Guest: Erik Scott on defection, the Cold War, and the regulation of borders and movement in a globalizing world.
Roma Shatrov is the founder of the Silent Cape Nature Park in Sakhalin. Irina Grudova is Ainu, the indigenous inhabitants of Sakhalin. Roma is obsessed with Ainu history and culture and has dedicated the Silent Cape to revitalizing their tradition. Irina is a local Ainu activist and is skeptical of such outsiders looking to exploit her heritage. Yet Roma and Irina instantly hit it off and formed a strong bond over their mutual love of the Ainu. Rusana Novikova brings us a story about the romanticism and self-discovery at the heart of Irina and Roma’s complicated friendship, and its potential promise for Ainu and Russian relations.
Guest: Ilya Vinitsky on the persistence of fakes, forgeries, and frauds in Russian literary culture.
Guests: Rafael Khachaturian and Richard Antaramian on Armenia, Azerbaijan, and the ethnic cleansing of Nagorno-Karabakh.
Guests: Elmira Muratova and Michael Kemper on Islam in the Soviet and Post-Soviet contexts.
Guest: Marjorie Mandelstam Balzer on the evolution of indigeneity and religion across the Soviet and post-Soviet divide.
Guest: Katya Tolstaya on theology, belief, and the remaning spiritual scars after Gulag.
Guests: Fenggang Yang and Kung Lap Yan on Christianity, worship, and religious persecution in China.
Guest: Anna Kovalova, Pitt’s new Visiting Assistant Professor in Slavic Languages and Literatures, on her work on early Russian cinema.
Guests: Geneviève Zubrzycki and Jose Casanova on the place of the Catholic Church in Polish politics and national identity.
Guests: Anca Sincan and Tatiana Vagramenko discuss the how secret police files document religious belief and worship in communist Romania and Ukraine.