david fox

Michael David-Fox is a historian of modern Russia and the USSR, whose work has ranged from cultural and political history to transnational studies and modernity theory. At the outset of his career, he became one of the first foreign researchers to work in formerly closed Communist Party archives during the collapse of the Soviet Union. He went on to become a founding editor of Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History, now based at Georgetown, a transformative journal that has helped to internationalize the field of Russian Studies. For this, he received the 2010 Distinguished Editor Award from the Council of Editors of Learned Journals.

In a series of books, nine edited volumes, twelve edited special theme issues of journals, and about 50 articles and chapters, David-Fox has probed unexpected connections between culture and politics, institutions and mentalities, and domestic and international shifts. He has strong interests in transnational and comparative history and in the history of Russian-German relations, broadly conceived, as well as in the history of the Russian Revolution and Stalinism. David-Fox received his A.B. from Princeton and his PhD from Yale. He is author of Revolution of the Mind: Higher Learning among the Bolsheviks, 1918-1929 (1997); Showcasing the Great Experiment: Cultural Diplomacy and Western Visitors to the Soviet Union, 1921-1941 (2012, translated into Russian and Chinese, a Choice Outstanding Academic Title); Crossing Borders: Modernity, Ideology, and Culture in Russia and the Soviet Union (2015, under translation into Russian, winner of the 2016 Historia Nova Prize for Best Book in Russian Intellectual and Cultural History).

David-Fox has been a Humboldt Fellow (Germany), a visiting professor at the Centre russe, EHESS (France), and was awarded the title of honorary professor from Samara State University (Russia). He has been a visiting scholar or fellow at the W. Averill Harriman Institute at Columbia University, the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study, the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies, the Mershon Center for Studies in International Security and Public Policy, the National Academy of Education, the Davis Center for Historical Studies at Princeton University, the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation (2017). Since 2013, David-Fox has served as scholarly advisor to the International Centre for the History and Sociology of World War II and its Consequences at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow.


Research interests:

Russian history

Soviet history


Selected bibliography:


Crossing Borders: Modernity, Ideology, and Culture in Soviet Russia. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2015.

Showcasing the Great Experiment: Cultural Diplomacy and Western Visitors to the Soviet Union, 1921-1941. New York: Oxford University Press, 2012.

Vitriny velikogo eksperimenta. Kul'turnaia diplomatiia Sovetskogo Soiuza i ee zapadnye gosti. Moscow: NLO, 2014.

Revolution of the Mind: Higher Learning Among the Bolsheviks, 1918-1929. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press and Studies of the Harriman Institute, 1997.

"Soviet Jewry and Soviet History in the Time of War and Holocaust." Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History 15:3 (2014): 471-476.

The Iron Curtain as Semi-Permeable Membrane: The Origins and Demise of the Stalinist Superiority Complex, in: Cold War Crossings: International Travel and Exchange Across the Soviet Bloc, 1940s-1960s. College Station : Texas A&M University Press, 2014. P. 14-39.

Размышления о сталинизме, войне и насилии // В кн.: СССР во Второй мировой войне: Оккупация. Холокост. Сталинизм / Отв. ред.: О. В. Будницкий; под общ. ред.: О. В. Будницкий, Л. Г. Новикова. М. : РОССПЭН, 2014. С. 176-195.

[English title: “Reflections on Stalinism, War, and Violence.” in eds. Oleg Budnitskii, L.Novikova, The USSR in the Second World War: Occupation. Holocaust. Stalinism. Moscow: ROSSPEN, 2014): 176-195]

"'Featured Review' of J. Arch Getty, Practicing Stalinism: Bolsheviks, Boyars, and the Persistence of Tradition." Slavic Review 73:3 (2014): 635-638.

"What Was the Gulag." Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History 16:3 (2015): 469-475.

Модерность в России и СССР: отсутствующая, общая, альтернативная, переплетенная? // Новое литературное обозрение. 2016. № 140. С. 19-44.

[English title: “Russian—Soviet Modernity: None, Shared, Alternative, or Entangled?” Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie 140 (2016): 19-44]

Модерность как воображаемое, модерность как инструмент: Есть ли движение вперед? / Пер. с англ. // Новое литературное обозрение. 2016. Т. 140. С. 79-91

[English title: “Modernity as Imaginary, Modernity as Tool: Is There a Way Forward?” Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie 140 (2016): 79-91]

“Ideology as Performance: The Case of André Gide”, in: Литература и идеология. Век двадцатый [Literature and Ideology: The Twentieth Century], eds. Olga Panova and V.Tolmachev. Мoscow: MAKS Press Publ., 2016: 85-92.

"Stalin: The Leader and the System." Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History 17:1 (2016): 119-129.

"The People’s War: Ordinary People and Regime Strategies in a War of Extremes." Slavic Review 75:3 (2016): 551-559.

"Toward a Life Cycle Analysis of the Russian Revolution." Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History 18:4 (2017): 741-783.

From Bounded to Juxtapositional: New Histories of the Gulag, in: The Soviet Gulag: Evidence, Interpretation, and Comparison / Ed. by M. David-Fox. Pittsburgh : Pittsburgh University Press, 2016.

Edited books or Special Edition Journals:
Michael David-Fox, Pavel Polian, Garik Superfin, ed. Vospominaniia o perezhitom [Recollections of My Life] by Boris Men’shagin. Annotated, critical edition including newly discovered wartime recollections of the mayor of Smolensk under German occupation. Author of “Nachal’nik goroda: Rol’ i Umonastroenie B. G. Men’shagina v istoricheskom kontekste” [City Boss: The Role and Outlook of B. G. Men’shagina in Historical Context].. in progress.
The Soviet Gulag: Evidence, Interpretation, and Comparison. Pittsburgh University Press, 2016.
The Holocaust in the East: Local Perpetrators and Soviet Responses. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2014.
Fascination and Enmity: Russia and Germany as Entangled Histories, 1914-1945. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2012.
Orientalism and Empire in Russia. Bloomington, IN: Slavica Publishers, 2006.
After the Fall: Essays on Russian and Soviet Historiography after Communism. Bloomington, IN: Slavica Publishers, 2004.
The Resistance Debate in Russian and Soviet History. Bloomington, IN: Slavica Publishers, 2003.
Amerikanskaia rusistika: Sovetskii period [American Russian Studies: The Soviet Period]. Samara: Izdatel'stvo Samarskogo Universiteta, 2001.
Academia in Upheaval: Origins, Transfers, and Transformations of the Communist Academic Regime in Russia and East Central Europe. Westport, CT: Bergen and Garvey, 2000.
Amerikanskaia rusistika: Imperatorskii period [American Russian Studies: The Imperial Period]. Samara: Izdatel'stvo Samarskogo Universiteta, 2000.