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Andrei Zagdansky, award-winning and transnational filmmaker, visits Villanova

Zagdansky flyer
Event flyer for Andrei Zagdansky "Documentary Verse" event on Dec. 1, 2021

On Wednesday, December 1, 2021, the Russian Area Studies Program co-sponsored "Documentary Verse" with award-winning, transnational filmmaker, Andrei Zagdansky. 

Andrei Zagdansky’s powerful documentary entitled Michail and Daniel portrays an artist and his profoundly deaf son who also bears cerebral palsy. “Zagdansky provides us with a meditative and observational masterpiece on the heroism of this striking family.” (Senses of Cinema, online film Journal)

audience at Zagdansky film event
Dr. Boris Briker introduces Andrei Zagdansky at "Documentary Verse" event on Dec. 1, 2021

Dr. Boris Briker Premiers New Book

Briker book event flyer
Flyer for Dr. Briker Brown Bag Talk on Nov. 19, 2021


On November 19, 2021, Dr. Boris Briker presents an event on his new book We Don't Speak Yiddish: A Talk on Language, Humor, and Jewish Life in the City of Chernovtsy. The book is co-authored with Anatoly Vishevsky. The book shares the personal experiences that inform the fascinating story of how a Ukrainian Jewish community maintained Yiddish as a layer of cultural identification within their Russian linguistic daily life.

An "Inn Gathering" to Honor RAS Faculty 2021 Authors

faculty members in front of christmas tree
Dr. Briker, Dr. Schrad and Dr. Wolnicki showcasing their recent publications.


On Wednesday, December 15, 2021, the Russian Area Studies faculty gathered at the Inn at Villanova to celebrate Dr. Boris Briker (GIS), Dr. Mark Schrad (Political Science) and Dr. Miron Wolnicki (Economics) recent book publications.


Ms. Lucy Minicozzi-Wheeland, Recent RAS major grad, Fulbright scholar and now Master’s Student at Harvard University, published her article, “OVERLOOKED AGGRESSION: PRESIDENT TRUMP’S 2019 COERCION OF UKRAINE AND THE BUDAPEST MEMORANDUM,” in the latest issue of the journal, International and Political Research. The Journal is that of  Odessa Mechnikov National University, the host university for Lucy's Fulbright Research Grant work. 

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Ms. Lucy Minicozzi-Wheeland (GIS Russian Area Studies Major, Class of 2019) sent a photo of herself standing, with warm smile and conveyed greetings, next to a statue of Alexander Sergeevich himself. 

Before departing for Ukraine, Lucy wrote of her Russian Area Studies’ experience at Villanova:

“I am grateful beyond words for the support, mentorship, and enthusiasm I have found at Villanova University’s Russian Studies program. After graduating, I am honored and excited to be leaving for a Fulbright Student Fellowship in Ukraine, where I will be conducting research at the Odessa Center for Nonproliferation at Odessa I.I. Mechnikov National University and at the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy. It has been with the vital support and guidance of each and every one of my faculty mentors close to the Global Interdisciplinary Studies: Russian Area Studies program that I am able to embark on this next adventure. I could not be more grateful and appreciative for all that they have taught me during my years at Villanova University…. I have also been fortunate enough to be able to watch the Russian Studies program grow, and it is wonderful to see so clearly that this program is being left in the hands of a remarkable group of students.”

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Contact Information

Rev. Joseph Loya, OSA, PhD
Director, Russian Area Studies
Associate Professor, Theology and Religious Studies
Phone: 610-519-7243

Sarah Peters
Program Coordinator
Theology and Religious Studies Department
Phone: 610-519-4732