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MemberSamantha Lomb

I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Foreign Languages at Vyatka State University in Kirov, Russia, where I have been teaching since 2012. I completed my PhD in History at the University of Pittsburgh in 2014. My research focuses on the Stalinist 1930’s. My first publication, “Personal and Political: A Microhistory of the “Red Column” Collective Farm, 1935-36,” was published in January 2016 in The Carl Beck Papers in Russian and East European Studies.  In addition to this monograph, my book, Stalin’s Constitution: Soviet Participatory Politics and the Discussion of the 1936 Draft Constitution, was published in  November 2017 by Routledge.  The book uses a regional focus to examine the discourse between the central state leadership and citizens about the new Soviet social contract, the 1936 Soviet Constitution.

MemberStephanie Spoto

Stephanie Spoto is a lecturer at California State University, Monterey Bay in the department of Humanities and Communication, teaching literature, feminist theory, and writing. In 2013 she was an International Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for Advanced Study – Sofia.  Her research project is “William Lithgow (1582–1645) and Early Modern Scottish Journeys to Eastern Europe”. Education: Stephanie finished her B.A. in English at the University of California in Irvine in 2006, writing her undergraduate thesis on gender and censorship in Milton’s Paradise Lost. She began her PhD at Edinburgh, and was awarded the Centre for Renaissance Studies Research Grant (2009).  At Edinburgh University, she taught first-year English Literature, and has been a reviewer and Reader for the James Tait Black Memorial Prize in Fiction (2010), Biography (2011) and has reviewed for the Forum Postgraduate Journal (2011).  Her dissertation passed with minor corrections, and she graduated in June 2012. She also works as a bookdealer, and enjoys baking cakes and riding her bicycle. Research Interests: Stephanie’s dissertation chronicled the history of European occult philosophy, focusing on Hermeticism and demonology, in order to create a theory of gender within English seventeenth century demonological studies. She is currently working on two research projects:

  • Scottish perceptions of Islam in the seventeenth century
  • A comparative analysis of seeing and recognition in the work of Sartre, Wittgenstein, and Fanon

Her other research interests include anarchism, feminist and queer theory, monstrosity, intersectionality, and teaching methods.

MemberRyan T. Goodman

My research explores the intersection of gender and political culture in England and surrounding realms in the transition from the early to central (or ‘high’) middle ages, c. AD 900-1200, with a particular focus on the relationship between the ideals and practice of masculinity and kingship. I recently completed my PhD in Medieval History at the University of Manchester. My dissertation was entitled ‘”In a Father’s Place”: Anglo-Saxon Kingship and Masculinity in the Long Tenth Century.’ I completed my BA in History and Medieval & Renaissance Studies (2008) and my MA in European History (2012) at East Carolina University in Greenville, NC, where my MA thesis explored ‘The Role of Royal Power in the Formation of an Anglo-Saxon State, circa 400-900 AD.’ I previously served, from 2012–2015, as a Teaching Instructor in East Carolina University’s Department of History, as part of the Italy Intensives study abroad program based in Certaldo, Tuscany. While there, I also served as the program’s Academic Coordinator and Writing Center Director, as well as the Scholarship Committee Chair, Student Life Director, and Social Media Coordinator.

DepositRoman Jakobson and the Transition of German Thought to the Structuralist Paradigm

This short paper, rather than providing a thorough analysis of the very broad theme entailed by its title, aims only to programmatically outline the contours of a general framework for future research on structuralism and its genealogy. In essence, I wish to argue that mainstream approaches to structuralism’s history need to be significantly broadened, not only to better account for the contributions of Eastern and Central European thinkers, but also to take into full consideration structuralism’s deep, complex and rich roots in 19th Century German thought. To make this point, I will succinctly compare three distinct historiographical models of structuralism (“French”, “East-West”, “Jakobsonian”), each of which provides a very rough and selective, yet highly contrastive map of the intellectual and personal networks that underpinned structuralism’s development up to World War II. Thanks to this basic comparative exercise, I hope to highlight the reductionistic, limiting nature of the first two models with regards to the more complete (if not exhaustive or definitive) third one and to cast further light on Jakobson’s crucial function as a communicator, synthesiser and passer of ideas between scholars, disciplines and intellectual traditions.

MemberGabrielle Cornish

Gabrielle Cornish is a PhD candidate in Musicology at the Eastman School of Music. Her research broadly considers music and everyday life in the Soviet Union. In particular, her dissertation traces the intersections between music, technology, and the politics of “socialist modernity” after Stalinism. Her research in Russia has been supported by the Fulbright Program, the Glenn Watkins Traveling Fellowship, and the Cohen-Tucker Dissertation Research Fellowship from the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies. For the 2019-2020 academic year, Gabrielle will be supported by a Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in the Journal of Musicology, Sounding Out!, and Slate. She has appeared as a guest to discuss Russian history, culture, and politics on NBC Nightly News, BBC World Service Television, and BBC Radio Newsday. In her free time, she performs Russian-to-English translation, does freelance graphic design, and makes loud (and soft) noises on drums.

MemberJulia Verkholantsev

I am a scholar of cultural, religious and intellectual history, early modern and medieval literary and linguistic culture. My publications and research are concerned with the cultural space of eastern, central, and southern Europe, particularly, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Bohemia, Poland, Croatia, Hungary, and Rus. In research and teaching, I deal with topics that include the history of and approaches to language, writing, and literacy; pre-modern historical writing and historical methods; Slavic (Cyrillic, Glagolitic, and Latin) and Greek paleography and cryptography; projects and theories of universal language; and Russian medieval and modern literature and culture. As a medievalist, I am convinced that the mapping of pre-modern Europe into the modern East – West divide creates unnecessary gaps between fields of knowledge that are inherently interconnected and impedes a dialogue between scholars who find themselves working in artificially bounded sub-disciplines. In my research and professional service I try to remedy this situation. In my teaching, I examine medieval literary and historical topics in the context of modern society and help students see their importance in the development of contemporary culture, politics, and social norms. I focus on the study of reading strategies of imaginative texts that leads to the advanced understanding of literature as part of cultural history.

MemberNina Janz

I am a Research Associate in the Project in History of Justice. As an archivist, I am researching and inventorying relevant documents for the project. I provide our team with relevant documents and prepares them for the digitalizing and virtual exhibition. I worked as an archivist at the German Federal Archive, in Koblenz and Berlin and at the Military Archive in Freiburg, where I managed requests and inquiries concerning the Wehrmacht, WW II and the fate of POW and other Nazi victims. I supported projects in digitalizing and preservation of documents and worked in a project of the German Historical Moscow to digitalize records of Soviet POW. After my archival career, I began my doctorate at the University of Hamburg in cultural anthropology about the impact of death and violence and the memory of WW II in the post-war period in Germany and Russia. My research focus lies on the commemoration aspects of military dead/war dead and war cemeteries in Germany and Russia, the Holocaust in Eastern Europe and on cultural aspects on the Wehrmacht and military violence during WW II. And secondly, my research interests cover the classical historical research in archives and libraries, digital methods and innovations and the questions of digital preservation and accessibility of historical documents.