Youth Political Engagement in the 2019 Ukrainian Presidential Election

April 15th, 2022 · 45 mins 34 secs

About this Episode

In this special episode, we feature Drs. Mary Neuburger and Oksana Lutsyshyna, and former SlavX hosts Matthew Orr and Lauren Nyquist who together undertook a phenomenal investigative project in spring 2019 to examine and closely follow Ukrainian youth political engagement during the presidential election in which Volodymyr Zelenskyy ultimately beat incumbent Petro Poroshenko. The team discusses the fascinating process by which they began their research, how they connected with Ukrainian students via Skype (not Zoom!), and what it was like when they eventually traveled to Ukraine itself. The lasting relationships and connections they made during that memorable month abroad in summer 2019 inform their thinking and processing of the War in Ukraine today. Take a listen!

PRODUCER'S NOTE: This episode was recorded on March 14th, 2022 for The Other Side of Campus podcast at UT Austin. Visit for more information and to listen to the original episode.

Dr. Mary C. Neuburger is a Professor of history, the Director of the Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies (CREEES), and the Chair of Slavic and Eurasian Studies at the University of Texas of Austin. She is the author of The Orient Within: Muslim Minorities and the Negotiation of Nationhood in Modern Bulgaria (Cornell 2004), and Balkan Smoke: Tobacco and the Making of Modern Bulgaria (Cornell, 2012). Dr. Neuburger is also the co-editor with Paulina Bren of Communism Unwrapped: Consumption in Cold War Eastern Europe (Oxford, 2012) and has authored numerous articles on Bulgarian history. Her latest book, Ingredients of Change, is a cultural history of food in Bulgaria and recently came out with Cornell University Press. She is also co-editor of the Journal of Contemporary History.

Dr. Oksana Lutsyshyna was born in Uzhhorod in 1974. She is a writer and translator, and lecturer in Ukrainian studies at the University of Texas in Austin, where she teaches Ukrainian language and Eastern European literatures. She holds a PhD in comparative literature from the University of Georgia. Lutsyshyna's most recent novel Ivan and Phoebe (2019) won two of the most prestigious literary awards in Ukraine, in 2020 and 2021, respectively: the Lviv City of Literature UNESCO Prize and Taras Shevchenko National Prize in fiction. The novel is forthcoming in the English translation by Nina Murray from Deep Vellum Publishing in 2022. Oksana Lutsyshyna's poetry collection, Persephone Blues, in the English translation, was released in 2019 by Arrowsmith.

Matthew Orr is a Eurasia analyst at RANE, a risk intelligence company that provides geopolitical information and consultation to consumers and corporate clients with business interests around the globe. Prior to starting at RANE, Orr received dual Master’s degrees in Global Policy Studies and Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies at The University of Texas at Austin.

Lauren Nyquist is a former undergraduate student at UT Austin and is currently pursuing her PhD in Geography at Texas A&M University.

PRODUCER'S NOTE: This episode was recorded on March 14th, 2022 via Zoom.
If you have questions, comments, or would like to be a guest on the show, please email and we will be in touch!

Associate Producer/Host: Lera Toropin (@earlportion)
Assistant Producer: Misha Simanovskyy (@MSimanovskyy)
Associate Producer: Cullan Bendig (@cullanwithana)
Assistant Producer: Sergio Glajar
Assistant Producer: Zach Johnson
Executive Assistant: Katherine Birch
Recording, Editing, and Sound Design: Michelle Daniel

Music Producer: Charlie Harper (Connect: Instagram: @charlieharpermusic) (Main Theme by Charlie Harper and additional background music by Charlie Harper, Holizna, Scott Holmes, Shaolin Dub, and Exetexe)

Executive Producer & Creator: Michelle Daniel (Connect: Instagram: @michelledaniel86)

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