The Slavic Connexion

A fresh international chat show from The University of Texas at Austin

About the show

A fresh international chat show from The University of Texas at Austin meant to share research, ideas, politics, and culture from the Slavic world and beyond in digestible episodes. The Slavic Connexion is a production of the Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies at UT Austin. "It's not typical Texas."

The Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies condemns the Russian Federation’s military invasion of Ukraine. We stand in support of the people of Ukraine who are fighting for their lives and sovereignty in the face of the unjustified invasion by Russian military forces.

TPN 2021
Texas Podcast Network is brought to you by The University of Texas at Austin. Podcasts are produced by faculty members and staffers at UT Austin who work with University Communications to craft content that adheres to journalistic best practices. The University of Texas at Austin offers these podcasts at no charge. Podcasts appearing on the network and this webpage represent the views of the hosts, not of The University of Texas at Austin.

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  • KAZKA: The Voice of Ukraine

    March 23rd, 2023  |  Season 5  |  51 mins 10 secs
    conflict, music, politics, ukraine russia war

    On this special episode, Sergio and Misha get the opportunity to speak with Sasha Zaritska, the lead singer of U-pop band KAZKA, and Andriy Urenov, producer and manager of the band. Their new single "Bez Kohannya" (Without Love) is out this Friday! Listen to the end of the episode for a sneak preview.

  • You Only Need to Die: The Secret Police of East Germany and Romania

    March 6th, 2023  |  Season 5  |  36 mins 59 secs
    cold war, history, intelligence

    On this episode, Valentina Glajar and Alison Lewis share their personal stories and research on the history of East Germany's STASI and Romania's Securitate and the dismantling of these secret police forces. Thank you for listening!

  • Milan Rastislav Štefánik: The Slovak National Hero and Co-Founder of Czechoslovakia

    January 20th, 2023  |  Season 5  |  32 mins 53 secs
    czechoslovakia, history, politics, ussr

    On this episode, Cullan talks with Professor Michal Kšiňan about his monograph on the Slovak national hero and co-founder of Czechoslovakia, Milan Rastislav Štefánik. Michal talks about Štefánik's military career and meteoric rise and the place he continues to hold in Czechoslovakia history and memory. Thanks for listening!

  • "In the Storms of Transformation": History of Balkan Migration and Globalization with Ulf Brunnbauer

    January 7th, 2023  |  Season 5  |  28 mins 32 secs
    anthropology, balkans, history, migration, society and culture

    On this episode, Cullan sits down with lauded historian Ulf Brunnbauer whose research on the social history and historical anthropology of Southeast Europe reveals that the Balkan region is in many ways more globalized than the rest of Europe.

  • The Other: Russian-American Relations Through the Centuries with Ivan Kurilla

    December 30th, 2022  |  Season 5  |  35 mins 57 secs
    higher education, history, international relations, politics, russia, united states

    On this episode, historian Dr. Ivan Kurilla from European University in St. Petersburg shares about his research on the rich and little-known history of US-Russia relations since the 18th century. Dr. Kurilla explains that the two countries are "constitutive others," using each other as both threats and positive models for achieving political and social goals. Thank you for listening!

  • Compounding Conflicts: Russia in Ukraine, the Middle East, and Africa with Robert Freedman

    December 23rd, 2022  |  Season 5  |  45 mins 2 secs
    africa, geopolitics, middle east, russia, security, ukraine, war

    On this episode, venerated political scientist Dr. Robert Freedman joins us to expound on the various wars and conflicts that Russia has gotten into, not only in Ukraine, but also in Syria, Libya, Mali, and more. Dr. Freedman articulates Putin's current goals as he sees them, touches on the liberal use of the Wagner Group by Russia, and prognosticates on the future of the war in Ukraine and Ukraine's prospects in joining Western security organizations. Thanks for listening (and happy holidays to all)!

  • The Reception Desk: Soviet Bureaucracy with a Human Face, 1979-1985

    December 13th, 2022  |  Season 5  |  32 mins 18 secs
    bureaucracy, history, migration, social history, soviet union

    On this episode, Lera speaks with Emily Joan Elliott, H-Net associate director for research and publications, about what got her interested in Soviet and post-Soviet history and her particular focus on migration to Moscow and the Priemnaia (reception desk) of the Supreme Soviet--a bureaucratic space available to all citizens for voicing concerns and petitions.

  • The Politics of Soviet Football in the 1950s and 60s

    November 28th, 2022  |  Season 5  |  24 mins 27 secs
    football, germany, history, olympics, politics, soviet union, sports

    On this episode, Sergio talks with Yacov Zohn, football historian and former semi-professional footballer in Russia, France, and the US. Yacov's research into the development of Soviet football sheds light on the immense political pressure placed on the primary USSR team, the Sbornaya, to win each and every game--but ultimately the unrealistic aim to earn gold at the Olympics in 1952 and 1956 is never realized, and football remains one of only two gold medal categories that eluded the USSR.

  • "Budapest's Children: Humanitarian Relief in the Aftermath of the Great War"

    November 23rd, 2022  |  Season 5  |  27 mins 54 secs
    humanitarian aid, hungary, united states, world war i

    On this episode, Friederike Kind-Kovács visits with us in Austin, Texas, to talk about her latest book which explores the ways in which migration, hunger, and destitution affected children's lives, casting light on their particular vulnerability in times of distress.

  • Russian Law: "Is There Any?" with Will Pomeranz

    November 16th, 2022  |  Season 5  |  36 mins 39 secs
    aseees, history, law, russia, ukraine, war

    On this episode, recorded in-person at the ASEEES 2022 Convention in Chicago, Lera and Taylor sit down with Will Pomeranz, the director of the Wilson Center's Kennan Institute, to talk about his experience practicing Russian law in Russia, the work of the Kennan Institute, the evolution (and devolution) of Russian law from the tsarist period through Putin today, and the legality of the referenda in Ukraine. We hope you enjoy!

  • "The Demise of the Multiethnic Soviet Union" with Brigid O'Keeffe

    November 8th, 2022  |  Season 5  |  46 mins 49 secs
    culture, history, language, race, soviet union

    On this episode, author and historian Brigid O'Keeffe joins Sergio and Misha to discuss her research and newly released work on the rise and fall of the multiethnic Soviet Union. Thanks for listening!

  • "Oil, the State, and War" with Emma Ashford

    October 31st, 2022  |  Season 5  |  39 mins 34 secs
    energy, foreign policy, history, middle east, oil, russia, war

    On this episode, continuing the discussion about the effects of the War in Ukraine on the energy sector, Taylor and Lera speak with Foreign Policy columnist and Stimson Center senior fellow Emma Ashford who shares about her book "Oil, the State, and War: The Foreign Policy of Petrostates." Thanks for listening!

  • Shifting Sands: The Middle East and North Africa in Russia's War in Ukraine

    October 25th, 2022  |  Season 5  |  40 mins 27 secs
    geopolitics, middle east, opec, russia, security, ukraine, war

    On this episode, guest Nicole Robinson expounds on the region geographically and strategically situated in between giants: the Middle East. She explains how MENA countries have responded to Russia's War in Ukraine and sheds some light on the future of the region as the conflict evolves and Russia's capacity to arm and feed its regional allies dwindles.

  • "Ingredients of Change": History of Food in Bulgaria with Mary Neuburger

    October 21st, 2022  |  Season 5  |  42 mins 23 secs
    balkans, culture, food history, soviet history

    On this episode, Taylor talks with the director of CREEES, Dr. Mary Neuburger, about her latest book entitled Ingredients of Change: The History and Culture of Food in Modern Bulgaria. Thanks for listening!

  • "The Fastest Game in the World" with Bruce Berglund

    October 14th, 2022  |  Season 5  |  48 mins 9 secs
    canada, eastern europe, history, hockey, olympics, putin, soviet union, sports

    On this episode, Eliza talks with sports historian Bruce Berglund who shares his expertise on the global development of hockey, the rise of the sport in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union and its role in the expression of national identity on the international stage. Thanks for listening!

  • Putin's War in Ukraine: Mobilization, Annexation, and the Coming Winter

    October 7th, 2022  |  Season 5  |  42 mins 13 secs
    current events, politics, putin, russia, ukraine, war

    On this episode, Lera and Taylor welcome returning guest Leonid Ragozin who candidly updates us on the war in Ukraine and helps us make sense of the fog of this conflict and the continual stream of headline-making actions emanating from the Kremlin.