Saturday, April 30, 2022
(**All times are in Pacific Standard Time**)

Conference organizers: Cooper Lynn, Jeffrey Riggs
Faculty advisor: Susan Kresin.

For the Zoom links, please contact Susan Kresin at

9:00-9:10 am Opening Remarks: Ronald Vroon, Chair of the Department of Slavic, East European and Eurasian Languages and Cultures, UCLA


9:20-10:20 am Session 1 Panel A: The Contemporary Russian State & Character                          Chair: Yana Demeshko

  • Camille Lanese (she/her, UCLA), “The Role of the Soviet Union in the Atmosphere of Corruption in Putin’s Russia.”
  • Yueun Kang (she/her/hers, UNC Chapel Hill), “Russian Stoicism: Toward a Critical Perspective.”
  • Oleksandra Stogniy (she/her, University of Georgia), “Health and Health Seeking Behaviors in Modern Russian Reproductive Healthcare.”

9:20-10:20 am Session 1 Panel B: Russian Literature of the Long 19th Century
Chair: Polina Varfolomeeva

  • Akela Spears (she/her, USC), “Hope Unrealizable, Ideal Undesirable: An Intertextual Analysis of Alyosha Karamazov and Sonya Marmeladovna.”
  • Mollie Brown (she/her/hers, UCLA), “Literary Responses to the Legal Reforms of Tsar Alexandr II: A Progressive Move for Russia, But Was It Enough?”
  • Charles Smith (Columbia University), “Zero Is a Bomb: Time and Historical Development in Lenin and Bely.”


10:20-10:40 BREAK

10:40-11:40 am Session 2 Panel A: 21st Century Activism & Politics
Chair: Cate Hwang

  • Alexis Hill (she/her, UCLA), “A Comparison of LGBT Activism and its Effects in Russia and the Czech Republic.”
  • Nina Vukcevic (she/ her, UCLA), “The Struggle for Serbia: The Power of Grassroots Organizing for Environmental Justice in Serbia.”
  • Edna Bella Salčin (she/her, UCLA), “The Consequences of Genocide Denial in Bosnia and Herzegovina.”

10:40-11:40 am Session 2 Panel B: Russian Music & Film
Chair: Lydia Roberts

  • Maria Torpey (she/her, UCSD), “‘Alexandra, can you breathe in Moscow?’: Nostalgia and the Soundtrack of Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears (1979).”
  • Isana Raja (she/her, UCSD), “‘Your American Music is Shit’: How the Soundtracks of Brother (1997) and Brother 2 (2000) Play into Russian Nationalism and Anti-Foreigner Sentiment.”
  • Mark Berezov (he/him/his, UCSD), “Andrei Tarkovsky, Vadim Yusov, and Georgy Rerberg: a Case Study in the Cinematography of Ivan’s Childhood (1962) and Mirror (1975).”


11:40-12:30 LUNCH BREAK

12:30-1:30 pm Session 3 Panel A: Literature and Culture of the Soviet & Post-Soviet Periods
Chair: Catherine Pasternack

  • Jonah Lounds (they/them/theirs, UC Berkeley), “Clothing for Crocodiles and the Creation of a Parentless World in Late-Soviet Children’s Animations.”
  • Anastasia Izmailova (she/her/hers, UCLA), “Resisting Identity Suppression through the Act of Writing in Zamyatin’s We and Orwell’s 1984.”

12:00-1:30 pm Session 3 Panel B: The Putin Era
Chair: Jeffrey Riggs

  • Jack Hohn (UCSD), “‘Wars have not diminished’: An Analysis of Putin’s 2007 Munich Speech in a Contemporary Context.
  • Kyle Tucker (he/him/his, Indiana University), “The Evolving Nature of Russia’s Nuclear Weapons Doctrine.”
  • Kurtis Yan (he/him, UCLA), “Dyad of Vladimirs: The Eastern Orthodox Church as a Political Actor from Kievan Rus’ to Contemporary Russia.”


1:30-1:50 BREAK

1:50-2:50pm Session 4: Russia and its Influence: Diaspora, Investment, Meddling
Chair: Cooper Lynn

  • Moriah Thomas (she/her, University of Georgia), “Russia’s Influence on Immigration and Immigration Practices in Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Their Neighbors.”
  • Juliette Oliver (she/they, UCLA), “Angola Then and Now: Investigating Soviet and Russian Intervention in the Country.”
  • Max Hazerjian (he/him, UNC Chapel Hill), “The World of ‘Russian’ Harbin: Armenians in China’s Russian Diaspora.”


2:50 pm Closing Remarks & Presentation of Certificates: Larry McLellan, Department of Germanic, Slavic,
& Semitic Studies, UCSB


For the Zoom links, please contact Susan Kresin at