Larry Wolff, Director. Professor Wolff works on the history of Eastern Europe, the Habsburg Monarchy, the Enlightenment, and on the history of childhood. He tends to work as an intellectual and cultural historian. He has been most interested in problems concerning East and West within Europe: whether concerning the Vatican and Poland, Venice and the Slavs, or Vienna and Galicia. He developed the argument that Eastern Europe was "invented" in the eighteenth century, by the philosophes and travelers of the Enlightenment, who attributed meaning to a supposed division of Europe into complementary regions, Western Europe and Eastern Europe. He has analyzed Western perspectives on Eastern Europe as a sort of "demi-Orientalism," negotiating a balance between attributed difference and acknowledged resemblance. Considering Venetian perspectives on Dalmatia and Habsburg perspectives on Galicia, he has attempted to explore the meaning of "Eastern Europe" within imperial frameworks and the ideology of empire. His research on the history of childhood has included projects on child abuse in Freud's Vienna and child abuse in Casanova's Venice. His current research concerns Turkish subjects on the European operatic stage during the long eighteenth century, and analyzes musical and dramatic representations in the context of European-Ottoman relations. Professor Wolff earned his A.B. in History and Literature from Harvard University, and his M.A. and Ph.D. in History from Stanford University.
Mikhala Stein, Assistant Director. Prior to NYU, Mikhala served as deputy director of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government’s Kokkalis Program on Southeast and East-Central Europe, where she also designed and instructed an executive training program module on negotiation and conflict management. She also worked as a senior director in a global corporate philanthropy consulting firm, and held project manager and evaluation positions with foundations and nonprofits in Russia, Latvia and the UK. Stein received a Master in Public Policy from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, where her policy project Exploring Alternative Futures: Scenario Planning as a Tool for Third Parties in Conflict Management was published. She earned a B.A. in International Relations from Wellesley College.
Anastasia Skoybedo, Administrative Aide. Anastasia was born and raised in St. Petersburg, Russia and moved to the U.S. when she was 15. She graduated from Boston University with degrees in International Relations and Philosophy. Her specialization is in Eastern European and Strategic Studies (and German Idealism), and her senior thesis was on the conflicts in the North Caucasus. Upon graduating she worked at Ugly Duckling Presse, an independent publishing house, and for My Perestroika, a documentary on the lives of the last generation of Soviet children after perestroika. Most recently, she was a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Republic of Georgia where she taught English to middle and high school students.