Category Archives: Historiography

Exhuming Individual Lives

I didn’t watch the Oscars on Sunday, but because I live in the world, I have heard quite a bit about them. Of course the big story was the kerfuffle over Best Picture (to which I say, yay, Moonlight! you … Continue reading

Posted in Historiography, Imperial Russia | 1 Comment


I have a memory from graduate school of driving up to Northwestern University to hear a talk by Sheila Fitzpatrick. This is a little bit odd because I was a graduate student at the University of Chicago, and therefore had … Continue reading

Posted in Historiography, Imperial Russia, Ivanovo, Research & Practice | Leave a comment

New online journal

Just this week a new online journal for Russian Studies arrived, The Journal of Frontier Studies/Zhurnal frontirnykh issledovanii.  It is being edited by a group of scholars at Astrakhan State University, and aspires to put Russian and Western scholars into … Continue reading

Posted in Digital Russian History, Historiography, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Gulag Town, Company Town, and the History of the Gulag

Thanks, Steve, for inviting me to participate in another Blog Conversation on the Gulag! Since we have almost a complete handful of Gulag specialists in on this conversation, I thought it might be useful to place Alan’s excellent book within … Continue reading

Posted in Gulag, Gulag Town Company Town, Historiography, Soviet Era 1917-1991 | 3 Comments

Myth, Memory, Trauma: A Blog Conversation

For this edition of Russian History Blog’s “Blog Conversations,” we have gathered a distinguished group of scholars to discuss Polly Jones’s new book, Myth, Memory, Trauma: Rethinking the Stalinist Past in the Soviet Union, 1953-1970 (Yale University Press, 2013). Having devoted … Continue reading

Posted in Blog Conversations, Historiography, Myth, Memory, Trauma, Nostalgia and Memory, Russian Literature, Soviet Era 1917-1991, Soviet Intelligentsia, Stalinism | Leave a comment

The Amnesties of Tsar Vladimir

It seems obvious that President Vladimir Putin has chosen to issue the recent amnesties of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Maria Alokhina, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, and probably the Greenpeace 30 as a way to generate good will on the eve of his great personal … Continue reading

Posted in Current events in the Putin Era, Historiography, Imperial Russia, Post-Soviet Russia, Teaching Russian History, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

Child of the Cold War

Like most people studying Russian history, I’m sure, I’ve been asked many times what drew me to the subject in the first place. I give different answers depending on my mood and the person asking. They include: TV coverage of … Continue reading

Posted in Cold War, Historiography | 3 Comments

Call for a Wider Perspective

Many thanks to Alexander Geppert, a leading figure in the history of space flight and European culture, for this review of two recent volumes on Russian space flight and culture (in which I and fellow blogger Asif Siddiqi have essays). … Continue reading

Posted in Cold War, Historiography, Soviet and Russian Space Flight, Soviet Era 1917-1991, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Filmmaker Nikita Mikhalkov Praises the “Wisdom of Serfdom”

According to a website called “Tsenzor.Net” filmmaker Nikita Mikhalkov told a group of journalists that he is preparing to make a film praising serfdom as “the wisdom of the nation.” His comments show a romanticization of history that is pretty … Continue reading

Posted in Current events in the Putin Era, Films, Historiography, Imperial Russia, Nostalgia and Memory, Post-Soviet Russia, Russian History in Popular Culture, Teaching Russian History, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

Contemplating Odors in Russian History

Back when I was an undergrad, my advisor said something that has remained with me since: if you want to know what’s current in Russian historiography, just look at what the rest of the field was working on twenty years … Continue reading

Posted in Historiography, Imperial Russia | 1 Comment

The Invention of Tradition, or How Military History Was NOT Written

Every few years, military historians in the United States engage in a bout of handwringing about the state of the field. Practitioners argue about whether military history in the academy is threatened, who or what is doing the threatening, and … Continue reading

Posted in Historiography, World War I | Leave a comment