James T. Andrews
Iowa State University
James T. Andrews is Distinguished University Professor of Modern Russian and Comparative Eurasian history at Iowa State University. Educated at Tufts (B.S./M.A.) and Columbia Universities (Harriman Institute), he received his Ph.D. in Modern Russian/Soviet history from the University of Chicago. He has also taught as a visiting professor at several research institutions, including the University of Texas at Austin. He received the ISU Outstanding Achievement in Teaching Award in 2006. His research looks at the intersection of science, society, and public culture. His book monographs include Red Cosmos: K. E. Tsiolkovskii, Grandfather of Soviet Rocketry (2009) and Science for the Masses: The Bolshevik State, Public Science, and the Popular Imagination in Soviet Russia, 1917-34 (2003). He is also co-editor of Into the Cosmos: Space Exploration and Soviet Culture (2012) and editor of Maksim Gor’kii, Science, and Revolution (1995). His various research awards include the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars Senior Fellowship, Fulbright-Hays, Social Science Research Council, and the National Endowment for the Humanities Collaborative Grant.
University of Chicago
Robert Bird’s primary area of interest is the aesthetic practice and theory of Russian/Soviet modernism. He has published books on Viacheslav Ivanov, Fyodor Dostoevsky and Andrei Tarkovsky, and essays on a variety of topics in Russian literature, intellectual history, film and video art. Recently he was co-editor (with Christina Kiaer and Zachary Cahill) of Revolution Every Day: A Calendar (Mousse Publishing, 2017), the catalogue to the exhibition Revolution Every Day at the Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago, on which he was co-curator. He holds a fellowship from the Neubauer Collegium for the project “Revolutionology,” an intellectual history of revolution. He is currently completing a book ‘Soul Machine: How Soviet Film Modeled Socialism,’ which analyzes the rise of socialist realism as a modeling aesthetic.
History of Mathematics, Cybernetics
Slava Gerovitch received his Ph.D. in philosophy of science from the Institute for the History of Natural Science and Technology in Moscow in 1992, and Ph.D. in history and social study of science from MIT’s Science, Technology and Society Program in 1999. Dr. Gerovitch’s research interests are history of mathematics, cybernetics, astronautics, and computing. His book, From Newspeak to Cyberspeak: A History of Soviet Cybernetics, received the honorable mention for the Wayne S. Vucinich Book Prize for an outstanding monograph in Russian studies. His most recent books are Voices of the Soviet Space Program: Cosmonauts, Soldiers, and Engineers Who Took the USSR into Space and Soviet Space Mythologies: Public Images, Private Memories, and the Making of a Cultural Identity, a finalist for the 2016 Historia Nova Prize. His current project, based on more than 80 oral interviews with mathematicians, explores the social history of Soviet mathematics in the 1960s-80s. It examines the creation of a “parallel social infrastructure” in the math community, which included open research seminars, informal study groups, correspondence and evening courses, specialized mathematical schools, and alternative employment opportunities.
University of Chicago
Eleanor Gilburd specializes in the history of modern Russia and the Soviet Union, with particular interest in Soviet culture, society, and their international context. Her first book, To See Paris and Die: The Societ Lives of Western Culture, is a comprehensive history of the Soviet opening to the West during the 1950s and 1960s. This project brings together the ideas that justified cultural exchange and the diplomatic negotiations that made it possible, the secrets of museum storage rooms and the publicity of radio broadcasts, lavish international film festivals and backwater countryside screenings, enormous print runs and home-made books, state-sponsored travel and emigration. Gilburd analyzes the reception of Western texts, paintings, cinema, and melodies, following them as they spread to the remotest corners of the Soviet Union. Interpreting the significance that these imports acquired, she highlights translation – as a mechanism of transfer, a process of habituation, and a metaphor for cultural interaction. The book examines what happened in this encounter to entrenched ideas of class morality and cultural supremacy, familiar ways of looking at paintings, as well as the established languages of literature and cinema.
Loren R. Graham is Professor Emeritus, of the History of Science in the Program in Science, Technology and Society. Professor Graham received his Ph.D. from Columbia University, and a Doctor of Letters (honoris causa) from Purdue University in 1986. Professor Graham specializes in the history of science and the study of contemporary science and technology in Russia. His recent publications include Science and the Soviet Social Order (1990), Science, Philosophy and Human Behavior in the Soviet Union (1987), Science in Russia and the Soviet Union: A Short History (1993), The Ghost of the Executed Engineer (1993); A Face in the Rock(1995); and What Have We Learned About Science and Technology from the Russian Experience?(1998). His Science, Philosophy and Science in the Soviet Union was nominated for the National Book Award. In 1996 he received the George Sarton medal of History of Science Society and in 2000 he received the Follo Award of the Michigan Historical Society for his contributions to Michigan history. He is a fellow of the American Association for Advancement of Science, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a member of the American Philosophical Society, and a foreign member of the Russian Academy of Natural Science.
Department of History
University of British Columbia
Alexei Kojevnikov is an associate professor at the Department of History, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. He received his MS in physics in 1984 from Moscow State University and PhD in history of science in 1989 from the Institute for History of Science and Technology in Moscow. After a Humboldt fellowship in Germany and several postdoctoral positions in the USA he taught history of science at the University of Georgia, Athens, GA, before moving in 2006 to his current position at UBC. His research deals with the history of modern physics and with the social relations of twentieth-century science, including biology. He is the author of Stalin’s Great Science: The Times and Adventures of Soviet Physicists (London, 2004), Rockefeller Philanthropies and Soviet Science (St. Petersburg, 1993), and a co-editor of Weimar Culture and Quantum Mechanics (Singapore, 2011), Intelligentsia Science: The Russian Century, 1860-1960 (Chicago, 2008), and several other edited volumes.
PhD candidate, Princeton University, School of Architecture
MArch II, Harvard University, Graduate School of Design
B.Sc-M.Sc Architectural Engineering, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Evangelos Kotsioris is a New York-based architect and architectural historian whose research interests center on the intersections of architecture with science, technology and media. He is currently completing his PhD dissertation, entitled “Komp’iuter Architecture(s): 195X-198X,” which composes an architectural history of computerization during the Cold War by focusing on the introduction, dissemination and use of the digital electronic computer in the Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc between the late 1950s and the early 1980s. Kotsioris graduated with first class honors from the School of Architecture of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (2009), studied as an exchange student at the Faculty of Architecture of TU Delft (2007) and earned his post-professional Master in Architecture II from the Harvard Graduate School of Design (2011). In 2013 he was an SAH travelling fellow in Russia with the project “Capturing Moscow’s Disappearing Architectural Heritage from the Avant-Garde to Post-WWII Modernism,” and In 2015 he was a research resident at the CCA in Montreal.
Diana Kurkovsky West
SHC Post-doctoral Fellow, 2017-2019
Ph.D., History and Theory of Architecture, Princeton University
Diana Kurkovsky West is the Andrew W. Mellon postdoctoral fellow in the Science in Human Culture Program at Northwestern University, where she is completing her book manuscript on cybernetic thinking in Soviet planning titled CyberSovietica: Planning for Big Data in the Soviet Union. She was formerly the Director of Science and Technology Studies (STS) Center at the European University at St. Petersburg, and holds a Ph.D. from the Princeton University School of Architecture. Her research interrogates what it meant for Soviet planners to conceive the first “smart” country of its kind, casting a fresh look at the project of central planning as a cybernetic challenge geared at steering an immense system of labor and production through continuous data collection, analysis, and feedback. In addition to tracing the trajectory of cybernetic thinking in the USSR, this research helps situate our contemporary discourse on smart cities and big data governance. Besides the work on cybernetics, Diana is interested in questions of quantification, infrastructure, innovation cultures, and history of patents and information.
Associate Professor and Senior Research Fellow
School of Advanced Research in the Humanities
Russian Academy of National Economy and Public Administration.
Maria Mayofis is the author of Appeal to Europe: the Literary Society “Arzamas” and the Russian Modernization Project of 1815-1818 (in Russian, 2008), and a co-editor of volumes on the history of Soviet children’s and youth culture and education, such as “Merry Little Fellows: Cultural Heroes of the Soviet Childhood” (in Russian, 2008), “Anthropology of Revolution” (in Russian, 2009), and Islands of Utopia: Social and Pedagogical Approaches to Modeling Post-WWII School (in Russian, 2015). Her current book-length project is focused on the history of Soviet education of the Thaw period.
Associate Professor of History
Paula Michaels’ work bridges the histories of Eastern and Western Europe, integrating the USSR into a pan-European and global narrative through the study of social and cultural history. More recently her research has reached into the histories of North America and Australia.
Michaels is especially interested in the ways that medicine is mobilized to further political and social objectives. She is currently pursuing two major projects:
Gender and Trauma, 1900-present (co-edited with Christina Twomey, Monash University) will ask the questions: Do different cultures experience trauma differently? Can we discern commonalities across time and space, despite changing clinical and vernacular vocabularies? Drawing together case studies from around the globe, this volume puts gender at the centre of analysis in understanding the evolution of ideas and practices across the 20th century and beyond of what we today term Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. The history of PTSD is typically written as a straight line from shell shock in World War I, through war neurosis in World War II, to post-Vietnam syndrome. Entering the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual’s third edition in 1980, PTSD codified our contemporary understanding of a distinct cluster of symptoms that emerge in the wake of a profoundly distressing situation. Authored by scholars from Australia, the US, and UK, the contributions to this volume chronicle fluctating understandings of the psychological, legal, political, and social implications of emotional distress by men and women, on and off the battlefield.
Soviet Medical Diplomacy examines the role of Soviet medical cadres as tools of soft diplomacy and citizen diplomacy from the opening of extensive exchange agreements in the late 1950s through the collapse of the USSR in 1991. This study plaits the stories of three parallel initiatives to: (1) sponsor of medical students from the developing world for education in the USSR; (2) deploy Soviet medical cadres to the Global South as a form of developmental aid; (3) promote peace through antinuclear activism.
Associate Professor, Chair of the Slavic Department
University of Chicago
William Nickell is a cultural historian specializing in mid-nineteenth to mid-twentieth century Russia, with particular interest in the 1840s, turn-of-the century, and 1930s-40s. Before joining the University of Chicago he was the Gary Licker Research Chair at U.C. Santa Cruz. His research focuses on media studies and cultural production, with close attention to the effects of large-scale social, economic and technical change. He also publishes extensively on Tolstoy, including a forthcoming companion to War and Peace. His first book, The Death of Tolstoy: Russia on the Eve, Astapovo Station, 1910, received honorable mention for the MLA’s Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for Studies in Slavic Languages and Literatures.
He works closely with students to construct digital media and installations, including the Soviet Apartment Project (Kommunalka) and the Soviet House of Rest. In 2013-14 he will be working on a new project relating to Sochi, documenting its transformation from a model Soviet city into an elite resort and Olympic site. The project will include an installation in Chicago and Los Angeles and an accompanying book. It will also actively involve University of Chicago students, who will collect documents and oral histories, assist with the installation and participate in its events (recreating the atmosphere of a Soviet-era resort), and develop a digital map of the city tracing its various stages of development.
He also runs a film series featuring the cinema of Russia, Eastern Europe and Eurasia. Open to the campus community, it is organized in cooperation with students, and is intended to introduce new perspectives, hone interpretive skills, and stimulate research.
Assistant Professor Art & Design
University of Illinois Urbana Champaign
Dr. Romberg specializes in modern and contemporary art, with a particular focus on media and design. Her book Gan’s Constructivism: Aesthetic Theory for an Embedded Modernism (U. of California Press, 2018) re-examines Russian constructivism by exploring the work of one of the movement’s founders, Aleksei Gan, as a political organizer and maker of mass-media objects. Recent curatorial projects include contributions to Revoliutsiia! Demonstratsiia! Soviet Art Put to the Test at the Art Institute of Chicago (2017) and Propositions on Revolution (Slogans for a Future) at Krannert Art Museum (2017). Her articles have appeared in both English and Russian publications, including October, Artforum, and the anthology Formy i struktury. Antologiia rossiiskogo modernizma (Forms and Structures: Anthology of Russian Modernism, 2014). In 2005, she was the curator, along with Richard Anderson, of the exhibition Architecture in Print: Design and Debate in the Soviet Union, 1919-1935 at Columbia University’s Wallach Art Gallery.
Professor Romberg’s research has been supported by the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, American Council of Teachers of Russian, the Harriman Institute, Center for the Study of Modern Art at the Phillips Collection, and George Washington University, and the Getty Research Institute. At UIUC, she is also affiliated with the Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory, Slavic Languages and Literatures, REEES, and the European Union Center.
Global Studies Institute, Geneva University
Ksenia Tatarchenko is a lecturer at the Global Studies Institute, Geneva University, specializing in the history of Russian science and technology. She has held positions as a visiting Assistant Professor of History at NYU Shanghai and a post-doctoral fellow at the Harriman Institute, Columbia. Most broadly, she studies questions of knowledge circulation to situate Soviet developments in the global context. Her publications reconstruct the formation of the Socialist Information Society from multiple perspectives, such as discipline consolidation, education initiatives, hobbyist communities, and gender issues. With Christopher Phillips, she has edited, “Mathematical Superpowers: The Politics of Universality in a Divided World,” special issue of Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences 46, no. 5 (2016). She is currently writing a book on science and innovation cultures in Siberia entitled, Science City, Siberia: Akademgorodok and the Late Soviet Politics of Expertise. Her most recent fieldwork in the Russian Arctic is connected to the new research project: to examine the Cold War interplay between Soviet Arctic and Antarctic research, and to question its influence on the ideas about climate change in today’s Russia.