BIO:Andrew Wachtel is the president of the American University of Central Asia in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Previously he was dean of The Graduate School and director of the Roberta Buffett Center for International and Comparative Studies at Northwestern University. A fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, his interests range from Russian literature and culture to East European and Balkan culture, history and politics to contemporary Central Asia. His most recent published books are The Balkans in World History (Oxford UP, 2008) Russian Literature (with Ilya Vinitsky, Polity Press, 2008), and Remaining Relevant After Communism: The Role of the Writer in Eastern Europe(U. of Chicago Press, 2006). He is also active as a translator from Russian, Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian and Slovene and his book of translations of the Russian poet Anzhelina Polonskaya, Paul Klee’s Boat (Zephyr Press, 2014) was short-listed for the 2014 PEN Poetry Translation Prize.
Denis Akhapkin is a professor in Smolny Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Saint-Petersburg State University, where he also directs the Centre for Writing and Critical Thinking and is responsible for the core curriculum. In 2012-2016 he served as the Smolьny’s deputy dean for education. His research interests include modern Russian literature with an emphasis on poetry and poetics, literary linguistics, and cognitive literature studies. He was a visiting research fellow at Helsinki University Collegium (2007), as well as at The Princess Dashkova Russian Centre, University of Edinburgh (2014). Denis is an associate international member of the Institute for Writing and Thinking, Bard College (USA).
BIO:Greg Yudin earned his BA & MA degrees in Sociology at the Higher School of Economics, Moscow, and his PhD in Philosophy (2012) at the University of Manchester. He is currently a Senior Researcher in the Laboratory for Studies in Economic Sociology at the Higher School of Economics. His main areas of research are democratic theory and economic anthropology. His papers have been published in the leading international and Russian peer-reviewed journals in philosophy, sociology, and anthropology. Greg is also currently heading the first MA program in Political Philosophy in Russia at Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences. He is a regular columnist for Vedomosti newspaper and the Internet magazine Republic. He is doing his second PhD in Politics at The New School in New York.
BIO:Edmund J. and Louise W. Kahn Term Professor in the Humanities, Chair, Program in Comparative Literature and Literary Theory, University of Pennsylvania. Kevin is a cultural historian and holds a Ph.D. from Stanford University. He works on the representation of history and collective memory in Russia, Russian historiography, Russian lyric poetry, and post-Soviet Russian culture. He is author of History in a Grotesque Key: Russian Literature and the Idea of Revolution (Stanford University Press, 1997; Russian translation, Academic Project, 2007) and Terror and Greatness: Ivan and Peter as Russian Myths (Cornell University Press, 2011). Currently, he is completing work on the book Culture Inside Out: Russians In Latvia and working on a project concerning Russian historiography from the 18th to the 21st centuries.
BIO:Nikolai Ssorin-Chaikov is Associate Professor at the Higher School of Economics, St. Petersburg. He graduated in History/Ethnography from Moscow State University (1987), and received his MA (1991) and PhD (1998) in Anthropology from Stanford University. He taught social anthropology at the University of Cambridge from 2001-2015. He specialises in Siberia and Russia, but has also carried out research in Britain and the United States. His research interests include anthropology and history of the state and governance, exchange theory, time, anthropology of aesthetics, and history of anthropology. Publications include The Topography of Happiness: ethnographic contours of modernity (in Russian: Topografia schastia: etnograficheskie karty moderna) Moscow: New Literary Observer Publishers 2013; special issue Ethnographic Conceptualism of the journal Laboratorium (2013), Gifts to Soviet leaders. Exhibition Catalogue (Pinakotheke 2006) and monograph The Social Life of the State in Subarctic Siberia (Stanford University Press 2003)
Alyona graduated from the University of Tyumen in 2014 majoring in Document Keeping. In 2016, she got a Master’s degree in Public Administration. Alyona is a holder of the Scholarship of the Governor of the Tyumen Region (2013 – 2014). She has gained experience in a variety of jobs: Tymen executive agencies, Department of Education and Science of the Tyumen Region (2014 – 2015), Department of Investment Policy and State Support of Enterprising of Tyumen Region (2015 – 2016).
Andrey (PhD, St. Petersburg State University; PhD, University of California, Berkeley) was a Mellon postdoctoral fellow at the Society of Fellows in the Humanities and a lecturer at Columbia University (2006-2009) and a Newton international research fellow of the British Academy at the University of Sheffield (2009-2011). Since 2012 – associate professor at Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO, since 2016 – director of the School of Advanced Studies, University of Tyumen.
Arina received her bachelor’s degree in International Relations from the University of Tyumen in 2016. She did her internship at the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) Regional Office in Moscow. Also, for one year, she worked at Willstätter High School.
She has a successful experience in organizing events in the field of intercultural communication. She is a participant and organizer of cultural and business missions of government and business structures to Pakistan, Great Britain and the United Arab Emirates; Russian-German youth exchanges "Let's Get Creative - Learning by doing!" and "Siberian Western", such student projects as the International Youth Conference "Tyumen Model UN", the "Ural International" at the Ural Youth Forum "Utro", the National Forum for Leaders of International Education "COMMUNITY", the Federal School of Student Government "Prodvizhenie". Arina is a holder of the Oxford Russia Fund scholarship, Governor of Tyumen region scholarship, as well as German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) scholarships.
Ekaterina graduated from Tomsk State University and the Open University SKOLKOVO. Since 2012, she has been cooperating with Russian development institutes and think tanks in the field of education, regional development, technology and innovations: SKOLKOVO Foundation, Center for Strategic Research, The Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO, Agency for Strategic Initiatives, World Bank, RUSNANO.
Ekaterina is the moderator of educational programs and strategic sessions for Russian universities: Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, National Research Nuclear University MEPhI (Moscow Engineering Physics Institute), National University of Science and Technology MISiS, Far Eastern Federal University, Tomsk State University, Novosibirsk State University, Kazan Federal University, Samara National Research University, Moscow State University of Education.
She participated in the Open University SKOLKOVO (2012 – 2014), Basics of Project Activities (Far Eastern Federal University), Foresight school (2015 – 2016), National Technology Initiative (2015 – 2017). In addition, she is the certified moderator of the Rapid Foresight Metodology and supervisor of the Foresight school.
Ekaterina worked on urban development strategies for various Russian cities. She took part in development and holding more than one hundred strategy, analytical, project and foresight sessions for youth forums, scientific conferences, educational institutions, IT companies, medium and small businesses.
Shakhlo received her bachelor’s degree in International Relations from the University of Tyumen in 2016. She is now working towards a master’s degree in World Politics. From January – July 2017, Shakhlo did her internship at the Tallinn University. Her professional experience includes: international volunteering (Judo Grand-Slam Tyumen, 2014 – 2016; Winter Swimming World Championship 2016); translation service (course SDG «Transforming the World: Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals», SDSNEDU). Shakhlo is a holder of the Oxford Russia Fund fellowship (2014-2015, 2015-2016).
- Work fiction
- Refusal of work / Inoperativity / Strike
- Politics of refusal
- Human strike
- Comparative literature
- Theories of community
- Theories of the event
- Italian feminisms
- Irish studies
In 2016-2017 Anne Mulhall was Artemis A.W. and Martha Joukowsky Postdoctoral Fellow in Comparative Literature at the Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on Women at Brown University. She completed a PhD in Comparative Literature (Cultural and Critical Theory focus) at King's College London in December 2015. She has an MA in Comparative Literature from New York University and an MA in Anglo-Irish Literature from University College Dublin, where she also completed her BA in English and Philosophy. Her current work addresses a series of questions surrounding the culture of information, work, and human agency in contemporary European and US thought.
Anne's new book project, "Philosophy, Redemption, and the New Literature of the Office" will address how contemporary literature (French, German, Italian and US) has articulated an urgent new philosophical approach to work. Starting from the hypothesis that the human has become a mere agent in the systems of the knowledge economy, she tries to illuminate how this recent boom in office literature has sought to disrupt casual identifications of work and life. Through descriptions of what she calls ‘metaphysical overflow’, a ‘being-human’ bodily momentum that manifests itself in moments of breakdown, illness, idleness, fatigue, and laughter, this literature, she argues, has offered a redemptive refusal of cybernetic work infrastructures. Her project fuses literary, philosophical and political-theoretical methodologies. This research has so far generated an article for a volume of Modern and Contemporary France, “Work in Crisis” (2017).
Her new work evolved out of her PhD thesis, “Tiqqun and the Event: Literature, Philosophy, Politics”, which examines Tiqqun, a philosophical journal published in France between 1999 and 2001. Drawing on the Kabbalistic teaching of Tikkun Olam (destruction and repair of the world), Tiqqun articulates a philosophical critique of new configurations of capitalism and imperial domination at the dawn of the twenty-first century. Focusing on how the collective (also called Tiqqun) use imaginary figures, or “conceptual personae,” [link 1, p.61-84] as the mouthpieces of their philosophy, the book explores how they create fidelities to a series of political, literary, and artistic “events”. Their unique philosophy of being, she argues, is one that constructs contemporary subjectivity in a relationship with the past, while simultaneously outlining a future shape of resistance that defies both frameworks and demands. Emerging from this work so far is an article on the politics of hospitality, surveillance, and the female urban explorer in millennial spaces (forthcoming with New Formations) and another exploring Tiqqun’s relationship with the work of James Joyce, currently being revised for James Joyce Quarterly. She is currently revising her PhD manuscript for publication. This year at Brown, she taught a class on the afterlives of 1970s and 80s radical Italian feminisms.
- Killerrobots (drones)
- Automation and automated thinking
- Pattern of life analysis
- Criteria-based reasoning
- Civilian casualties
- Hannah Arendt
BIO:Brian Smith received his PhD in Political Science from Boston University. He also earned an MS in Ethics and Public Policy from Suffolk University. Broadly he works in political theory/philosophy. Additional information is available here.
RESEARCH INTERESTS:Brian’s project deals with the problems of automation and automated decision-making, especially as it pertains to acts of violence. This project pays special attention to Hannah Arendt’s critique of robot soldiers in her essay On Violence. Arendt argues that the advent of nuclear weapons and robot soldiers fundamentally threatened the ascendance of power over violence. In a world where one man, with the push of a button, can kill whomever he wishes, the supremacy of violence over power is virtually complete. What interests Brian about this material, and what he hopes to show in his project, is that Arendt offers a novel critique of America’s targeted killing program, one that moves beyond the usual problems of proportionality (whether civilians are being inordinately targeted) and international legality (whether drone strikes violate state sovereignty, among other things). More broadly, the project looks at the corrosive effect of automated thinking and criteria-based reasoning has had on certain kinds of decision-making. For example, there seems to be a clear family resemblance between the computerized Aegistargeting system that was used to take down Iranian Airflight 655 (in 1988) and the way the US government generates its “kill lists,” a procedure that has also been called “pattern of life analysis,” or more colloquially, “death by meta data” These developments are very troubling, but they can be traced back to certain policy modeling techniques that emerged in the US during World War II. Arendt was a nearly critic of these methodologies.
- Integral Theory
- Economic Theories of De-growth
- Decision Making and Policy Development
David Dusseault, (PhD / MA University of Helsinki) is a political scientist by training and a policy analyst by trade. David’s Master’s work focused on International Relations and normative theories of Democracy. Later on, his doctoral research homed in on elite risk assessments as keys to regime consolidation when applied to the political economy of Russia’s regions and federal institutions during the Yeltsin period (1992–2000).
Out of his PhD research grew an interest in various structures which define the hydrocarbon business, the drivers behind energy policy formation, and the practical knock-on effects produced by the energy trade. By 2011, David was hired as Senior Market Analyst for the Finnish natural gas distribution company Gasum OY. There, he covered structural changes in the energy trade related to making hydrocarbons greener, more sustainable and yet commercially profitable.
As a member of the Cultures of Rationality research group here at SAS, David’s intellectual interests are now focused on the calculi of decision making under increasing systemic uncertainty. To contend with the topic, he is employing a generalized model of Integral Theory to global events. Through this novel approach the intention is to discern to what extent specific logics / codes / programs which underpin public expressions of individual, institutional and organizational interests can be qualified and applied to both research and real-world circumstances.
In a related probe, David is scrutinizing the concept of information as the trendy solution for the challenges facing policy makers. According to preliminary findings, information in and of itself is a commodity like any other; quality and quantity are necessary but hardly sufficient factors in determining its ultimate worth to the policy process in an increasingly uncertain world. The question he intends to tackle concerns descriptive and causal inference related to the influence of information at points of saturation and scarcity along trajectories of the policy formation process.
Finally, David is investigating the implications that may be drawn from a deeper structural examination of Nonpolarity (Haass 2008). In line with Taleb’s concept of Antifragility (2012), existing frames of reference (paradigms, concepts, & technology) used to navigate the contemporary world are designed more to provide insight into the problems of the past than to deal with the challenges posed by an uncertain future. Subsequently, relative uncertainty is a product of employing antiquated tools, to produce increasing amounts of data devoid of inference, in defense of the business as usual case, which is no longer business in content or usual in context.
- Petroleum performances – petroleum histories, technologies, culture and rhetoric
- Science and technology studies, technocultural studies
- Global warming politics, local/global intervals and articulations
- Native American and Indigenous studies
- Human – nonhuman relations
- Ontological politics and translation
- Ecological art, culture and rhetoric; ecological critique and philosophy
- Chinese ecological art and thought, jianghu studies
- Theatre and performance research methods
- Popular graphic culture, comics, manga, graphic novels, posters, and anime.
At the School of Advanced Studies, duskin drum is a founding professor and researcher in the Material Relations research group. He is an interdisciplinary scholar, artist, performer, and woodsman. In 2017, he completed a doctorate in Performance Studies with designated emphases in Native American Studies, and Science and Technology Studies at University of California, Davis. In 2005, he earned a Bachelors of Arts studying interdisciplinary theatre and performance at Evergreen State College . For 15 years, duskin has been making art and performance in Asia, Europe and the Americas.
The Material Relations research group is an interdisciplinary collaboration devising a new theory of love for studying ecologically substantiating human-nonhuman relations including technological relations. duskin is particular interested in nonhumans loving humans, or where people understand and feel themselves to be loved by non-human entities or materials. How does accepting speculation of universal sentience and vitality of nonhumans change the study of material relations?
From his dissertation study of petroleum performances and professional art career, Duskin brings a broad theoretical engagement with material relations at the intersections of indigenous studies, social cultural anthropology, science and technology studies, and ecological art production.
Duskin is considering practices of love in substantive more-than-human human relationships such as petroleum, salmon, and server farms. He also wants to critique how love figures scientific research and language. He is deeply interested ethical and deontic regulations enacted by material entanglements with substantiating nonhuman and more-than-human arrangements.
Duskin’s interests in both the petroleum complex and indigenous legal systems emerge from analyzing and speculating about human-nonhuman ecological relations.
Duskin researches using methods from art practices, cultural anthropology, science and technology studies, ecological criticism, and indigenous studies. Duskin has been developing an innovative performance method. He devises participatory performances that submerge the participants in the crucial questions of his research.
He is also interested in comparative studies of knowledge production by contributing methods like creative practice-as-research, innovations from theatre and performance, and indigenous knowledge practices.
Duskin is also interested in anime, manga and other graphic storytelling.
TEACHING INTERESTS AND APPROACHES
Duskin's educational background is interdisciplinary, seminar-style and project-driven learning. Even in large lecture classes, he break students into small groups for discussion and activities. He combines reading, writing and experiential learning using techniques from digital media, theatre, performance, and participatory art. Somatic exercises, improvisations, meditation, collaborative writing exercises and performances expose students to and activate different modes of attention and learning.
In his electives, Duskin supports students making final projects in mediums other than the textual essay or report. He encourages students to produce all kinds of media or performance projects instead of traditional essays, and teaches them to develop critical skills appropriate to each medium. In these kinds of practices-as-research projects students keep a reflective production journal that is submitted along with their project, and write a short critical essay reflecting on their creative processes and outcomes of their project. Self-reflection is practical and theoretical. Reflection about personal work becomes a means by which critical ideas, frameworks and interpretations can move from creative practice into other skills and work/study situations.
- Art history and criticism
- Cross-cultural representation
- Modernism & Modernity
- Periodical studies
- Visual culture
- World Art
BIO:Erika Wolf is an art historian with particular interest in modernism and modernity, Soviet visual culture, propaganda, and cross-cultural representation. A native New Yorker, from 2013 to 2018 she was an Associate Professor in the Department of History and Art History at the University of Otago (New Zealand), where she taught since 2003. She completed a bachelor degree in Sociology and Science in Human Affairs at Princeton University, after which she was a curatorial studies fellow in the Whitney Museum’s Independent Study Program. After working several years at the Whitney, she took up graduate study at the University of Michigan, completing a doctorate in the History of Art and a master degree in Russian & Eastern European Studies. She has received fellowships from the Fulbright Foundation, the International Research Exchange Board, the Center for Advanced Studies of the Visual Arts, the Kennan Institute, and the Harriman Institute. She has contributed to exhibition projects at international art museums, including the Reina Sofia in Madrid and the Art Institute of Chicago. In 2012, the International Center of Photography granted an Infinity Award to the Reina Sofia publication The Worker Photography Movement, an anthology to which she made extensive contributions and provided assistance in editing and translation for the English edition. She was recently named an Honorary Research Associate of the Graduate School for East and Southeast European Studies, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and Regensburg University, Germany.
RESEARCH INTERESTS:The bulk of my research engages with photography, a medium that traverses diverse fields of knowledge. I approach photography in a manner that transcends disciplinary boundaries, engaging with photography in the mass media, its relation to written texts, its role in the construction of history, and a diverse range of photographic genres (press photography, posters, exhibition environments, photomontage, penal photography, and children’s photography). This research synthesizes the examination of photographs in diverse contexts, archival research into the individuals and institutions engaged in photographic activities, historical and contemporary photographic theory, and the technological apparatus of image making and reproduction.My work is noted for contributing visual and transnational dimensions to scholarship on Soviet history, as it often engages with cultural exchange and cross-cultural representation. Dismissed as "kitsch" during the Cold War, Soviet culture is highly stereotyped yet largely terra incognita. Hence, a key aspect of my methodology is the close study and reading of visual sources. This has also led me to incorporate both visual and textual primary sources into my publications. I work closely with the Ne boltai! Collection, an archive of 20th century political art. My recent book Aleksandr Zhitomirsky: Photomontage as a Weapon of World War 2 and the Cold War (2016, Art Institute of Chicago and Yale University Press) draws extensively upon this collection. Currently I am completing two book manuscripts: Photography and Russia (for Reaktion Press’s history of photography series “Exposures”) and USSR in Construction: A Modernist Propaganda Magazine for the Stalinist Regime.Since coming to New Zealand, I have pursued research on Australasian photography and the work of contemporary indigenous Pacific Island artists, who employ new media to critique the legacy of colonialism. In this area, I am presently developing a multi-authored book project with the Samoan artist Yuki Kihara.
- Religious studies
- Conceptual history
- Discursive practices
- Material culture
- Digital humanities
- Early modern Europe
- Eastern Europe and Russia
Evgeny Grishin is a historian of Europe and Russia in the period of early modernity with particular interests in language, religion, and materiality. He received his Bachelor’s degree in History and Law from Viatka State University of Humanities in Kirov and his Master’s degree in Russian History from the European University at St. Petersburg. In 2017 Evgeny earned his PhD degree with honors in History from the University of Kansas. He has been awarded scholarships from the Fulbright Foundation, Gerda Henkel Stiftung, German Historical Institute, among others.
Evgeny’s current research concerns the role of language in the identification and consequent persecution of religious dissent, specifically of Russian religious groups known collectively as the “Schism” (Raskol), or the Old Belief (staroverie). The study treats language not as merely a means of communication, but rather as a complex social practice (link 1, link 2). At the same time, Evgeny views religion as an important part of human experience not reducible to ideology or institutions. He takes part in several international projects (link 1, link 2) directed towards the study of religious discourses and ideas in Early Modern Russia. However, Evgeny’s research interests go beyond language and into the realm of material culture. He is specifically interested in the ways multiple identities are being constructed and manifested through material objects. The adoration of the tangible iconic images in various Christian cultures serve as an example of this phenomenon. More generally, Evgeny would like to explore the process of formation and manifestation of national, regional, cultural, religious, and other kinds of group identities in their connection to the tangible world. Yet, on an even larger scale, he is interested in moving historical research beyond textual enquiry towards an interdisciplinary investigation of the material, visual, and geographic dimensions of human existence. Tools provided by the relatively new field of Digital Humanities open immense opportunities for such an ambitious project.
- Computer Science
- Physics and metaphysics
- Artificial intelligence
- Machine learning
Fabio Grazioso graduated in physics in Naples (Italy) at “Università degli studi di Napoli - Federico II”, with a thesis on nonlinear optics. He then worked as a research specialist in a spin-off company of the same University, on a project for experimental Quantum Cryptography, which involved Quantum Optics, IT and Electronics. In Oxford (England) he obtained his PhD (2011), with a thesis in Solid-State Physics and Quantum Optics.
He has been post-doctoral fellow at the École Normale Superiéure de Cachan, in Paris (France), where he worked on both Information Theory and experimental Quantum Cryptography. Then in Montreal (Canada), at Université de Montréal, in the Laboratoire d'Informatique Théorique et Quantique (Laboratory of Theoretical Information Science and Quantum Information Science) he worked with Gilles Brassard on Quantum Complexity Theory. He did a third postdoctoral internship in the Nonlinear Photonics Group, at the Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique (INRS), leading a project on experimental Quantum Cryptography and Nonlinear Integrated Optics. At INRS he has also been involved in other projects related to Quantum Optics and Quantum Entanglement.
As the son of a high school Philosophy teacher he has always had a keen interest for this discipline, in particular Epistemology and its links with the Foundations of Quantum Mechanics. Beside the academic career, Fabio has a long experience as a professional IT consultant, network administrator and web developer.
At SAS, Fabio will be teaching IT and other topics related to Computer Science. He will also do research in the group Cultures of Rationality.
Fabio’s past career has developed around the subject of Quantum Information Science, following an interdisciplinary path that goes from Theoretical and Experimental Quantum Optics and Solid State Physics, to Quantum Information Theory, Quantum Complexity Theory and the Foundations of Quantum Mechanics.
The theme connecting all his career steps, since his undergraduate studies, is his interest in the concept of information content of a (quantum) physical system. This is well represented and discussed in his paper on Classical and Quantum Information Theory. At SAS he has joined the research group on Cultures of Rationality.
- Metaphysics of Time
- Free Will
- Time Travel
- Future Contingents
Giacomo Andreoletti studied philosophy at the State University of Milan. During his BA and MA, he mostly focused on philosophy of language working on the problem of propositional attitude reports. He achieved his PhD in Philosophy and Human Sciences at the State University of Milan in May 2017 under the supervision of Dr. Giuliano Torrengo. He also spent two semesters as a visiting scholar at Columbia University (sponsor and supervisor: Prof. Achille Varzi). His dissertation on the metaphysics of time and fatalism addressed issues related to time, free will, time travel, and the (un)changeability of past and future. A list of publications can be found here. Giacomo is also a senior member of the CPT (Centre for Philosophy of Time).
In general, Giacomo is interested in any topic which has to do with free agency and the nature of time, mostly from a contemporary philosophical perspective. Agency takes place in time and what nature time turns out to have has a bearing on whether human acts can be said to be free or not. Do future events, our actions included, already exist? We tend to think about the past as fixed and settled, whereas we look at the future as a realm of alternative possibilities. Can this intuitive thought be defended and grounded on the ultimate nature of reality? Or should we rather think that the difference between past and future is just epistemic? These and other questions have been the main focus of Giacomo’s research thus far. Moreover, he has recently been working on the problem of free will, time travel (are time travelers free? Can the past be changed?), mutable futurism, and the nature of theoretical explanations.
Side interests: physics (quantum mechanics and special theory of relativity), formal logic and Leibniz’s philosophy.
- Collapse of Complex Societies
- Social Power
- Hydraulic Engineering
- Hellenistic Egypt
- Aztec Empire
- Maya Hydraulic Engineering
- Archaeological 3D Modeling
- Evolution of Ancient Civilizations
BIO:Jay is an anthropological archaeologist (PhD Penn State) with extensive international experience. He currently works searching for missing military personnel from past wars and holds adjunct positions in Classics and Anthropology at the University of Hawaii. In the search for the missing, Jay developed a nationally recognized Enterprise Geographic Information System (GIS) to track the investigation and recovery of 80,000 missing persons. With the university, Jay co-directs an archaeological project and field school in at the Graeco-Roman city of Thmouis (Tell- Timai) in the Egyptian Nile Delta. The well-preserved city offers a unique opportunity to analyze the cultural transformations associated with Greek and Roman imperialism and the evolution of religions from the indigenous Egyptian pantheon through Christianity. His theoretical interests focus on the rise and fall of complex societies, imperialism, archaeological manifestations of social power, ancient hydraulic ecological adaptations, warfare, GIS, and urban development. He has directed research projects in Mexico, Guatemala, Southeast Asia, North and South Korea, Papua New Guinea, Kiribati, Solomon Islands, Austria. He is currently developing new projects in Egypt that support the integration of 3D data collection that will generate content in support of the pedagogical and communication revolution of augmented and virtual reality experiential learning and analytical methods.
RESEARCH INTERESTS:Archaeology uses material evidence to understand human behavior, thereby providing a diachronic perspective that encourages cross-cultural comparison. Jay uses a structuralist perspective that examines the forces that maintain solidarity and foment social, political, and economic change. The concept of Social Power is useful in the analysis of the institutions and behaviors that constituted the social compact in ancient civilizations. By assessing changes in socio-political structures over time, factors related to the rise and fall of complex societies can be identified. In Mexico, he elucidated the complexity of multi-ethnic frontier interactions and analyzed strategies and failures of Mesoamerican empires. Aspects of imperial strategy find analogy throughout history as demonstrated in a comparative analysis of U.S. policy in Laos during the Vietnam War with practices in Mesoamerica. At Tikal, Jay reinterpreted the defensive hinterland boundary of the kingdom as a water management system, helping reformulate theories of the socio-political collapse of the Classic Maya Lowlands from a hyper-militarized peer-polity competition model to one that assesses the impact of environmental stress on political cohesion.His work in Egypt focuses on the political and ideological evolution of a Delta city. In this case, factions of the disembodied Macedonian empire established a core within the existing Egyptian theocratic state. Imperial strategy of the new Ptolemaic dynasty included ideological syncretism, monetization of the economy, and restructuring military and administrative institutions. These transformations profoundly shaped the ideological evolution of Western Civilization.He is developing new projects to collect 3D data that will be used to create experiential immersive learning tools. Virtual and augmented reality environments will enhance comprehension and support the cognition of complex concepts to build coherent understanding of the patterns, accomplishments, and consequences of mistakes which have created the human geography of today.
- History of ideas
- Political theory
- Outsider intellectuals
- Integral theory
In the late 1990s John Tangney worked as an education officer with the James Joyce Cultural Centre in Dublin, helping to develop an education program for high school students and university undergraduates. This work inspired him to go to Trinity College, Dublin, to study literature following which, in 2001/2002, he spent some time teaching English in Japan. He did his doctoral work in the English Department at Duke University between 2003 and 2009. The dissertation was called The End of the Age of Miracles: Substance and Accident in the English Renaissance and it dealt with the transvaluation of medieval values in early modernity, focussing particularly on writers from the 1590s and early 1600s including Shakespeare, Nashe, Spenser, and the Jacobean dramatists. After graduation John worked at NTU, Singapore, from 2009 to 2015, teaching courses on Shakespeare, Renaissance Literature, Classical Literature and the History of Literary Theory. While there he was a co-organiser of an international conference on ‘The Contemporary’ in 2011 and served as Graduate Studies Coordinator. In 2015, he returned to Ireland where he spent time doing a coding bootcamp, and was involved in the launch of a new cultural magazine based around rare and unusual books, called The Time Traveller. At SAS he is a member of the Material Relations research group, and teaches the core module on Interpretation, as well as the electives 'Memories, Dreams, Confessions': Writing the Inner Life and 'An Imperial Affliction': Depression in Literature.
John is interested in the History of Ideas, especially the afterlives of premodern ideas in modern culture. Kant observed in his first critique that the history of philosophy could be divided between Platonists and Epicureans. John has adapted this idea in essays on Yeats and Iris Murdoch, and on the films of Alex Proyas, trying to see how incommensurable worldviews are reconciled in the artistic imagination. This theme also informs his philosophical essay on Into Eternity, Michael Madsen's documentary about nuclear waste, which is forthcoming in Religion and the Arts. This work is connected to questions about the limits of liberalism as a paradigm within which to understand the different value systems that have to do business with each other in today’s world. John has discovered resources for thinking about this problem outside academe, in the integral theory of a 20th century Platonist like Jean Gebser and he is interested in whether it’s possible to bring him into dialogue with the philosophies of matter and language that circumscribe the academic world. John is now researching the noon topos in literature and philosophy. Noon is a moment of materialist despair that can give way to an encounter with alterity that may be feminine, divine or alien. It links to questions of sexual difference, the soul and even artificial intelligence, helping him think about how the Epicurean founders of cybernetics have drawn on the resources of the Platonic tradition in their conceptualisation of thermodynamic processes and of autopoetic systems.
- General philosophy
- History and philosophy of science
- Foundations of quantum mechanics
- Probability theory
- (In)determinism and free will
- Methods of creativity
- Foundations of neuroscience
- Einstein, Spinoza, Tolstoy: three men, one theory
BIO:I studied physics in Ghent (MSc in engineering physics), Marseille (PhD) and the École Normale Supérieure in Paris (post-doc). Already in this period my main interests shifted from classic physics to the foundations of the field – a research area in which the fundamental axioms are questioned and investigated. This brought me naturally to philosophy, which I studied at the University of Montreal (PhD). Some of the advantages of working in philosophy are that it allows to address a broad range of interests, and that it somehow incites to look for the unifying ideas, the fashionable ‘big picture’ (I will leave this little idea here very vague). Philosophy also encourages to ask ethical questions on research, technology, science and society. If I would have to summarize my most eye-opening experience of these last years, then it would be the observation that, at the very fundamental level, science and philosophy are solidly intertwined, and can greatly inspire each other. An idea popular among interdisciplinary practitioners, but not yet popular enough in other communities!
RESEARCH INTERESTS:My main research interests are in foundations of (quantum) physics, philosophy of science, naturalized ontology and epistemology, and the methods of creativity and innovation. More concretely, at the moment I am working on projects related to: (1) free will; (2) determinism; (3) causation / causality; (4) new theories underlying quantum mechanics (Bell’s theorem, the Bohmian and hydrodynamical interpretation of quantum mechanics); (5) probability theory; (6) methods of creativity and innovation.In somewhat more detail:
- Free will: At the School of Advanced Studies, State University of Tyumen, Russia, I am principal investigator of a project entitled: “Free will : implications of state-of-the-art research in natural sciences for humanities and social sciences”. Whether humans have a free will or not is one of the classic questions of philosophy; a staggering number of philosophers and scientists (neuroscientists, physicists, psychologists,...) have studied it. It touches on a large spectrum of philosophical and scientific questions. I look in particular forward to investigating the neuroscientific basis of consciousness, the mind, and free will, and to studying how this field can help clarify our concepts. More info can be found here.
- Determinism: I believe that the deterministic worldview, dear to e.g. Spinoza, Einstein and Tolstoy (to name only these), is far from having disclosed its full heuristic potential – i.e. its potential for finding new underlying mechanisms or explanations in a variety of fields. Consider, as one example, the now longstanding ‘crisis’ in physics, notably related to the difficulty to unify quantum mechanics and gravity (cf. The Trouble with Physics, by notable physicist Lee Smolin). I sometimes suspect that this crisis is due to the very approximate understanding we have of the divide between deterministic versus probabilistic systems. This research is in progress; some more technical papers can be found here and here. As another example, I believe it is also possible to show the heuristic value of determinism for mathematics (e.g., first investigations show that it is possible to generalize the Central Limit Theorem of probability theory, a result to be published). For the relevance of determinism for a philosophy of a fulfilling life, my favorite reference is the Ethics of Spinoza.
- Causation / causality: Another longstanding debate in philosophy concerns the notion of ‘cause’. In philosophy of science and metaphysics it is now widely believed that cause is a multifarious concept, and that an overarching definition does not exist. I disagree. Here and here are first publications on the subject.
- Quantum mechanics and its problems: Quantum mechanics is the powerful and uniquely precise theory of atomic and subatomic particles and systems. It is considered by physicists as absolutely ‘fundamental’, in the sense that projected future theories will have to comply to quantum mechanics. However, as for intuitive and philosophical understanding, to my taste the standard (“Copenhagen”) interpretation of quantum mechanics is remarkably unsatisfactory. This official interpretation, largely due to Niels Bohr, makes such counterintuitive assumptions as that quantum events have no causes; are somehow ‘nonlocal’ (but how precisely ?); and maybe even dependent on the knowledge of the observer – thus reviving ancient philosophies as those of Berkeley and Mach, among others. This theory, even if it suits many professional scientists because of the ‘minimal’ assumptions it makes (“there is nothing beyond what we can calculate and measure”), is upon closer inspection quite weak, I believe. For instance, the claim that quantum events are ‘acausal’ seems to me in the end self-defeating or an unjustifiable assumption – moreover one that is heuristically not helpful, since it proclaims in a sense the end of research. I am well aware this is a strong claim, because it goes against the mainstream beliefs. Surely much research still must be done in this area before definite answers can be given; so the interface between quantum mechanics and philosophy will remain fascinating for quite some time. Some publications: here, here, and here.
- The paradoxes and interpretation of probability: I argue that the countless paradoxes of probability theory are due to an imprecise interpretation of what a ‘probabilistic system’ is. Also, the mysterious role of the ‘observer’ in quantum mechanics actually comes from probability theory. A few publications can be found here and here.
- Methods and practices of interdisciplinary creativity and innovation: I had the opportunity to use and test some known and less known methods for creativity during consulting projects for companies as Altran Technologies, Carl Zeiss, Infineon (ex-Siemens), HydroQuebec and Bombardier Aerospace. There are surprisingly efficient methods, for instance based on ‘enhanced shared creativity’, which can lead to problem-solving or, in an industrial context, to patentable ideas (I am author or co-author of seven patents).
- A list of publications can be found at the Minkowski Institute (where I have a pro-bono position)
- My link on PhilPapers
- environmental imagination
- wilderness, national parks, transborder ecology, recreation
- animal intelligence and communication
- affect, eros
- digital culture, social media, democracy
- science fiction
- 20th and 21st Century European philosophy
- climbing theory
BIO:Originally from Poland, Margret grew up mostly in Texas. She studied German literature, philosophy, and art history at the University of Texas at Austin, while working in record stores. She received her Ph.D. in philosophy from Emory University in 2001, having had the great privilege of studying with Jean-François Lyotard before his death. Her first job was at the University of Houston-Downtown, and during that time she authored numerous articles about various aspects of French philosophy, visual culture, feminist epistemology, and radical democracy, among other subjects, as well as translating poetry from her native Polish into English. Margret has been tenured at both UHD and Goucher College, and received two international fellowships, from the Leverhulme Trust and the Fulbright Foundation. Following a year at University of Dundee as a Leverhulme Fellow, she lived in New York City and worked as a jazz vocalist from 2010 to 2017, while simultaneously commuting to Baltimore to teach at Goucher. Margret serves on the executive committee of the International Association for Environmental Philosophy and co-direct the Transhuman Alliance for Climbing Theory. She is the author of Whale Song (2017, Bloomsbury Academic Press), The National Park to Come (2015, Stanford University Press), Why Internet Porn Matters (2013, Stanford University Press), co-author of Beyond the Cyborg: Adventures with Donna Haraway (2013, Columbia University Press), and editor of Gender after Lyotard (2007, State University of New York Press). In recent years, she has published articles about time-lapse photography and climate change, bestiality pornography, jazz, and bored dolphins. She still translates occasionally and thinks about returning to music. She still thinks and writes “with” Lyotard.
RESEARCH INTERESTS:Margret’s current interests grew out of her books The National Park to Come and Whale Song, where she examines environmental imagination, desire, and the attrition of social life. Her goal is to develop a framework for understanding the simultaneity and co-creation of environmental and social loss. Biopolitical capitalism, she argues, needs desire, which in turn becomes something to sustain. In her work, wilderness—understood as places, practices, and modes of animal life—becomes the theater for this ongoing dynamic.Margret has several related projects in progress in this area. First, she believes we need new conceptual resources in order to even begin to think cetacean being, and both posthumanism and human rights discourse fail in this regard. That cetacean life remains so firmly in late modernity’s “blind spot” at the same time as it continues to be fetishized is a clue that there’s work to be done here. Secondly, she is exploring the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone as a new space for both wilderness recreation and megafaunal restoration, in order to understand the role of desire in rewilding initiatives. And finally, her most developed project at the moment concerns mountaineering in late capitalism. Margret is co-editing Climbing Theory: A Handbook, and has written about climbing in the minnesota review, The Philosophical Salon, and The Atlantic.
- political sociology
- memory studies
- nationalism in Eastern Europe and Eurasia
- ethnic conflict
- state building
- citizenship and migration
- symbolic politics
- institutional and cultural constraints,
- rationality and morality
BIO:Matvey received his PhD in Sociology from McGill University in Montreal in 2018. Before that he earned a BA degree in History at Perm State University (Russia), an MA in International Relations at the University of Tirana (Albania) and an MA in Nationalism Studies at Central European University (Budapest). This multi-sited educational history has allowed him to professionally learn a number of Eastern European languages and to get broad experience in archival, ethnographic and interview research in the region. Some of his scholarly articles have been published in different languages in Russia, Ukraine, Poland, the UK and Balkan countries. Before joining SAS he worked as an adjunct lecturer at the University of Tirana and McGill.
RESEARCH INTERESTS:Matvey is a comparative-historical sociologist with an expertise in mixed methods. At SAS he is affiliated with the research team studying Citizenship under Conflict. His research within the team explores how the legacies of past civil and ethnic wars influence the contemporary politics of citizenship and migration in Europe and Eurasia. In addition, as an individual researcher Matvey investigates the mechanisms through which nationalism has spread into the Balkans, mainly Albania and Serbia. For explaining these macro-sociological developments he closely looks at micro- and meso-processes such as the life course of individual nationalist leaders and group processes in the circles of national intelligentsia.
- Media studies
- Political communication
- Dual-process theories of information processing
- Social movement studies
- Collective identity
- Public and private
- War studies
- Post-soviet society.
BIO:Maxim Alyukov is a researcher with the Public Sociology Laboratory and a PhD Candidate in Faculty of Arts at the University of Helsinki. He started his career as an engineer and then turned to psychoanalysis: Maxim was a curator at Freud's Dream Museum, and an editor, author or translator working for several Russian journals focused on Lacanian psychoanalysis. Currently he takes part in a number of PS Lab projects on civil society, protest movements, and war in the post-communist world, as well as working on a dissertation about Russian TV viewers during the political crisis in Ukraine. Maxim holds Specialist degrees in engineering from the State Marine Technical University, and in psychology from the East European Institute of Psychoanalysis, as well as an MA degree in sociology from the European University at St.Petersburg.
RESEARCH INTERESTS:Maxim’s research interests can be roughly divided into two parts. the first is media studies and political communication. His MA dissertation was about art-activism as a way to mobilize publics and to build alternative (counter) public spheres. In the PhD dissertation this interest was transformed into more traditional political communication research. In order to question both the widespread accounts of Russian citizens as conservative, exposed to the myth of national grandeur and, thus, prone to media effects, and the overly positive approach that pictures TV viewers as critical analysts successfully deciphering news, the dissertation employs the toolkit of communication research and social psychology (link 1, link 2). It shows that viewers engage both critical (systematic) and semi-automatic (heuristic) approaches to TV news depending on context, and their exposure to media effects is a result of the absence of a safe environment for discussion rather than of the intrinsic features of the viewers themselves. Second, as a member of the the PS Lab, Maxim is involved in a number of projects related to the Bolotnaya protest in Russia, Maidan and Anti-Maidan mobilizations in Ukraine, and the war in Donbass. He is interested in such issues as collective identity, social justice and the articulation of social justice agendas, and the ways they are transformed by the post-Soviet context.
- New spirit of capitalism
- Cognitive capitalism
- Direct-sales organizations
- Practices of care of the self
- Protest movements
- Local activism
- War conflicts
- Politicization and depoliticization
Natalia Savelyeva graduated from Moscow State University in 2007. She subsequently received two Master’s degrees at French University College in Moscow and at the European University at St. Petersburg. Natalia defended her PhD dissertation last spring in the Institute of Sociology, Russian Academy of Science. In 2010 Natalia and her colleagues started the Public Sociology Laboratory – a project which unites young scholars interested in researching protest movements in post-Soviet countries.
Natalia’s research interests are located in several fields. The first field is connected with the problems of protest engagement. As part of the Public Sociology Laboratory team she is involved in the study of the “for fair elections” movement in Russia (2011-2014) and in new practices of local activism that emerged after it. Currently Natalia is working on the question of political representation and collective identity in a movement using the theories of F. Ankersmit, E. Laclau, H. Pitkin. She is also involved in researching the Maidan and Antimaidan movements in Ukraine and the war in Donbass. In these research projects her main focus is on the motives and subjectivities of ordinary people who take part in non-violent as well as armed actions.
The second field of Natalia’s interest is related to the topics of capitalism and new forms of employment. In her dissertation dedicated to direct-sales organizations in Russia, Natalia shows that those organizations represent the paradigmatic example of tendencies described in theories of “a new spirit of capitalism” and “cognitive capitalism”. The main question for the researcher is how distributors became committed to the organizations and their ideology. She explains the nature of that commitment using Foucault’s notion of “care of the self” to show how distributors transform themselves – their minds, habits and bodies – to bring their subjectivity into compliance with the capitalistic ends of the organization.
- Social movements
- Sociology of Knowledge
- Pragmatic Sociology
- Transformative events
- Public sociology
- Politicization and political apathy
Oleg Zhuravlev is a researcher at the Public Sociology Laboratory (Russia), which he and his colleagues founded in 2012. He is also a Ph.D candidate at the European University Institute (Italy). He received a Specialist degree from the Institute of Sociology, Russian Academy of Science, and an MA from the European University at St. Petersburg. Oleg studied at the European University Institute (Italy) in 2012-2016. Oleg’s MA thesis was dedicated to the social and political history of Soviet physics and to the protest movement organized by the students of the Department of Physics at Moscow State University in the 1950s. Oleg’s PhD thesis deals with the comparative research of the Ukrainian Euromaidan and Russian “for fair elections” protest movements.
Oleg’s main research interests are social movements and revolutions, sociology of knowledge, sociological theory, and political subjectivity. He started studying the sociology of knowledge as a theorist, but later stepped into the empirical research of politics and protests. Within the collective research project on protests, activism and the war in Ukraine and Russia he studies collective identities, motivations, channels of mobilization and dynamics of engagement. Together with his colleagues Oleg considers these topics in terms of politicization and depoliticization, because disruptive protests such as “for fair elections” and Euromaidan often appeared “suddenly” within the societies where the culture of “avoiding politics” was widespread.
Oleg is interested in various theoretical approaches within the social sciences. Pragmatic sociology including Pierre Bourdieu, Luc Boltanski and Laurent Thevenot is useful in empirical research of structural, processual and network dimensions of everyday life. Theories of political events developed by William Sewell, Marshall Sahlins, and Andrew Abbott allow us to see the role of happenings and ruptures beyond self-reproducing structures and rational human actions. Theories of cultures developed by Robin Wagner-Pacifici, Nina Eliasoph, and Michele Lamont are useful for case studies in a comparative perspective which take into account both social structures and cultural meanings. Finally, post-Marxist theories of discourse and ideology help to put the subject of research in a broad context of social and political struggle.
As a member of an independent research group that consists of researchers, activists and experts, Oleg is also interested in the public and political role of the social sciences. Academic reflection as a tool of political action, public and militant sociology, and expertise based on emirical research are necessary for both society and knowledge production.
- Cultural history
- Medieval civilization
- History of emotions;
- Humor and humor studies;
- History & Event
- Material culture
- History of mentalities
- Anglo-Norman studies
- Franciscan studies
Peter Jones is a cultural historian, specializing in the religious, political, and intellectual life of medieval Europe (c.500–1500). Originally from the United Kingdom, where he gained both a BA and an MA from the University of Bristol, Peter received his PhD in History from New York University in 2014. From 2014–16 he was an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at the Jackman Humanities Institute, University of Toronto, and from 2016–17 he worked as a visiting scholar at the Pembroke Center, Brown University. He has published a range of articles on medieval cultural history in academic journals and edited volumes, and has recently completed a book manuscript exploring the role of humor in the political and religious revolutions of the twelfth century.
Peter’s research focuses on a range of tensions at the heart of the renaissance and reform movements that transformed Western Europe in the period c.1100–1300. His book, Laughter & Power in Medieval England, exposes the unique role of humor in resisting the new regimes of government that dominated English society in the era of Henry II (c.1154-89). While laughter became an essential tool for circumventing new codes of law and bureaucracy, at this moment satirical humor also came to be essential for negotiating hierarchies in a political world unhinged from traditional values of blood and military prowess. Elsewhere, Peter has explored the radical political project of the early Franciscans, particularly the role of charisma, humiliation, and self-annihilation in the circle surrounding Saint Francis of Assisi. He is also interested in the history of medieval rebellion, particularly the Roman Revolution of 1143. Peter’s next project, The Stuff of Miracles, addresses the dynamic role of materiality in the making of medieval Christian experience. This book will confront a central paradox in medieval theology: while monks and intellectuals frequently preached the primary devotional importance of non-material faculties, such as reason and mystical experience, the laity’s main point of contact with Christian revelation remained their interactions with physical objects, such as Eucharistic wafers and holy relics. Exploring the intersections of these discourses in the scholastic revolution of the thirteenth century, this book project will seek to expose how later medieval thinkers came to articulate a new theology of holy objectification, a kind of sublime self-alienation through engagement with the material world.
- Biographical research
- Civic and political activism
- Growing up of adolescents
- Political involvement and participation
- Political socialization
- Post-Soviet society
- Public and private
- Social movement studies
- Sociology of childhood
- War studies
Svetlana Erpyleva is a sociologist, a researcher with the Public Sociology Laboratory and earned her PhD at the European University at St. Petersburg. She started her education in the Sociological Dept. of Moscow State University, but was dismissed due to her participation in the protest campaign against the dean as a member of OD-Group. She acquired a BA in sociology from the Higher School of Economics in St. Petersburg and an MA in sociology from EUSP. Since 2011 she has been part of a number of PS Lab research projects on civil society, protest movements, and war in the post-communist world. She is an author of articles on political socialization and public participation published in peer-reviewed journals, and a co-author of the collective monograph «Politics of Apoliticals» (2015, in Russian).
Svetlana is interested in a number of issues related to social movement studies, civic and political participation, political socialization and the socialization of adolescents. Her MA research was about how adolescents learn politics and how society treats adolescents in politics. Since then she has been interested in broader problems at the border of social movement research, sociology of childhood and pedagogy: adult-child relationships, growing-up during adolescence, the possibility of children’s public participation. While starting to work on her PhD devoted to the socialization of civic activists in Russia, she became interested in issues of political socialization, career research, and biographical analysis. As part of the Public Sociology Laboratory, she studies Maidan and Antimaidan mobilizations in Ukraine and the war in Donbass. She is also involved in collective research on new local activism as it emerged in Russia after the Bolotnaya movement. Within the framework of this project she is interested in the problem of the interconnection of “civic” and “political” in activism, pragmatic sociology applied to Russian reality, and theories of events.
- Cold War in the Baltic
- Geopolitics and Security Studies
- The Origins of Capitalism under Communism (1970s and 1980s)
- The End of the Soviet Union
- Kaliningrad Oblast
- Trafficking and Border Security
- Comparative Intelligence Agencies
- Global Port Cities
- Environmental Protection and Energy Policy in Eurasia,
- EU-Russia Relations
Tomasz Blusiewicz is a historian of international relations, who focuses on economic cooperation in Eurasia in the second half of the 20th century. Tomasz’s doctoral thesis, defended at Harvard in 2017, is entitled Return of the Hanseatic League or how the Baltic Sea Trade Washed Away the Iron Curtain, 1945-1991. In it, he develops a transnational perspective on the Baltic region, from Hamburg in the West to Leningrad in the East, and highlights the role played by Hanseatic port cities such as Rostock, Gdańsk, Kaliningrad or Riga, all of which served as "windows to the world" linking communist-controlled Europe with the globalizing world. Tomasz’s collegiate alma mater is the University of Chicago, from which he graduated in 2011 with a double BA in history and philosophy.
Tomasz is a historian of the Cold War who specializes in the nexus of grand strategy, economics and energy politics. He traces these connections as they unfolded in Central Europe and in the Baltic region in the 1970s and 1980s. He studies both sides of the Iron Curtain, including the largest German port: Hamburg. The city was a major intelligence headquarters and a world trade hub, projecting its commercial dynamism throughout the region.In the communist world, ports facilitated various exchanges and interactions on a global scale - a rare option for those otherwise closed societies. The intensifying flow of international traffic sparked a grassroots mobility of people, ideas, goods and capital, ultimately challenging the stability of communist regimes. This process was pioneered in Poland, leading to the birth of the Solidarność movement in 1980, in the Baltic city of Gdańsk. The significance of the medieval Hanseatic ports as agents opening the region to "the shock of the global 1970s" is underappreciated. They became particularly critical after the collapse of the Bretton Woods system, the 1973 oil shock and the implementation of the Helsinki Accords of 1975.
Tomasz’s research also provides a genealogy for important future developments, including the Russo-German energy rapprochement in the 2000s, resulting in the Nord Stream Gas Pipeline. It also sheds light on current geopolitical tensions around the Kaliningrad Exclave and the Baltic States as well as on the reasons behind the populist backlash against globalization and free trade, unfolding as we speak.
- Environmental humanities
- Cultural study of law
- New materialisms
- Greek and medieval thought
- Eurasian indigenous politics
- 19th-century comparative literature
- Psychoanalysis and attachment theory
Zachary Reyna is a political theorist working in the environmental humanities and cultural study of law. He received his PhD in Political Science from Johns Hopkins University (USA), where his dissertation offered an ecological reading of the natural law tradition that rethought the concept of political obligation for contemporary environmentalist politics. He he taught political theory and environmental thought at Johns Hopkins and Towson University, and is the assistant editor of the journal “Political Theory”. He is now professor in political theory at SAS.
Zachary’s research focuses on how social and political obligations create attachments, produce bonds, and engender belonging to shared environments and ecosystems that extend beyond the human world (link 1, link 2, link 3). He sees his work primarily as a response to questions about the place of embodiment, the hard sciences, and nature in the humanities and the role of the humanities scholar in the twenty-first century academy (link 1, link 2, link 3, link 4, link 5). His doctoral dissertation explored the concept of political obligation (link 1, link 2) in environmental political thought through the lens of the natural law tradition (link 1, link 2, link 3). Drawing on a diverse range of thinkers from Sophocles, Aquinas, Rousseau, and Sacher-Masoch to Lou Andreas-Salomé, Zachary argued that political obligation is not simply a “moral duty” restricted to rational human citizens, but an ecological practice binding human-nonhuman interaction—the “connective tissue” of the sublunary biosphere, as Aquinas puts it.
Currently he is working on two projects. The first explores the political-philosophical implications of the conservationist practice of “rewilding”. Here Zachary argues that rewilding projects should be seen as sites where new forms of political obligation are emerging. The second project considers how the rise and fall of the nineteenth-century folktale, and its structure of belief-unbelief-denial, can illuminate the contemporary phenomenon of climate-change denial.
Alexandra Bereslavtseva — director, founder and senior lawyer of the “Khartiya” law company, specializing in legal representation in civil disputes and defense of human rights. One of the company’s narrow business profiles is intellectual property legal representation.
Alexandra was born in Belgorod. She obtained a degree in international law and European law. Author of several scientific publications. Author and moderator of the “Vashe pravo” (“Your right”) radio program. Has a retraining degree in “Legal Protection of Cinematographic Pieces”.
Since 2006, she has been actively involved in the activities of Russian and international human rights organizations. Currently, she is a legal advisor in the international network “Youth Human Rights Movement”.
Almir Pepato is a professor at Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG, Brazil), where he has worked since 2011. His graduate and postdoctoral research focused on mite higher-level phylogeny and morphology. Drawing on his research experience, he has taught intensive courses on phylogenetic inference, employing molecular data and species delimitation theory, at the Zoology Postgraduate Program at UFMG. Currently, he is working on a comprehensive coastal biogeographic study, in a long-term partnership with Dr. Pavel Klimov (University of Michigan).
Andrey Apostolov graduated from the All-Russian State Institute of Cinematography (VGIK). He used to work as an editor and creative producer of live action and documentary films (TsNF Film Studio, M. Gorky Film Studio, Research Institute (NII) of Cinema Art); organized and held film screening series, retrospective shows, film club screenings; was a jury member of Russian and international film festivals, participated in radio and TV programs about cinema as an expert, gave reports at international and all-Russian conferences, published his works in collections and journals “Studies in Russian and Soviet Cinema“, “Cinema Art“, “Logos”, “Film Sense”, “Vestnik VGIK”, etc.
Today Andrey is the curator of film screenings at the State Historical Museum.
Andrey Manirko — designer, instructional specialist and producer. Bachelor degree from the University of Bristol (UK), master’s degree from the Royal College of Art (London, UK). Co-founder of Playtronica, an educational play-based project for children; founder of Research Institute, a series of interdisciplinary research workshops at the intersection of applied philosophy and design. Andrey was a producer of documentary films for leading Russian and foreign TV channels, prototyped electronic devices, developed training programs for children, facilitated workshops for international companies. He used to be the curator of the 2015/16 educational program at the Strelka Institution.
Anton Utkin – film director, scriptwriter and post-production producer at Moscow studio “Lateral Summer”.
At the beginning of his career, he co-founded a small design studio, led several research projects for Intel, advised the UN, and now teaches new media and interactive filmmaking at the Moscow School of Cinema. Since 2011, Anton has written and staged several fantastic short films, commercials and music videos.
Anton’s sci-fi project “Speed of Light” for virtual reality devices was supported by the Venice Biennale educational program and is currently being jointly developed with CGF, the largest visual effects studio in Russia. The last project by Anton, the interactive series “Everything is Difficult” is a joint project with the fund “Takiye Dela”. The project telling the life story of an HIV-positive girl has scored a third million views after it was released in February 2018, and it is still receiving positive feedback from viewers and the press.
In SAS, together with Nata Pokrovskaya, he teaches the courses “Digital photo and video shooting” and “Digital post-production”.
Denis Akhapkin is a professor in Smolny Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Saint-Petersburg State University, where he also directs the Centre for Writing and Critical Thinking and is responsible for the core curriculum. In 2012-2016 he served as the Smolьny’s deputy dean for education. His research interests include modern Russian literature with an emphasis on poetry and poetics, literary linguistics, and cognitive literature studies. He was a visiting research fellow at Helsinki University Collegium (2007), as well as at The Princess Dashkova Russian Centre, University of Edinburgh (2014). Denis is an associate international member of the Institute for Writing and Thinking, Bard College (USA).
Denis Perevalov — media artist, programmer, lecturer. One of the founders of the visual laboratory Kuflex (http://kuflex.com), where he develops applications for art installations and performances. Kuflex's works are presented at multiple Russian and foreign exhibitions, festivals, museums and research centers in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Krasnoyarsk, Tyumen, Netanya (Israel), Antalya (Turkey), at the digital art festival ADAF 2016 in Athens (Greece), at the CES2016 high-tech exhibition in Las Vegas (USA), at the Chinese Museum of Science and Technology in Beijing, etc. Denis is a developer of software for interactive media (about 50 projects), including work with sensors, depth cameras and other devices, real-time rendering in 2D, 3D and VR, as well as sound synthesis and analysis.
Elena Grigorieva, PhD, associate professor in the department of History of Russian Literature at St. Petersburg State University. Elena’s research interests include Russian literature of the Golden Age, poetics, and literary theory. She was a co-designer of an innovative integrated 7-semester course of literary theory (“Introduction to Literary Studies”, “Structure and Composition”, “Poetics”, “Rhetoric”, “Hermeneutics”, and “Methods of Textual Analysis”). Collective research projects she has been involved in include “St. Petersburg School of Literary Criticism” (2000-2), “Theoretical Fundamentals of Literary History” (2006-8), “Literary Studies and Contemporary Humanities” (2009-10), “Narrative Structures and Models of Storytelling” (2009-13), and “Theory and Practice of Contemporary Hermeneutics” (2011). She was also the head of the project that developed scholarly frameworks for the educational programs in literary theory (2011-13).
Florian Krautkremer is a film director, film producer, winner of multiple awards at international film festivals.
Florian studied fine arts and cinema at the Braunschweig University of Art (Germany). Currently, he is teaching courses of cinematographic profile at Gutenberg University in Mainz (Germany). Since April 2018, he has been working as head of the interdisciplinary “Art and Design” school at the University of Lucerne (Germany). Besides, Florian is the official representative of Germany in “Eurimages” – the Council of Europe fund for the co-production and distribution of cinematographic and audiovisual works. Board member of the German Society for Media Studies.
Konstantin Bashchenko is a graduate of the Ural State Architectural and Art Academy with a degree in Graphic Design and of the University of Vienna with a degree in Computer Science. He worked at the Art. Lebedev Studio, whereafter he founded his own studio N Creative Community.
Worked with the following brands: Microsoft, Pepsi, VTB24, Analog, bp, Samsung, Alfa Bank, Sberbank, Mazda, Dom.ru, Lay’s and many others. Currently, he is the CEO at Avenir Digital, a member of the Avenir Associates group, which is engaged in implementation of digital projects and establishing its own start-ups. One of the unique products for the European market was the MVP implementation proposal within the shortest possible time, which turned to be an important competitive edge of the company.
The priority work of Avenir Digital in 2017 was the development of the Great Gamers platform for the ceremony where key people in the e-sport world are awarded, which was held in Cannes (France).
Kseniya Fyodorova is a media and media art researcher, curator, PhD in cultural studies (University of California, Davis), candidate of philosophical sciences with a focus on aesthetics (Ural State University, St. Petersburg State University), Master of Arts (University of Colorado at Boulder).
Currently, Kseniya is a postdoc researcher at the Institute of Art and Visual History (Humboldt University in Berlin), where she is writing a monograph on feedback interfaces and the problem of affect codification in media art and techno-culture, as well as preparing a new project “Mental images, neural interfaces and sensory translation in art and science”. Co-editor of the anthology “Media: between magic and technology” (M.-Yekaterinburg, 2014, short-list of the Innovatsiya Award and Kandinsky Award, 2014), author of more than 30 publications in Russian and international titles (including Leonardo Electronic Almanac, Media & Culture Journal, Acoustic Space, DI / Dialog of Arts).
She taught media theory and history, as well as media art in Russia, the USA and Austria. Curator, senior fellow at the Ural branch (UB) of the National Center for Contemporary Art (NCCA), initiator and manager of the UB NCCA program “Art. Science. Technologies” (2007-2011).
Mikhail Drugov is an Associate Professor at the New School of Economics, Moscow. He received his PhD in Economics at the University of Toulouse, and has also worked as a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Oxford. Mikhail has previously taught at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Toulouse School of Economics, University of Warwick, University of Oxford, and Northwestern University.
Mikhail’s research Interests are Economics of Information, Industrial Organization, Organizational Economics, Corruption, Contest Theory, Experiments.
Nata Pokrovskaya started her career as an editor of the international department of L’Officiel Russia magazine, worked as a copywriter and creative director at an international advertising agency, as well as a project manager in several technology start-ups.
Co-author, producer and co-director of several sci-fi short films, commercial and music videos for TV and the Internet. In 2015, her short film “Summer” entered the short list of the Kinotavr Award, was shown at numerous film festivals in Europe, North and South America and received the Platinum Remi Award at the WorldFest Festival in Houston (USA). Her next short film, “Cherti” (“The Devils”), also made it to the short list for the Kinotavr Award in 2017.
Oksana Bulgakowa, Professor of Film Studies at the Gutenberg University in Mayans, is a Moscow-born scholar who lives in Berlin. She has published several books on Russian and German cinema, alongside directing films, curating exhibits, and developing a number of multimedia projects.
development of programming languages
methods of teaching programming
automation of student feedback
game formats in training
competitive training formats
BIO:Pavel Egorov used to be a software development engineer, project development manager of the diadoc.ru project, research projects manager in a department called Kontur Labs. He is currently the head of the developers’ training department of the SKB Kontur company and the senior professor of the department of mathematics, mechanics and computer science of the Ural Federal University. Co-author of the online courses C# Programming Fundamentals Part 1 and Part 2, C# Project Design and ulearn.me platform. Master of Computer Science and Mathematics of the Ural Federal University.
RESEARCH INTERESTS:Pavel’s master thesis was devoted to the development of programming languages with extensible syntax. However, now his interests mainly concern modern education methods for programmers, e.g. automation of feedback for students, training through play and contest. New ideas are implemented on the platform of online courses ulearn.me, as well as in the form of conventional intramural studies for developers and interns in the SKB Kontur company, particularly but not exceptionally at the school of industrial software development for students and in residential intensive schools.
Pavel Klimov has been working at the University of Michigan since 2000. He has authored 59 papers, as well as a monograph on phylogenetic systematics, coevolution, and biogeography. Dr. Klimov also teaches the Acarological Summer Course at the Ohio State University. He is particularly interested in the relationship between mites and human health, and has been a key contributor in recent genomic sequencing of the American House Dust Mite. In 2014-2017, Drs. Almir Pepato and Klimov obtained funding from the Brazilian government to investigate the biogeography of the Brazilian coast. Klimov’s notable co-authors include Edward O. Wilson, one of the founders of island biogeography.
Ruslan Gasseev is a senior lecturer in the Department of Information Security at the University of Tyumen’s Institute of Mathematics and Computer Sciences. Working with the Laboratory of Network and System Administration, he has been an instrumental contributor to the Worldskills Russia project.
Taisia Pogodaeva, a Candidate of Economic Sciences, is Associate Professor in the Department of World Economy and International Business at the University of Tyumen. Her research interests include institutes, economic growth, and factors in resource dependent economics. Taisia has participated in advanced training programmes at the International Academy of Management and Technology (2013), Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO (2017, 2015, 2014), and Indiana University (USA, 2015). Since 2016, she has held the position of the University of Tyumen’s Vice-Rector for Education.