The Other Side of Campus

Episode 28: Experiential Learning Abroad: Studying Ukraine and Youth Political Engagement

April 4th, 2022

In this special episode, Katie talks with two prominent UT professors, Drs. Mary Neuburger and Oksana Lutsyshyna, and former students of theirs who together undertook a phenomenal investigative project in spring 2019 to examine and closely follow Ukrainian youth political engagement during the presidential election in which Volodymyr Zelensky ultimately won, beating incumbent Petro Poroshenko. The team discusses the fascinating process by which they began their research, connected with Ukrainian students via Skype (not Zoom!), and eventually traveled to Ukraine itself. The lasting relationships and connections they made during that memorable month abroad in early summer 2019 inform their thinking and processing of the War in Ukraine today. Thank you for joining us on The Other Side of Campus!

Dr. Mary C. Neuburger is a Professor of history, the Director of the Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies (CREEES), and the Chair of Slavic and Eurasian Studies at the University of Texas of Austin. She is the author of The Orient Within: Muslim Minorities and the Negotiation of Nationhood in Modern Bulgaria (Cornell 2004), and Balkan Smoke: Tobacco and the Making of Modern Bulgaria (Cornell, 2012). Dr. Neuburger is also the co-editor with Paulina Bren of Communism Unwrapped: Consumption in Cold War Eastern Europe (Oxford, 2012) and has authored numerous articles on Bulgarian history. Her latest book, Ingredients of Change, is a cultural history of food in Bulgaria and recently came out with Cornell University Press. She is also co-editor of the Journal of Contemporary History.

Dr. Oksana Lutsyshyna was born in Uzhhorod in 1974. She is a writer and translator, and lecturer in Ukrainian studies at the University of Texas in Austin, where she teaches Ukrainian language and Eastern European literatures. She holds a PhD in comparative literature from the University of Georgia. Lutsyshyna's most recent novel Ivan and Phoebe (2019) won two of the most prestigious literary awards in Ukraine, in 2020 and 2021, respectively: the Lviv City of Literature UNESCO Prize and Taras Shevchenko National Prize in fiction. The novel is forthcoming in the English translation by Nina Murray from Deep Vellum Publishing in 2022. Oksana Lutsyshyna's poetry collection, Persephone Blues, in the English translation, was released in 2019 by Arrowsmith.

Matthew Orr is a Eurasia analyst at RANE, a risk intelligence company that provides geopolitical information and consultation to consumers and corporate clients with business interests around the globe. Prior to starting at RANE, Orr received dual Master’s degrees in Global Policy Studies and Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies at The University of Texas at Austin.

Lauren Nyquist is a former undergraduate student at UT Austin and is currently pursuing her PhD in Geography at Texas A&M University.

PRODUCER'S NOTE: This episode was recorded on March 14th, 2022 via Zoom.

Assistant Producer/Host: Kathryn Dawson
(Intro theme features the following faculty in order: Jen Moon, Daron Shaw, Rich Reddick, Diane McDaniel Rhodes, Siobhan McCusker, Moriba Jah, and Stephanie Seidel Holmsten)
Music by Charlie Harper (
Additional Background music by Charlie Harper, Scott Holmes, Lobo Loco, NulTiel Records
Produced by Michelle S. Daniel
Creator & Executive Producer: Mary C. Neuburger

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