Melikian Faculty Affiliates

Andi Hess
M.S., Arizona State University
Research Interests:
Integration sciences and interdisciplinary theory and process, research methods and measurement, nationalism, and identity in post-communist Eastern Europe, as well as developing and leading study abroad programs in the Western Balkans.

Current research: Andi Hess is the Director of the Interdisciplinary Translation and Integration Sciences Initiative at Arizona State University, which aims to help research teams across the university bridge disciplinary gaps. Her research focuses on the Science of Team Science and Interdisciplinary Translation, a process of actively facilitating the exchange of knowledge across disciplinary languages in team research settings. Through the initiative, Andi organizes and leads custom workshops on the Science of Team Science for faculty interested in increasing the effectiveness of team science projects. Other research interests include issues of identity, conflict resolution, and intercultural competencies. She teaches courses in Interdisciplinary Studies and Organizational Leadership, and serves as the Faculty Director for a study abroad program that examines Identity and Conflict in the former Yugoslavia. 

Paul Hirt
Professor of History & Senior Sustainability Scholar
Ph.D., University of Arizona
Research Interests:
Global environmental history, environmental policy and sustainability studies, including Croatia and Slovenia
Anna Holian
Associate Professor
Ph.D., University of Chicago
Research Interests:
20th-century Germany and Eastern Europe; migration and displacement; architecture and urbanism

Current reseach: Anna Holian is currently working on a book entitled Setting up Shop: Jewish Economic Life in Germany after the Holocaust. The book examines how Jews make a living in Germany after the Holocaust and considers how making a living and making a home were intertwined. Covering the period between the end of the war and the mid-1960s, the book shows that while most Jews did not initially intend to remain in Germany, their involvement in trade was an important means by which they (re-)established roots in the country. It thus challenge the prevailing view that Jews in postwar Germany were merely “sojourners,” temporary residents who were prepared to leave—and abandon their business ventures—at the earliest opportunity. A second book project, on cinematic representations of children in Europe after the Second World War, is also in progress.

Hilde Hoogenboom
Associate Professor
Ph.D., Columbia
Research Interests:
Russian literature; women writers; comparative literary studies

Current research: city_folk_and_country_folk_by_sofia_khvoshchinskaya_trans_nora_seligman_favorovA literary historian, Hilde Hoogenboom researches Catherine the Great, nineteenth-century Russian women novelists, and noble culture. Her introduction to Sofia Khvoshchinskaia’s City Folk and Country Folk (1863) is the first for a dozen translated women’s novels in the Russian Library series at Columbia University Press. Noble Sentiments and the Rise of Russian Novels (2018) examines European book markets and sentimental novels, especially doing one’s duty, in Russian noble service culture. A new project, Noble Rot: Corruption, Civil Society, and Literary Elites in Russia, studies the compromised moral position of writers, women and men, as nobles when addressing corruption from the eighteenth century to the present. Corruption is a major literary theme, yet what Tolstoy called “the world of bribery” is barely examined. This historic outrage, the demonstrations by brave young people today, and the writers Boris Akunin’s and Ludmila Ulitskaia’s cultural legitimization of Alexei Navalny’s and Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s fight against corruption and for civil society, all show that Russians have never normalized corruption. Central to this study are the understudied exposés that the noble writer Alexander Herzen published in his London newspaper The Bell (1857-67), which was smuggled into Russia and read by Alexander II and elites. Most writers, their characters, and their readers were noble government servitors. This longstanding dual role of literary elites upends critiques of Russia’s historically minimal civil society, weakened by corruption. The post-communist notion of civil society as grassroots democracy ignores the eighteenth-century ideal that elites served the greater good, which still inspires writers today.

David Kader
Emeritus Professor
LL.M., University of London; J.D., University of Washington
Research Interests:
Religion and the Constitution
Tamarra Kaida
Tamarra Kaida
Emeritus Professor
M.F.A. State University of New York, Buffalo
Research Interests:
Russian Art Photography
Jennifer Keahey
Assistant Professor
Ph.D., Colorado State University
Research Interests:
Sustainable development in post-authoritarian contexts, with particular focus on fair trade, organic, and local food systems in Africa and Eastern Europe.

Current research: Jennifer Keahey, Assistant Professor of Sociology, studies social inequality and sustainable development in food and agriculture. Specifically, she investigates the power dynamics shaping: (1) rural livelihoods, identities, and capacities; (2) sustainability standards and certifications; and (3) farmer participation in research and practice. Her research is grounded in Southern Africa and Eastern Europe. In post-apartheid South Africa, she has studied the livelihood challenges facing small-scale rooibos tea farmers, including issues with Fairtrade and organic market access. In post-Soviet Latvia, she has examined the impacts of European Union integration on organic farming and local food movements. While Keahey's current research focuses more broadly on the ethics of development research and practice, she is in the preliminary stages of putting together a comparative historical study of transformative cultures in post-authoritarian societies.

Agnes Kefeli Clay
Principal Lecturer
Ph.D., Arizona State University
Research Interests:
Islam in Russia and Central Asia
Ekaterina Khaustova
Research Advancement Administrator
PhD, Russian State Social University (Moscow)
Research Interests:
Economic history and economic development of the Russian Empire with a focus on Russian wages and living standards and Russian and early Soviet Industrialization.

Current research:  Ekaterina Khaustova, PhD, is currently working on two papers. One of the papers is “Real Wages in Russia before and after 1917” with BGraph: real wages of building labourers in Russia 1853 1937ob Allen, distinguished professor, University of Oxford and New York University Abu Dhabi. Using their newly established database for three Russian cities, the paper measures real wages in St. Petersburg, Moscow, and Kursk between 1853 and 1937. The wages are those of building laborers, building craftsmen, and employees in cotton mills. Prices are measured in terms of subsistence baskets that approximate the World Bank poverty line. Attention is given to the problem of comparing living standards across climate zones, and a solution is suggested. Russian living standards grew very modestly between 1853 and 1913–much less than the growth in output per worker. Real wages in Russia jumped by 50% to 100% between 1913 and 1928. When seen from the Russian perspective, this looks like a big advance; when seen from an international perspective, it is much less. Real wages dropped to their pre-war level between 1928 and 1937, as the social surplus, which had been distributed to the working class and peasants after the 1917 Revolution, was mobilized for the industrialization drive.



Another paper, “A late escape Malthusian pressures in late 19th century Moscow,” is with Vadim Kugraph_unskilled_nominal_wages_and_price_indexfenko (University of Hohenheim) & Vincent Geloso (Texas Tech University). They use newly collected data on monthly birth, death, marriage and infant mortality rates from 1871-1910 in Moscow city and a combined price and wage index for 1824-1917 (Allen and Khaustova, 2017). This allows them to capture one of the most interesting periods in the Russian history: industrialization, which took place after the emancipation of labor. They appeal to the VAR framework involving growth rates of real wages of the unskilled workers, birth rates (or nuptiality, depending on specification) and death rates.



Orde Kittrie
J.D., University of Michigan
Research Interests:
Public International Law, International Economic and Business Law, International Negotiations, Nuclear Non-Proliferation