Kirsten Bönker is currently Visiting Professor of East European History at the Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg, Germany. From 2014 to 2016 she was Visiting Professor of East European History at Bielefeld University, Germany. She received her PhD in history from the University of Bielefeld in 2007. Her recent research interests include the history of Soviet television, political communication and the public sphere, the history of consumption and money, and Cold War history. She is the author of Jenseits der Metropolen: Öffentlichkeit und Lokalpolitik im Gouvernement Saratov (1890–1914) (Böhlau Verlag, 2010). Her most recent publications appeared in the special issue on communications and media in the USSR and Eastern Europe of the journal Cahiers du monde russe (2015) and a collected volume (in German) about the perception of poverty and wealth in postwar Europe and the United States, edited by Christoph Lorke and Eva Maria Gajek (Campus Verlag, 2016).
Artur Holavin holds a master of science degree in politics and international relations (Uppsala University, Sweden). He has received Erasmus Mundus (2010–2011, Uppsala University) and Nordplus (2012, University of Oslo) scholarships and took part in a Leonardo da Vinci exchange program (2012–2013, Institute for Cultural Diplomacy in Berlin). Holavin has worked as a research assistant and visiting researcher at the University of Latvia’s Advanced Social and Political Research Institute (2008–2009), Peace Research Institute Oslo (2012), and the Centre for Russian, Central and East European Studies, University of Glasgow (2016).
Virág Molnár received her PhD in sociology from Princeton University and is currently Associate Professor of Sociology at the New School for Social Research in New York. Her research explores the intersection of culture, politics, social change, and expert knowledge with special focus on urban and political subcultures and the symbolic politics of the built environment. She has written about the relationship between architecture and state formation in socialist and postsocialist Eastern Europe, the post-1989 reconstruction of Berlin, and the new housing landscape of postsocialist cities. Her first book, Building the State: Architecture, Politics, and State Formation in Postwar Central Europe (Routledge, 2013), received the 2014 Mary Douglas Prize for Best Book in the Sociology of Culture from the American Sociological Association.
Victoria Schmidt holds a PhD in developmental psychology (Russian Academy of Education, 1998) and a second PhD in social work and social policy (Masaryk University, Czech Republic, 2012). Her research focuses on residential care and its alternatives for children and adolescents with disabilities, those who have been abused and neglected, and those who are in conflict with the law. She has participated in more than ten research projects aimed at exploring the limitations of residential care and promoting sustainable practices and the prevention of enforced intervention with families and children in postsocialist countries. Over the past seven years, Schmidt has been working on the issue of segregation of Roma children in the Czech Republic. Her analysis connects various practices around human rights with the routine practices of welfare professionals working with Roma families and children.
Boris Stepanov is Leading Research Fellow in the Research Centre for Contemporary Culture, Poletayev Institute for Theoretical and Historical Studies in the Humanities, National Research University–Higher School of Economics, Moscow. He is also Associate Professor of cultural studies at the same institution. His fields of research include cultural history of the humanities and studies of Soviet and post-Soviet culture, particularly the historical and urban sphere. Нe has conducted a research project on the history of Soviet and post-Soviet historical periodicals. He was coeditor (with Natalia Samutina) of the Russian-language volume Tsaritsyno: Attractions with History (Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie, 2014).