Visiting Lecturer
Hamilton Hall


BA Oberlin College, 2010
MA University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2013
PhD University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2018

Research Interests

Louis Porter’s research interests are centered on modern Russian and Soviet history, with a particular focus on the transnational dimensions of post-1945 Soviet society. His dissertation, “Cold War Internationalisms: The USSR in UNESCO, 1945-1967,” is the first transnational history of Soviet participation in a noncommunist international organization during the Cold War. Applying social, cultural, and intellectual historical methodologies to a topic traditionally viewed through the lens of diplomatic history, the dissertation draws on untapped archival sources located in Russia and at UNESCO’s headquarters in Paris, France, to reexamine Soviet foreign policy in the context of the rise of internationalist movements and visions of world governance in the West during the postwar period. It also uses Soviet involvement in UNESCO as a case study of the impact of institutionalized multilateral diplomacy–and the ideologies informing the culture and practices of international organizations–on the Soviet intelligentsia, white-collar professionals, and other Soviet citizens. By doing so, the project demonstrates the overlooked role of the postwar international organizational system in shaping Soviet relations with the outside world in the last decades of the country’s existence. Dr. Porter is currently turning his dissertation into a book and teaching classes on Russian history at UNC.