Sara Pankenier Weld is an Associate Professor of Russian and Comparative Literature and Chair of the Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies at UC Santa Barbara and has taught Russian literature and comparative literature at UCSB since 2012. Her research interests include Russian literature, comparative literature, and Scandinavian literature; avant-garde literature, art, and theory; literatures of the north; word and image; childhood, children’s literature, and picturebooks. Sara's first book Voiceless Vanguard: The Infantilist Aesthetic of the Russian Avant-Garde (Northwestern UP, 2014), an interdisciplinary study of Russian literature, art, and theory, received the International Research Society for Children's Literature (IRSCL) Book Award in 2015. Her second book, An Ecology of the Russian Avant-Garde Picturebook (John Benjamins, 2018) was part of an award-winning series on Children’s Literature, Culture, and Cognition. Sarahas published numerous articles or chapters on a variety of Russian figures, including Catherine II, Eisenstein, Mandelstam, Nabokov, Kharms, Tolstoy, Mayakovsky, Lebedev, Tsvetaeva, and Gorky. She is currently working on a book on Nabokov and childhood and pursuing new interests in indigeneity and ecocriticism that dovetail with her longstanding interests in childhood, including a book chapter on Svetlana Alexievich's childhood accounts of Chernobyl.

Sven Spieker teaches in the Slavic, Comparative Literature and Art History Programs at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He specializes in modern and contemporary art and literature, with an emphasis on Russia and East-Central Europe, and a special interest in issues related to documentary and knowledge production in art. Spieker has lectured and published on topics ranging from the historical avant-garde (Malevich, Rodchenko, Dziga Vertov) to late 20th-century art practice from Wolfgang Kippenberger to subREAL. His books and articles have appeared in German, Korean, Russian, Swedish, Polish, and English. Spieker has organized several international conferences (most recently: The Office in the Studio: The Administration of Modernism at the University of Jena, Germany). Spieker's latest book publication focused on the archive as a crucible of European modernism (The Big Archive, MIT Press, 2008; Korean translation 2014). Spieker is the founding editor of ARTMargins Print and a member of the editorial collective that runs ARTMargins Online. Current projects include a Critical Anthology of Conceptual Art in Eastern Europe; a study of Didactic Art, as well as a book about Kazimir Malevich in the media age.



Cate Hwang is the undergraduate student assistant providing logistical and operations support for the conference. She is a second year undergraduate student, majoring in Russian and East European Studies within the UCSB Germanic and Slavic Department. Her research interests involve Sakhalin Island, the Korean diaspora in the former Soviet Union, and the depiction of the Siberian penal colony in 19th century Russian literature. She recently presented at the Twenty Fourth Annual University of California Undergraduate Conference on Slavic and East/Central European Studies, presenting her paper entitled "Chekhov's Sakhalin Island: Exile as the Abandonment of Knowing". She serves on the Germanic and Slavic J.E.D.I (Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity) Board which seeks to increase inclusivity and address problems of systematic racism within the department and on campus more broadly. She was nominated by the faculty of the Slavic Program at UCSB for the Post-Secondary Russian Scholar Laureate Award sponsored by the American Council of Teachers of Russian.