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WCED Graduate Fellows, 2014-15

Sasha de Vogel is a doctoral student in the Department of Political Science. She holds an M.A. in Russian, East European, and Eurasian regional studies and B.A. in Slavic studies from Columbia University. Focused on Russia, her research has examined changing political attitudes among Russia’s urban middle class, the organization of the 2011-12 election protests, legal reform, social movements, and elections in the former Soviet region. She plans to research middle class politics in non-democratic states that have experienced rapid economic growth.

Karl Gaudyn is a doctoral student in the Department of Comparative Literature. He received a B.A. in comparative literature and French from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign and an M.A. in history and literature from Columbia University. He plans to focus on Polish modernist literature, along with French, German, and Russian modernism, and how literary movements grew out of and developed in response to the socioeconomic situations enveloping Europe throughout the 20th century. More specifically, he is interested in Marxist literary and cultural theory.

Simeneh Gebremariam is a doctoral student in the Department of Anthropology. He received his M.A. in cultural studies from the Institute of Ethiopian Studies at Addis Ababa University, focusing on the 1974 Ethiopian Revolution and the subsequent socialist period. He is the recipient of an African Initiative Fellowship for 2014-15. Simeneh’s research will examine post-socialist Ethiopia and its neighboring countries, which were also part of the “socialist experiment.” He aims to elucidate the intersection of debates about ideology, social change, nationalism, socialism/post-socialism, ethnicity, identity, migration, memory, and the politics of modernity that is manifested in the genre of visual and performing arts that is essential to a full understanding of these societies within the regional and global context.

Ignacio Huerta is a first-year graduate student in Romance languages and literatures. His educational experience includes a degree in fine arts and an M.A. in psychoanalysis and cultural theory from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. His master´s thesis, “A Psychoanalytical Reading of Myths in Socialist Realism Cinema,” examines archetypes of Soviet political art, literature, and cinema during the Socialist Realism period. His current research focuses on the study of the ideological underpinnings of the mythical discourse in documentary and fictional films produced during the Spanish Civil War.

Özge Korkmaz is a doctoral student in the Department of Anthropology. Özge graduated from Istanbul Bilgi University with a B.A. in sociology. She then attended University College London and obtained an M.Sc. degree in social and cultural anthropology. Her research focuses on Kurdish-Turkish bilingualism among the Kurds of Turkey in the context of nationalism and armed conflict. She attempts to theorize the relationship between everyday mechanisms of bilingual discourse and the wider socio-political context that reflects, and is reflected in, language use.

Bomi Lee is a first-year doctoral student in the Department of Political Science. Her research focuses on formal modeling and network studies with an emphasis on how cooperation and persuasion emerge in interpersonal networks. She is interested in understanding how voters hold politicians accountable with imperfect information, especially in emerging democracies with limited freedom of the press. Prior to coming to Michigan, she received her B.L. in Law and B.A. in political science from Seoul National University, and an M.A. in political science from the same institution.

Einar Manki is pursuing an M.A. in REES. He is interested in Russian foreign policy and the study of latent and unresolved conflicts in the countries of the former Soviet Union. Einar is a United States Army Foreign Area Officer, and has worked in the Offices of Defense Cooperation in the U.S. Embassies in Tashkent and Baku. He graduated with a B.A. in political science from Northern Michigan University.

Györgyi Parditka is a doctoral student in the Department of Anthropology. She is interested in the emergence of political and economic hierarchies in the Bronze Age of Eastern Europe (2800-800 BC), the first period when political hierarchies emerged in that part of the world. By focusing on funerary traditions and material culture, her intention is to study the processes by which human societies construct political inequalities, understand how these processes relate to extended trade connections, and focus on the implications that trade and inequality had on different aspects of everyday life. Györgyi earned her M.A. in archaeology and history from the University of Szeged in Hungary.

Eoin Power is a second-year M.A. student in REES. He studies the countries of Southeast Europe and the former Yugoslavia and his thesis explores the central bank's role in building trust and social capital in post-Dayton Bosnia. Prior to Michigan he worked in strategy consulting for clients in the healthcare, defense, and industrial technology sectors. Eoin graduated from Middlebury College with a B.A. in political science and philosophy.

Stephanie Skier is a doctoral student in the Department of History. She focuses on 19th- and early 20th- century Central and Eastern European history, particularly Imperial Germany (1871-1918) and its transnational interactions and influences. Her research interests include questions of gender and sexuality; migration, borders, and border policing; Prussian/German imperialism, eastern settlement, and extraterritorial projections; nationalisms and internationalisms; and “globalization” and long-distance trade networks, especially grey economies and illicit trade. She holds a dual master’s degree (M.A. from Columbia University and M.Sc. from the London School of Economics) in International and World History, and a B.A. in Social Studies and Women/Gender/Sexuality Studies from Harvard University.

Kirill Zhirkov is a first-year graduate student in the Department of Political Science. He earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from the St. Petersburg State University (Russia), M.Sc. in social psychology from Utrecht University (Netherlands), and M.A. in political science from the European University at St. Petersburg (Russia). His diverse interests are primarily structured around popular support for political radicalism and advanced quantitative methods. With regard to politics in the post-Soviet space, he tried to apply the social dominance theory by Jim Sidanius and Felicia Pratto to explain group disparities in autonomous ethnic republics of Russian Federation. He has had articles published in Party Politics and Conflict Management and Peace Science.