Personal Statement:

My area of interest is the history of the Soviet Union, especially the history of Central Asia in the Soviet period.

Advisor to:

Research and Teaching Interests:

  • Russian and Soviet history
  • Modern Central Asia
  • Nations and nationalism
  • Race and ethnicity
  • Women and gender
  • Oral history

Current Projects:


  • Intimate Internationalism: Mixed Marriage in Soviet Central Asia   (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, forthcoming 2022)


Selected Publications:


  • Intermarriage from Central Europe to Central Asia:  Mixed Families in the Age of Extremes, co-edited with Benjamin Frommer (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2020).
  • “Children of Mixed Marriage in Soviet Central Asia:  Dilemmas of Identity and Belonging,” in David Rainbow, ed., Ideologies of Race: Russia and the Soviet Union in Global Context (Montreal and Kingston:  McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2019).
  •  “What to Name the Children?  Oral Histories of Ethnically Mixed Families in Soviet Central Asia,” Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History, vol. 20, no. 2 (Spring 2019), pp. 269-290.
  • “Central Asian History as Soviet History,” Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History, vol. 17, no. 3 (Summer 2016), pp. 621-629.

  • “The ‘Laboratory of Peoples’ Friendship’: People of Mixed Descent in Kazakhstan from the Soviet Era to the Present,” (with Saule Ualiyeva), in Miri Song et al., eds., Global Mixed Race (New York: New York University Press, 2014), pp. 68-90.

  • “Nation Making and National Conflict under Communism,” in Stephen A. Smith, ed., The Oxford Handbook of World Communism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014), pp. 522-541.
  • “Rulers and Victims Reconsidered: Geoffrey Hosking and the Russians of the Soviet Union,” Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History, vol. 13, no. 2 (April 2012).
  • “Ethnic Intermarriage, Mixed People, and the ‘Friendship of Peoples’ in Soviet and Post-Soviet Kazakhstan,” (in Russian, with Saule Ualiyeva), Neprikoznovenny Zapas (Moscow), no. 1/79 (Winter 2012).
  • “Post-colonialism, interethnic intimacy, and Central Asia: a comment,”
    Ab Imperio no. 2 (2008), pp. 81-83.
  • “Marriage, Modernity and the ‘Friendship of Nations:’ Interethnic Intimacy in Postwar Soviet Central Asia in Comparative Perspective,” Central Asian Survey vol. 26, no. 4 (December 2007), pp. 581-600.
  • “Bolshevism, Patriarchy, and the Nation: The Soviet ‘Emancipation’ of Muslim Women in Pan-Islamic Perspective,” Slavic Review vol. 65, no. 2 (Summer 2006) pp. 252-272
  • “Portrait of Lenin: Carpets and National Culture in Soviet Turkmenistan,”
    in Valerie Kivelson and Joan Neuberger, eds., Picturing Russia: Explorations in Visual Culture (Yale, 2008)
  • Tribal Nation: The Making of Soviet Turkmenistan (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2004).
  • “The Fragmented Nation: Genealogy, Identity, and Social Hierarchy in Turkmenistan,”
    in Paul Spickard, ed., Race and Nation: Ethnic Systems in the Modern World (NY and London, Routledge, 2005).

Courses Taught:

  • History 4C, Western Civilization, 1715-present
  • 123C  History of Europe, 1945-present
  • 135B History of Russia, 1800-1917
  • 135C History of the Soviet Union, 1917-1991
  •  201C Advanced Historical Literature (Comparative)
  •  135R Research Seminar in Russian History
  • 183DR  Readings in Central Asian History
  • 200E Historical Literature (Modern Europe)
  • 223A/B  Research Seminar in Modern European History

Honors and Professional Activities:

  • Member, Board of Directors, Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (elected to three-year term, 2016-2019).
  • Member of editorial board, Central Asian Studies (London) 2014-present.
  • Member of editorial board, Forschungen zur Osteuropaeischen Geschichte, Harrassowitz Verlag, Germany (2012-2017)
  •  Karl Jaspers Center for Transcultural Relations, University of Heidelberg  (Germany)   Visiting research fellowship,  Sept.-Dec.  2015..
  • Open Society Institute (Soros Foundation) Central Asia Research and Training Initiative grant (with Nazykbek Kydyrmyshev), 2012-2014; with Saule Ualieyeva (2009-2010)
  • Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Bonn, Germany    Humboldt Advanced Research Fellowship, 2009-10
  • Berkshire Conference Article Prize, 2006