Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
Washington & Jefferson College
Website URL
Soviet history, social history, cultural history, Modern European history, music, socialist aesthetics, censorship, collaborative authorship, Stalinism, Soviet nationalities policy
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

I am a Visiting Assistant Professor of European History at Washington & Jefferson College. I earned 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 interplay of cultural production and state authority in the Soviet Union through the lens of classical music. My current book manuscript, Creative Comrades: 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 Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas, Journal of Musicology, and Perspectives on Europe. I am also the co-founder and past 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,” Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas 67, no. 3 (2019), 372-400

“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

“Modeling the New Collectivity” and “Modeling the New Individual” in Robert Bird, ed. Adventures in the Soviet Imaginary: Soviet Children’s Books and Graphic Art. (Chicago: University of Chicago Library, 2011), 19-21. (Book awarded the 2012 American Library Association Leab Exhibition Award). Expanded articles available on the exhibition website:

Publications in Progress

“Creating Crimea: Revision, Reclamation, and the Operatic Politics of Post-Soviet Empire” (Journal article)

Creative Comrades: Censorship and Collaboration in Late-Stalinist Music (Book Manuscript)

Book Reviews

“Review of Russian Music since 1917: Reappraisal and Rediscovery,” Russian Review 78, no. 1 (January 2019), 148-149

“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), 4-5

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