Victoria Smolkin is Associate Professor of History and Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies at Wesleyan University. A scholar of Communism, the Cold War, as well as atheism and religion in Russia and the former Soviet Union, her expertise also covers religious politics and secularism, the Soviet space program, and East European and Eurasian studies. She has been interviewed by the BBC (“Belief and Unbelief in Russia”) as well as National Public Radio’s Weekend Edition (“Don’t Call It a Christmas Tree: How’s Russia’s ‘Yolka Survived”). Smolkin recently published her first book A Sacred Space Is Never Empty: A History of Soviet Atheism (May 2018, Princeton University Press). The book presents the first history of Soviet atheism from the 1917 revolution to the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. It explores the meaning of atheism for religious life, for Communist ideology, and for Soviet politics. She completed her Ph.D. at the University of California-Berkeley in 2010. Her research has been supported by Princeton University’s Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies; the Social Science Research Council Eurasia Post-Doctoral Research Award; the Sherman Emerging Scholar Lectureship; the Newcombe Dissertation Fellowship in Religion and Ethics; and the Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship, and the Kennan Institute of the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington D.C.  Click here for her CV.