News Archive

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Stephen Sestanovich Weighs In: "Trump Declines to Add Sanctions Against Russians, Contradicting Haley"

Stephen Sestanovich, Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Professor for the Practice of International Diplomacy, weighs in on President Trump's decision to reject the sanctions imposed on Russian companies found to be assisting Syria’s chemical weapons program, in contradiction to U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley. “Trump seems to think that if he accepts what his advisers recommend on even days of the month and rejects their recommendations on odd days, the result will be a strategy,” Sestanovich told the New York Times on April 16, 2018.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Alumni Profile: Anita Demkiv (MARS-REERS '04)

Anita Demkiv (MARS-REERS '04), Chief Executive Officer, ADIN Energy LLC, was profiled on the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences website. Read full story here.

Excerpt about her time at the Harriman Institute:

What lessons from graduate school have you found useful in your professional life?
Perhaps the fine art of skimming texts, because of the copious amounts of reading that was needed for every class—and that I continue to need to do. More seriously, I learned to push myself and be energized by competition. The academically rigorous courses were complemented by incredibly smart classmates who inspired me to be my best.  

What skill has unexpectedly helped you in your career?
Coming from a social science academic background, I didn't realize how much I would need to hone my quantitative skills. I still have room for improvement, but gaining comfort with spreadsheets and numbers is nowadays an indispensable skill in any discipline and has proved useful for me. 

What is your favorite memory from your graduate years?
While I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ukraine, I talked to my students about Professor Jeffrey Sachs and his work. A few years later, after I became a Columbia student, it was a thrill to chat briefly with him at a reception after a talk he gave. He's like a rock star to me!

Monday, April 16, 2018

Kimberly Marten on PBS Newshour with Hari Sreenivasan

Kimberly Marten (Ann Whitney Olin Professor of Political Science and Director of the Program on U.S.-Russia Relations) appeared on  PBS Newshour with Hari Sreenivasan on April 14, 2018, to discuss US air strikes on Syria and the Russian reaction, as well as the Skripal nerve agent poisoning in the UK. 
Friday, April 13, 2018

Keith Gessen Publishes Story in the New Yorker

Harriman faculty member Keith Gessen (George T. Delacorte Assistant Professor of Magazine Journalism) has published a new story in the New Yorker (April 16, 2018), titled "How Did We Come to Know You?" Excerpted from his forthcoming novel, A Terrible Country, the piece tells the story of Andrei, an out-of-work Ph.D. in Russian studies, who returns to Moscow to live with his grandmother. "Thinly veiled autobiography" is a term that crops up in Gessen's interview with David Wallace about the work. You can read the interview here. And listen to Gessen read the story here.
Monday, April 9, 2018

Timothy Frye Featured Guest on NPR's Marketplace

Timothy Frye (Marshall D. Shulman Professor of Post-Soviet Foreign Policy; Chair, Department of Political Science ) was a featured guest on NPR's Marketplace program, where he spoke on Russia's economic stagnation in the run up to the presidential elections.
Friday, April 6, 2018

Frajlich Gives Interview to Dzień Dobry TVN on the 1968 Exile of Jews from Poland

Anna Frajlich (Senior Lecturer in Polish, Emerita) gave an interview to Dzień Dobry TVN about the March 1968 emigration of Jews from Poland. Frajlich and her family left Poland 50 years ago as part of the Jewish exile, and settled in New York City. The interview was given in Warsaw in March 2018, while Frajlich was in Poland to promote 4 new publications and take part in commemorations of the traumatic events of  1968. (The interview is the second piece on this link.)

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Student Spotlight: Sophie Pinkham (Ph.D. Candidate in Slavic Languages; MARS-REERS '12)

Sophie Pinkham, Ph.D. Candidate in Slavic Languages; MARS-REERS '12, is featured in the Student Spotlight on the website of Columbia's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. 

What drew you to your field? 
I became interested in Russian literature in high school, and began studying Russian in college. After I graduated, I went on an exchange program to work at the Red Cross in Siberia. I became fascinated by the subject of public health in the former Soviet Union, and worked in that field for several years. Eventually, I returned to my first love—literature—and entered the PhD program at Columbia. 

How would you explain your current research to someone outside of your field?
I am researching the use of Russia's greatest cultural hero, the writer Alexander Pushkin, in evolving ideas of Russian national identity during the transition from communism. I am particularly interested in how a cultural hero can be used as a kind of bridge to reduce the sense of trauma and loss associated with major political and historical ruptures.

What is your favorite thing about being a student at Columbia GSAS?
The libraries. It gives me endless delight to know that I have access to almost any book on any topic in any language. I love to fall down research rabbit holes.

Read more on the GSAS website.
Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Thomas Kitson Receives Read Russia Prize Special Mention

Thomas Kitson (Harriman Postdoctoral Fellow, 2010-11) received special mention for his translation of Iliazd's Rapture from the 2018 Read Russia Prize jury. Kitson's translation was published by Columbia University Press in 2017. The award ceremony will take place during the London Book Fair, on April 11. 

Rapture is a fast-paced adventure-romance and a literary treat of the highest order. With a deceptively light hand, Iliazd entertains questions that James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, and Thomas Mann once faced. How does the individual balance freedom and necessity, love and death, creativity and sterility? What is the role of violence in human history and culture? How does language both comfort and fail us in our postwar, post-Christian world? Censored for decades in the Soviet Union, Rapture was nearly lost to Russian and Western audiences. This translation rescues Laurence's surreal journey from the oblivion he, too, faces as he tries to outrun fate.
Tuesday, April 3, 2018

European Western Balkans Interviews Tanya Domi

European Western Balkans published an interview with Tanya Domi (SIPA) on April 3, 2018. Topics covered include U.S. foreign policy toward the Balkans after Tillerson, media freedom,  the role of Russia, and security challenges.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Garafola Authors Website for the Columbia Exhibition "Arthur Mitchell: Harlem's Ballet Trailblazer"

Lynn Garafola (Professor of Dance, Emerita), curator of the Columbia exhibit "Arthur Mitchell: Harlem's Ballet Trailblazer," has authored an exhibit website for Columbia University Libraries. 
The website, created in tandem with the exhibition "Arthur Mitchell: Harlem’s Ballet Trailblazer," on display at the Wallach Art Gallery from January 12 to March 11, 2018, highlights material from the Arthur Mitchell Collection, Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Columbia University.  It also includes commissioned essays, timelines, links to publicly available sources, and other resources in addition to material from the physical exhibition.  Please share this website with friends, students, and colleagues, using it to explore the rich histories behind Arthur Mitchell’s career and the Dance Theatre of Harlem, which celebrates its fiftieth anniversary in 2019, and encourage new scholarship about African Americans and ballet.