Melikian Faculty Affiliates

Saule Moldabekova
INTERNATIONAL LETTERS AND CULTURES
Senior Lecturer
Ed.D., St. Petersburg Academy of Culture
Research Interests:
Russian language pedagogy

Current academic and professional activity: Saule Moldabekova, a senior lecturer of Russian in the School of International Letters and Cultures, served as a member of the U.S. Russia Expert Program Selection Committee from May 7 - May 16, 2018, in Washington, DC (IREX).  During the Melikian Center's Summer 2018 Critical Languages Institute (CLI), Moldabekova will serve as resident director/program director of the Russian program in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Aaron Moore
Aaron Moore
HISTORY
Associate Professor
PhD, Cornell University
Research Interests:
Empire, Comparative Colonialism, World War II, and War & Revolution

Current research: Aaron S. Moore, Associate Professor of History, is working on a book, Damming Asia: The Cold War and Japanese Post-Colonial Overseas Development.  Damming Asia examines the history of Japan’s overseas dam construction and the reconfiguration of the rural and urban in various Asian nations from the age of Japanese imperialism before 1945 to the post-war era when Japan became a global overseas development power within the US Cold War order in Asia. By analyzing representative dam projects, it examines how the influential Japanese post-1945 aid model of “comprehensive development” introduced new power dynamics rooted in the colonial past that transformed the rural and urban in Burma, South Vietnam, South Korea, and Indonesia. Viewing dams as “assemblages of power,” it untangles the web of complex relationships and networks that lend these structures durability and transformative power.

Robert Niebuhr
BARRETT HONORS COLLEGE
Honors Faculty Fellow
Ph.D., Boston College
Research Interests:
Modern Central and Eastern Europe: politics, diplomacy, global studies

Current research:  Robert Niebuhr is currently working on a book that examines the intersections of Yugoslav and Chinese foreign policy during the Cold War.  This book, tentatively titled, Clash of the Titans: Tito, Mao, and the Politics of National Liberation during the Cold War, expands on prior research dealing with the Titoist state and international relations; he is completing this research with two colleagues, Dr. Zvonimir Stopic and Dr. David Pickus, both currently in China.  Their study seeks to place the role of Tito’s transformation from hostile actor to global statesman as part of the larger struggle for power and legitimacy in the decolonizing Global South.  China and Yugoslavia at times both competed and cooperated in this dynamic space.  With support from the Melikian Center, Niebuhr is gathering some archival materials in summer 2018 to complete this book and will present to the Center in the upcoming academic year.  He is also finalizing his book on the political transformation of Bolivia owing to the influence of the Chaco War (1932-35, versus Paraguay), currently under contract with the University of Nebraska Press and has recently begun work examining the plight of the prisoners of war from that conflict.  

Robert W. Oldani
MUSIC
Emeritus Professor
Ph.D., University of Michigan
Research Interests:
19th-C. Russian Music, Mussorgsky
Ileana Orlich
INTERNATIONAL LETTERS AND CULTURES
President's Professor
Ph.D., Arizona State University
Research Interests:
Romanian literature; comparative literature; American studies in East Central Europe; gender studies; ethnic and religious conflict in East Central Europe
Michael Ostling
BARRETT HONORS COLLEGE
Honors Faculty Fellow
Ph.D., University of Toronto
Research Interests:
Witchcraft and demonology in early modern Poland; anthropology of religion; Jacek Kuroń's radical pedagogy.

Current research: Michael Ostling is working on a book manuscript with the working title “Teaching Democracy by Living It: The Radical Pedagogy of Jacek Kuroń.” Kuroń (1934-2004) is best remembered as a leader of the anti-communist resistance in Poland, first as the organizer of KOR (Komitet Obrony Robotników, Committee for the Defense of the Laborers) in the 1970s and then as an advisor to the Solidarity movement in the 1980s, culminating in the "round table" negotiations that made possible a peaceful end to one-party government in Poland in 1989. However, Kuroń’s career as a dissident activist came about as an unintended side-project growing out of his practice of democratic pedagogy. As an organizer of the socialist co-educational scouting movement (the so-called Walterowcy), Kuroń attempted to transform the hierarchical, military-style scout summer-camps into schools of radical democracy, with child-participants making and taking responsibility for all substantive decisions. Multiple stints in prison and a ban on government employment after 1968 prevented the completion of Kuroń’s doctoral dissertation, an attempt to place this democratic pedagogy on a theoretical footing. Ostling's project intends to recover Kuroń’s pedagogical thought through the creation of an edited reader of translated essays and excerpts from his lifelong attempt to teach and live democracy. 

Victor Peskin
POLITICS AND GLOBAL STUDIES
Associate Professor
Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley
Research Interests:
Intersection of international relations, comparative politics, and human rights

Current research: Victor Peskin is currently working on a book manuscript provisionally titled The New Victor's Justice: Winners, Losers, and the Hidden Crimes of the Kosovo and Rwandan Wars. Based in part on his research in the Balkans, Rwanda, and The Hague, the project addresses the changing legal, diplomatic, and media narratives of and responses to wartime and post-war crimes linked to Kosovo Liberation Army and Rwandan Patriotic Front suspects. The project probes the changing relationship between international law, state sovereignty, and great power politics by examining the conditions under which victorious pro-Western rebel armies like the KLA and RPF face sustained international diplomatic and media scrutiny as well as international criminal accountability. The book is motivated by the following puzzle: why has the European Union, with strong U.S. backing, established a new Hague-based tribunal to prosecute KLA suspects, after years of the West trying to shield its Kosovar Albanian allies and doing the same for the pro-Western Tutsi-led RPF regime? The book elaborates on "the new victor's justice," a concept Peskin has developed to characterize the impunity often granted to the winners even in an era marked by normative embrace of universal human rights. Central to the project is a Kosovo-Rwanda comparison to explain why the West created a new tribunal for alleged KLA crimes but has not supported UN prosecution of RPF suspects. Peskin’s research for this book project has received generous support from the Melikian Center.

Laura Popova
BARRETT HONORS COLLEGE
Honors Faculty Fellow
Ph.D., University of Chicago
Research Interests:
Eurasian archaeology

Current research:  Laura Popova’s research mostly focuses on the politics of land use in the Eurasian steppe, past and present, highlighting the ways in which the socio-political, ecological, and cultural orders of pastoral societies shape and restructure global and local environments. She is currently working on an article that examines the droughts of the late 1800s in the Eastern European steppe regions in Russia and how they were “naturalized” by scientists and government officials who were working to ameliorate the problem. In particular, she is focusing on reforesting efforts that were part of several proposed solutions in the Volga steppe region and how those projects impacted future environmental choices and how people envisioned the steppe. In addition to this, she is currently an area coordinator for Europe and Asia for LandUse 6k (http://landuse.uchicago.edu/), which is part of the LandCover 6K (http://www.pages-igbp.org/ini/wg/landcover6k/intro) project. The goal of this project is to make a digital, integrative map of land cover change in the world that is linked to detailed archaeological and historical data. This map will provide policy makers and scientists a better understanding of exactly how humans have changed the world over time and how that links to climate change trends. This study is linked to her undergraduate student research project tracking how people currently imagine climate change in Arizona (www.imaginingclimate.com). The goal is to eventually make this social media platform available worldwide for people to share their stories of what life will be like in 2050 based on climate projections.

Milos Popovic
POLITICS AND GLOBAL STUDIES
Postdoctoral Fellow
PhD, Central European University
Research Interests:
Military intervention and proxy wars; cohesion and fragmentation of rebel groups; violence in civil conflicts; ethnic conflict in the Balkans, Central Asia and Kashmir
Daniel Pout
POLITICS AND GLOBAL STUDIES
Instructor
PhD, Arizona State University
Research Interests:
International relations theory

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