Major Field: Russian and East European History
Adviser: Donald J.Raleigh
BA Baylor University, 2008 (Russian History, summa cum laude)
Honors Thesis: “The Poet and the Politician: Boris Pasternak, Nikita Khruschev, and the Struggle for Russian Culture”
MA University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2011
MA Thesis: “Revolutionary Narrative, Revolutionary Defense: Reading Stalin’s ‘First Victim’”
My research interests focus on the history of Russia and the Soviet Union during the twentieth century through the lens of urban history and nationality policies. My dissertation, “Creating a Tatar Capital: National, Cultural, and Linguistic Space in Kazan, 1920–1941,” combines both of these themes by using the city of Kazan, a cultural and industrial center on the Volga River and home to diverse ethnolinguistic and confessional communities, to probe the relationship between urban space and national practices in the two decades following the creation of the Tatar Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic in 1920, when the Bolsheviks’ political and social visions for Kazan reconfigured the physical and cultural landscape of the city. My research places national identity in conversation with the physical and cultural world around it, emphasizing the practices that helped to define group boundaries; this included, for example, determining where to speak Russian and Tatar, as well as learning how to coexist with other national groups in integrated university, factory, and communal apartment settings. I am also interested in the history of Russia’s Muslim minority groups more generally.