Critical Conversations in Russian Studies: Promoting Inclusion and Appreciating Diversity in Today's Russia: Global Trends and Local Realities

Friday, April 16, 2021

12:00 P.M.1:30 P.M.

Location: Zoom & Live-streamed to Facebook

This event will provide ASL interpretation throughout the panel and discussion. 

Moderated by IU Professor Sarah Phillips, this RSW Series Critical Conversations in Russian Studies panel engages experts in anthropology, disability studies, education, media and communication, the performing arts, and sociology in a discussion about how ideologies and practices around “inclusion” and “diversity” are being understood, implemented, and reshaped in contemporary Russia. How are liberally-originated concepts like “inclusion” translated into Russia, and how is inclusion understood by various constituents on the ground? What about regional variations---why and how do particular interpretations of “inclusion” work in certain places in Russia, and not others? What are the physical and discursive spaces in which diversity and inclusion are most actively debated in Russia? Among other examples, panelists will discuss the case of Yulia Tsvetkova---intersectional artist (feminist, neurodivergent, pro-minority rights), theater director, activist, artist and creator of the experimental youth activist theater Merak in Komsomolsk-on-Amur---who is now awaiting trial in a criminal indictment.

Co-sponsored by International Lab for Social Integration Research at HSE-Moscow

View a recording of the panel discussion.

Links referenced during panel.

Panelists + Moderator

Photo of Borodina

Svetlana Borodina has a PhD in Anthropology from Rice University. She is a Postdoctoral Research Scholar at Columbia University’s Harriman Institute for Russian, Eurasian, and East European Studies.


Elena Iarskaia-Smirnova is Professor of Sociology and Head of the International Laboratory for Social Integration Research at National Research University Higher School of Economics in Moscow.



Sasha Kurlenkova is PhD Candidate in Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University.

Sarah Phillips

Sarah Phillips is Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Robert F. Byrnes Russian and East European Institute at Indiana University.


Kira Shmyreva is a theater educator and researcher of mix-abled theater in Germany and Russia. She has an MA and studied both literature and theater pedagogy.