I am the Assistant Curator of Modern Books and Manuscripts at Harvard’s Houghton Library. I help develop and steward our collections from 1800 to the present day, teach classes, provide advanced reference services, curate exhibitions, and give tours for visitors.
I am an historian of modern Europe and Russia, with a special interest in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century politics, culture, and ideas. My work explores how Russia’s peculiar political institutions—and its status as a multiethnic empire—shaped public opinion and political cultures. It also interrogates Russia’s relationship with the outside world, asking where the Russian experience belongs in the broader context of European and global history. In addition, I am interested in the theory and practice of the digital humanities. My first book, Children of Rus’: Right-Bank Ukraine and the Invention of a Russian Nation, was published by Cornell University Press in 2013. ( See http://www.cornellpress.cornell.edu/book/?GCOI=80140100088630). Children of Rus’ argues that it was on the extreme periphery of the tsarist empire—a region that today is located at the very center of the independent nation of Ukraine—that Russian nationalism first took shape and assumed its most potent form. The book reconstructs how nineteenth-century provincial intellectuals came to see local folk customs as the purest manifestation of an ancient nation that unified all the Orthodox East Slavs, and how they successfully propagated their ideas across the empire through lobbying and mass political mobilization. Rather than documenting the advance of “national awakenings” on the imperial periphery, Children of Rus’ highlights the flexibility and contingency of national collectives; it reveals the surprising role that men whom we today would identify as ethnic Ukrainians played in the creation of Russian nationalism as well as the unwitting contributions that Russian nationalists made to other nation-building projects that would ultimately challenge the primacy of their movement. In addition, Children of Rus’ offers a bold reconceptualization of state-society relations under tsarism, showing how residents of a diverse and contested peripheral region managed to shape political ideas and identities across Russia—and even beyond its borders. In the book that I am currently researching, Europe’s Russian Colonies: Politics, Community, and Modernity across Borders, my abiding interest in politics, culture, and ideas takes a new direction. A study of the diverse yet close-knit settlements of tsarist émigrés that sprung up in western Europe’s large cities, university towns, and spa resorts over the long nineteenth century, this book provides the first synthetic history of pre-1917 traffic between Russia and Europe. Placing familiar themes in imperial history in an international context, it treats Europe’s “Russian colonies” as incubators of new ideas, cultures, and identities that ultimately traveled back to Russia via literature, correspondence, and return migration. Europe’s Russian Colonies also argues that these unique urban communities shaped the larger societies in which they were located in consequential ways. The “Russian colonies” and their residents played important roles in the articulation of liberal dreams of universalism and freedom. Yet by the late nineteenth century, as they became breeding grounds for radical ideas on both the left and the right, they began to present new challenges to western Europe’s liberal-parliamentary order. My current research is enriched by technology, and I am interested in thinking through how historians can use digital tools to open new avenues for exploration and to communicate their findings to other scholars and the general public. I am particularly interested in using geo-spatial analysis to analyze flows of people, ideas, and commodities over time and across space. For examples of my (ongoing) work in digital mapping, see my Europe’s Russian Colonies (http://worldmap.harvard.edu/maps/6120) and Publishing the Russian Empire Abroad (https://public.tableau.com/profile/publish/PublishingtheRussianEmpireAbroad/Languagebycity#!/publish-confirm) maps. I have held research fellowships at Columbia University’s Harriman Institute and at Harvard University’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, and have been awarded grants from ACLS, IREX, Fulbright-Hays, and NCEEER, among others.
I am a Ph.D. candidate in History at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA. My dissertation examines German prisoners of war in the Soviet Union from 1941-1956. I am interested in how they were treated, why they were held for so long, and their role in the Soviet forced labor economy. To access their labor contribution, I digitally map the camp locations with regards to resources and infrastructure developments with the program ArcGIS. The role of the POWs in the early stages of the Cold War is also a major part of my research.
Dr. Mark Konecny is the Scholarly Communications and Digital Publishing Strategist at the University of Cincinnati. He has been involved in the development of digital media in teaching Humanities for the past 15 years with many disciplines across the curriculum compiling digital curriculum and materials for distance learning in the Humanities: Art History, International Relations, Political Science, Literature, Theater, and Communications, and he has created digital platforms and content for dissemination of rare materials from archive and rare book repositories as well as promotion of digital scholarship in the Humanities. He manages and administers a special collection and research institute that deals with digital content: writing grants, fundraising, supervision, budgeting and procurement and works with issues of digital technology and its application in academic projects and implement technology in the classroom and the interface between the library and academic departments.
He is an editor of the journal Experiment, a scholarly art history journal. In addition to duties as a curator and art historian specializing in Modern Art and the Avant-Garde, he oversaw the transition of the journal from a university published journal to one published and distributed by a major European firm, Brill Publishers, soliciting manuscripts, editing prose, proofreading, revising, and placing illustrations. He has experience negotiating copyright and image right issues. He has worked on several multiyear projects involving faculty and museum professionals from many disciplines from many international universities.
Michael David-Fox is a historian of modern Russia and the USSR, whose work has ranged from cultural and political history to transnational studies and modernity theory. At the outset of his career, he became one of the first foreign researchers to work in formerly closed Communist Party archives during the collapse of the Soviet Union. He went on to become a founding editor of Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History [https://kritika.georgetown.edu/], now based at Georgetown, a transformative journal that has helped to internationalize the field of Russian Studies. For this, he received the 2010 Distinguished Editor Award from the Council of Editors of Learned Journals. In a series of books, nine edited volumes, twelve edited special theme issues of journals, and over forty-five articles and chapters, David-Fox has probed unexpected connections between culture and politics, institutions and mentalities, and domestic and international shifts. His latest work explores covert entanglements across borders, ideologies, and cultures. He has strong interests in transnational and comparative history and in the history of Russian-German relations, broadly conceived, as well as in the history of the Russian Revolution and Stalinism. David-Fox received his A.B. from Princeton and his PhD from Yale. He is author of Revolution of the Mind: Higher Learning among the Bolsheviks, 1918-1929 (1997); Showcasing the Great Experiment: Cultural Diplomacy and Western Visitors to the Soviet Union, 1921-1941 (2012, translated into Russian and Chinese, a Choice Outstanding Academic Title); Crossing Borders: Modernity, Ideology, and Culture in Russia and the Soviet Union (2015, under translation into Russian, winner of the 2016 Historia Nova Prize for Best Book in Russian Intellectual and Cultural History). David-Fox has been a Humboldt Fellow (Germany), a visiting professor at the Centre russe, EHESS (France), and was awarded the title of honorary professor from Samara State University (Russia). He has been a visiting scholar or fellow at the W. Averill Harriman Institute at Columbia University, the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study, the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies, the Mershon Center for Studies in International Security and Public Policy, the National Academy of Education, the Davis Center for Historical Studies at Princeton University, the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation (2017). His current book project, “Smolensk under Nazi and Soviet Rule,” is a study of the exercise of power in a Russian region under Stalinism and the German occupation during WWII. Aiming squarely at the place where regional history meets the grand narrative, it cross-fertilizes three rapidly evolving fields: the study of Stalinism, German occupation on the Eastern Front during World War II, and the Holocaust. Since 2013, David-Fox has served as scholarly advisor to the International Centre for the History and Sociology of World War II and its Consequences at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow.
I teach Russian language, literature, and culture at Williams College, and my research focuses on performance–construed in the broadest possible sense–in Russian culture. I’ve published on topics ranging from early Soviet show trials to the cult of personality surrounding Vladimir Putin.
I am a confirmed Russophile with a demonstrated passion for teaching and cats and a decided antipathy to teaching cats. I also enjoy coloring mandalas when not reading or translating Soviet production novels.
I am a historian of Imperial Russia and the world, interested in the history of knowledge very broadly defined. My first book, Spies and Scholars: Chinese Secrets and Imperial Russia’s Quest for World Power, deals with the construction of a Russian intelligence network in Qing Dynasty China between 1650 and 1850. It was published with Harvard University Press in April 2020.
Susan Smith-Peter works on Russian history beyond the two capitals of Moscow and St. Petersburg. Beginning with a study of identity in the provinces of European (or central) Russia, she has branched out to investigate the regional identity of the Russian North and Siberia as well. Her book, Imagining Russian Regions: Subnational Identity and Civil Society in Nineteenth-Century Russia, was published with Brill in 2018.