REES Faculty

Yury Avvakumov

Assistant Professor of Theology

Ph.D. equivalent in Orthodox Theology 1990, Russian Orthodox Theological Seminary and Academy in St. Petersburg; Dr. theol. in Catholic Theology 2001, Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich

Specialization: History of Christianity

Professor Avvakumov’s main area of research lies in medieval ecclesiology and sacramental theology, especially within the context of the Latin-Byzantine relations in the Middle Ages. He also specializes in the history of Russian and Ukrainian theology and in the history of the Eastern Catholic Churches, from their medieval beginnings to the present day. His Avvakumov’s main contribution to the history of the Eastern-rite Catholics in Russia and Ukraine is his edition of the documents from the recently opened archives in Lviv, Ukraine: Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytskyi and the Greco-Catholics in Russia, 1899-1917 (2004). Before coming to Notre Dame in 2010, Prof. Avvakumov held numerous academic, administrative, and pastoral positions in Russia, Germany and Ukraine. He is currently a member of the Board of Theological Experts at the Patriarchal Curia of the Ukrainian Greco-Catholic Church in Kyiv, Ukraine. 

University Bio

John Deak

Assistant Professor of History
Ph.D. 2009, University of Chicago

Specializations: Imperial European history, modern Europe, political history

Professor Deak is broadly interested in the history of modern European political culture, bureaucratization, and the expanding purview of state authority. His research focuses on the constitutional and political history of central Europe, particularly the Habsburg Monarchy and its successor states. Most recently, he has begun work on emergency legislation and the relationship between military and civilian authorities in the First World War.

University Bio

Patrick Gaffney

Associate Professor of Anthropology

Ph.D. 1982, University of Chicago

Specializations: Religious leadership and politics, symbolic systems, humanitarian crises, language and culture, social structure and conflict in Central Africa; Egypt and the Middle East, Russia

Professor Gaffney's research interests include social and cultural anthropology, the social organization of religion (especially Islam), systems of religious and political authority, ritual performance, popular movements, violence, peace making, and humanitarian emergencies. He has done extensive research in the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa and is the author of the book The Prophet's Pulpit: Islamic Preaching in Contemporary Egypt (1994) and co-author of Breaking Cycles of Violence: Conflict Prevention and Interstate Crisis (1999). Lately, he has turned his attention to Eastern Europe, having taught at the University of Warsaw in 2003, followed by a year spent studying in Russia. He is now engaged in research on attitudes and practices surrounding the memory of the dead, changing funeral rites, and views of the after-life in the former Soviet lands.

University Bio

David Gasperetti

Associate Professor of Russian
Ph.D. 1985, University of California, Los Angeles

Specializations: the 18th- and 19th-century Russian novel

Professor Gasperetti is the author of The Rise of the Russian Novel: Carnival, Stylization, and Mockery of the West (1998) and is currently working on a monograph tracing the Russian conception of novel writing from its origins in the 18th Century to the Golden Age of the novel in the mid-19th Century. His teaching interests include 19th- and early 20th-Century Russian literature, parody, and the relationship between narrative and systems of belief.

University Bio

Alyssa Dinega Gillespie

Associate Professor of Russian
Ph.D. 1998, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Specializations: Russian poetry and poetic translation

Professor Gillespie is the author of A Russian Psyche: The Poetic Mind of Marina Tsvetaeva (2001) and the editor of Taboo Pushkin: Topics, Texts, Interpretations (2012) as well as numerous articles. She is also an award-winning translator of Russian poetry. Her current major project is a study of the role of crime and conscience in the poetics of Alexander Pushkin, tentatively titled Dangerous Verses: Alexander Pushkin and the Ethics of Inspiration. Gillespie's research and teaching interests include Russian and Polish poetry, gender issues in literature, the poetry of exile, and the psychology of poetic genius.

University Bio

Debra Javeline

Associate Professor of Political Science

Ph.D. 1997, Harvard University

Specializations: Mass political behavior, survey research, the politics of post-Soviet and other post-communist regimes, the politics of climate change adaptation

Professor Javeline specializes in comparative politics, mass political behavior, survey research, and the politics of post-Soviet and other post-communist regimes. She recently published Protest and the Politics of Blame: The Russian Response to Unpaid Wages (2003) in addition to several articles. She is currently conducting research on judicial effectiveness and respect for law in Russia. She has held fellowships from a number of agencies including Fulbright-Hays, Mellon, ACTR, FLAS, Harvard University's Davis Center for Russian Studies, the University of Colorado's Institute of Behavioral Science, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the National Science Foundation.

University Bio

Natasha Lyandres

Head, Rare Books and Special Collections Department
Russian and East European Studies Curator and Librarian
MLIS 1993, San Jose State University

Specialization: Library and Special Collections

As Russian and East European Librarian and Curator, Natasha is responsible for management, discovery, collection development, digitization, and preservation of the collections. Before coming to Notre Dame in 2001, she studied Art History at Moscow State University and worked as Slavic librarian at the Hoover Institution Library and Archives, Stanford University. Please contact Natasha with questions about our rare books and manuscript collections or if you need help locating and identifying resources for research projects.

Semion Lyandres

Professor of History

Ph.D. 1992, Stanford University

Specialization: Modern Russia

Professor Lyandres is a political historian of the late Imperial through early Soviet periods. His current book-length project examines the ways in which pre-revolutionary ideas about a transitional post-monarchical regime and plans to depose Russia’s last monarch shaped the politics of the February Revolution and led to the creation of Russia’s first revolutionary government. Professor Lyandres’ most recent book is The Fall of Tsarism: Untold Stories of the February 1917 Revolution (2013, paperback: 2014). Lyandres is the founder and North American editor of the international series Modern and Contemporary Russian History: Monographs and Documents and is also a joint founding editor of the Journal of Modern Russian History and Historiography.

University Bio 

Alex Martin

Associate Professor of History

Ph.D. 1993, University of Pennsylvania

Specializations: Russia from the Middle Ages until the late 19th century; European history in the “long” 19th century, particularly political, intellectual, social, and urban history

Professor Martin's specialty is Russian history in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, with a focus on the history of intellectual debates about political, social, and cultural issues. He is the author of Romantics, Reformers, Reactionaries: Russian Conservative Thought and Politics in the Reign of Alexander I (1997), as well as the editor and translator of Provincial Russia in the Age of Enlightenment: The Memoir of a Priest's Son (2002) by Dmitrii Rostislavov. His current research focuses on Russia's experience in the Napoleonic Wars, the modernization of Moscow from the 1770s to the 1870s, and German-Russian intellectual and religious ties. Martin is also one of the editors of the journal Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History.

University Bio

Thomas G. Marullo

Professor of Russian

Ph.D. 1975, Cornell University

Beyond numerous articles, papers, and reviews, Professor Marullo is the author of Ivan Bunin: Russian requiem (1885-1920) (1993); Ivan Bunin: From the Other Shore (1920-1933) (1995); If You see the Buddha: Studies in the Fiction of Ivan Bunin (1998); Cursed Days: Diary of a Revolution (1998)Ivan Bunin: Twilight of Emigre Russia (1934-1953) (2002); The Liberation of Tolstoy: A Tale of Two Writers (2003)About Chekhov: The Unfinished Symphony (2007); Petersburg: The Physiology of a City (2009); and Heroine Abuse: Dostoevsky’s “Netochka Nezvanova” and the Poetics of Codependency (forthcoming). He has completed Fyodor Dostoevsky: Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1821-1845): A Life in Letters, Memoirs, and Criticism; and is writing Master or Man: Dostoevsky’s Alyosha Karamazov and the Prosaics of Orthodox Christianity, and Fyodor Dostoevsky: The Gathering Storm (1845-1849): A Life in Letters, Memoirs, and Criticism.  He is also on the editorial board of the Slavic and East European Journal.

University Bio

A. James McAdams

William M. Scholl Professor of International Affairs and Director of the Nanovic Institute for European Studies
Ph.D. 1983, University of California-Berkeley

Specializations: Comparative Politics, Communism, Eastern and Central Europe

Professor McAdams has written widely on European, especially central European, affairs.  His books include East Germany and DetenteGermany DividedJudging the Past in Unified Germany, and The Crisis of Modern Times.  He is currently writing a book entitled "The Idea of the Communist Party," which explores the changing concept of Communist party leadership since 1848.  He has taught a wide variety of courses, including "Ten Images of Hell in the Twentieth Century"; lecture courses on Comparative Politics and the history of Communism; and a graduate seminar on "Philosophy and Dictatorship.” 

University Bio

Robert Simon

Music Librarian
M.M. 2008, Ohio University

Specialization: Music of Eastern Europe

Robert has served as Notre Dame's music librarian since 2012. As a musicologist, he specializes in Czech music of the 20th century, focusing particularly on the life and music of Bohuslav Martinů. He collaborates frequently with the Institut Bohuslava Martinů in Prague, and recently published Bohuslav Martinů: An Information and Research Guide (Routledge, 2014). Currently he is preparing critical editions of Martinů's opera Ariadne and Ladislav Vycpálek's Kantáta o posledních věcech člověka. More broadly, Robert is interested in expressions of musical nationalism and the impact of Socialist Realism throughout Eastern Europe. Additionally, he enjoys collaborating with musicians to bring to light many of the under-performed gems of Eastern European music.

University Bio

Susanne Wengle

Assistant Professor of Political Science
Ph.D. 2010, University of California-Berkeley
Professor Wengle's main research interests concern the politics of markets regulations; past research examines how particular regulations function and how they evolve, hence what “politics” make them possible, but also how their effects change the political conditions in which they were formulated. Her recent book Post-Soviet Power: State-led Development and Russia’s Marketization (2015) examines the political economy of newly created electricity markets in Russia, and more generally engages with questions of how we study markets in the post-Soviet context and beyond. She has also published on other aspects of the post-Soviet transformations: on welfare reforms and the politics of expertise. The empirical focus of her current project is agriculture and food production in Russia and the US; the aim is to understand how regulatory regimes shape food systems. 
University Bio

REES Affiliated Faculty, Indiana University South Bend


Jennifer Muñiz

Assistant Professor of Music
D.M.A. 2004, Manhattan School of Music

Specialization: Music of Russian heritage, contemporary music, piano performance

Professor Muñiz is an active pianist and pedagogue. She has performed nationally and internationally, in venues such as Carnegie’s Weill Hall and the United Nations in New York City, and the Auditorio Principe Filipe in Spain. She is a member of the professional contemporary music group Ensemble CONCEPT/21, based in South Bend. Muniz has presented nationally on topics such as the music of Mussorgsky and Borodin.


K. Andrea Rusnock

Associate Professor of Art History
Ph.D. 2002, University of Southern California

Specialization: Russian and Soviet Art

Professor Rusnock's research interests include Imperial Russian and early Soviet art, with a concentration on Stalinist art, as well as world textiles and women in art. She is the author of Socialist Realist Painting During the Stalinist Era (1934-1941); her current book project on fin-de-siècle Russian needlework examines the intersection of material culture, fine art, and women's roles in Russian society. She is also working on a project centered on the World War II female sniper Ludmila Pavlichenko and on images of Soviet women during the war. In addition she has taught numerous courses on Russian and Soviet art and culture.