Announcing the Decolonization in Focus Seminar Series

This year’s In Focus series will be devoted to decolonizing Slavic studies. Why does it matter and what does it look like? How will these efforts impact teaching, research and professional outputs?

The Russian war in Ukraine has had far-reaching impacts on every level of life, from the personal to the political, as well as on the local, national, and global stage. One of the many ramifications of the war in Ukraine has been the reckoning within the field of East European and Eurasian Studies over the outsized role Russia has played, and what should be done about it. The panelists participating in this series will consider the dynamics of power that have long dominated the region, interrogate how they have impacted the field, and discuss the possibilities for academic study in the future.

The series will have six virtual panels featuring speakers from various disciplines and institutions. Panelists will be encouraged to consider why decolonizing East European & Eurasian studies matters, how to implement concrete changes in the classroom, how to conceive of the future of expertise within the field and more.

For further information on the sessions (including bios for all speakers), please follow the registration link for each session.

PANEL I. Decolonization: Why Does It Matter?

Friday, February 3, 2023, 12 –1:30 pm EST

MODERATOR: Tamar Shirinian, Assistant Professor at the University of Tennessee


  • Epp Annus, Lecturer, Center for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies, Ohio State University
  • Svitlana Biedarieva, Art Historian, Curator, and Artist, Universidad Iberoamericana, Ciudad de México, and the Kyiv School of Economics
  • Marina Mogilner, Associate Professor of History, University of Illinois, Chicago

PANEL II. Discourse and Decolonization: Perspectives from Outside the Anglophone Academy

Friday, February 10, 2023, 12 –1:30 pm EST

MODERATOR: Vitaly Chernetsky, Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Kansas


  • Katarzyna Gorak-Sosnowska, Associate Professor of Economics, Warsaw School of Economic
  • Botakoz Kassymbekova, Assistant Professor of History, University of Basel
  • Irina Sklokina, Historian and Researcher, Lviv Center for Urban History

PANEL III: Emerging Scholars on the State of the Field, Activism, and Advocacy

Friday, February 24, 2023, 12 –1:30 pm EST

MODERATOR: Jessica Pisano, Associate Professor, The New School for Social Research and Eugene Lang College


  • Karolina Koziura, PhD Candidate, New School for Social Research
  • Mariia Shynkarenko, PhD Candidate, New School for Social Research 
  • Amanda Zadorian, Visiting Assistant Professor of Politics, Oberlin College

PANEL IV: Decolonization: Impact Beyond the Ivory Tower?

Friday, March 3, 2023, 12 –1:30 pm EST

MODERATOR: Douglas Rogers, Professor and Chair of Anthropology, Yale University 


  • Erica Marat, Associate Professor and Chair, Regional and Analytical Studies Department, College of International Security and Affairs (CISA), National Defense University
  • Fatima Tlis, Journalist, Voice of America
  • Anna Arays, Librarian for Slavic and East European Studies, Yale University

PANEL V. Syllabus Design and Critical Pedagogies in the Classroom: How Do We Teach Differently?

Friday, March 17, 2023, 12 –1:30 pm EST

MODERATOR: Caress Schenk, Associate Professor of Political Science, Nazarbayev University


  • Shoshana Keller, Chair and William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of History, Director of Russian Studies, Hamilton College
  • Louis Porter, Assistant Professor of History, Texas State University

PANEL VI. The Future of SEEES Expertise: How Can We Anticipate Tomorrow's Differences?

Friday, March 31, 2023, 12 –1:30 pm EST

MODERATOR: Juliet Johnson, Professor of Political Science, McGill University; President, Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies


  • Ilya Gerasimov, Executive Director, Ab Imperio Quarterly, University of Illinois, Chicago
  • Ararat Osipian, Founding Fellow, New University in Exile Consortium, New York
  • Serhy Yekelchyk, Professor of Germanic and Slavic Studies, University of Victoria


This series was developed and executed by the Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies at the University of Pittsburgh and the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University, with support from the Association for Slavic, East European & Eurasian Studies.

The following centers provided additional financial support:

Center for East European and Russian/Eurasian Studies, University of Chicago
Center for Russia, East Europe, and Central Asia, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies, University of Kansas
Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies, University of Michigan
Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies, University of Texas at Austin
Center for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies, Ohio State University
Center for Slavic, Eurasian and East European Studies, UNC-Chapel Hill
Harriman Institute for Russia, Eurasia and East European Studies, Columbia University
Inner Asian and Uralic National Resource Center, Indiana University, Bloomington
Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies, George Washington University
Institute of Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies, University of California, Berkeley
Robert F. Byrnes Russian and East European Institute, Indiana University, Bloomington