Lera, while born in Tiraspol, Moldova, was happily raised in the suburbs of South-Eastern Pennsylvania and the land of Wawa. After getting her B.A. in Japanese from Penn State, she spent the next 6 years bouncing around between Japan, the DMV area, and Pittsburgh before finally landing in Texas to start her dual-degree Master's program in Global Policy Studies and Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies at UT. Her research interests include U.S.-Russia relations, foreign diplomacy, grassroots exchange, and protest/dissent in Russia. Her limited free time interests include showing everyone pictures of her two cats, engaging in the Fast and the Furious franchise discourse, and never finishing any of her knitting projects.
B.A. in Japanese, minor in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, Penn State University
Post-Soviet Russia, Putinism, grassroots cultural exchange programs, U.S.-Russia relations, foreign diplomacy, national security, relationship between Russia's government and its citizens, Russian political protests
Episode | July 10th, 2020 | Season 2 | 49 mins 35 secs
biopics, culture, language, music, seva novgorodsev
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!
Episode | June 1st, 2020 | Season 2 | 43 mins 20 secs
balkan history, diplomacy, intelligence, soviet history, yugoslav wars
Former CIA officer Stephen Slick joins us to talk about his nearly three decades in intelligence, spent largely overseas, to his role as an educator at the University of Texas at Austin in building the Intelligence Studies Project--a first of its kind in the United States. We hope you enjoy!
Episode | April 21st, 2020 | Season 2 | 35 mins 37 secs
diplomacy, karaoke, media landscape, media literacy, privacy concerns, writing
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. Take a listen!
Episode | January 22nd, 2020 | Season 2 | 41 mins 35 secs
crimea, japan, post-cold war international relations, putin, russia, trump
Professor Akaha gives us his take on Russia-Japanese relations in the aftermath of the Cold War and the impact that Russia-US tensions play on Japan's geographic well-being. And in the second half of the episode, Dr. Smeltz from the Chicago Council on Global Affairs explains her findings from surveys that reveal Russians still approve of Putin's foreign policy.
Episode | January 17th, 2020 | Season 2 | 30 mins 59 secs
balkans, blackness, disney, soviet animation, winnie the pooh, yugoslavia
Dr. Amanbayeva of Kazakhstan takes us into the magical world of Winnie the Pooh... but in the Soviet Union, and in the second segment, Dr. Rucker-Chang discusses the surprising ways in which people see themselves in the Balkans.
Episode | January 14th, 2020 | Season 2 | 26 mins 28 secs
emigre journeys, literature, russian film
Wrapping up our ASEEES conference series, we have a super fun couple's episode with the dynamic duo of Alexander Prokhorov and Elena Prokhorova from Moscow State University who talk about their personal journeys and how they ended up at teaching at College of William & Mary.
Episode | December 14th, 2019 | Season 2 | 40 mins 29 secs
anthropocene, anthropology, geography, geology, photography, polar north, visual ethnography
In this episode, anthropologist Craig Campbell talks about his interest in the river life of Siberia, the age of the Anthropocene, and how "time is profoundly weird."
Episode | December 9th, 2019 | Season 2 | 14 mins 43 secs
aseees, conference interviews
SlavX host Lera gets the chance to talk with Professor Vladimir Golstein from Brown University at the 2019 ASEEES conference in San Francisco. Check it out!
Episode | November 27th, 2019 | Season 2 | 49 mins 59 secs
environmental studies, irkutsk, lake baikal, russian professors in the us, siberia, study abroad programs
On this episode, we meet the wonderful and charming Dr. Evgenia Wilkins, a native of St. Petersburg, who talks about her upcoming Maymester program in Siberia which will explore the richness of Lake Baikal (no knowledge of Russian necessary!)
Episode | October 21st, 2019 | Season 2 | 16 mins 12 secs
russian drama, russian emigres, the last czars
In this episode, Matt talks with Marina Alexandrova about her challenges coming to America from Russia, and the art of teaching Russian culture as a talented and creative professor at the University of Texas at Austin.
Episode | October 14th, 2019 | Season 2 | 24 mins 4 secs
anthropology, climate change, people stories, siberia
How does one wind up in Northeastern Siberia? Dr. Susan Crate recounts her almost 30 years
conducting research in Russia, a journey that began with an interest in Russian folklore and a
Bridges for Peace trip and resulted in a thirst to learn the Russian language and travel to Siberia.
Episode | September 30th, 2019 | Season 2 | 31 mins 49 secs
eurasia, irkut, languages
Cultural geographer and linguist Bella Jordan returns to the SlavX studio to discuss languages, indigenous peoples of the former Russian Empire, and the process of "de-Russification" that is the tendency now of many societies in the post-Soviet space.
Episode | September 26th, 2019 | Season 2 | 21 mins 22 secs
американская жизнь, образивание в сша, подкасты на русском языке, русские профессора в америке
В этом эпизоде ведущие Мэтт и Лера садятся с профессором Мариной Александровой, чтобы рассказать о своем опыте адаптации к жизни в Америке...