Russian History and Culture Workshop


The Penn Russian History and Culture Workshop meets in person this year; papers are pre-circulated ten days in advance.

Contact: Peter Holquist, Department of History

As in the past (well, as in the pre-pandemic times!), we gather in College Hall 209 on Mondays at 5:30PM, for a 90-minute discussion of a pre-circulated paper.  We will share the papers ca. one week to ten days prior to the event.   We will closely follow the public health situation, but at present we are planning on an in-person seminar format.  At present, the University of Pennsylvania does not require masking for public indoor events.

Directions to College Hall here:

For those coming from outside the Penn area, there is often street parking available in the Penn neighborhood (via the Park Mobile app).  In addition, there are two parking garages near the Penn campus, both off 34th Street:

  1. Drexel Parking Lot G (on Ludlow St., off 34th Street—just off Market—between 33rd and 34th Streets):
  2. The Penn Parking Garage, on 34th Street between Market Street and Chestnut:


FALL 2022


Sept. 12: Catherine Evtuhov (History, Columbia): : Introduction and chapter "Early Russian Industrialization: An Environmental Perspective" from edited volume ms. Thinking Russia’s History Environmentally

Sept. 26: Marc Trachtenberg (PoliSci, UCLA): “Assessing Soviet Economic Performance During the Cold War: A Failure of Intelligence?”

Oct. 24: Yana Skorobogatov (History, Columbia): “Seismic Collapse: The 1995 Neftegorsk Earthquake and the Limits of Post-Soviet Relief”

Nov. 18:  Adam Leeds (Slavic, Columbia), joint session with the Penn Economic History Forum [NB: Friday meeting, 2-4PM]: “‘State Socialism,’ ‘State Capitalism,’ ‘War Communism’: On Marxism’s Transformation into a Statism, 1876-1936”  Commentators: Prof. James Brophy (History, University of Delaware) and Ronald Grigor Suny (History, University of Michigan)



Jan. 30: Claire Kaiser (Adjunct Professor, Georgetown University and Head of Strategy, McLarty Associates) Georgian and Soviet: Entitled Nationhood and the Specter of Stalin in the Caucasus.

Feb. 13: David Brandenberger (History, Richmond), "Stalin and the Historical Relationship between the Russians and Ukrainians: A Case Study of the General Secretary’s Editing of A. V. Shestakov’s 1937 History of the USSR."

Mar. 20: Iuliia Skubytska (Associate Research Scholar, Princeton), “Surviving the Turmoil: Eastern Ukrainians’ Self-Narrative at the Time of War”

Apr. 28-29: East Coast Graduate kruzhok (the “Mega-kruzhok”), hosted this year by Columbia University in New York City.

Russian History and Culture Workshop Archive