Past Events

Alexander Martin

Tsarist Russia, like the New World, was a magnet for immigrants who sought freedom, opportunity, and fortune. Newcomers from abroad helped make Russia a great civilization, and the changing fortunes of their communities trace Russia's path from imperial might to revolutionary collapse. Dr. Martin will employ the story of one family from Germany to reconstruct the larger history of Russia as a promisted land for migrants from the age of Napoleon to the end of the tsarist empire.

Dr. Martin is a prolific author, editor and translater. His book, Enlightened Metropolis: Constructing Imperial Moscow, 1762-1855 (Oxford University Press, 2013) won the Marc Raeff Prize of the Eighteenth-Century Russian Studies Association and the Best Book Award (non-North American) of the Urban History Association. A Russian edition was published in 2015.

Fall 2019

Fr. Aleksandr Vladimirovich Men (+1990), theologian, charismatic pastor and prolific author, was a voice "crying in the wilderness" during the time of Soviet atheistic domination of Russian culture. He was murdered early on a Sunday morning, 9 September 1990, by an ax-wielding assailant on a wooded lane as he made his way to his parish church. His funeral was held on the day commemorating the Beheading of St. John the Baptist.

From Editors’ notes, Russia’s Uncommon Prophet: Father Aleksandr Men and His Times (Northern Illinois University Press: 2016), by Wallace L. Daniels:

“Growing up during the darkest, most oppressive years in the history of the former Soviet Union, he became a parish priest who eschewed fear, who followed Christ's command ‘to love thy neighbor as thyself,’ and who attracted large, diverse groups of people in Russian society …. Conflict and controversy marked every stage of Men's priesthood. His parish in the vicinity of Moscow attracted the attention of the KGB, especially as it became a haven for members of the intelligentsia. He endured repeated attacks from ultraconservative, anti-Semitic circles inside the Orthodox Church .... Fr. Men represented the spiritual vision of an open, non-authoritarian Christianity.”

Fr. Dr. Meerson will review and analyse the dissident movement and religious renaissance surrounding the millennial celebration of Christianity in Russia (1988), plus the post-Soviet turn to religion.


Dr. Barry Ickes
"Political Economics: 25 Years of Transitiion in Russia - What Have We Learned?"
Thursday, April 25, 2019
4:30 p.m.

Dr. Ickes is Head of the Department on Economics and Professor of Economics at the Pennsylvania State University. Also: Director of the Center for Research in International Financial and Energy Security; Founder, New Economic School in Moscow; President, American Friends of the New Economic School; Past Chairman, Board of Directors of the National Council for Eurasia and East European Research; Past President, Association for Comparative Economic Studies; Co-author, Bear Traps on Russia's Road to Modernization (Routledge, 2013) and Russia's Virtual Economy (Brookings, 2002).

David Foglesong- Tuesday, October 31st

America and the Bolshevik Revolution of October 1917.
David S. Foglesong, Rutgers University
Tuesday, October 31st.
Idea Accelerator Basement, Falvey Memorial Library

David Fogleong earned his Ph.D. in History from the University of California at Berkeley in 1991 and has taught since then at Rutgers, He is the author of two books: The American Mission and the “Evil Empire": The Crusade for a "Free Russia" Since 1881 (Cambridge University Press, 2007); and America's Secret War Against Bolshevism: U.S. Intervention in the Russian Civil War, 1917-1920 (The University of North Carolina Press, 1995). In collaboration with two Russian historians, he is now writing a comprehensive history of American-Russian relations since 1776.

The Rev. John Jillions, St Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary

The Russian Revolution: the View From orthodox America
The Rev. John Jillions, St Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological SeminaryThursday, November 16th
St. Rita’s Hall , Community Room
5:00 pm

Fr. John Jillions is Chancellor of the Orthodox Church in America and Associate Professor of Religion and Culture at St Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in Yonkers, New York. He was a founding director of the Institute for Orthodox Christian Studies in Cambridge, UK and served as its first Principal (1997-2002). He taught at the Sheptytsky Institute for Eastern Christian Studies (Saint Paul University, Ottawa) before taking up his current post (2003-2011). He was educated at McGill University (BA), St Vladimir’s Seminary (MDiv, DMin) and Aristotle University of Thessalonica (PhD.)



Dr. William Risch
"When Pandora's Box Opened: Violance in Ukraine's Euromaidan Revolution"
Thursday, March 31, 2016
Falvey Library, Room 204
5:00 pm

William Jay Risch (Ph.D., The Ohio State University, 2001) is Associate Professor of History at Georgia College, where he teaches courses on modern global, Russian, and East-European history. He is the author of The Ukrainian West: Culture and the Fate of Empire in Soviet Lviv (Harvard University Press, 2011), as well as numerous academic articles and book chapters, and most recently he edited Youth and Rock in the Soviet Bloc: Youth Cultures, Music, and the State in Russia and Eastern Europe (Lexington Books, 2015).
and most recent


Dr. Joshua A. Sanborn
"Imperial Apocalypse: The Great War and the Destruction of the Russian Empire"
Wednesday, October 21, 2015
5:00 pm

Joshua Sanborn is Professor and Head of the Department of History and Chair of the Russian and East European Studies Program at Lafayette College (Easton, PA). Prior to writing Imperial Apocalypse, he authored Drafting the Russian Nation: Military Conscription, Total War, and Mass Politics, 1905-1925 (2003) and, with Annette Timm, Gender, Sex, and the Shaping of Modern Europe (2007, 2nd ed., 2016).

Scholarship @Villanova

As part of the Scholarship@Villanova series, on Wednesday, Nov. 11 at 1:30 p.m. in room 205 of Falvey Memorial Library  Mark Lawrence Schrad, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Political Science. will be leading a lecture titled "Understanding Putin's Russia Through the Bottom of the Bottle." During this talk, Dr. Schrad will be looking at developments regarding alcohol politics in Vladimir Putin's Kremlin as a means to understanding the deeper political, economic and social tensions in Russia. These are also ideas that Dr. Schrad explores in his forthcoming book, Vodka Politics: Alcohol, Autocracy and the Secret History of the Russian State.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014
2:30 pm
Falvey Memorial Library Rm 205

Dr. Lynne Hartnett, Assistant Professor History and the Director of the Center for the Study of Violence and Conflict will be giving the Scholarship@Villanova lecture. She will be speaking "On the Edge of Revolution: Activism, Terrorism, and Political Resurrection in the Life of One Russian Revolutionary Legend."

This talk will use the life of Vera Figner, a Russian noblewoman who became a revolutionary terrorist, as a historical lens through which to explore political activism and radicalism in late nineteenth and early twentieth century Russia.  As a leading member of a radical group widely considered to be the world's first modern terrorist organization, Vera Figner's biography provides great insight into the circumstances and choices that impel otherwise peaceful individuals to embrace violence as a method of protest.  This talk will follow Figner through the revolutionary underground, prison, exile, and the Russian Revolutions of 1917 in order to analyze and assess the role that gender, class, personality and historical timing played in Figner's decision to become a radical activist, her experiences within the revolutionary movement, and her subsequent status as an icon of the revolution in Soviet Russia.

Theatre as a Mirror of Contemporary Russia
Dr. Anatoly Smelyansky Dean of the Moscow Art Theatre School, Theatre Scholar, Writer, and Critic
January 20, 2011

Lost in Translation: Divergent Notions of Religious Liberty in Post Soviet Russia
Rev. Leo A. Walsh, STD
March 24, 2011

inga saffrom

An Ex-pat Amid the Ruins: Daily Life in the first Days of the New Russia
Inga Saffon
October 21, 2010

Contact Information

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

Ms. Kiersten Ludy
Administrative Assistant II
Office: SAC 105
Phone: 610-519-7517