Zachary Hicks is a PhD candidate in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures and The Program in Critical Theory at University of California, Berkeley. He also serves on the editorial board of Qui Parle: Critical Humanities and Social Sciences. His research draws on aspects of critical theory, theories of uneven and combined development, and political economy to consider late- and post-Soviet Russophone cultural production in a global framework.
For the past year, Zachary has been an active member of the Working Group for Solidarity in REEES (WGS), an ASEEES affiliate organization. WGS was formed as an attempt to combat austerity in our profession through advocacy, organizing, and reallocation of resources wherever possible. To these related ends, his work with WGS has involved conducting a survey of REEES graduate students across the discipline to determine needs arising from the COVID-19 pandemic as well as working to develop a housing network alongside other mutual aid activities. Zachary also recently co-authored a piece as part of a forthcoming WGS critical forum in Slavic Review on casualization and austerity in our profession. The research for this article involved conducting interviews with REEES graduate students from departments across North America around questions of academic labor and departmental culture. Working with and listening to graduate students across the profession has taught Zachary a lot and left him convinced of the need for strong graduate student advocacy from organizations such as ASEEES. Zachary chose to stand as a candidate for Graduate Student Representative in hopes of continuing and extending his work in WGS; if elected he will use the position both to advocate around graduate student issues, and to give them a more visible form in the field at large by organizing panels and events at ASEEES annual meetings.