Russian History Ukrainian History History of Religion in Modern Europe
I am an historian of Russia, with a special interest in religion and modernization in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. I teach a range of courses in Russian, modern European, and world history. Since 2011, I have served as editor of Canadian Slavonic Papers/Revue canadienne des slavistes. I am also the director of the Program on Religion and Culture at the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies.
My research has focused on the relationship between religion and social, political, and cultural modernization in late imperial and early Soviet Russia and Ukraine.
My first book, Russian Baptists and Spiritual Revolution, 1905-1929 (Indiana, 2005) received honourable mention for the Wallace K. Ferguson Prize of the Canadian Historical Association in 2006. I am also the co-editor, with Mark D. Steinberg, of Sacred Stories: Religion and Spirituality in Modern Russia (Indiana 2007), and editor of Orthodox Christianity in Imperial Russia: A Source Book on Lived Religion (Indiana, 2014).
My research on Baptists, many of whom were Ukrainian, and on the Russian Orthodox Church’s “internal” mission, led me to my current book project, “Holy Kiev/Kyiv: Priests, Communities, and Nationality in Imperial Russia.” This monograph, funded by SSHRC and the Canada Research Chairs programme, investigates the relationship between the ethno-religious diversity of Kyiv/Kiev province and the rise of a lively pastoral mission among the Orthodox clergy there in the nineteenth century. It explores the dilemma of the “Russian” church in the politically sensitive Southwest Region (which was absorbed into the Russian Empire only in 1793) as a window into the creation of both modern Russian and Ukrainian identities between the 1830s and 1905. It focuses on parish priests as the cultural and religious brokers who stood between the Russian Orthodox Church and the imperial state, and between local communities where the “Russians” mostly spoke Ukrainian, and the mostly Yiddish-speaking towns and Polish-speaking nobility. My study examines both the clergy’s cultural work and their culture, focusing on their relationship with their parishioners, how their understanding of their mission evolved, their representations of their communities and of themselves, and their attitudes toward ideas about Polishness, Russianness, and Ukrainianness.
Finally, an important aspect of my scholarly contribution has been as an editor. Since January 2011, I have served as editor of Canadian Slavonic Papers/Revue canadienne des slavistes, the journal of the Canadian Association of Slavists.
I teach a range of courses, including HIST 128 (War, Revolution, and Society), HIST 210 (Europe in the 19th and 20th Centuries), HIST 313 (Medieval and Early Modern Russia), HIST 320 (Russia from Reform to Revolution, 1800-1917), HIST 379 (Religion in Modern Europe), HIST 416 (Topics in Eastern European History -- most recently, a course on the Russian Revolution, but also such Late Imperial Russia, Empire and Nation), HIST 604 (Application of the Social Sciences to History), HIST 630 (Problems in Imperial Russian History).
I very much enjoy graduate training and have had the privilege to work with numerous MA and PhD students, as well as postdoctoral fellows. I welcome inquiries from potential graduate students interested in Russian and Ukrainian history in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Religious revival and secularization in Europe from the French Revolution to the present. Topics include: relations between church and state; intellectual challenges and responses; and religion transformed by modernity.Fall Term 2021