The Laura C. Harris Series welcomes Olena Nikolayenko presenting a lecture.

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The Laura C. Harris Series welcomes Professor of Political Science at Fordham University Olena Nikolayenko, presenting “Youth Movements and Elections in Eastern Europe.” Nikolayenko is also an associate at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Harvard University. Her research interests include comparative democratization, social movements, political behavior, women’s activism, and youth, with a regional focus on Eastern Europe, Russia, and Central Asia.

Nikolayenko will talk about her recent book, “Youth Movements and Elections in Eastern Europe” (Cambridge University Press, 2017), in which she examined interactions between nonviolent youth movements and incumbent governments during national elections in five post-communist states: Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Serbia, and Ukraine. Her current research focuses on (1) anti-government protests in contemporary Russia, (2) women’s engagement in high-risk activism in Ukraine, and (3) political consequences of remittances in Eastern Europe.

The Laura C. Harris Series theme for 2022-2024, Transnational Youth Liberation Movements, brings youth to the center of feminist scholarship, anti-racism, and liberation movements. Young people are mobilizing on the ground and in digital spaces on issues of gendered and racialized violence, the feminization of global poverty, the gendered impact of climate change, Indigenous land rights, reproductive justice, the resurgence of religious fundamentalism, and more. To these issues and others, the lives of women, young people, and children are intimately connected. This theme examines the urgency for such mobilizations and how they are creating sustainable coalitions and solidarities. Youth as a liminal space between childhood and adulthood is critical to examine for its in-betweenness and potential for transformation and change. Importantly, it is also a space to engage Denison students in thinking about their involvement in these issues, and in creatively imagining and building a just and viable future.


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