Visiting Faculty & Scholars


  • Liridona Veliu – PhD Candidate, Department of Politics and International Relations, School of Law and Government, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Dublin City University. Her PhD dissertation project is “Back to the
    Future: Balkanization and the Euro-Atlantic Integration Processes of the Western Balkans.” Her recent book is Balkanization: A Critical Study of Otherness Through Twitter. While at the University of Illinois as a Visiting Scholar, she works under the supervision of Dr. Maria Todorova, Gutgsell Professor of History. During the fall, she presented a paper at the East European Reading Group. She will also give a REEEC Noontime Scholars Lecture on December 3, 2019, on “#Balkanization: A Critical Study of Otherness through Twitter.”


  • Julia Safronova – Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of History, European University at St. Petersburg. She received her PhD from the Saint-Petersburg Institute of History of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Her research interest include the history of populism in Russia, society and public opinion in the reign of Alexander II, and illegal literature reading practices. Her recent publications are Istoricheskaya pamyat’. Vvedenie [Historical memory: an introduction] S(t.Petersburg: EUSP Press, 2019) and Ekaterina Yurievskaya: roman v pis’mah [Catherine Yourievsky. A story in correspondance] (St.Petersburg: EUSP Press, 2017).


  • Alexander Erokhin – Director of the Department of Publishing and Book Science of the Institute of Social Communications (Udmurt State University, Izhevsk, Russia) where he has been teaching courses on world and today’s Russian literature. As a Fulbright Visiting Scholar at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Alexander Erokhin had a research program concerned with the changing field of actual Russian-speaking literature(s). Dr. Erokhin received his PhDs at the Moscow Lomonossov University. His main fields of research are comparative literature studies and the history of the Russian and German-speaking literatures of the 20th century. He is involved in various research projects of the Institute of World Literature (Moscow, Russian Academy of Science) dedicated to the literary contacts between Russia and Germany in the 20th century. He has published essays on Aleksandr Blok and Goethe, Dostoevsky and Europe, Walter Benjamin and Russia, anarchist literature in Germany, and the Russian prose of the 21st century. Dr. Erokhin was a grantee of prestigious European and German scholarships (Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Erasmus Mundus, German Literary Archive, Goethe Society in Weimar).
  • Mariia Artema – PhD Candidate in History, European University at St. Petersburg.
  • Ekaterina Karaseva – PhD Candidate in Economics, European University at St. Petersburg.


  • Karol Kujawa – Assistant Professor at Canakkale Onsekiz Mart University in Turkey and a Kosciuszko Foundation Fellow in the U.S. Dr. Kujawa is an analyst specializing in the Middle East, Balkans and European Neighbourhood Policy. He obtained his Ph.D. from Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań. Prior to his doctoral work, he was a fellow at the Center for Russian and East European Studies at the University of Pittsburgh (USA), Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales (France), University of Zagreb (Croatia), and Mersin University (Turkey). He used to work as a senior analyst on Turkey and the Balkans at the Polish Institute of International Affairs in Warsaw, a government think tank. He has been a lecturer at the European University Viadrina in Frankfurt (Germany), Department of Asian Studies at Adam Mickiewicz University (Poland), and Gazikent University (Turkey). He has published more than 100 articles and has given numerous interviews for the Polish and foreign media.


  • Sang Chul Park – Professor of History at Chonnam National University. His research is focused on the history of Russian politics in the early 20th century, particularly in the pre- and post-World War I era. He is interested in how the Russian government of the time responded to military defeat and social opposition. Specifically, he is examining the response of liberal Russian political parties (such as the Kadets) to the war, especially in their support for “L’union sacree” and their involvement in the Progressiv Bloc.
  • Curtis Richardson – Visting Assistant Professor. Dr. Richardson holds a Ph.D. in Imperial Russian history from Northern Illinois University. His dissertation centered heavily on the preparation for the Great Reforms which took place in Russia under tsar Alexander II. He currently teaches REES 200 “Introduction to the Cultures of Russia and Eurasia” and is writing a manuscript entitled “A Kinder, Gentler Russia: Hierarchies of Violence, Domestic Abuse, and Domesticity,” in which he analyzes modernization in Russia from the reign of Peter the Great to Alexander II.


  • Ekaterine Pirtskhalava – Assistant Professor of Psychology in the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences at Iv. Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University in the Republic of Georgia. Her research interests include: social psychology, sociology, family and family relationships, and issues related to Muslim Meskhetians (a Muslim people from Meskhetia, a region in southwestern Georgia).
  • Aileen Friesen – REEEC Postdoctoral Fellow. She received her PhD in history from the University of Alberta in 2013. Her dissertation was entitled “Building Orthodox Communities Outside Mother Russia: Church and Colonization in Omsk Diocese, 1885-1917.” Her main research interests are in settler colonialism, religion in the Russian Empire, spatial history, and Mennonite interactions with the state in the Russian Empire.