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Woodard Talks to the Wilson Center About Migration and Experiences of Belonging in Russia's Far East

August 1, 2023

The Wilson Center

Lauren Woodard

Lauren Woodard

Refugees and migrant workers from Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and other Russian speaking locations often didn't have the option of fleeing to Europe before the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022. They alternatively sought out the expedited citizenship and state benefits Russian resettlement programs offered. Assistant Professor of Anthropology Lauren Woodard spoke with the Wilson Center about how this has created a racialization of Russian ethnicity and citizenship and opposing ideas on what it means to be Russian today.

"I often notice a disconnect between the Russia represented in American popular discourses and my own experiences, especially having lived in Vladivostok," Woodard tells the Wilson Center. "I hope that my research will convey the diversity of people who live in Russia and the complex interactions and logics that shape people’s experiences and perspectives," she says.

Woodard was awarded the Title VIII Research Scholar fellowship by the Wilson Center in Washington D.C. in 2022. During her time at the Center, she has been finishing her upcoming book project, Ambiguous Inclusion: Transforming Migrants into Russian Compatriots on the Border with China, as well as writing an article on Russia's Far East's resettlement programs from the late imperial period through the present.

Read her full interview with the Wilson Center as part of their Kennan Institute Scholar Spotlights.

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