I study Russian, East European, and Soviet history. Before coming to Princeton, I received an MPhil in Russian and East European Studies with Distinction from St Antony’s College, University of Oxford, where I was a Dahrendorf Scholar. I also hold a BA in History and Economics from Humboldt University of Berlin and spent a term abroad at the Russian State University for the Humanities (RGGU) in Moscow.
My chief interests lie in questions of nationalism, identity, and ethnic relations. In earlier work, I have grappled with the apparent failure of the Soviet nationalities policy of the 1920s. Contrary to prior research, my bachelor’s thesis argued that in Belorussia, the early Bolshevik attempt at nation-building was suspended not for an excess but a lack of success. A paper based on my thesis will appear in the peer-reviewed Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas. Drawing on extensive archival research in Kyiv and Moscow, my master’s thesis showed how Soviet affirmative action in interwar Ukraine exacerbated ethnic conflict between Ukrainians and Jews – which would eventually prove fatal in 1941.
History aside, I have taught German at a high school in Pinsk, Belarus, scribbled down a few lines for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, played Dolores Umbridge at the North Caucasus University of Stavropol, Russia, worked as a paper pusher at the German embassy in Astana, Kazakhstan, and – most importantly – fulfilled children’s fondest dreams as a Very Important Sales Assistant at the Lego store in my hometown, Frankfurt am Main.