Shasha Seminar for Human Concerns: Understanding Russia

Friday, October 11, 2019



Beckham Hall

3:00–7:00 p.m.


Public Lecture: “Russia and America: What Is To Be Done?’

Andrew Meier '85 (New School)

Memorial Chapel

4:00 p.m.



Zelnick Pavilion

5:30–6:30 p.m.



Beckham Hall

6:30–8:00 p.m.


Saturday, October 12, 2019 



Beckham Hall

8:30–10:00 a.m.



Usdan Center, Daniel Family Commons

10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.



10:00–11:10 a.m.

This panel will discuss the prickly relationship between art and power in Russia. What contributions of Russian culture still speak to us in 21st century America?

Chair:  Susanne Fusso (Wesleyan)

Lindsay Ceballos ’07 (Lafayette College)

Elizabeth Papazian ’91 (U of Maryland)

Emily Wang ’08 (Notre Dame U)



11:10–11:30 a.m.

Daniel Family Commons Lobby



11:30 a.m.–12:40 p.m.

What narratives do Russians construct to explain the traumas of 20th century Russian history? Which controversies remain unresolved?

Chair:  Roman Utkin (Wesleyan)

Amy Randall ’89 (Santa Clara U)
Victoria Smolkin (Wesleyan)

Ilya Vinkovetsky ’88 (Simon Fraser U.) 



Beckham Hall

12:40–1:40 p.m.



1:40–2:50 p.m.

To what extent does public opinion constrain Kremlin decision making? How are elite factions positioning themselves to handle the transition to post-Putin Russia?

Chair:  Anthony Richter ’84 (Open Society Foundation)

David Abramson ’87 (State Department)

Danielle Lussier ’98 (Grinnell College)

Lauren McCarthy ’01 (UMass Amherst)

Elizabeth Plantan ’10 (Harvard)



2:50-3:10 p.m.

Daniel Family Commons Lobby


Business and Careers 

3:10–4:20 p.m.

This panel will discuss the trajectory of Russia’s economic development, the prospects for foreign investors, and the range of careers available to graduates in Russian studies. 

Chair:  Nancy Herzog ’90 (National Endowment for Democracy) Nancy@NED.ORG

Ian Hague ’83, P’18 (Firebird)

Kate Hardin ’90 (IHS Markit)

Lydia Tomkiw ’11 (Fund Fire/Financial Times)


Summation and Farewell 

4:20–5:00 p.m.