My first book, Closer to the Masses: Stalinist Culture, Social Revolution, and Soviet Newspapers (2004), examined the origins of high Stalinist culture, including Socialist Realist literature, in the newspaper press of the 1920s. I am now completing a book on the assassination of Leningrad Party chief Sergei Kirov in 1934. This work uses new archival sources on the Kirov murder and analyzes the use of the murder in Soviet political struggles from 1934 through 1991. I am also engaged in research on the experiences of Soviet infantrymen during the first eight months of the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union. My other research and teaching interests include history of propaganda and surveillance worldwide, the Russian Far East and its relations with East Asian societies, and comparative study of modern revolutions.
I offer the following fields for the PhD qualifying examination. For explanations of fields, see the "Program Formulation" page in the Graduate Handbook.
Teaching Fields: Russian and Soviet History; Comparative Totalitarianism (Transnational); Comparative Modern Revolutions (Transnational)
Research Fields: Soviet and Late Imperial Russian Cultural, Social, and Media History; The Eastern Front of World War II (Transnational); Stalinism; Comparative Modern Revolutions (Transnational)
I will be accepting graduate students for admission in Fall 2020.
Courses Offered (subject to change)
- HIST 103: The West and the World since 1942, Syllabus
- HIST 131: History of Russia to 1692 (RST 155), Syllabus
- HIST 132: Imperial Russia (RST 171), Syllabus
- HIST 133: The Russian Revolutions from Lenin to Putin, Syllabus
- HIST 208: Comparative Modern Revolutions, Syllabus
- HIST 239/239W: Totalitarianism and Everyday Life, Syllabus
- HIST 332W: Stalinism (RST 246), Syllabus
- HIST 334W/431: The Soviet Union and the Cold War
Select Publication Covers
- The Kirov Murder and Soviet History, Annals of Communism Series, Yale University Press (2010)
- Closer to the Masses: Stalinist Culture, Social Revolution, and Soviet Newspapers, Cambridge: Harvard University Press (June 2004).
- "In Defense of Timasheff's Great Retreat," Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History 5, 4 (Fall 2004): 721-730.
- "NEP Newspapers and the Origins of Soviet Information Rationing," Russian Review 62, no. 4 (October 2003): 614-636.
- "Did Stalin Kill Kirov and Does It Matter?," article reviewing the literature on the Kirov assassination, Journal of Modern History 74, no. 2 (June 2002): 352-380.
- "Letter-Writing and the State: Reader Correspondence with Newspapers as a Source for Early Soviet History," Cahiers du monde russe 40, nos. 1-2 (January-June 1999): 139-170.