Sergio is a born-and-raised Austinite with a B.A. in philosophy from St. Edward’s University and a J.D. from Emory University School of Law. Prior to graduate school, Sergio was an Assistant District Attorney in Philadelphia. He is currently pursuing a master’s degree at UT Austin in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies. A native speaker of Romanian, Sergio primarily researches fascism and religion in interwar Romania.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
September 28th, 2022 | Season 5 | 34 mins 33 secs
europe, history, poland, politics, russia, ukraine
On this episode, luminary historian Professor Norman Davies joins us to talk about the state of Polish studies, the deep history of Ukraine when it was ruled from Warsaw and Krakow, and the importance of broadening European and Slavic studies as taught in academic spaces. This episode was all about historical context, so we hope you enjoy. Thanks for listening!
April 30th, 2022 | Season 4 | 35 mins 55 secs
cold war, disinformation, intelligence, propaganda, russia, ukraine, ussr
On this episode, continuing our series on Putin's War in Ukraine, Lera and Sergio speak with Douglas Selvage at the Humboldt University of Berlin about his research on the disinformation cooperation between KGB and STASI during the Cold War and specifically the work of Operation "Denver" in the 1980s. Dr. Selvage talks of how these same Cold War propaganda tactics are nearly verbatim recycled today in Putin's war of aggression in Ukraine.
March 23rd, 2022 | Season 4 | 41 mins 36 secs
global order, nato, politics, russia, ukraine, war
Journalist Leonid Ragozin joins us to talk about the irrationality of Putin's invasion of Ukraine and Zelensky's steadfast resistance which has led to the present stalemate situation that we now have. Ragozin calls Putin's gamble a suicidal move, not just for Putin's regime but for Russia itself.
January 17th, 2022 | Season 4 | 29 mins 59 secs
bulgaria, eu, greece, history, north macedonia, politics
On this special episode, Dr. Mary Neuburger's graduate class presents their analysis of North Macedonia’s complicated quest for EU accession which has been ongoing for over 25 years. What's the hold up exactly and which EU members are keen on preventing European integration? Take a listen and find out!
December 13th, 2021 | Season 4 | 56 mins 26 secs
cold war, europe, history, poland, politics, revolution
On this, the 30th anniversary of the institution of martial law in Poland, we talked with Eastern Europe historian Tomek Jankowski to commemorate this momentous point in modern history which approximately coincides with the release of the 2nd edition of his comprehensive and entertaining history of Eastern Europe. Sharing with us his personal experiences and stories from his time in Hungary as a student to his getting caught in the Romanian revolution of 1989, Tomek reflects on the unimaginable changes in Eastern Europe since the 1st edition of his book (published in 2013). We hope you enjoy this amazing discussion!
September 24th, 2021 | Season 4 | 43 mins 30 secs
afghanistan, cold war, international history, ussr history
Dr. Timothy Nunan from the Free University of Berlin joins Cullan and new host Sergio to discuss his latest book, The Humanitarian Invasion: Global Development in Cold War Afghanistan. With his research interests spanning from Soviet-Russian religious internationalism to the USSR’s relations with the global south, we are lucky to host such a knowledgeable resource on the pod! Take a listen!