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Global Dialogues Series | Citizenship and Belonging in Times of Political Crisis

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The temporality of political conflict extends beyond the snapshot encapsulated within a word like “crisis,” putting people under prolonged states of distress, emergency, vulnerability, and harm. In the past year alone millions around the world faced threats to their safety and security. Individuals experiencing violent conflicts in Iran, Ukraine, and Ethiopia joined those facing prolonged crises in places like Afghanistan, Venezuela, Yemen, and Turkey. As countless flee across borders, adopt temporary homes elsewhere, and practice new modes of relating to one’s homeland and one’s community, it is imperative for us to question: Is citizenship simply a legal status or does it describe a sense of belonging? How does one’s identity as a citizen shift in times of crisis when human rights and rule of law are under attack? What does it mean to be politically engaged during moments of unrest and armed conflict?

Citizenship and Belonging in Times of Political Crisis, as part of the Global Dialogues series, features three Stanford visiting scholars who were forced to leave their home countries. The panelists will share their personal stories and struggles of fighting for justice, freedom, and civil rights. Join us on Friday, May 5 at the Global Dialogues spring event as we discuss citizenship and belonging in times of political conflict.

Registration is required to attend. Please register at this link.

This event is held in partnership with the Stanford Scholar Rescue Fund, which provides residencies to international scholars facing violence, persecution, or severe hardship in their home countries.


Yevgenia Albats, Distinguished Journalist in Residence, Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia, NYU; Editor and CEO, The New Times

Dr. Yevgenia M. Albats is a Russian investigative journalist, political scientist, author, and radio host. Facing imprisonment for her coverage of the war in Ukraine, she had to leave Russia in late August of 2022. Currently, she is a distinguished journalist in residence at the Jordan Center for Advanced Study of Russia of New York University and a lecturer in political science at NYU. For the last two decades, Albats has been carrying two heads, one as a journalist, and another as an academic, focusing on the role of the political police in the former USSR and Russia in particular.

Albats has been Political Editor and then Editor-in-Chief and CEO of The New Times, a Moscow-based, Russian language independent political weekly, since 2007. On February 28, 2022, Vladimir Putin blocked its website, just days after Russia invaded Ukraine. Despite that, Albats keeps running the from exile.  

Since 2004, Albats has hosted Absolute Albats, a talk show on Echo Moskvy, the only remaining liberal radio station in Russia. The radio station was taken off the air a week after the war in Ukraine started. Albats moved her talk show Absolute Albats to her YouTube channel, which now enjoys more than 127K subscribers.

Albats was an Alfred Friendly Press Fellow assigned to the Chicago Tribune in 1990 and a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University in 1993. She graduated from Moscow State University in 1980 and received her Ph.D. in Political Science from Harvard University in 2004. She has been a member of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) since its founding in 1996. Albats taught at Yale from 2003-2004. She was a full-time professor at Moscow’s Higher School of Economics, teaching the institutional theory of the state and bureaucracy and the theory of regimes until 2011 when her courses were banned at the request of top Kremlin officials. In 2022 Albats was awarded the Tällberg-SNF-Eliasson Global Leadership Prize. In 2015 Albats was awarded Tuft’s University Dr. Jean Mayer Global Citizenship Award. In 2017, Albats was chosen as an inaugural fellow at Kelly’s Writers House and Perry House at the University of Pennsylvania. From 2019-2020 she taught authoritarian politics at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Albats is the author of four independently researched books, including one on the history of the Russian political police, the KGB, whose graduates are running the country today. She has a daughter and claims Moscow, Russia, as her home.


Elisabeth N. M. Ayuk-Etang, Associate Professor of African Literature/Feminist Studies, University of Buea, Cameroon; Visiting Professor and IIE-SRF Fellow, UCSB

Elisabeth N.M. Ayuk-Etang is a Cameroonian of English expression. She is Associate Professor of African Literature/Feminist Studies and former Chair of the Department of English at the University of Buea, Cameroon, and is currently a Visiting Professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). She holds a PhD in Black Women’s Writings and Ecofeminism from the University of Yaounde 1, Cameroon. She has published extensively in peer-reviewed journals and authored book chapters on the status of the Black Woman. Her research interest is on Cultural Studies, Black Women Discourse and Sexuality as well as Women, Culture and Ecology in Africa. She is a recipient of several awards, amongst which are the African Women Development Fund (AWDF, 2019), CODESRIA’s Higher Education policy Initiative (HEPI 2019), and the University of Michigan African Presidential Scholar (UMAPS) 2015 fellowship. She is presently an International Institute of Education Scholar Rescue Fund  (IIE-SRF) Fellow, University of California, Santa Barbara (2022) and a recipient of the Janet Hannessey Dileschneider Scholar Rescue Award of the Arts (2022).


Nasiruddin Nezaami, Assistant Professor of Law, American University of Afghanistan; Visiting Professor and IIE-SRF Fellow, Stanford Law School

Nasiruddin Nezaami is assistant professor of law and chair of the Law Department at the American University of Afghanistan. He is currently a visiting fellow at Stanford Law School under the auspices of the Institute of International Education Scholar Rescue Fund (IIE-SRF). Mr. Nezaami has been teaching at the American University of Afghanistan for the past four years and has been chair of the Department of Law since the fall of 2019. He started his career as an assistant professor of law at Kabul University in 2012 and has served as vice-dean for the Faculty of Law and Political Science. Most recently, he also assumed a role as research fellow at the Information Society Law Center at Milan. He has an LLM from the University of Washington, and an LLB from Kabul University. Mr. Nezaami is country director for Afghanistan for the Higher Education Teaching and Learning (HETL) Association and serves as a peer reviewer for some prestigious international journals. Previously, he has been a member of the Afghan Penal Code Commentary Committee where he wrote the commentary on cybercrimes and environmental crimes of the Afghan Penal Code. He has worked with a number of organizations as an independent consultant. His publications include articles in law journals, book chapters, and one book as a co-editor for Emerald Publishing.


Gabriella Safran, Eva Chernov Lokey Professor of Jewish Studies; Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures; Senior Associate Dean, Humanities and Arts

Gabriella Safran teaches and writes on Russian literature, Yiddish literature, folklore, and folkloristics. She has written on Russian, Polish, Yiddish, and French literatures and cultures.

She is the author of Wandering Soul: The Dybbuk's Creator, S. An-sky (Harvard, 2010), a biography of an early-twentieth-century Russian-Yiddish writer who was also an ethnographer, a revolutionary, and a wartime relief worker.

Her most recent monograph, Recording Russia: Trying to Listen in the Nineteenth Century (Cornell, 2022), looks at how Russian subjects and visitors to the Russian Empire display their skills at listening to and recording the words of "the people." It brings together intellectual history, literary analysis, linguistic anthropology, and sound and media studies.

She is now working on a new book about the international pre-history of the Jewish joke. Drawing primarily on sources in Russian, English, and Yiddish, it asks when, where, and why Jewish voice began to be heard, and recorded, as distinctively humorous.

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