Russian history; The history of the village, food and agrarian history, Russian and European intellectual history, medieval culture, history of the Russian Orthodox Church
Two questions have driven almost all of my research. How does place affect the way we think? And how does the way we think affect who we are and how we act? As an undergraduate at Yale (B.A. 2018) I wrote about the Russian church council, or sobor, of 1917 and the desperate (and sometimes heroic) attempt to build a resilient church in the middle of a revolution. During a year on a Fulbright Fellowship in rural Russia, I researched the ways that agrarian life has transformed since the late 19th-century, looking for answers while sleeping in goat barns, shoveling manure, and exploring abandoned villages. My Master’s thesis, defended at Saint Petersburg State University (M.A. 2022) attempted to get inside the head of a late 15th-century scribe working in one of the monastic centers of Northern Rus’ and to understand the significance of his decision to write one of the earliest versions of the Dracula story (Skazanie o Drakule Voevode) in 1486. As a PhD student at Yale, I intend to sharpen my examination of thought and place by focusing on the internal and external life of the village and the relationship of Russian culture and religious life to land (zemlya, rodina), agriculture (zemledeliye), and nature.