Abbreviated Vita



  • Ph.D. University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign Major Field: Russian History (October 1997)
    • Minor Fields: Modern Europe; Southeastern Europe (May 1991)
  • M.A. University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign Field: Russian History
  • B.A. University of Kansas (May 1989)
    • Majors: History (with honors); Slavic Languages and Literatures


  • Assistant to Full Professor, Department of History, Western Illinois University (tenured 2004) (1998-present)
  • Senior Program Officer, Russian and East European Center, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (1997-98)
  • Instructor, Russian and East European Center, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (1996-97)


  • Participant, KU Digital Humanities Forum BootCamp Workshops (Sessions: “Integrating Digital Projects into Undergraduate Courses” and “Introduction to GIS for Humanists”), University of Kansas. 22 September 2011
  • Participant, Digital Humanities Summer Institute (Topic: “Issues in Large Project Planning and Management”), University of Victoria. 7-11 June 2010
  • Visiting Scholar, Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology, Russian Academy of Sciences. Moscow. 1994-95
  • Participant, Cooperative Russian Language Program, Council for International Educational Exchange, Leningrad State University. Spring 1989 (Four months) and Summer 1988 (Six weeks)


  • National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship for College Teachers (2006-07)
  • John W. Kluge Fellowship, Library of Congress (2004-05)
  • Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts Research Grant (2003-04)
  • American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship (2001-02)
  • Daniel and Florence Guggenheim Fellowship, National Air and Space Museum (2001-02)
  • Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Study Short-Term Grant (1997)
  • Fulbright-Hays Dissertation Research Fellowship (1994-95)
  • International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX) Fellowship (1994-95)


“How Russia was Made: Technology and Culture from the Icon to the Internet” [Book manuscript. EDC 2017]

“Science, Technology and Medicine.” [Edited volume in the series Russia’s Great War and Revolution, 1914-1922. In preparation for Slavica Publishers. EDC 2019]



Dictatorship of the Air: Aviation Culture and the Fate of Modern Russia. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006). Reprinted 2007. Paperback 2009.

Articles and Chapters

Science and Technology (Russian Empire)” in 1914-1918-online. International Encyclopedia of the First World War, ed. by Ute Daniel, Peter Gatrell, Oliver Janz, Heather Jones, Jennifer Keene, Alan Kramer, and Bill Nasson. Issued by Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin. (8 October 2014).

“Technology Defines Everything.” Introduction to the special cluster of articles, “Technology: A Useful Category of Russian Historical Analysis” in The Russian Review 70:3 (July 2011), pp. 371-379.

“How Memory was Made: The Construction of the Memorial to the Heroes of the Battle of Stalingrad,” The Russian Review 68:3 (July 2009), pp. 373-407.

“Aviation Cinema in Stalin’s Russia: Collectivity, Conformity, and the Conflict with Fascism,” in William Benton Whisenhunt and Steven Usitalo, eds., Russian and Soviet History: From the Time of Troubles to the Collapse of the Soviet Union (Boulder, CO: Rowman & Littlefield, Inc., 2008), pp. 200-214.

“Red Wings on the Silver Screen: Aviation and Cinema in Soviet Russia, 1923-1939” in Scott W. Palmer, Dictatorship of the Air: Aviation Culture and the Fate of Modern Russia (New York: American Council of Learned Societies Humanities E-Book Project, 2007).


“Technology and Culture from War to Revolution.” National Conference of the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 21 November 2015.

“Russia’s Great War and Revolution: Diplomatic and Military Aspects.” (Roundtable). Organizer and Chair. National Conference of the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 22 November 2015.

“Russia-Ukraine: Historical Perspectives on a Contemporary Crisis.” World Affairs Council of the Quad-Cities/World Community Institute Lecture Series. Bettendorf, Iowa. 24 March 2015.

“Technology and Culture across War and Revolution.” Conference on Russia’s Great War and Revolution. University of Aberdeen Centre for Russian and East European History. Aberdeen, Scotland. 29 October 2014.

“Toward a ‘Culture of Improvement:’ Russia’s Technological Future and The Year 4338.” National Conference of the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies. New Orleans, Louisiana. 16 November 2012.

“Strategic Visions and Tactical Realities on the Frontlines of Digital Humanities: Russia’s Great War and Revolution.” Conference on Representing Knowledge in the Digital Humanities. University of Kansas Institute for Digital Research in the Humanities. Lawrence, Kansas. 24 September 2011.


“Contemporary Russia.” Guest for the weekly radio program “Saturday Morning Live!” on WVIK Quad Cities 90.3 FM. 21 March 2015.

Russia and Ukraine.” Featured guest for the weekly series “The Cities” on WQPT Quad Cities Public Television. 27 March 2014.

“Academic Publishing in the Digital Age.” NewsNet: News of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies. 50:3 (May/June 2010), pp. 1-5.

The Tortured State of the Russian Army.The Christian Science Monitor. 30 January 2007.

If:book, Then What?Inside Higher Ed. 15 August 2006.


Russia’s Great War and Revolutions, 1914-1922.” The companion website and digital content repository for the edited collection of books Russia’s Great War & Revolutions, 1914-1922.

Dictatorship of the Air. An archived website containing information and supplemental materials related to my first book. The site was home to “The Avia-Corner” a weblog devoted to Russian history, technology, culture, and aviation. Active from June 2006 to July 2009.


“Understanding the Great War: Historical Dimensions of Global Conflict.” Workshop for History and Social Studies Teachers (grades 9-12). Rock Island Regional Office of Education. Moline, Illinois. 18 November 2015.

“Russia and the Great War: Resources for Teachers.” Schools Conference on The Great War, 1914-1918. University of Dundee. Dundee, Scotland. 28 October 2014.

“Researching and Teaching Russia’s Great War and Revolution.” Teachers’ Workshop on Russia’s Great War and Revolution, 1914-1922. University of Aberdeen. Aberdeen, Scotland. 27 October 2014.

“Teaching the Great War, 1914-1918.” Two-day workshop for junior and high-school teachers. Illinois Regional Office of Education #26. Macomb, Illinois. 7 & 14 October 2014.


Member, Editorial Board of The Russian Review, 2010-

Panelist/Reviewer: NEH Fellowships for University and College Teachers Competition; NEH Collections and Reference Resources Competition; Andrew W. Mellon Foundation/ACLS Early Career Fellowship Program Dissertation Completion Fellowships; Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Studies Program