Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
Brooklyn College
Website URL
late imperial Russia and the Soviet Union, Stalinism, race, ethnicity, socialist internationalism, Roma, Romani Studies, Esperanto,
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Personal Info

About Me

Brigid O’Keeffe is a historian of imperial Russia and the Soviet Union. Her research has demonstrated commitment to showing how those whom historians tend to dismiss as “marginal” allow us to understand the past in new ways. O’Keeffe’s new book, The Multiethnic Soviet Union and its Demise, is forthcoming with Bloomsbury’s Russian Shorts Book Series in fall 2022. She is also the author of Esperanto and Languages of Internationalism in Revolutionary Russia (2021) and New Soviet Gypsies: Nationality, Performance, and Selfhood in the Early Soviet Union (2013).

Recent Publications

“A Cold War Cold Case: What Huldah Clark Can Teach Us about Teaching Soviet History,” Slavic Review 80, 2 (Summer 2021): 299-306.

Esperanto and Languages of Internationalism in Revolutionary Russia (Bloomsbury, 2021).

The People’s Ambassadress: The Forgotten Diplomacy of Ivy Litvinov,” Aeon 

“Building a Communist Tower of Babel: Esperanto and the Language Politics of Internationalism in Revolutionary Russia,” in Internationalists in European History: Rethinking the Twentieth Century, ed. Jessica Reinisch and David Brydan (Bloomsbury, 2021): 17-32.

“The Woman Always Pays: The Lives of Ivy Litvinov,” The Slavonic and East European Review 97, 3 (July 2019): 501-528.

“An International Language for an Empire of Humanity:  L.L. Zamenhof and the Imperial Russian Origins of Esperanto,” East European Jewish Affairs 49, 1 (2019): 1-19.

“The Racialization of Soviet Gypsies:  Roma, Nationality Politics, and Socialist Transformation in Stalin’s Soviet Union,” in Ideologies of Race: Imperial Russia and the Soviet Union in Global Context, ed. David Rainbow (McGill University Press, 2019): 132-159.

“Gypsies as a litmus test for rational, tolerant rule: Fin-de-siècle Russian ethnographers confront the comparative history of Roma in Europe,” International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice [Special Issue on Crime and Justice: Roma in Europe and North America] 38, 2 (2014): 109-131.

New Soviet Gypsies: Nationality, Performance, and Selfhood in the Early Soviet Union (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2013).

“Aleksandr Germano, 1893-1955,” in Russia’s People of Empire: Life Stories from Eurasia, 1500 to the Present, ed. Stephen Norris and Willard Sunderland (Bloomington, IN:  Indiana University Press, 2012): 265-273.

“‘Backward Gypsies,’ Soviet Citizens:  The All-Russian Gypsy Union, 1925-28,” Kritika:  Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History 11, 2 (2010): 283-312.

Media Coverage
Country Focus
Russia and the former USSR
Expertise by Geography
Eastern Europe, Russia
Expertise by Chronology
7, 8
Expertise by Topic
Politics, Race, Rebellion & Revolution