Department of History
Seton Hall University
Some information about my background:
I grew up in Newton Massachusetts just outside Boston. I graduated from high school in 1979 and went on to do my undergraduate work at Oberlin College in Ohio, where I majored in history and took electives in music, art and the Russian language. The summer after my graduation in 1984 I traveled to the Soviet Union for the first time on the CIEE exchange program. In September 1986, after a two year interval in which I taught English as a Second Language and worked at the Emerson College library in Boston, I entered the graduate program in Russian history at Columbia University. I received my Masters degree in 1989 and passed my oral exams the following year. In 1991, I went to Russia on an IREX grant to carry out my dissertation research. In the year that followed I witnessed the collapse of the Soviet Union and experienced first hand the economic, social and political disruption facing Russian society during that turbulent period. After a brief stint back in America in the fall of 1992, I returned to Russia and for the next three years divided my time between Boston and St. Petersburg. In December 1994 at Columbia University, I defended my doctoral dissertation entitled "Constructing the Science of Nationality: Ethnography in Mid-Nineteenth Century Russia." After spending most of 1995 in Russia working in the archives, I returned to the US in January 1996 to begin teaching, first as an adjunct and then as a lecturer at the University of New Hampshire. In the summer of 1997, I moved to Washington where I was a research fellow at the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies. The following January, I returned to the Harriman Institute at Columbia University for a post-doctoral fellowship. I began teaching in September 1998 at Seton Hall University where I am currently an Associate Professor of History and Director of the Russian and East European Studies Program.