Personal Statement:

My area of interest is the history of the Soviet Union, especially the history of Central Asia in the Soviet period.  My research has focused on the making of nations in early Soviet Central Asia and on nationality, race, and intermarriage in the postwar USSR.

Advisor to:

Research and Teaching Interests:

  • Russian and Soviet history
  • Modern Central Asia
  • Borderlands, empires, and nations
  • Race and ethnicity
  • Women and gender
  • Oral history

Current Projects:

  • Intermarriage and the Friendship of Peoples:  Ethnic Mixing in Soviet Central Asia   (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2022)

Selected Publications:

  • Intermarriage from Central Europe to Central Asia:  Mixed Families in the Age of Extremes, co-edited with Benjamin Frommer (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2020).
  • “Children of Mixed Marriage in Soviet Central Asia:  Dilemmas of Identity and Belonging,” in David Rainbow, ed., Ideologies of Race: Russia and the Soviet Union in Global Context (Montreal and Kingston:  McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2019).
  •  “What to Name the Children?  Oral Histories of Ethnically Mixed Families in Soviet Central Asia,” Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History, vol. 20, no. 2 (Spring 2019), pp. 269-290.
  • “Central Asian History as Soviet History,” Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History, vol. 17, no. 3 (Summer 2016), pp. 621-629.

  • “The ‘Laboratory of Peoples’ Friendship’: People of Mixed Descent in Kazakhstan from the Soviet Era to the Present,” (with Saule Ualiyeva), in Miri Song et al., eds., Global Mixed Race (New York: New York University Press, 2014), pp. 68-90.

  • “Nation Making and National Conflict under Communism,” in Stephen A. Smith, ed., The Oxford Handbook of World Communism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014), pp. 522-541.
  • “Rulers and Victims Reconsidered: Geoffrey Hosking and the Russians of the Soviet Union,” Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History, vol. 13, no. 2 (April 2012).
  • “Ethnic Intermarriage, Mixed People, and the ‘Friendship of Peoples’ in Soviet and Post-Soviet Kazakhstan,” (in Russian, with Saule Ualiyeva), Neprikoznovenny Zapas (Moscow), no. 1/79 (Winter 2012).
  • “Post-colonialism, interethnic intimacy, and Central Asia: a comment,”
    Ab Imperio no. 2 (2008), pp. 81-83.
  • “Marriage, Modernity and the ‘Friendship of Nations:’ Interethnic Intimacy in Postwar Soviet Central Asia in Comparative Perspective,” Central Asian Survey vol. 26, no. 4 (December 2007), pp. 581-600.
  • “Bolshevism, Patriarchy, and the Nation: The Soviet ‘Emancipation’ of Muslim Women in Pan-Islamic Perspective,” Slavic Review vol. 65, no. 2 (Summer 2006) pp. 252-272
  • “Portrait of Lenin: Carpets and National Culture in Soviet Turkmenistan,”
    in Valerie Kivelson and Joan Neuberger, eds., Picturing Russia: Explorations in Visual Culture (Yale, 2008)
  • Tribal Nation: The Making of Soviet Turkmenistan (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2004, paperback edition 2007).
  • “The Fragmented Nation: Genealogy, Identity, and Social Hierarchy in Turkmenistan,” in Paul Spickard, ed., Race and Nation: Ethnic Systems in the Modern World (NY and London, Routledge, 2005).

Courses Taught:

  • History 4C, Western Civilization, 1715-present
  • 123C  History of Europe, 1945-present
  • 135B History of Russia, 1800-1917
  • 135C History of the Soviet Union, 1917-1991
  •  201C Advanced Historical Literature (Comparative)
  •  135R Research Seminar in Russian History
  • 183DR  Readings in Central Asian History
  • 200E Historical Literature (20th Century Europe)
  • 223A/B  Research Seminar in Modern European History
  • 209A  The Academic Profession of History

Honors and Professional Activities:

  • Member of editorial board, Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History (2021- )
  • Member, Board of Directors, Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (2016-2019).
  • Member of editorial board, Central Asian Studies (London) 2014-present.
  • Member of editorial board, Forschungen zur Osteuropaeischen Geschichte, Harrassowitz Verlag, Germany (2012-2017)
  •  Karl Jaspers Center for Transcultural Relations, University of Heidelberg  (Germany)   Visiting research fellowship,  Sept.-Dec.  2015.
  • Open Society Institute (Soros Foundation) Central Asia Research and Training Initiative grant (with Nazykbek Kydyrmyshev), 2012-2014; with Saule Ualieyeva (2009-2010)
  • Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Bonn, Germany    Humboldt Advanced Research Fellowship, 2009-10
  • Berkshire Conference Article Prize, 2006