Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
Reed College
Website URL
Soviet history, social history, cultural history, Modern European history, music, socialist aesthetics, censorship, collaborative authorship, Stalinism
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

I am a Visiting Assistant Professor of European History and Humanities at Reed College. I received my PhD in Russian and Soviet History from the University of Chicago in 2015. My dissertation won the 2016 Tucker/Cohen Prize for Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation in Soviet or Post-Soviet Politics and History. My research investigates the intense interplay of cultural production and state authority in the Soviet Union through the lens of classical music. My current book manuscript, Creative Confrontation: Authorship, Censorship, and Collaboration in Late Stalinist Music, examines Soviet classical music censorship during the late Stalinist repression of the intelligentsia. I argue that in the absence of clearly defined aesthetic standards and the presence of high-stakes consequences for transgression, Soviet composers resorted to collective professional self-censorship, which proved far more effective at controlling their creative production than the state could have achieved alone. Further, I introduce a more complex framework for understanding both censorship and authorship in the Soviet context as collaborative processes. I have presented my research at a variety of national and international conferences, and I have published articles in the Journal of Musicology Perspectives on Europe, and Jarbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas (forthcoming). I am also the co-founder and president of the ASEEES Russian, Eastern European, and Eurasian Music Study Group.

Recent Publications

Articles and Book Chapters

“Nationally Informed: The Politics of National Minority Music during Late Stalinism,” Jarbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas (forthcoming in 2019)

“Negotiating ‘Historical Truth’: Art, Authority, and Iurii Shaporin’s The Decembrists,Journal of Musicology 33, no. 3 (Summer 2016), 277-331

“Creative Resilience: Soviet Composers’ Strategic Relationship with the State Censor (A Tale of Two Sofias),” Perspectives on Europe 46, no. 1 (Spring 2016), 94-99

“The Collective and the Individual” in Robert Bird, ed. Adventures in the Soviet Imaginary: Soviet Children’s Books and Graphic Art. Chicago: University of Chicago Library, 2011. (Book awarded the 2012 American Library Association Leab Exhibition Award). Expanded articles available on the exhibition website:

Book Reviews

“Review of Stalin’s Music Prize: Soviet Culture and Politics,” Journal of the American Musicological Society 70, no. 1 (Spring 2017), 267-271

Other Publications

Foreword to No Kid-ding Notebook: Album of Piano Pieces by Gamma Skupinsky (Chernivtsi: Bukrek, 2016)

Media Coverage
Country Focus
Russia and the Soviet Union
Expertise by Geography
Eastern Europe, Russia
Expertise by Chronology
Modern, 20th century, 21st century
Expertise by Topic