Intersectionality in Focus - Spring 2022 - Session 1: Emerging Scholars


Intersectionality in Focus - Spring 2022 - Session 1: Emerging Scholars

Living Intersectionality in Academia: Emerging Scholars
2-3:30 pm (ET); 1-2:30 pm (CT); 12-1:30 (MT); 11am-12:30 pm (PT)


Emily Couch is the Program Assistant for Eurasia at PEN America. Prior to joining PEN, she was the Program Assistant for Europe at the National Endowment for Democracy.  Adopted from China by white British and American parents, she moved to the United States from the United Kingdom to pursue a regionally focused career in Washington DC. She holds a double MA in Russian & East European Studies from University College London and the Higher School of Economics (Moscow), and a BA in English Literature from King's College London. Her areas of expertise include civil society and protest in the post-Soviet space, as well as women' activism in Russia and Ukraine. Her writing and research on these topics and others have been featured in the The Moscow Times and Foreign Policy as well as in the publications of the International Observatory of Human Rights and the Kennan Institute. She is a passionate advocate for anti-racism and racial justice in the study and practice of Eurasian affairs and has spoken about these issues at multiple conferences, as well as on podcasts. She is a fellow with the Eurasia Foundation's 2021-2022 Young Professionals Network, and a mentor with the Russia and Eastern European Studies Undergraduate Think Tank, which fosters the work of students from diverse backgrounds.


Kellan Baker is the Executive Director and Chief Learning Officer of the Whitman-Walker Institute, which is the research, education, and policy arm of Whitman-Walker, a federally qualified community health center that has served diverse communities in Washington, DC for over 45 years. He is a known and respected researcher and policy expert on LGBTQ issues, with a focus on transgender health. Dr. Baker served as a consultant to the National Academies of Science, Engineering & Medicine on a 2020 study assessing the well-being of sexual and gender diverse populations, and he is currently part of a National Academies study commissioned by the National Institutes of Health to develop standards for the collection of sex, gender, and sexual orientation data. He earned his PhD from Johns Hopkins in Health Services Research and Policy and holds an MPH and an MA in International Development Studies from the George Washington University. He received his undergraduate degree from Swarthmore College with high honors in Russian literature and astrophysics and subsequently spent several years in Moscow working as a translator and as a program assistant with Special Olympics. Dr. Baker is Co-Chair of the Equality Federation Board of Directors and advocates for transgender rights in Russia and other countries in Eurasia.

Nadja Greku is an MA candidate in International Relations at Central European University (CEU) in Vienna, Austria. She holds a BA in Sociology from the University of Novi Sad, Serbia. Greku also completed the International Interdisciplinary Romani Studies Postgraduate Specialization Program with distinction at CEU. Her research focus is broadly on the governmentality and (in)securitization of Roma. She is currently researching the impact of the European Union’s normative power on the governmentality of Roma in accession countries through the postcolonial lens. Her upcoming book chapter for the Roma Civil Monitor studies Roma inclusion strategies and governmentality. She has worked with the Regional Cooperation Council (former Stability Pact) in Sarajevo, while supporting the regional cooperation, European and Euro-Atlantic integration of South-East Europe for over five years. In the last decade, she has also volunteered with various Roma organizations in the Western Balkans. She is the founder of CEU’s Roma Students Association and has recently published op-ed articles addressing anti-gypsyism and police brutality in LeftEast (co-authored with Michal Mižigár) as well as the outlet Portal-Udar.

Christy Monet is a dual PhD candidate in Political Science and Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Chicago. Christy has received several teaching and research fellowships over the course of her graduate studies, including a Boren Fellowship, a University of Chicago Grodzins Prize Lectureship in Political Science, an Alfa Fellowship, and a University of Chicago CEERES Graduate Student Teaching Fellowship. She has taught courses on contemporary Russian politics, as well as Russian historical, literary, and political encounters with Blackness. Slavic Review has published two of Christy’s most recent articles in 2018 and 2021: “Russia’s Post-Soviet Ideological Terrain: Zvyagintsev’s Leviathan and Debates on Authority, Agency, and Authenticity” (co-authored with Susanne Wengle and Evgenia Olimpieva) and “The Afterlife of Soviet Russia's ‘Refusal to be White:’ A Du Boisian Lens on Post-Soviet Russian-US Relations.” She has worked as an editorial assistant for the Moscow-based Novoe Literaturnoe Obozrenie (NLO) publishing house since 2019. Her dissertation, entitled “Political Imagination and Liberal Reform: Figuring the Family in 19th-century Russian Literature,” explores the emergence of liberal ideas in the context of Russia’s late imperial period and the ways in which primarily Western ideas were reconfigured to respond locally to affective strategies of autocratic rule.

Raushan Zhandayeva Zhandayeva is a second-year Ph.D. student at George Washington University interested in the questions pertaining to nationalism, public opinion, and social movements in the post-Soviet states. She has a BA in Political Science from Nazarbayev University and a MA in Global Affairs from the University of Notre Dame. Most recently, Zhandayeva interned with Search for Common Ground, a non-governmental organization aimed at ending violent conflict worldwide. She also contributed to the protest and migration trackers of the Oxus Society for Central Asian Affairs. She aspires to contribute to the study of Central Asia in and outside of academia.


This is session 1 of a four-part series. Sessions are held weekly. 

Find out more at