101 episodes

The Ellison Center for Russian, East European and Central Asian Studies at the University of Washington promotes in-depth interdisciplinary study of all major post-communist subregions - Eastern and Central Europe, the Baltic region, the Caucasus and Central Asia, and Russia - in order to understand the legacies of the imperial and communist past as well as to analyze the emerging institutions and identities that will shape Eurasia's future.

We share audio of interesting and relevant events hosted by our Center.

The Ellison Center at the University of Washington The Ellison Center at the University of Washington

    • Government
    • 4.5 • 2 Ratings

The Ellison Center for Russian, East European and Central Asian Studies at the University of Washington promotes in-depth interdisciplinary study of all major post-communist subregions - Eastern and Central Europe, the Baltic region, the Caucasus and Central Asia, and Russia - in order to understand the legacies of the imperial and communist past as well as to analyze the emerging institutions and identities that will shape Eurasia's future.

We share audio of interesting and relevant events hosted by our Center.

    Oxana Shevel | Russia and Ukraine: Entangled Histories, Diverging States

    Oxana Shevel | Russia and Ukraine: Entangled Histories, Diverging States

    In February 2022, Russian missiles rained on Ukrainian cities and tanks rolled towards Kyiv to end Ukrainian independent statehood. President Zelensky declined a western evacuation offer and rallied the army and citizens to defend Ukraine. What are the roots of this war which has devastated Ukraine, upended the international legal order, and brought back the spectre of nuclear escalation? How is it that these supposedly “brotherly peoples” became each other’s worst nightmare?

    In Russia and Ukraine: Entangled Histories, Divergent States, Maria Popova and Oxana Shevel explain how over the last thirty years Russia and Ukraine diverged politically ending up on a catastrophic collision course. Russia slid back into authoritarianism and imperialism, while Ukraine consolidated a competitive political system and pro-European identity. As Ukraine built a democratic nation-state, Russia refused to accept it and came to see it as an “anti-Russia” project. After political pressure and economic levers proved ineffective and even counterproductive, Putin went to war to force Ukraine back into the fold of the “Russian world.” Ukraine resisted, determined to pursue European integration as a sovereign state. These irreconcilable goals, rather than geopolitical wrangling between Russia and the West over NATO expansion, are – the authors argue – essential to understanding Russia’s war on Ukraine.

    • 50 min
    Nargis Kassenova & Temur Umarov | Central Asia in the Shadow of Russia's War

    Nargis Kassenova & Temur Umarov | Central Asia in the Shadow of Russia's War

    Nargis Kassenova is a senior fellow and director of the Program on Central Asia at the Davis Center. Prior to joining the center, she was an associate professor at the Department of International Relations and Regional Studies of KIMEP University (Almaty, Kazakhstan). She is the former founder and director of the KIMEP Central Asian Studies Center (CASC) and the China and Central Asia Studies Center (CCASC). Kassenova holds a Ph.D. in international cooperation studies from the Graduate School of International Development, Nagoya University (Japan). Her research focuses on Central Asian politics and security, Eurasian geopolitics, China’s Belt and Road Initiative, governance in Central Asia, and the history of state-making in Central Asia. 

    Temur Umarov is a fellow at the Carnegie Russia Eurasia Center. His research is focused on Central Asian countries’ domestic and foreign policies, as well as China’s relations with Russia and Central Asian neighbors. A native of Uzbekistan, Temur Umarov has degrees in China studies and international relations from the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, and Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO). He holds an MA in world economics from the University of International Business and Economics (Beijing). He is also an alumnus of the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center’s Young Ambassadors and the Carnegie Endowment’s Central Asian Futures programs.

    This webinar will be moderated by Scott Radnitz (Director of the Ellison Center for Russian, East European and Central Asian Studies at the University of Washington).

    • 30 min
    David Ost | Undoing Legal Authoritarianism: The Case of Poland, and its Relevance Elsewhere

    David Ost | Undoing Legal Authoritarianism: The Case of Poland, and its Relevance Elsewhere

    David Ost is a professor of Politics at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York. He has written widely on eastern Europe, with a focus on Poland, labor, class, democracy, and the radical right. His books include Solidarity and the Politics of Anti-Politics, Workers After Workers’ States, The Defeat of Solidarity, and the edited collection “Class After Communism.” Recent articles include “Why (Which) Workers Often Oppose (Which) Democracy?”, “REN PILL Politics in Poland,” and “The Surprising Right-Wing Relevance of the Russian Revolution.” He is currently finishing a book titled “Red Pill Politics: Fascism and Right-Wing Populism.”

    • 37 min
    Christopher Miller | The War Came to Us: Life and Death in Ukraine

    Christopher Miller | The War Came to Us: Life and Death in Ukraine

    When Russian President Vladimir Putin launched his unprovoked, full-scale invasion of Ukraine just before dawn on 24 February 2022, it marked his latest and most overt attempt to brutally conquer the country and reshaped the world order. Christopher Miller, the Ukraine correspondent for the Financial Times and the foremost journalist covering the country, was there on the ground when the first Russian missiles struck and troops stormed over the border. But the seeds of Russia’s war against Ukraine and the West were sown more than a decade earlier.

    This is the definitive, inside story of its long fight for freedom. Told through Miller’s personal experiences, vivid front-line dispatches and illuminating interviews with unforgettable characters, The War Came to Us takes readers on a riveting journey through the key locales and pivotal events of Ukraine’s modern history. From the coal-dusted, sunflower-covered steppe of the Donbas in the far east to the heart of the Euromaidan revolution camp in Kyiv; from the Black Sea shores of Crimea, where Russian troops stealthily annexed Ukraine’s peninsula, to the bloody battlefields where Cossacks roamed before the Kremlin’s warlords ruled with iron fists; and through the horror and destruction wrought by Russian forces in Bucha, Bakhmut, Mariupol, and beyond.

    With candor, wit and sensitivity, Miller captures Ukraine in all its glory: vast, defiant, resilient, and full of wonder. A breathtaking narrative that is at times both poignant and inspiring, The War Came to Us is the story of an American who fell in love with a foreign place and its people – and witnessed them do extraordinary things to escape the long shadow of their former imperial ruler and preserve their independence.

    • 1 hr 12 min
    Volodymyr Kulyk | The Shift Away from Russian in Wartime Ukraine

    Volodymyr Kulyk | The Shift Away from Russian in Wartime Ukraine

    Contrary to Putin’s expectations, most Ukrainians responded to Russia’s full-blown invasion of Ukraine by a stronger attachment to their country and nation. One element of this attachment is an embrace of the national language at both the symbolic and communicative levels. Not only did Ukrainians come to love their language more than before, but they also started to speak it more often in their everyday lives. Or so they say.

    Volodymyr Kulyk is Head Research Fellow at the Institute of Political and Ethnic Studies, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. He has also taught at Columbia, Stanford and Yale Universities, Kyiv Mohyla Academy and Ukrainian Catholic University as well as having research fellowships at Harvard, Stanford, Woodrow Wilson Center, University College London, the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna and other Western scholarly institutions. His research fields include the politics of language, memory and identity as well as political and media discourse in contemporary Ukraine, on which he has widely published in Ukrainian and Western journals and collected volumes. Professor Kulyk is the author of four books, the latest of which is Movna polityka v bahatomovnykh kraïnakh: Zakordonnyi dosvid ta ioho prydatnist’ dlia Ukraïny (Language Policies in Multilingual Countries: Foreign Experience and Its Relevance to Ukraine) that was published in Kyiv in 2021. Currently he is an Adjunct Professor, Division of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages, Stanford University.

    • 42 min
    Alexei Yurchak | Mutations of “Lenin” The Sacred Core of Sovereignty: Soviet, Post-Soviet [...]

    Alexei Yurchak | Mutations of “Lenin” The Sacred Core of Sovereignty: Soviet, Post-Soviet [...]

    Mutations of “Lenin” The Sacred Core of Sovereignty: Soviet, Post-Soviet, Anti-Soviet

    Alexei Yurchak is Professor of Anthropology at University of California, Berkeley. His interests include political anthropology, linguistic anthropology, science and technology studies, anthropology of the
    image and Soviet and post-Soviet studies. He is the author of the award-winning book, Everything Was Forever, Until It Was No More: The Last Soviet Generation. He is currently finishing a book on the political, scientific and aesthetic histories of Lenin’s body that has been maintained by a unique laboratory science for a century.

    • 58 min

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