, Nobel Institute in Oslo and Stanford University in USA. Her recent publications include: “The Cold War 1945-1960. Tokyo-Moscow-Washington” ( Moscow, IDEL, 2009), “Soviet Military-Industrial Complex: Problems of Creation and Development (1930s-1980s)” (Moscow, The Inst. of Russian History, 2006) and “The Military-industrial Complex of the USSR in the Years of the Cold War (second half of 1940s- early 1960s)” (The Inst. of Russian History, 2000)

Email: irin-bystrova1 [at ]

Harris, Jane Gary

“The Culture of Aging: The Reality Behind the Fiction in Contemporary Russia”
Fellowship period: May 1 – 30 June, 2011

Jane Gary Harris is Professor of Russian Language, Literature and Culture at the University of Pittsburgh. She earned an MSW in Gerontology (2003) to pursue research on issues of aging and the elderly in contemporary Russian culture for her current project, ‘The Culture of Aging: The Reality Behind the Fiction’. Papers include: ‘Images of Aging and the Elderly in Contemporary Russian Prose,’ ‘Attitudes towards Aging and the Elderly in the Contemporary Russian Press,’ ‘Myth and Reality: Aging and the Elderly in Russia Today,’ 'Ages, Stages, and Aging in Tolstoy's War and Peace.' Publications include topics in Russian Literature (Mandelstam: The Complete Critical Prose and Letters, Ardis, 1979, 1990; Osip Mandelstam, G.K. Hall, 1988 ), Autobiography (Autobiographical Statements in Twentieth-Century Russian Literature, Princeton, 1990), and Gender studies (‘The Crafting of a Self: Lidiia Ginzburg’s Early Journal’; ‘Women’s Periodicals in Early Twentieth-Century Russia’) and ‘Serving the Elderly in Russia Today: Informal Care Networks and Formal Social Services in St. Petersburg (2005-2008)’ (forthcoming in Gazing at Welfare, Gender and Agency in Post-socialist Countries, Cambridge Scholars Publishing. )

Email: jpgharris2003 [at]

Mikeshin, Mikhail

“Nordic Countries in Political Ideas of Russian Ambassador Simon Vorontsov”
Fellowship period: January 1 - February 28, 2011

Professor Mikhail Mikeshin is Professor of Philosophy at St. Petersburg State Mining Institute (Technical University) and Director of St. Petersburg Center for the History of Ideas. He holds a Doctoral Degree (Doktor nauk, 2005) in history of philosophy and Kandidatskaya Degree (1986) in history and methodology of science. He was a visiting researcher and a participant of the East-West Seminar, Muenster University, Germany, 17 July - 18 August 1995; a visiting research fellow of the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, Edinburgh University, Scotland (a Caledonian Research Foundation / Royal Society of Edinburgh Fellowship), 01 April - 31 May 2000; a visiting scholar and professor at Smith College, Northampton, MA, USA, in 2002 and 2006.

He has been the leader or a collaborator of more than forty research, conference and summer school grants of national and international foundations. He worked as an expert of the Civic Education Project. He is also a co-editor of 36 issues of “The Philosophical Age” almanac (1996-2010). His recent publications include: “A.M. Beloselsky-Belozersky and His Philosophical Heritage” (St. Petersburg, 2008), “The Reception of the British Socio-Philosophical Thought in Russia in 18-19 Centuries” (St. Petersburg, 2006), “Social Philosophy of the Scottish Enlightenment” (St. Petersburg, 2005) and “M.S. Vorontsov. A Metaphysical Portrait in the Landscape” (St. Petersburg, 1997).

See also the website
Personal blog:

Email: literatus18 [at]

Nadkarni, Maya

“Subjects of Crisis:  Anxieties of national identity in postsocialist Hungary”
Fellowship period: June 1 – June 30, 2011

Maya Nadkarni received her Ph.D. in cultural anthropology at Columbia University and is currently Visiting Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Swarthmore College.  Her research focuses upon memory of the socialist past and the challenges of national 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, and she is also completing a book manuscript titled “Remains of Socialism:  Memory, nation, and the afterlives of state socialism in Hungary”.  At the Aleksanteri Institute, she plans to complete two articles from her current research project on rhetorics of crisis and cultural anxiety in contemporary Hungary.

Email: nadkarni.maya [at]

(Previous visiting period May 1 – June 30, 2009 "Remains of Socialism: Memory and anxieties of the national in postsocialist Hungary")

Ochirova, Irina

“Russia’s Foreign Policy as a Tool of its Modernization”
Fellowship period: October 1 – November 30, 2010

Irina Ochirova has recently completed her doctoral degree (Dr. phil) in European Studies at the Institute for European Studies of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences of the Chemnitz University of Technology. Her doctoral thesis with the title “The EU’s Kaliningrad Policy: Mapping the Place of the Kaliningrad Oblast of the Russian Federation inside the European Union” is dedicated to EU-Russia relations in general and the EU’s policy towards its Russian exclave in particular. Ochirova has MA in Gender Studies from the Central European University/Budapest and in European Studies from the Bulgarian-Romanian Interuniversity Europe Centre/Rousse, Bulgaria. Her primary research interests include Russia’s foreign policy and EU-Russia relations. The current project focuses on the role of Russia’s foreign policy in its strategy for modernization. She is currently Lecturer at the Department of European Integration of the Chemnitz University of Technology.

Email: irinaochirova [at]

Rat, Christina

“Undeserving daughters of hero mothers. Family policies and poverty in rural Romania”
Fellowship period: September 15 – November 15, 2010

Dr. Cristina Rat is Lecturer at the Sociology Department of the “Babes-Bolyai” University Cluj-Napoca. She received PhD in Sociology at the same university in November 2008, with the thesis: “The Social Segregation of the Poor in Romania during Post-Socialist Transition. The Impact of Welfare Transfers”. Her most recent publications include: “The Impact of Minimum Income Guarantee Schemes in Central and Eastern Europe” (2009) in Cerami, A., Vanhuysee, P. (eds.)  Post-Communist Welfare Pathways: Theorizing Social Policy  Transformations in CEE, Basignstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 164-181; and, together with  Livia Popescu and Adina Rebeleanu (2008): “Quasi-Marketization and Security in Health Care Systems: The Case Study of the North-Western Region of Romania”, Studia Universitatis “Babes-Bolyai” Seria Sociologia, Vol. 53(2), pp. 79-99.

Email: crat [at]

Segert, Dieter

"Were They Tactical Democrats Only? Reformer in State Socialism as Actors of Democratization and Their Present Heritage"
Fellowship period: April 1 – May 31, 2011

Dieter Segert is Professor of Political Science and Head of the Institute of Political Science at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Vienna. He was born in 1952 in Salzwedel (GDR) and studied philosophy in Berlin (HUB) and Moscow (MGU). Since 1978 he has been Assistant Professor/Professor at Humboldt University Berlin, and he is co-founder of the academic discipline political science in GDR (1989-1990). In fall-winter 1989-1990 he was one of the activists of a rank and file movement within the state party SED. He has been Guest Professor at University of Bath, Charles University Prague and European University Viadrina in Frankfurt (Oder). He was employed by the German Agency for Civic Education in Bonn in 2002-2005.

Email: dieter.segert [at ]

Steila, Daniela

“Russian Philosophy and its own History: a Contribution to the Reconstruction of National Identity in Post-Soviet Russia”
Fellowship period: August 1 – September 30, 2010

Daniela Steila is Professor of History of Philosophy at the University of Turin (Italy). She studied in Turin, Saint Petersburg, and Paris, and received her PhD at the University of Florence in 1991. She wrote on Russian Marxists (Plekhanov, Bogdanov, Gor'kij, Lunacharskij), Russian reception of empiriocriticism, Russian philosophical historiography, and the philosophical implications of L. S. Vygotskij's thought. Her research interests include the interactions between Russian and European philosophies since the 19th century, the quest for "Russian identity", and the history of Russian thought. Among her books are Genesis and Development of Plekhanov's Theory of Knowledge (Kluwer, 1991) and Scienza e rivoluzione. La recezione dell’empiriocriticismo nella cultura russa (1877-1910) (Le Lettere, 1996). Her current project concerns the role of the history of Russian philosophy within the definition of national identity in Post-Soviet Russia.

Email: daniela.steila [at]

Tesser, Lynn

“Ethnic Separation or European Integration?  The Impact of Contradictory Peace Projects in Central Europe and the Balkans”
Fellowship period: January 1 – February 28, 2011

Lynn Tesser teaches international relations courses at the new International University of Sarajevo.  Prior to Sarajevo, she spent several years in Washington, D.C. at the U.S. Institute of Peace, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and the Center for American Progress.  Tesser completed her Ph.D. in political science from the University of Chicago in 2003.  She then taught at Loyola University Chicago and later at American University’s School of International Service.  She is also the recipient of numerous fellowships from the Fulbright Commission, MacArthur and Mellon Foundations, and the Social Science Research Council, among others, and has had articles published in East European Politics and Society, Communist and Post-Communist Studies, and Geopolitics.   She is presently completing a book entitled The Aftermath of Ethnic Cleansing in a 'Post-National' European Union.

Email: lmtesser [at]

Toepfl, Florian

"Reconstructing Stalin. A Comparative Study of Media Discourses on State Television, in Print Media and in the Blogosphere”
Fellowship period: August 1 – October 31, 2010

Dr. Florian Toepfl received his Ph.D. in political science from the University of Passau in Southern Germany in July 2009. After finishing his thesis, he worked as a Lecturer at the LMU University, Munich, for six months. In the academic year 2009/10, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Harriman Institute for Russian Studies at Columbia University, New York. At the Harriman Institute, he coordinated a project on “New Modes of Communication in the Post-Soviet World” which he plans to continue after his stay in Helsinki. In his Ph.D. thesis, Dr. Toepfl investigated the transformation of Post-Soviet media systems in the years after 1985. Recently, his research focused on the impact of the growing internet usage on Russian politics. Two papers on “Scandals on the Russian Internet” and on “The Blogs of Russian Governors” are to be published shortly.

Project website:

Email: florian [at]

Torsello, Davide

“Theory and practices of political corruption and institutional trust in Eastern Europe"
Fellowship period: August 1 – September 30, 2010

Davide Torsello is Associate Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Bergamo, Italy. In 1999 he obtained an MSc in Social Anthropology from the London School of Economics. In 2003 he received his PhD from the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle/Saale. His main research interests are: trust, social networks, corruption and civil society. He has undertaken fieldwork based research in Japan, postsocialist Central Eastern Europe and Italy. He has published extensively in English, Italian and other languages in academic journals, and is the author of seven books, among which in English: Trust, property and social change in a southern Slovakian village (Lit Verlag 2003) and Social networks in movement: time, interaction and interethnic spaces in Central Eastern Europe (co-edited with Melinda Pappova, Lilium Aurum 2003).

Email: davide.torsello [at] 

Vittuari, Matteo

“Renewable Energy Governance in Rural Balkans: the Case of Bosnia and Herzegovina."

Fellowship period: March 15-June 15, 2011

Matteo Vittuari is currently post-doctoral researcher at the Department of Agricultural Economics and Engineering at the University of Bologna. He completed his Laurea in Economics at the University of Bologna where he received also a PhD in International Cooperation and Sustainable Development Policies. He has been also post-doctoral fellow at the Sustainability Science Programme at the Kennedy School of Government at the Harvard University (2009).

He has been visiting researcher in a number of universities and research institutions, including FAPRI – Food and Agricultural Research Institute – University of Missouri (Colombia, 2007 and 2008), the K.U. Leuven (Leuven, 2004), University of Banja Luka (Banja Luka, 2007 and 2008). He is collaborating since several years with the UniAdrion Network on different projects of cooperation related to the Adriatic-Ionian Basin.

He is specialized in agricultural and rural development policies related fields with a specific focus on Central Eastern Europe and the Balkans: agricultural and rural policy analysis and evaluation; agricultural and rural areas transformation and change; bioenergy. Most of his research activities and publications are on agricultural and rural change in Central Eastern Europe and the Balkans, European integration issues, multifunctional role of agriculture, bioenergy.

Email: matteo.vittuari [at]

Worobec, Christine

“Moving Faith: Pilgrimages in Modern Russia and Ukraine, 1700 to the Present”
Fellowship period: March 20 – May 20, 2011

Christine D. Worobec is Board of Trustees and Distinguished Research Professor at Northern Illinois University. A recipient of numerous NEH fellowships, a 2010 fellowship from the Institute of Advanced Studies in Paris, and Outstanding Achievement Award from the Association for Women in Slavic Studies, she has published widely on Russian and Ukrainian peasants, women and gender issues, and religious history. Both her Peasant Russia: Family and Community in the Post-Emancipation Period (Princeton University Press, 1991) and Possessed: Women, Witches, and Demons in Imperial Russia (Northern Illinois University, 2001) won the Heldt Prize. Her recent publications include the co-edited two-volume Women and Gender in Central and Eastern Europe, Russia, and Eurasia: A Comprehensive Bibliography (M.E. Sharpe, 2007); the edited The Human Tradition in Imperial Russia (Rowman and Littlefield, 2009); and “The Unintended Consequences of a Surge in Pilgrimages in Late Imperial Russia,” Russian History 36 (2009): 62-76.


Email: worobec [at]