I am interested in global and comparative approaches to history. The focus of my research and teaching is Modern Europe and Russia, but I also look beyond these areas, in order to incorporate Russia and Europe into a broader comparative context. I am particularly interested in social and economic history and the history of labor, gender relations, peasantries, and childhood.

My research on peasants has produced a number of articles and essays in academic journals, collections, and encyclopedias and led to the publication of A Life under Russian Serfdom: Memoirs of Savva Dmitrievich Purlevskii, 1800-68 (Central European University Press, 2005), which is now widely used in classes. These publications address peasant migrant labor, peasant economic and social activities, peasant culture and state policies regarding peasants. My research has culminated in a book, Russia’s Factory Children: State, Society, and Law, 1800-1917, published by the University of Pittsburgh Press in late 2009, as well as a comparative article on labor protection legislation in Imperial Russia and EuropeRussia’s Factory Children explores the role of children in the Russian workforce from the beginning of industrialization until the 1917 Revolution; it examines their everyday lives, working conditions, hours, wages, physical risks and health, and the laws that established children's labor and living standards. The study’s analysis concerns social and legal history and offers a comparative European context. 

Currently I explore peasant economic ecological mentality. In this research, I attempt to advance one main proposition: the enormous potential usefulness of utilizing peasant economic ecology as a category of analysis of the rural economy. The research examines several rural areas in Europe, Asia, and Africa.



HIST 1110 World History, origins - 1400

HIST 1120 World History, 1400 - Present

HIST  3210 Reformation Europe and the World

HIST 3250 Europe in the 19th century

HIST 3260 Europe in the 20th century

HIST 3330 Modern Russia

HIST 3900 Central Asia in the Russian Empire


Publication Highlights

Peasants in Russia from Serfdom to Stalin: Accommodation, Survival, Resistance (London: Bloomsbury, 2018)

Russia’s Factory Children: State, Society, and Law, 1800-1917 (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2009)

A Life under Russian Serfdom: Memoirs of Savva Dmitrievich Purlevskii, 1800-68 (Budapest & New York: Central European University Press, 2005)

“Toward a Comprehensive Law: Tsarist Factory Labor Legislation in European Context, 1830–1914" in Russians Envision their Place in Europe, 1789-1914: A Member of the Family, Susan P. McCaffray, Michael S. Melancon, editors (New York: Palgrave McMillan, 2005)

“Democratizing Habermas: Peasant Public Sphere in Pre-Reform Russia,” for a special issue of Russian History/Histoire Russe (Fall 2004)

“Serfs on the Move: Peasant Seasonal Migration in Pre-Reform Russia, 1800-61," Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History (Fall 2000): 627-56

“Teaching Modern Russian History in European and Global Context”  in NewsNet: News of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies, vol. 49, no. 2, March 2009-10-27

“History of Child Labor in Imperial Russia,” Child Labor World Atlas: A Reference Encyclopedia, Hugh D. Hindman, ed, (M.E. Sharp: New York, 2009)

“Debating ‘Backwardness’ in Russian History,” NewsNet: News of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies vol. 47, no. 2, March 2007-10-27

"Serfs, Emancipation of" Encyclopedia of Europe, 1789-1914, John Merriman and Jay Winter, eds in chief (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2006)

“Serfdom: Eastern Europe” in Encyclopedia of European Social History, from 1300 to 2000, 6 vols. Peter N. Stearns, ed. in chief (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2001) 2:379-388