International Young Researchers Conference

The Havighurst Center annually hosts the International Young Researchers’ Conference (YRC), which invites advanced graduate students and recent doctorate recipients from the U.S. and abroad to present their research on a specified topic within the region of Russia, Eastern Europe and/or Eurasia.

Havighurst Center for Russian and Post-Soviet Studies
Young Researchers Conference 2019
Technologies and Narratives of Truth and Power

Miami University, April 4-6, 2019

The relationship between technology and power in Eurasia is fraught, dynamic, and under-studied. While scholars usually focus on the twentieth century and what followed, as early as the reign of Peter I the state envisioned its might in scientific as well as military terms. Beginning in the late 1940s fields from literature to physics shaped and responded to the scientific discoveries of first the Cold War and then its unsettling aftermath. In the USSR the case for linking technology and power was all too obvious as future dissident Andrei Sakharov advanced Soviet nuclear capabilities. In the coming decades authors such as Valentin Rasputin critiqued the human and ecological costs of putative progress while mathematician-turned-writer I. Grekova extolled the creativity of those in the STEM fields. For late-Soviet culture the scientific-technical revolution remade both everyday life and the way ordinary people imagined it.

This workshop-style conference features papers on the broad themes of technology, narratives, truth, and power.


April 4

Keynote Lecture: Christine Evans, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Space Begins on Earth: Communications Satellites and Cold War History
Harrison Hall 111, 4:30p

April 5

(All paper panels will be held in King Library, Rm 320)

Panel 1 - 9:00-10:30am

Sean Griffin, Dartmouth College, Putin’s Tele-liturgical Weapons in the War against Ukraine

Jacob Lassin, Yale University, A Proper, Digital Upbringing: Middle-Class Anxieties, the Russian Orthodox Church, and the Leto Gospodne Essay Competition

Nadia Zasanska, Kyiv National University, Russian Orthodox Media in Ukraine: Narratives of Power vs. the Power of Narratives in the Conflict-affected Society 

Panel 2 - 11:00am -12:15pm

Alexey Golubev, University of Houston, Technology as Pedagogy: How Soviet Inventors and Engineers became Educators

Zdenko Mandušić, Saint Louis University, The Flicker of Screens in Deep Space: Technological Appeals and Media Fantasies in Ivan Efremov’s Andromeda

Panel 3 - 1:30-3:00pm

Carlotta Chenoweth, Yale University, Mayakovsky and Telegraphic Literacy

Maria Fedorova, University of California, Santa Barbara, Seeds as Technology

Polina Vlasenko, Indiana University, In vitro fertilization in the history of science and medicine of the Soviet Ukraine

Keynote Lecture: Monica Eppinger, St. Louis University
Conspicuous Equipment and Repurposed Technologies:  Cannibals, Zombies, Hackers, and others 
of the Relic-World

Harrison Hall 304, 4:30p


April 6 

Panel 4 - 10:00-11:30am

Emily Channell-Justice, Miami University, “Life is simple, when you throw everything in one bucket”:
Waste, Technology, and Power in Post-Soviet Ukraine

Dima Kortukov, Indiana University, The Politics of Pseudoscience: Power and Knowledge in Contemporary Russia


2019 YRC Conference Papers (requires password)