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March 10th, 2022 | 7:30pm - 9:00pm CST | Zoom Webinar



History is not unidimensional; to be fully understood, every issue must be addressed from the perspective of multiple academic disciplines. In line with this principle, A New Russian Empire: The Invasion of Ukraine in Context brings together leading scholars from five key subject areas: National Security, International Relations, History, International Political Economy, and Slavic Studies.



Professor of National Security Strategy, the U.S. National War College

Dr. Mariya Y. Omelicheva is a Professor of Strategy at National War College, National Defense University. She also teachers at the Security Studies Program of Georgetown University. Dr. Omelicheva holds PhD (2007) in Political Science from Purdue University and JD in International Law (2000) from Moscow National Law Academy.


Dr. Omelicheva's research interests include international and Eurasian security, counterterrorism and human rights, democracy promotion in the post-Soviet territory, Russia's foreign and security policy, and crime-terror nexus. She is the author of Counterterrorism Policies in Central Asia (Routledge 2011), which received an Outstanding Academic Title award by Choice, Democracy in Central Asia: Competing Perspectives and Alternate Strategies (University Press of Kentucky 2015), and Webs of Corruption: Trafficking-Terrorism Nexus in Central Asia (Columbia University Press, 2019, with Lawrence Markowitz), and editor of Nationalism and Identity Construction in Central Asia: Dimensions, Dynamics, and Directions (Lexington 2015).



Professor of International Relations, Tulane University

Dr. Christopher Fettweis is an Associate Professor of political science at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana. He recieved his PhD from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2003 and currently specializes in international relations with a concentration in national security. Before Tulane, Fettweis served as an Assistant Professor of National Security Affairs at the Naval War College.

Fettweis is the author of five books, including his most recent title, The Psychology of  Superpower: Security and Dominance in U.S. Foreign Policy. He has aso published extensively on the topic of foreign affairs, authoring over fifteen journal articles and nine book chapters.



Professor of Germanic and Slavic Studies, Tulane University

Lidia Zhigunova holds a PhD from Tulane University (2016) and a master’s degree in Comparative Literature from Louisiana State University (2002). Her dissertation “From Harem to Feminocracy: De-Orientalizing the Circassian National Imaginary in Literature and Art From the Early Modern to the Post-Soviet Periods” explores the politics of representation and continuous identity formation of Circassians, the indigenous people of the North Caucasus. Her main areas of academic interest include the study of 19th century literary and artistic traditions (German and Russian Romanticism and Realism), travel literature, as well as postcolonial and feminist literary theories and indigenous studies.

In addition to the language (Russian and German) courses, taught at Tulane and LSU, she has taught seminars on “Imperial Visions in Russian Literature and Art,” “Tolstoy & Dostoevsky,” “The Images of Women in the 19th Russian Literature, ”The Representations of the Caucasus in Russian Literature and Film,” “German Language and Culture II: From the Enlightenment to the Weimar Republic,” “German Language and Culture III: From the Weimar Republic to the Unification of Germany,” and “Exploring Russia.”



Associate Director, RAND Corporation

Elizabeth Bodine-Baron is the associate director of the Force Modernization and Employment Program in RAND Project Air Force (PAF) and a senior information scientist at the RAND Corporation specializing in complex networks and systems. Her research interests include network analysis and modeling for both domestic and national security issues. Her recent work includes analysis of cyber and information operations, intelligence and targeting tools and processes, and the cybersecurity of logistics and weapon systems. She has used network analysis of social media data to study Russian propaganda, violent extremist messaging, ISIS support and opposition networks, and information operations. Bodine-Baron received a Ph.D. and M.S. in electrical engineering from California Institute of Technology and B.S. in electrical engineering and B.A. in liberal arts (Plan II Honors) from the University of Texas at Austin.



Corasaniti-Zondorak Chair in International Politics, Tulane University

Thomas Oatley is the Corasaniti-Zondorak Chair of International Relations at Tulane University. He focuses his research and teaching on the intersection of American hegemony and international political economy. Dr. Oatley has previously held a fellowship at the Wilson Center, where he worked on a project titled, "The Carbon Peace, the Climate Crisis, and the Fragility of International Order."



Professor of History, Tulane University

Samuel C. Ramer is a historian of modern Russia. His research and teaching are devoted to problems in Russia's political, social, and cultural history. Previous publications and courses taught focus on the Russian historical and political experience in the 19th and 20th centuries, and include articles such as, "Democracy versus the Rule of a Civic Elite: Aleksandr Ivanovič Novikov and the Fate of Self-Government in Russia," and courses, "Rulers and Tyrants in Russia, 900-1825," "Russian Reform and Revolution, 1825-2016," and "Putin's Russia."

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Please email the panel's director, Max Weber, at

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