27th Annual
UG Conference Program (2024)


Saturday, April 27, 2024

Please note: Times are all in Pacific Time Zone (PDT)

8:00-8:45 am Check-in. Coffee and bagels/pastries
8:45-9:00 am Opening Remarks by Igor Pilshchikov, Chair of Slavic, East European and Eurasian Languages and Literatures, UCLA


Panel 1: 9:00-9:55 am
Mirroring the Paradigm of the 18th-19th centuries Russian Culture
Chair: Elena Makarova (UCLA)

Maya Shkolnik (Columbia University / Visiting Student at Oxford University)
“Anna Karenina’s Decline: Her Self-Enclosure as a Decadent Parable”

Madeline Muller (Bryn Mawr College) – “Concurrent Polyphony through Combat in Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Demons and Toni Morrison’s Paradise”

Tessa Lippmann (Bryn Mawr College) – “The Winter Palace: its symbology throughout
Russian and Soviet eras”


Panel 2: 10:00-10:40 am
Issues in Bilingualism
Chair: Emma Montilla (UCLA)

Tadas Račkauskas (USC) – “Exploring the Interaction of Lithuanian-English Code Switching with Case Declension and Syntactic Structure: A Matrix Language Frame Model Analysis”

Amy Cabrales (UCLA) – “Motivations and Identity Relationships with the Russian Language Among UCLA Heritage Speakers of Russian”


COFFEE BREAK: 10:40 – 10:50 am


Panel 3: 10:50-11:45
Conceptualizing early 20th-century Russian Literature
Chair: Lydia Roberts (UCLA)

Ava Ratcliff (UC Berkeley) — “Reconceiving the Marian Mother in ‘We’ by Yevgeny Zamyatin and ‘The Mother’ by Maxim Gorky”

Joshua Darrish (UC Santa Barbara) – “Healing the Imperial Scar: Exploring the Role of Jewish Diasporic Tikkun Olam in Babel’s Konarmiya”

Kelly Nguyen (UCLA) – “A Utopian Mirage: The Disconnect Between Theoretical Ideals and Practical Realities of Socialism in Andrei Platonov’s Chevengur”


LUNCH: 11:45-12:45 pm


Panel 4: 12:45-1:40 pm
Soviet Prose Challenging the Regime Chair:
Sasha Razor (UC Santa Barbara)

Guy Yegudin (UC Santa Barbara) – “Out of Place and Out of Time: The Plight of the Intellectual Under Totalitarian Regimes as Depicted in the Novels of Bulgakov and Nabokov”

Alina Tszyan (UC Santa Barbara) – “The Self in Peril in Invitation to a Beheading by Vladimir Nabokov”

Zachary Richardson (UCLA) – “Doctor Zhivago, Alexander Blok’s The Twelve, and Boris Pasternak’s philosophy of a great artist”


Panel 5: 1:45-2:40 pm
Cross-Cultural Relationships: in Search for Identities
Chair: Cooper Lynn (UCLA)

Michael O’Connell (Haverford College) – «“The smell of the Rus’ is in the air”: White emigres and the American Rus’ at ROVA Farms, 1934-1976»

Katharina Hass (UC Berkeley) – “The Monument to the Treaty of Georgievsk: a Georgian Monumental Mosaic and the Soviet Friendship of the Peoples”

Tyler Armstrong (UCLA) – «“You Sent for Me, Comrade Leader?”: How Marvel’s Black Widow Characterizes Russian Identity as Inferior to American Identity»


COFFEE BREAK 2:40-3:00 pm


Panel 6: 3:00-4:10 pm
Focus on the Balkans: Politics, Migration, Youth
Chair: Sylvie Vidan (UCLA)

Kenan Čačković (UCLA) – “Environmental Implications of Political Mismanagement in Bosnia and Herzegovina”

Doris Butković (UCLA) – “The Inheritance of Memory: Generational Trauma in Post- Yugoslav Communities”

Aliyah McCoy (UCLA) – “Remnants of War: The Mass Emigration of Bosnian Youth” Paloma Gasparov (UCLA) – “The Brain Drain Paradigm on Bulgarian Youth”


Panel 7: 4:15-5:10 pm
“Imperial Shadow”: Some Outcomes of Russia’s Politics
Chair: Yelena Furman (UCLA)

Cheyenne Hawkins (UCLA) – “Parallel Histories: A Comparative Analysis of Crimean Tatar Persecution under Stalin and Putin”

Elise Keller and Fernanda Varelas Ramirez (UC Santa Barbara) – “A Comparison of Vladimir Putin’s Interviews with American and Russian Reporters”

Kareena Dhillon (UC Santa Barbara) – “From Cold War Legacies to Modern Ambitions: Russia’s Role in West Africa”


5:15-5:30 pm Closing Remarks & Presentation of Certificates: Tanya Ivanova- Sullivan (UCLA) and Larry McLellan (UCSB)