Visiting Scholars

See listings of past visiting scholars.

Svitlana khutka

February 2015 - October 2015

Svitlana Khutka (PhD in Sociology) is an Associate  Professor of Sociology at the National University of  "Kyiv-Mohyla Academy" in Ukraine, an expert of the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology, and Associate Researcher  of the Laboratory for Comparative Social Research (Higher  School  of Economics). As a Fulbright Visiting Scholar at Stanford University through the Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies from February 2014-October 2015, Dr. Khutka will pursue her research project, “Civic Political Apathy/Involvement, Governance and Values in Transition Countries,” which focuses on multifaceted shifts in political culture with an emphasis on the Ukrainian case.

Dr. Khutka has published several articles on the subjective well-being and social stratification of Ukrainians and some archival studies of Ukrainian Sociology in exile. This year, she published a book with Dmytro Khutkyy, “National Self-Feeling of Population of Ukraine: Actual State, Main Determinants and Aftereffects,” devoted to the multidimensionality of modern national identity of Ukrainians, with an analysis based on qualitative in-depth interviews across the country.  

Later this year, her book on subjective well-being and social stratification in Ukraine is expected to be published. Khutka has presented her work at Oxford University, Glasgow University, Ellison Center, Bielefeld University, Belarus State University, the Institute of Eastern and Southeastern Europe Studies (Regensburg) and the Human and Social Studies Foundation (Sofia) and the Ukrainian Institute in London. Recently, she has served as a media commentator on Maidan and the Ukrainian-Russian crisis for both the Ukrainian and foreign mass media.

In 2012-2013 Khutka was a Carnegie Fellow at the  Ellison  Center for Russian, East European and Central Asian Studes at the University of Washington-Seattle  and at the University of California-Berkeley. In 2010  and 2012-2013  she was awarded the "Best Young Sociologist of Year in Ukraine" for her comparative studies of post-socialist transformations and received the silver  medal of Natalia Panina, one of the  most prestigious prizes in the field of Social Sciences of  Ukraine. She is also a member of the Sociological Association of Ukraine and the American Sociological Association.

Khutka’s research interests include political culture and governance  quality in  transition countries (with focus on civic protest activity); subjective well-being/happiness studies; national identity and social memory in Ukraine; cross-national comparative study of values and human agency (accentuating the gender differences).


alma vardari-kesler

August 2014 - July 2015

Vardari-Kesler has been awarded the Israeli Fulbright Post-doctoral Fellowship and during the current academic year (2014-2015), she is a visiting scholar at Stanford University. She has completed her doctoral studies in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, at Tel-Aviv University. Her PhD dissertation explores the post-socialist transformations with a focus on the emerging discourses and action strategies of social movements in the context of the international state-building, case-study being Kosovo. Vardari-Kesler was born in Albania and has been in Israel since 1991. She has been teaching in Israel and abroad courses on contention politics, social theories and Balkan politics. Her research portfolio includes also the sociology of state-building and post-communist societies in Eastern Europe, topics on which she has authored several articles. Vardari-Kesler has also been the Project Director at the Centre for the Study of European Politics and Societies (CSEPS) since 2008 and a visiting lecturer at the Department of Politics and Government at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev since 2009. 


zilka spahic-Šiljak

August 2014 - July 2015

Dr. Zilka Spahić-Šiljak is a research scholar and public intellectual addressing issues involving human rights, politics, religion, education and peace-building. She has worked for the past two decades as human rights activist in non-governmental organizations on the promotion of women's human rights, multireligious dialogue and reconciliation. From 2012-2014 she conducted post-doctoral research at the Women's Studies in Religion Program of Harvard University with particular interest in gender and peace-building. Her current research at Stanford University focuses on the intersection of leadership, gender and peace-building. Some of her recent publications include Shining Humanity – Life Stories of Women Peacebuilders in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2014), Contesting Female, Feminist and Muslim Identities –Post-socialist Contexts of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo (CIPS, University of Sarajevo, 2012), and Women, Religion and Politics (Sarajevo, 2010).



July 2013 - June 2015

Sreten Ugričić is a writer, philosopher, and librarian. Serving as Director of the National Library of Serbia from 2001 to 2012, he is well known for his critical approach and his public engagement, both as a writer and a national librarian. Ugričić is the author of 9 books (fiction, essays, theory). His prose has been included in several anthologies of contemporary Serbian literature; his works have been translated into English, German, French, Macedonian, and Slovenian. He is a member of the Serbian PEN Club, and is Co-President of the Selection Committee of the World Digital Library. In 2005, Ugričić was a member of the Reflection group of the European Cultural Foundation (ECF Amsterdam), and from 2011-2012, a member of Executive Board of the Conference of European National Libraries (CENL)Before coming to Stanford CREEES, he lived in Zurich, as a Writer in Residence appointed by Literaturhaus Zurich. Ugričić's time at Stanford CREEES will be spent pursuing a project he calls “Meady-rade”. His research is co-funded by the Scholar Rescue Fund.


Visiting Guests 


Ian Lanzillotti

September 2014 - June 2015

Ian Lanzillotti completed his Ph.D in Russian history at The Ohio State University in August 2014. Lanzillotti’s research focuses on Russian and Soviet imperial governance and nationalities policy, inter-communal relations, ethno-nationalism, and the social and political history of the Caucasus region. Funded by Fulbright-Hays, the American Philosophical Society and other organizations, Lanzillotti’s dissertation (“Land, Community and the State in the North Caucasus: Kabardino-Balkaria, 1763-1991”) is based on a close reading of archival sources from Moscow and the North Caucasus. In addition to working on a book manuscript based on his dissertation, Lanzillotti will commence research on a project that explores the transition of national intellectuals from members of the Soviet intelligentsia to members of oppositional ethno-national movements during the collapse of the USSR.