In Conversation with Yevgenia Albats: Masha Gessen

Join the Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia at NYU for another installment in our series of conversations hosted by Jordan Center Distinguished Journalist in Residence Dr. Yevgenia Albats. Throughout the year, Dr. Albats will be joined by leading experts – journalists, researchers, foreign service officers, and more – in one-on-one, public conversations regarding the most pressing issues in our understanding of Russia today. Be sure to check our website for more information on upcoming events.

This event will take place in person and on Zoom. Both our in person and Zoom format will be fully open to the public. Register for the Zoom webinar here. Non-NYU affiliates must RSVP. The Jordan Center is located at 19 University Place, on the second floor. 

Masha Gessen is a staff writer at The New Yorker and author of 11 books of nonfiction, most recently Surviving Autocracy (Riverhead Books, June 2020); The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia, which won the 2017 National Book Award for Nonfiction; The Brothers: The Road to an American Tragedy, a 2015 award-winning account of the Boston Marathon bombers; and The Man without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin, a 2012 portrait of the Russian leader that Foreign Affairs said “shines a piercing light into every dark corner of Putin’s story.” The Moscow-born Gessen is the recipient of numerous awards, including Guggenheim, Andrew Carnegie, and Nieman Fellowships, Hitchens Prize, Overseas Press Club Award for Best Commentary, and an honorary doctorate from the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York. Gessen has written about Russia, Putin, LGBT rights, and Donald Trump for the New York Review of Books and New York Times, among other publications; appeared as a commentator on CNN, MSNBC, PBS, and other news outlets; and served as a translator for the acclaimed FX series The Americans. Gessen also currently serves as a Distinguished Writer in Residence at Bard College, and has previously taught at Amherst College and Oberlin College. After more than twenty years as a journalist and editor in Moscow, Gessen has been living in New York since 2013.

Dr. Yevgenia M. Albats is a Russian investigative journalist, political scientist, author, and radio host. She 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 contines to run the, and she kept reporting from Russia until she had to leave the country in the last week of August 2022 after she was fined for her coverage of the war with Ukraine and pronounced a foreign agent. 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 to her YouTube channel that now has over 100k 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 in 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 theory of regimes, until 2011 when her courses were banned at the request of top Kremlin officials. In 2015 Albats was awarded Tufts University’s Dr. Jean Mayer Global Citizenship Award. In 2017, Albats was chosen as an inaugural fellow at Kelly 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 the 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.