Melissa Chakars, Ph.D.
Dr. Chakars specializes in Eurasian history with a focus on the Mongolian peoples of Russia. In addition to publishing The Socialist Way of Life in Siberia: Transformation in Buryatia (Central European University Press, 2014), she has articles covering the topics of empire, identity, media, and gender, as well as the co-edited volume Modernization, Nation-Building, and Television History (Routledge, 2015). Her current project is a history of Buddhism in the Russian Empire and Soviet Union. Dr. Chakars has lived in the Russian cities of Ulan-Ude and Vladivostok, as well as traveled widely in Mongolia, the former Soviet Union, and Eastern Europe. She came to SJU in 2010.
- B.A., Hunter College, City University of New York
- M.A., Ph.D., Indiana University
- "Buddhism and the Siberian Buryat Chronicles: Stories of Origin, Rivalry, and Negotiation in the Russian Empire,” History of Religions 60/2 (2020): 81-102, DOI: 10.1086/710574
- “The All-Buryat Congress for the Spiritual Rebirth and Consolidation of the Nation: Siberian Politics in the Final Year of the USSR,” Journal of Eurasian Studies (2020), doi: 10.1177/1879366620902863
- “The Repression of Buryat Buddhism in the 1930s: Competing Narratives of Soviet and Western Histories During the Cold War,” Mongolian Studies 38 (2020): 31-46.
- "Free Time is Not Meant to be Wasted: Educational, Political, and Taboo Leisure Activities among the Soviet Buryats of Eastern Siberia," Nationalities Papers 47/4 (2019): 1-14.
- “Disassembledge in the Siberian City of Ulan-Ude: How Ethnic Buryats Reconstruct through Time and Space,” co-authored with Elizabeth L. Sweet in ed. Elizabeth L. Sweet, Disassembled Cities: Social and Spatial Strategies to Reassemble Communities (Routledge, 2018)
- “Daily Life and Party Ideals on Late Soviet-Era Radio and Television Programming for Children, Teenagers, and Youth in Buryatia,” Études Mongoles et Sibériennes et Centrasiatiques et Tibétaines, 46 (2015)
- Modernization, Nation-Building, and Television History (Routledge, 2015), co-edited with Stewart Anderson
- The Socialist Way of Life in Siberia: Transformation in Buryatia (Central European University Press, 2014)
- “Professional Women and the Economic Practices of Success and Survival Before and After Regime Change: Diverse Economies and Restructuring in the Russian Republic of Buryatia,” co-authored with Elizabeth L. Sweet. Geojournal, 79/5 (2014): 649-663.
- “Identity, Culture, Land, and Language: Stories of Insurgent Planning in Buryatia, Russia,” co-authored with Elizabeth L. Sweet. Journal of Planning, Education, and Research 30/2 December (2010): 198-209.
- “Buryat Literature as a Political and Cultural Institution from the 1950s to the 1970s,” Inner Asia 11 (2009): 47-63.
- Former Soviet Union