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A fresh international chat show from The University of Texas at Austin meant to share research, ideas, and culture from the Slavic world and beyond in digestible episodes. Each week we feature faculty, students (both undergraduate and graduate), and speakers of note from other institutions and countries. The Slavic Connexion is a production of the Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies within the College of Liberal Arts at UT Austin... It's not typical Texas, y'all. TPN 2021 ...
 
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On this episode, Professor Dina Fainberg joins Zach and Lera to talk about her latest book, the highly readable "Cold War Correspondents" in which she highlights stories of Soviet and American journalists and draws fascinating parallels to the US-Russia media landscape today. We hope you enjoy! ABOUT THE GUEST Dr. Dina Fainberg is a Lecturer in Mod…
 
On this special (musical) episode, guest host Sophia Kontos helps us understand Eurovision and break down the politics and ploys behind the song entries themselves, focusing on three major countries: Greece, Turkey, and Ukraine. Eurovision is an annual televised European Song Contest started in 1956 to boost morale and European integration after WW…
 
On this episode, Professor David Moon from the UK joins Tom and Lera to talk about the fascinating personal journey which led to the release of his latest book, The American Steppes: Unexpected Russian Roots of Great Plains Agriculture. He clearly delineates how the kernels of his transnational research all began during his tenure at The University…
 
Our wonderful guest is Dr. Sarah Phillips, director of the Russian and East European Institute at Indiana University Bloomington. Dr. Phillips walks us through her remarkable anthropological career in the Slavic world from her beginnings in the 90s with studying the effects of Chernobyl to her many social activism projects in Ukraine, taking us to …
 
On this episode, Professor Nana Osei-Opare from Fordham University joins Lera and Cullan to talk about the history of Ghana's independence from Great Britain and the way in which this country in West Africa looked to the Soviet Union to build itself as an "industrialized, socialist" post-colonialist state. Many black thinkers across the world saw t…
 
In this episode, Matt speaks with Dr. Oksana Lutshyshyna, acclaimed fiction author and beloved professor at UT Austin, about her most recent book Ivan and Feba (Іван і Феба), as well as about her earlier work Love Life (Любовне життя), humor in her writing, her inspirations, and the state of American and Ukrainian politics and literature. A few wee…
 
In honor of Women's History Month, we have a special episode featuring American Studies professor Dr. Julia Mickenberg who joins us to talk about her spectacular book "American Girls in Red Russia" which explores the intimate lives of American women who traveled to the USSR chasing the "Soviet Dream." We hope you enjoy! ABOUT THE GUEST Julia L. Mic…
 
On this special episode, we have renowned expert on far right youth movements, Dr. Cynthia Miller-Idriss who joins us courtesy of UT's ISPRII (the Initiative for the Study of Politico-Religious Ideation and Influence). ISPRII guest host Eliza talks with Dr. Miller-Idriss about her research and latest book, Hate in the Homeland: The New Global Far R…
 
In this episode, Matt is joined by Dr. Kathryn Stoner of Stanford University to talk about her new book, Russia Resurrected: Its Power and Purpose in a New Global Order. The book pushes back at some misconceptions about Russia’s place in the international system while offering a new perspective on how the West should approach Russia. Matt and Dr. S…
 
Once again, Dr. Mark Galeotti joins Matt to discuss yesterday's sentencing of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, and what it means for Russia's short and long term future. Is this the end of the first installment of Navalny’s battle with the Kremlin, which peaked with his poisoning at the hands of the FSB in August 2020? Mark lays out Navaln…
 
From St. Petersburg, Angelina Davydova, Environmental journalist and head of the German Russian Office of Environmental Information, graciously joins us to give us the surprising facts on environmental activism, protests, and reforms in Russia. She talks about the very real effects of climate change in that part of the world, including the fires in…
 
Samantha chats with Dr. Dimitar Bechev on the geopolitics of the Balkans and the stratagems of Russia in the region. Dr. Bechev also discusses Russia's relationship with Turkey and Turkey's ties with the US and how these affect the countries nested in the Balkans which have fallen out of US foreign policy priority since the George W. Bush administr…
 
Амар мэндээ or hello and Happy New Year! Dr. Kathryn Graber of Indiana University Bloomington joins the show to talk about her research on the Buryat language and minority-language media in Russia’s Buryat territories, a multilingual region of eastern Siberia on the Mongolian border. Her fifteen years of research in this area is the foundation of h…
 
In this episode, Matt and Tom talked to Nina Jankowicz of the Wilson Center about her new book, How to Lose the Information War, and how it serves as a useful primer for understanding the disinformation challenges facing the US today, particularly in the aftermath of the 2020 election. To read some of Nina's work, click the links below and do be su…
 
On this special episode, Zack speaks with English journalist Matthew Luxmoore. Matthew is the Moscow Correspondent for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, and his work has appeared in The New York Times, Foreign Policy, Politico, and elsewhere. Zach and Matthew discuss a wide-range of issues, from the Russian Far East to the current state of the Russi…
 
In this episode, Matt talks with Dr. Sarah Young of University College London about her upcoming book "Writing Resistance: Revolutionary Memoirs of Shlissel’burg Prison, 1884-1906" and the genre of carceral literature. Where do Russian literary titans like Dostoevsky and Shalamov fit in and how are they perceived in the Russian imagination? Dr. You…
 
On this fun episode, Dr. Eliot Borenstein from NYU joins us to talk about his research on memes and meme culture in Russia as well as his freshly-released book on Pussy Riot (available from Bloomsbury). This was a great time all around, and even if you don't consume memes or like them very much, this is still an enjoyable discussion. Thanks for joi…
 
From the Foreign Policy Research Institute comes a fantastic, dispassionate resource on Russia's intervention into Syria. Here to speak with us about the book and the process of compiling this insightful tome written by both American and Russian experts is Associate professor of Eurasian Studies at the US Army War College Robert E. Hamilton. Enjoy!…
 
On this whirlwind episode, Tom visits with London-based journalist and risk research analyst Alex Kokcharov on an impressive array of events and current conflicts across the CIS region. This is hardly a boring episode and we don't sit on one topic for too long, so if you're looking for a quick, but in-depth Eurasia fix (while we in the US patiently…
 
Dr. Jasmin Mujanović, a political scientist focused on democratization and social movements in the Western Balkans and a host of the podcast "Sarajevo Calling", joins Samantha and Cullan for an in-depth discussion on the state of democracy in the region in 2020. This is a great walkthrough of the elite maneuvering and politics in the Western Balkan…
 
The New Yorker's Moscow correspondent, Joshua Yaffa, joins us from Moscow in fact to talk about the conditions in Russia during the pandemic, his latest book Between Two Fires, and the oft-debated Russian interference in US elections. Additionally, Yuri Levada's work and coining of the term "Wily Man" figures prominently into this discussion having…
 
On this episode, we discuss the ongoing political crisis in Kyrgyzstan, resulting from the disputed October 4th elections, with Nazgul Kulova, a resident of Bishkek (the capital of Kyrgyzstan) and a policy analyst in the mining sector. As a former government official at the State Agency for Mineral Resources, she has worked with various internation…
 
We're back to Belarus with this episode, but this time we take an in-depth look at the still-thrumming situation from the dictator's perspective with one of the foremost experts on the region, Dr. David Marples. Dr. Marples talks about the potential end of the dictator while rounding out the context for the current revolution, allowing us to see ju…
 
Dr. Susan Crate returns to the show to share her 1990 journey to Tuva, the geographic center of Asia. At this time, Tuva had only recently opened up to foreign travelers and the oblast (region) experienced heavy upheaval across the domains of the former Soviet Union. This moment also proved to be a turning point for the revitalization of lost or hi…
 
Admittedly, this is not a very Slavic episode, but we would like to balance the scales a little bit and discuss the existential crisis America is facing as well as we approach the 2020 presidential election. A New York Times article a few days ago said that though the United States makes up only 4% of the world's population, our Covid deaths accoun…
 
On this episode, former BBC journalist Leonid Ragozin joins Tom from Latvia to discuss the perception of Russia in the West, the origins of Western xenophobia towards Russia, his view of Vladimir Putin in 2000, and his experience working as an independent journalist on the investigations of high profile figures murdered in Ukraine. We hope you enjo…
 
In this episode, Matt discussed with Dr. Maria Snegovaya the leading issues of the day in the Slavic region. Namely, the aftermath of Russia's recent regional elections, the Kremlin's response to Alexei Navalny's poisoning, and the ongoing spectre of Russian intervention in Belarus's post-election crisis. Connect with Dr. Snegovaya on Twitter: @MSn…
 
Bulgaria, Belarus, books—oh my! In this exciting episode hosted by Matt and newbie host Katherine, Assistant Professor Kiril Avramov the University of Texas at Austin sits down to discuss his new book, “Russia’s Hidden Armies,” the recent detainment of Russian mercenaries in Belarus, and the anti-corruption protests currently raging within Bulgaria…
 
Tom and Matt have the great opportunity to speak with Libyan national Mohamed Abufalgha and expert on the conflict that has been going on for several years now in this oil-rich, war-torn country. Mohamed helps us unpack the Russian-Libyan connection and exactly how many countries have their fingers--and fighters--in Libya. We hope you enjoy! For so…
 
The Balkan Circle is a weekly seminar (during the academic year) which features lectures, presentations, exhibits, or open interactive dialogues that focus on any (and all) aspects of historical, political, economic, social and cultural phenomena in the (so-called) Balkans. The seminar is free and open to the public and will be held every Friday fr…
 
Our guest today is Dr. Tomasz Samojlik, an environmental historian and researcher at the Mammal Research Institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Białowieża. His research focuses on Poland's Białowieża Primeval Forest, one of the last remaining primeval forests in Europe. In addition to his research, Dr. Samojlik spoke with us about his work …
 
On this episode, Tom speaks with UT's own Professor Sparrow about his 2015 book on legendary multi-administration US National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft who sadly passed away recently on August 6th, 2020. This is a great conversation, remembering the unassuming but brilliant strategist who was so integral during the late Cold War period. Hope…
 
In this episode, Matt spoke with Dr. Mark Galeotti about the pressing issues of the day in Eurasia: the suspected poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, the ongoing protests in the far-eastern city of Khabarovsk, and the Kremlin's view on the post-election crisis in Belarus. Using his keen understanding of the Kremlin's decision-mak…
 
On this episode recorded August 21, 2020, Matt and Lera speak with Alexei Navalny's close co-collaborator on anti-corruption in Russia, Maxim Mironov. They discuss the current situation with Alexei Navalny's alleged poisoning and also Russian state corruption in a broader, global context. NOTE: We apologize for audio difficulties with our guest due…
 
Is this the end of Europe's Last Dictator? In this episode, Matt spoke with Aliaksandr aka Ales Herasimenka, a researcher at the University of Westminster and previous guest on the show about the ongoing presidential elections in Belarus, where embattled president Alexander Lukashenko faces the most organized opposition in the history of his 26 yea…
 
BBC's Seva Novgorodsev joins us once more just in time for his 80th birthday! This time, we gather around Zoom, but the conversation is, as always, entertaining and unexpected--one never knows where Seva will lead us and what he will teach us. We hope you enjoy! If you wish to check out any of Seva's books and his latest audiobook "Настоящий джентл…
 
Former CIA officer Stephen Slick joins us to talk about his nearly three decades in intelligence, spent largely overseas in Ukraine, the Balkans, and East Germany. Professor Slick also discusses his return Stateside to a position in Langley just one week before 9-11 occurred and his present role as an educator at the University of Texas at Austin i…
 
Dr. Susie Crate returns to The Slavic Connexion! This time, Dr. Crate spoke with SlavX host Katya about her experiences collecting ethnomusicological material from 1989–1990 in the Kharkiv oblast in Eastern Ukraine, then still part of the Soviet Union. This work was part of a larger project to collect and preserve songs unique to particular village…
 
Renowned geopolitical strategist Peter Zeihan (www.zeihan.com) graciously joins us via Zoom for an intensive breakdown of the current world order and his predictions for the future concerning the economic and political directions of America, Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, and other nations. This is a true international whirlwind, and a must-l…
 
В этом эпизоде Мэтт беседует со знаменитой российской журналисткой Жанной Немцовой о многих темах, от ее времени в Америке до Украины. Надеемся, вам понравится слушать! Фонд Бориса Немцова за свободу: https://nemtsovfund.org/ Летняя школа журналистики и социокультурных исследований: https://summerschool.nemtsovfund.org/apply/ Статья о коронавирусе …
 
Columnist, radio host, and Hoover Institution fellow Dr. Markos Kounalakis joins us via Zoom to talk about California's early response to Covid-19, the cognitive dissonance of beautiful Hungary, his experience in Central and Eastern Europe in the late 80s/early 90s as a journalist, and much more! And if you haven't yet and are looking for a decent …
 
Jeff Trimble, Moscow Bureau Chief for US News & World Report during the late Soviet period, talks to us about his wild experiences reporting from behind the Iron Curtain and witnessing the dissolution of the USSR. A radio professional as well (and earnest space aficionado and Star Trek fan) he certainly brings some extra finesse to yet another Zoom…
 
Joining us via Zoom from self-isolation in Moscow, New Jersey native Joseph Crescente talks to us about his area of expertise as the media literacy fellow at the US Embassy/American Center in Moscow. This is a fascinating and relevant discussion on how to navigate the media landscape in today's COVID-19 information-rich and facts-poor environment. …
 
If you're at all a Russophile and you've never visited Russia Beyond (rbth.com), find out what you've been missing as we connect with the editor-in-chief of this amazing, culturally-focused international publication that now boasts 5 million readers worldwide. (Also, the alternate title for this episode is "Pants Challenge", courtesy of Tom -- you'…
 
Joining us via Zoom is the authority on public diplomacy from University of Southern California, Nicholas Cull. Having written the primary resource on the subject as used by the US State Department, Dr. Cull defines public diplomacy for us and expounds on how it has changed and will continue to change in this digital age. (Note: this is one of Tom'…
 
Artemy Troitsky was scheduled to come to Austin and visit us at the University of Texas just a few weeks ago, but of course, due to enforced travel restrictions and a host of unforeseen coronavirus complications, his visit has been postponed until the Fall of 2020, hopefully. However, we decided to check in with him via Zoom, anyway, and he was gra…
 
Back for more via Zoom, Tom Garza joins Matt and Tom once again to discuss Russian rock during the late USSR period to modern-day Russia, the power of nostalgia, and the role of music in COVID-19. And this time legendary music critic Artemy Troitsky also joins from Estonia. To listen to the previous episode in this short series, follow this link: h…
 
On this episode, Tom, Matt, and Graham reunite to discuss more about Covid-19, the continuing oil drama between Russia and Saudi Arabia, and the ways in which the pandemic will permanently affect our world. As Dave from 2001 A Space Odyssey said, "Everything is going extremely well." NOTE: This episode was recorded on March 31, 2020 via Zoom. Thank…
 
On this episode, we meet with freelance journalist Aliide Naylor who joins us for our first Zoom interview from London to discuss her experiences in Russia, Ukraine, and her newly released book on Putin and the Baltics. This is our 80th episode, and we want tthank you for listening wherever you are in the world. We hope you enjoy! ABOUT THE GUEST: …
 
At this time, we understand the world is in chaos, but it's still a good idea to take a break from the headlines every once in a while and feed your Slavic mind! (Almost as important as washing your hands and responsible social distancing!!) So, while we get our Zoom on, please enjoy some of our squirreled away interviews that we've saved for such …
 
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