Dr. Peter B. Brown

  • Professor

Pete Brown is a specialist in Russian, Eastern European, and Eurasian history, and has wide-ranging interests in other international histories and in methodologies. So much of this was spawned by growing up in California and refined by graduate study at the University of Chicago, participation in international and national conferences, membership in two research institutes at Harvard University, and ongoing research. He reflects these interests in a broad spectrum of undergraduate and graduate courses that he teaches at Rhode Island College.

His non-seminar undergraduate courses include four (4) courses on Russian history: History 275 (Connections Category), Russia from Beginning to End; History 311, The Origins of Russia to 1700; History 312, Russia from Peter to Lenin; and History 313, The Soviet Union and After. He also teaches History 104 (Distribution Category), Multiple Voices: Europe in the World Since 1600 and History 207, Quantitative History Through Applied Statistics (AQSR). His 200- and 300-level courses on Russian Civilization encompass the cultures, histories, and other developments of the peoples inhabiting the land area of the former Soviet Union, from approximately 4,500 B.C.E. into the third millennium A.D. 

His undergraduate and graduate seminars address such topics as comparative Eastern and Western European Medieval and Early Modern social histories; comparative serf and slave systems in Russia, Eastern Europe, and the Americas; the relationships among environment, ecology, nutrition, populations, and social systems from late Medieval times into the nineteenth century; the social history of Early Modern Europe; methodologies and the historiography of comparative historical investigation; themes in Soviet and post-Soviet history from 1917 to the present; gender and sexual identities in Russia from 1861 to the 2000s; popular culture in the early Soviet period; the economic history of the U.S.S.R.; the World War II experience in Soviet life and culture; comparative Eurasian totalitarian regimes; Joseph Stalin; Nikita Khrushchev; the “new” Russia since 1991; culture and gender in post-1991 Russia; the Balkans from 1945 to the present; and the history of political theory.

Keeping up with scholarship in English- and foreign-language journals and books and traveling to Eastern Europe and the territories of the former Soviet Union is a challenging but rewarding activity.




Full/Associate/ Assistant Professor: Rhode Island College, Providence. 1988-
Russia, Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, Comparative Medieval
and Early Modern Histories, Western Civilization.

Wesleyan University, Connecticut. 1987-88. 
Loyola University of Chicago. 1982-84. 
George Williams College, Illinois. 1981-82. 
University of California, Santa Cruz. 1979-80. 


Russian, Polish (fluent).
Old Church Slavonic, Middle Russian, Belorussian, Ukrainian, Lithuanian, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese (reading ability). 
Modern Arabic, Classical Hebrew, and Latin (introductory study).


Early Modern Russian, Ukrainian, and Polish Social, Administrative, Military, and Political History to 1750. 
Northern Rus', Russia, 800-1500.
International Unfree Labor Systems, 1400s-1800s
Comparative Medieval and Early Modern European History.
Finno-Ugric Studies, the Eastern Baltic, and the Russian Arctic.
Language, Culture, Ethnic Studies.


Russia -- Soviet, Imperial, and Pre Petrine.
     Central and Eastern Europe.
     Europe Medieval and Modern, Diplomacy, Social and Economic History.
Modern China. Islamic and Western Civilization.
Quantitative History through Applied Statistics.
World History. U.S. History.
Historiography, Methodology, and Source Criticism.


Ph.D., University of Chicago, History.
M.A., University of Chicago, History. 
B.A., Stanford University, History.

Professional Associations

American Historical Association.
American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies. 
Early Slavic Studies Association. 
Finno-Ugric Studies’ Association of Canada (President, 2008-2010).
New England Historical Association. 

Selected Publications


Proceedings of the XIVth, XVth, and XVIth Conferences of the Finno-Ugric Studies Association  of Canada, edited by Ain Haas and Peter B. Brown iii-xvii + 3-307. Providence: Rhode Island College, 2011.

Festschrift in Honor of  Richard Hellie, University of Chicago.6 parts. Edited by Lawrence Langer and Peter B. Brown. Idyllwild, Calif.: Charles Schlacks, Jr. Published as special editions in Russian History, 34, nos. 1-4 (Spring/Summer 2007): iii-x + 1-402; 35, nos. 1-2 (Spring-Summer 2008): iii-vi + 1-258, nos. 3-4 (Fall-Winter 2008): i-iv + 259-480; and 36, no. 2 (Spring 2009). This year, 2009, Parts 4, 5, and 6 came out in Russian History 36, no. 1: i-vi + 1-158 + i-iv; no. 2: 159-327 + i-iii; no. 3: 329-455 + i.

Festschrift for Aleksandr' Aleksandrovich Zimin (1920-1980). Edited by Peter B. Brown. Idyllwild, Calif.: Charles Schlacks, Jr.,  November 1999. Published as a special issue in Russian History 25, nos. 1-2 (Spring-Summer 1998): i-iv+1-230 pp.

Studies and Essays on the Soviet and Eastern European Economies by Arcadius Kahan. Edited by Peter B. Brown. 2 vols. Newtonville, Mass: Oriental Research Partners. Vol. 1 (published works), 1991. Vol. 2 (unpublished works), 1994.​

Books in Progress

“Making Sense of Forced Labor Regimes in Western Eurasia and the Americas, 1400s-1800s” (c 170,000 words written, Taylor and Francis/Routledge Contract [earlier with Ashgate before acquisition])

Other Research in Progress

Statistical analysis of monetary and land compensation of the seventeenth-century Moscow service elite (1 manuscript in progress. Approx. 87,000 words written)

The contribution of the non-Slavic peoples of northern Russia  to the formation of  the Great Russian Nationality, 800s-1500s (over 100,000 words written in published and non-published works). This study is heavily reliant upon linguistic,  literacy-cultural, environmental, economic, and comparative world historical investigation.

Analysis of mid-seventeenth-century socio-military, military-economic, and military-political history of Muscovite Russia, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Ukraine, the Crimean Khanate, and Sweden (Approx. 128,000 words)     

Book Chapters

“Russian Serfdom’s Demise and Russia’s Conquest of the Crimean Khanate and the Northern Black Sea Littoral: Was There a Link?,” in Eurasian Slavery, Ransom and Abolition in World History, 1200-1860 (Farnam, Surrey, United Kingdom: Ashgate, 2015): 335-66.

“Command and Control in the Seventeenth-Century Russian Army,” in EasternEuropean Warfare, 1500-1800.  Edited by Brian L. Davies (Brill Publishers: Leiden, 2012),  249-313.

“Towards a Psychohistory of Peter the Great: Trauma, Modeling, and Coping in Peter’s Personality,” Festschrift for Richard Hellie, University of Chicago.  2 parts. Edited by Lawrence Langer and Peter B. Brown. Idyllwild, Calif.: Charles Schlacks, Jr. Published as a special edition in Russian History, 35, nos. 1-2 (Spring-Summer 2008): 19-44.

“Bureaucratic Administration in Seventeenth-Century Russia,” Modernization of Muscovy  (London and New York: RoutledgeCurzon, 2004), 57-78.

"Tsar Aleksei Mikhailovich: Military Command Style and Legacy to Russian Military History," in The Military and Society in Russia 1450-1917 (Leiden: Brill, 2002), pp. 119-45. 


“Russia’s Administrative Agony 400  Years Ago,” Kritika: Explorations in Russianand Eurasian History 14, no. 4 (Fall 2013): 865-75.

“Muscovite Arithmetic in Seventeenth-Century Russian Civilization: Is It Not Time to Discard the ‘Backwardness’ Label,” Russian History 39, no. 4 (2012): 393-459.

“Gazing Anew at Poltava: Perspectives from the Military Revolution Controversy, Comparative  History, and Decision-Making Doctrines,” in Poltava 1709. The Battle and the Myth, edited by  Serhii Plokhy (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Ukrainian Research Institute, Harvard University/distributed by Harvard University Press, 2012), 107-33. (Volume is 715 pp. and a collection of chapters dealing with the literary, mythological, artistic, architectural, diplomatic, administrative, and military implications of the seminal battle between Sweden and Russia at Poltava, eastern Ukraine, in 1709).

“The Arctic Circle Periphery and Northern Uralia in World Civilization Before 1700. The Limits of Empire-Building: the Rivers,” in Congressus XI Internationalis Fenno Ugristarum. Piliscsaba 2010. ParsVIII. Dissertationes sectionum: Literatura, archeologica et historica. Edited by Sándor Csúcs, et al. Piliscsaba, Hungary: Reguly Társaság, 2011, 167-74.

“The Uralic Peoples and Broadening Their Historical Context: An Historians Third Millennial Agendum,” in    Proceedings (above), 3-37.

“Bibliography of the 1989, 1992, 1998, 2003, and 2011 Proceedings of the Finno-Ugric Studies Association of Canada, 39-44,” in Proceedings (above). Eighty-four (84) entries subdivided among General, Architecture, Culture; History; Linguistics (Estonian, Finnish, Hungarian, Khanty and Komi-Permiac, Livonian, Mordvinian, Saami (Sámi), Vodian (Votian); Literature, Mythology, Poetry, Semiotics; Musicology; Sociology.

“Preface,” in Proceedings (above), xiii-xvii.

“Larka, the Clerk,” in Portraits of Old Russia. Imagined Lives of Ordinary People, 1300-1725, Donald Ostrowski and Marshall T. Poe, eds. (Armonk, New York: M.E. Sharpe, 2011, 56-67.

“Richard Hellie, 1937-2009: Monument to Early Russian Studies,” Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas 58, no. 1 (2010): 145-49.

“How Muscovy Governed: Seventeenth-Century Russian Central Administration,” Russian History 36 (2009), no. 4:  459-529.

“Finnic Studies and Early Rus’ Scholarship,” Palaeoslavica 17 (2009), no. 1: 243-68.

“Richard Hellie, In Memoriam,” Russian History 36 (2009), no. 3: 336-37. 442 words.

“Suppositional European Unity: a Linguists’ Point of View.” The Eurasian Studies Yearbook 79 (2007): 111-18. 


“Salaries and Economic Survival: the Service Land Chancellery Clerks of Seventeenth-Century Russia.” Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas 51 (2003): 32-67. 


"Guarding the Gate-Keepers: Punishing Errant Rank-and-File Officials in Seventeenth-Century Russia," Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas 50 (2002): 224-45. 


“The Military Chancellery: Aspects of Control During the Thirteen Years’ War,” Russian History 29, no. 1 (Spring 2002): 19-45. 


Military Planning and High-Level Decision-Making in Seventeenth-Century Russia: the Roles of the Military Chancellery (Razriad) and the Boyar Duma," Forschungen zur osteuropaischen Geschichte 58 (2002): 33-43. 


"Neither Fish Nor Fowl: Administrative Legality in Mid- and Late-Seventeenth-Century /Russia, "Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas 50 (2002): 1-21. 


“With All Deliberate Speed: the Officialdom and Departments of the Seventeenth Century Muscovite Military Chancellery (Razriad), Russian History 28, nos. 1-4 (Spring-Summer-Fall-Winter 2001): 137- 52. 


"Military Planning and High-Level Decision-Making in Seventeenth-Century Russia: the Roles of the Military Chancellery (Razriad) and the Boyar Duma," in Russische und Ukrainische Geschichte vom 16.-18. Jahrhundert, eds. Robert O. Crummey, Holm Sundhaussen, Ricarda Vulpius (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2002), 79-89. 


"How Should We Model Uralic and Slavic Contacts in the Lands of Medieval and Early Modern Rus', 800-1700 A.D.?: a Comparison to Celtic, Germanic, and Roman-Latin Contact's." In Congressus Nonus Internationalis Fenno-Ugristarum 7.-13.8.2000 (Ninth International Finno-Ugric Congress) (Tartu, Estonia: University of Tartu, Estonian Finno-Ugrian Committee, 2001), 267-77. 


"Peering into a Muscovite Turf-War (How Do We Even Know It's There?): Boyar Miloslavskii and the Auditing Chancellery." Russian History 25, nos. 1-2 (Spring-Summer 1998): 141-53.

"Foreword." Russian History 25, nos. 1-2 (Spring-Summer 1998): 1-3. 


"The Holdings of the Astrakhan' Regional State Archive." Cahiers du Monde Russe, 35, pt. 4 (October-December 1994): 727-38. 


"The Moscow Civil Elite's Salaries," Sosloviia i gosudarstvennaia vlast' v Rossii. XV-seredina xix vv. Mezhdunarodnaia konferentsiia--Chteniia pamiati akad. L.V. Cherepnina. Tezisy dokladov. [Estates and State Power in Russia, 15th--mid-19th Centuries] Moskva, 13-16 iiunia 1994 g. 2 parts. Edited by N.V. Karlov, 2: 263-73. Moscow: Gosudarstvennyi komitet RF po vysshemu obrazovaniiu, et al, 1994. 


"The Problematics of Armory Modernization in Late Imperial Russia," Russian History 21, no. 1 (1994): 65-81.


"The Wit and Humor of Joseph Stalin," Faculty of Arts and Sciences Newsletter, Rhode Island College, August 1992, 4-6. 


"Moscow Update," FAS RIC, April 1991, 15-16. 


"The War After the War," Soviet Studies in History, Summer 1991, 44-52. Translation from the Russian of V. Chubarov article in "Moskovskii komsomolets," 22 June 1990. 


“Anthropological Perspective and Early Muscovite Court Politics," Russian History 16 (1989), no. 1: 55 66. 


“The Formation of the Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth in Contemporary American Scholarship," The Polish Review 30 (1985), no. 4: 437 43


"Muscovite Government Bureaus," Russian History 10 (1983), pt. 3: 269 330. 


"The Zemskii Sobor in Recent Soviet Historiography," Russian History 10 (1983), pt. 1: 77 90.


"Muscovy, Poland, and the Seventeenth Century Crisis," The Polish Review 27 (1982), no. 3: 55 69.


"Soviet Studies on Platonism," International Philosophical Quarterly, September 1977, 293 305.


Articles in Progress

Review Article in progress: “Is the Empire Healthy? Grain and Forced Labor in Imperial Russia.” (c 7,500 words, draft MS). Based on Steven L. Hoch, Essays in Russian Social and Economic History  (Boston: Academic Studies Press, 2015) and Robert E. Jones, Bread Upon the Waters. The St. Petersburg Grain Trade and the Russian Economy, 1703-1811 (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2013).  Review article request from the journal Russian History


Encyclopedia Entries

“Dyak [state secretary],” “Podyachii [clerk],” and “Chancellery System” in Encyclopedia of Russian History. New York: Macmillan, 2004.



“Dyak [state secretary],” “Podyachii [clerk],” and “Chancellery System” in Encyclopedia of Russian History. New York: Macmillan, 2004.



Dula Svak, Na sluzhbe  Klio i u vlast’-predepzhashchikh. Etiudy po rossievedeniiu (In Service of Clio and of Those Who Hold Power. Essays in Russian Studies (Budapest: Eötvös Loránd University Press, 2014). Published in Russian Review, 2015.

Paul Dukes, Graeme P. Herd, and Jarmo Kotilaine. Stuarts and Romanovs. The Rise and Fall of a SpecialRelationship. Dundee: Dundee University Press. 2009. i-xvi+ 262 pp. 623 words. Published in TheRussian Review 71, no. 1 (January 2012), 151-52.

Myhailo Hrushevsky. History of Ukraine-Rus’. Volume 9, Book 2, Part 1, The Cossack Age, 1654-1657.

Serhii Plokhy, Frank E. Sysyn, eds. Maria Daria Olynyk, trans. Edmonton, Alberta: Toronto, Ontario: Canadian Institute for Ukrainian Studies Press, 2008. Pp. lix + 1-566. The Polish Review 55, no. 4 (December 2010).

Christoph Witzenrath. Cossacks and the Russian Empire, 1598-1725. Manipulation, Rebellion, and Expansion Into Siberia. London and New York: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, 2007. xii + 1-259 pp.  Published for H-Soz-Kult, a German online resource (Humboldt University, Berlin) for historians. 2010. 1,049 words.

Vincent E. Hammond. State Service in Sixteenth Century Novgorod. The First Century of the Pomestie System.  Latham, Maryland; Plymouth, United Kingdom: University Press of America. 2009. iii-iv + 1-341. The Russian Review 69, no. 2 (April 2010): 341-42.

Carol Belkin Stevens. Soldiers on the Steppe. Army Reform and Social Change in Early Modern Russia. DeKalb, Illinois: Northern Illinois University Press, 1995. Published in Canadian-American Slavic Studies, 1998.


A.I Pliguzov and I.A. Tikhoniuk, comps. Smuta v moskovskom gosudarstve. Rossiia nachala xvii stoletiia v zapiskakh sovremennikov (The Time of Troubles in the Muscovite State. Russia at the Beginning of the Seventeenth Century in the Accounts of Contemporaries.) Moscow: Sovremennik, 1989. 
Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas 40, no. 3 (1992): 412-13.


N.F. Demidova, Sluzhilaia biurokratiia v Rossii xvii v. i ee rol' v formirovanii absoliutizma. (The Service Bureaucracy in Russia of the Seventeenth Century and Its Role in the Formation of Absolutism.) Moscow: Nauka, 1987. Slavic Review 49, no. 2 (Summer 1990): 285.


S.O. Shmidt, S.E. Kniaz'kov, Dokumenty deloproizvodstva pravitel'stvennykh uchrezhdenii Rossii xvi xvii vv. Uchebnoe posobie. (Documents on the Clerical Procedure of Government Organs in Russia During the 16th and 17th Centuries. A Handbook.) Moscow: MGIAI, 1985. The Russian Review 47 
(1987), no. 3: 328 29.


V.M. Paneiakh, Kholopstvo v pervoi polovine xvii v. (Slavery in the First Half of the Seventeenth Century.) Leningrad: Nauka, 1984. Slavic Review 45 (1986), no. 1: 112 13.


André Corvisier, Armies and Societies in Europe, 1494 1789. Translated by Abigail T. Siddal. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1979. Armed Forces & Society, Fall 1985, pp. 147 50.

Linda Gordon, Cossack Rebellions. Social Turmoil in the Sixteenth Century Ukraine. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1983. East Central Europe, 1985, pp. 84-85.


R.G. Skrynnikov, Boris Godunov. Edited and translated by Hugh F. Graham. Gulf Breeze, Florida: Academic International Press, 1982. Slavic Review 42 (1983), no. 3: 477.


Karol Górski, Zakon krzyżacki a powstanie państwa pruskiego. (The Teutonic Order and the Origins of the Prussian State.) Wroclaw: Ossolineum, 1977. East Central Europe 8 (1981), nos. 1 2: 153 54.


F.P. Sergeev, Formirovanie russkogo diplomaticheskogo iazyka. (The Formation of Russian Diplomatic Language.) L'vov: Vishcha shkola, 1978. The Russian Review, October 1981, pp. 445 46.


Unpublished Manuscripts


"Dictionary of Muscovite Administrative Terminology." MS 81 pp. 2011.


"The Muscovite Chancellery System." MS 87 pp. Documents translated from Old Russian. Course Civilization Materials Project. University of Chicago, 1981.



“Why NATO Should Not Expand to the East: the Case of Poland.” 1998. MS 17 pp.



For Indiana University Press,  I reviewed for IU Press last Spring a manuscript by Jeremy Black, The Holocaust, revised edition, iii-vi + 9-216. Originally published in 2008 and revised edition published in 2016. My review was 18-pages long (8,294 words). Spring 2015.

For the journal, Russian History, I reviewed a 23-page, single-spaced article manuscript with a surmised working title (since the author did not provide one), “The Slave Trade of Finnic Peoples in and through Kievan and Appanage Rus.’ My review was nine pages, single-spaced. 2010.

Journal of Economic History. Evaluated the article submission “The State as an Agent of Industrial Development: the Tula Imperial Armaments Factory in Russia” for The Economic History Review. My critique: 6 ½ pages single-space. October 2008.

The Atlantic Monthly. Contacted to advise on the Mongol era of Russian History. Spring 2001.

The Russian Review. Evaluated the article submission, "Smert' pervoi russkoi tsaritsy Anastasii (1560 g.) vsvete novykh dannykh ["The Death of Anastasia, Wife of the First Russian Tsar, in Light of New Findings"]. Critique: 4 1/2 single-spaced MS pp. April 1997.

The Russian Review. Evaluated the article submission, "Serfdom and the Time of Troubles." Critique: 9 single-spaced MS pp. January 1996.

DC Heath and Company. Evaluated Chapter 2, "Kiev Rus'," of a textbook  MS on Eastern Slavic/Russian History. My critique: 20 single-space ​MS pp. June 1994. In 1995 I refused to evaluate a manuscript for Heath since it would not provide the endnotes to the text.


“Cold Waters, the Price of Rye, and 17th- and 18th-Century Russian and Global Expansion Strategies,” The Association for Slavic, Eastern European, and Eurasian Studies, 50th Annual Convention, Boston, November 2018.

"Making Sense of Forced Labor Regimes in Western Eurasia and the Americas, 1400s-1800s," Department of History  Colloquium, Rhode Island College, March 2018.

“Land Tenure on Russian Monasteries, 1550-1750,” The Association for Slavic, Eastern European. and Eurasian Studies,  49th Annual Convention, Chicago, November 2017.

Environment, Ecology, Ethnicity, and Forced Labor in Mexican Missions and Russian Monasteries, 1500s-1800s,”  World History Association 26th Annual Conference, Northeastern University, Boston, June 2017.

“Slavery and Uralia’s Missed Historical Trajectory,” 20th  Conference of the Finno-Ugric Studies Association of Canada, Ryerson University, Toronto, May 2017.

“Charting out Landholding and Lords in Eastern Europe and Russia, 1500s-1800,” Early Slavists’ Seminar, Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Harvard University, March  2017.

Nobiliary Landowning Patterns and Quirks in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the Ukrainian Hetmanate, and Russia, 1560s-1800,” The Association for Slavic, Eastern European. and Eurasian Studies, Philadelphia Marriott Downtown Hotel, 48th Annual Convention, Philadelphia, November  2016.

“Forced Labor and Export Commodity Trade: Comparing Eighteenth-Century Russian and Brazilian Approaches to Servile Labor  Organization, Commodity Exports, and Military Policy,” The Association forSlavic, Eastern European. and Eurasian Studies,  Philadelphia Marriott Downtown Hotel, 47th Annual Convention, Philadelphia, November 2015.

“Brazilian and Cuban Slave and Russian Serf and Slave Soldiers in the 17th and 18th  Centuries: Unfree Labor in Uniform as Social Capital” (“Esclaves cubains et   brésiliens, serfs russes, et esclaves soldats aux xviie et xviiie siècles. Le travail  forcé en uniforme comme capital social”), Captives, recruited, migrants: Empires and labor mobilization, 17th century to present days,  Collège de France, Paris,  September 2015.

“The Utility of Russian Serfdom and New World Slavery in the 17th and 18th  Centuries,” PPt  presentation (62 slides), Early Slavists’ Seminar, Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Harvard University, March 2015.

“The Seven Historical Uralic Zones in Russia,” Nineteenth Conference of the Finno-Ugric Studies Association of Canada, Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario Province,  Canada, May 2014.

“Developing Statistical Methodologies and Terminology for the Study of the Mid-Seventeenth-Century Sub-Duma Moscow Strata,” 45th Annual Convention of the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies, Boston, November 2013. 

​Panel organizer: “The Numbers Game: Quantitative Approaches to the Study of Muscovite and Ottoman Elites and Records in the 16th- and 17th-Centuries.” Chair for panel, “Orwell’s Animal Farm, part 2: Anti-Totalitarian Movements, East Berlin 1953 through Prague 1968,” 45th Annual Convention of the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies, Boston, November 2013.

“Empire of Rubles: the Entitlement Culture of the Seventeenth-Century Muscovite Elite,” Early Slavicists’ SeminarThe Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Harvard University, September 2013 PowerPoint presentation, 49 slides

“To a 400th Anniversary: Russia’s Exit from the Time of Troubles, 1598-1613, Measuring Governmental Collapse During It,” Northeast Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Conference, Bernard College, New York, March 2013.

“Muscovitization and the Seventeenth-Century Uralic Peoples: Anthroponomy and Census Data, Government Bodies, and Physical Regime,” 44rd Annual Convention of the Association for Slavic, EastEuropean, and Eurasian Studies, November 2012, New Orleans.

“Northern Uralia and the Arctic Circle Periphery in World Civilization Before 1700. The Limits of Empire-Building: the Problem of Under-Capitalization (the Failure to Develop Macro-Economic Organizations). Introduction,” Eighteenth Conference of the Finno-Ugric Studies Association of Canada, Wilfrid Laurier University and University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Canada, May 2012.

“Calculating Kill Ratios and Measuring Combat Effectiveness in Mid-Seventeenth Century Russian Warfare,” 43rd Annual Convention of the Association for Slavic,  East European,and Eurasian Studies, November 2011, Washington, D.C.

“Northern Eurasia and the World: A Methodological and Historiographical Journey,” History Department  Colloquium, Rhode Island College, April 2011.

“Contrarian Seventeenth-Century Russia: A Non-Bargaining Local Elite,” Between Friction and Collaboration: Imperial Elites and Local Populations, Buffett Center for International and Comparative Studies, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, April 2011.

“Portraits of Old Russia,” Roundtable Discussion Book Launch, Early Slavicists’  SeminarThe Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Harvard University, April 2011,.

“The Arctic Circle Periphery and Northern Uralia in World Civilization Before 1700: A Comparative Study on the Limits of Empire-Building. Part 1: the Rivers,” 11th International Congress for Fenno-Ugric Studies, Pázmány Péter Catholic University, Piliscsaba, Hungary, August 2010.

“The Crimean Tatars and the Slavic Slave Trade in Mediterranean-Atlantic Perspective, 1400s-1700s,” Canadian Association of Slavicists, Concordia University, Montreal, May 2010.

“The Problem of Attaining National Sovereignty in Uralia Over the Millennia,” SeventeenthConference of the Finno-Ugric  Studies  Association  of Canada, Concordia  University, Montreal, Canada, May 2010.

“Looking Anew at the Time of Troubles, the Smolensk War, the Southern Frontier, and the Late 17th-Century Turkish and Crimean Campaigns through the Prism of the Muscovite Command-and-Control Debate,” Early Slavists’ Seminar, Harvard University, May 2010.

"Researching the Early Northern Uralic and Early Northern Slavic Worlds: Methods and Questions," Fourteenth Annual Winter Workshop in Medieval and Early Modern Slavic Studies,” at the UCLA Center in  Medieval and Early Modern Slavic Studies, UCLA, February  2010.

"Poltava and the Military Revolution  Debate," Poltava 1709:  Revisiting a Turning Point in European History, Harvard University, November 2009.

“Command and Control, Cognitive Growth, and Recasting Muscovy’s Place in the Military Revolution,” Roundtable on Muscovite Foreign and Military Policy: Major Questions and Recent Historiography, 41st  National Convention of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies, Boston, November 2009.

“Russia’s Conquest of the Black Sea Littoral, and the 1861 Serf Emancipation,” Slavery, Ransom, and Liberation in Russia and the Steppe Area, 1500-2000, University of Aberdeen, Scotland, June 2009.

“17th-Century Muscovite Thinking About Numbers: Rethinking the Otstalost’ (Backwardness) Question,”  Early Slavists’ Seminar, Harvard University, March 2009.

“Command and Control in the Russian Army from 1650 to Peter,” for the annual convention of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies, Philadelphia, November 2008.


“The Uralic Peoples of Northern Russia and the California Indians: an Inmigrational-Imput Comparison,” The Sixteenth Conference of the Finno-Ugric Studies Association of Canada, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, June 2008.


“North Russia, Finns, Slavs, and Fish Names: Cultural and Ichthyological Exertions from 20,000 B.C.E. to 1700,” Early Slavists Seminar, Harvard University, May 2008.


“Social Aspects of the Thirteen Years’ War, 1654-1667,” Twelfth Annual Winter Workshop in Medieval and Early Modern Slavic Studies,” at the UCLA Center in Medieval and Early Modern Slavic Studies, UCLA, February 2008.


“Serfs and Lords: their Symbiosis with Population Growth, Army Size, Warfare, and Elite Consumption from the 1620s to the 1850s,” for the annual convention of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies, New Orleans, November 2007.


“The Strategic Dilemmas of Seventeenth-Century Eastern European Warfare” for the Early Slavicists’ Seminar, The Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Harvard University, May 2007.


“Biting Off More Than They Could Chew: Russian Armies in Belarus, 1654-55.” American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies, Washington, D.C., November 2006.


“The Inter-Penetration of Russian and Finno-Ugric Economic Vocabulary in Northern and Central Russia by the 1600s.” The Fifteenth Conference of the Finno-Ugric Studies Association of Canada, York University, Toronto, Canada, May 2006.


“The State Is Back! Common Ukrainian and Muscovite Patterns in the Formation of Central Administrative States, 15th–17th Centuries.” Seminar in Ukrainian Studies, Harvard University, April 2006.


“Stimulating the 17th-Century Russian Neo-Cortex and Generating the Pathways for Learning: Counting, Calculation, Numerical Aggregates, and Habituation.” 35d National Convention, American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies, Boston, November 2004.


“Seeing Through an Opaque Glass Dimly: Reconstructing Individuals’ Daily Lives in Seventeenth-Century Russia.” Early Slavists’ Seminar, Ukrainian Research Institute, Harvard University, December 2003.


“Was Serfdom Worth It? The Disjuncture of Cost-Effectiveness and Reality from the 1640s to the 1760s.”International Convention of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies, Toronto. November 2003.


"The Devil Is In the Details: Documents-Mania as Engine in Later Muscovite Social Development and Mentalite.” Early Slavists’ Seminar, Ukrainian Research Institute, Harvard University, October 2002.


“Uralic-Slavic Contacts and Strategems of Dominance in Northern Rus’ 800-1700 A.D., in the Light of Comparative Medieval History.” The Thirteenth Conference of the Finno-Ugric Studies Association of Canada, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia, April 2002.


“The Paralysis of Goliath and David: Operational Blunders and Mentalite of Russian and Polish Commanders During the First Two Years of the Thirteen Years War, 1654-55,” 33d National Convention, American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies, Crystal City, Virginia. November 2001.


"Bureaucratic Administration in Seventeenth-Century Muscovy." Modernization and Seventeenth-Century Russia. Davis Center for Russian Studies. March 2001.


"Slavic and Uralic Contacts in the Lands of Medieval and Early Modern Rus', 800-1700 A.D. A Comparison to Celtic, Germanic, and Roman-Latin Contacts." The Russian Studies Workshop, the University of Chicago. February 2001.


"Patterns of Russian Elite Behavior: Constructing Macro-Inferences from Micro-Investigations." American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies, Denver. November 2000.


"Tsar Aleksei Mikhailovich as a Model Military Autocrat." The Military and Society in Russia, 1450-1917: a Conference. Davis Center for Russian Studies, Harvard University. 9 September 2000.


"How Should We Model Uralic and Slavic Contacts in the Lands of Medieval Rus'? Congressus Nonus Internationalis Fenno-Ugristarum, Tartu, Estonia. 12 August 2000.


"New Thoughts on the Bohdan Khmel'nytskyj-Aleksei Mikhailovich Relationship in the 1650s." Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute. 6 March 2000.


"Guarding the Gate-Keepers: Punishing Errant Officials in Seventeenth-Century Russia." Davis Center for Russian Studies, Harvard University. 4 February 2000.


"Violence, Coping-Mechanisms, and Personality in the Earlier Life of Peter the Great." The Russian Studies Workshop, The University of Chicago. 25 January 2000.


"Northern Rus' Encounters Between Eastern Slavs and Finno-Ugric Peoples Before 1500: Comparative Issues of Assimilation and State-Building: Postanovka voprosa ('A Posing of the Question')." American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies, St. Louis. November 1999.


"Perversion, Mindset, and Reform in the Reigns of Ivan the Terrible, Peter the Great, and Stalin: a New Theory of the Russian Ruling Class." Faculty Colloquium, Rhode Island College. March 1999.]


“Learning from our Instructors: Peter the Great and Psychohistory.” RIC Department of History Colloquium, March 1999.


"Merovingian Models: Why So Much Political Violence in Kievan Rus', 862-1205?" American Historical Association, Washington, D.C. January 1999.


“Was the Soviet Union an Imperialist Power?” RIC Spring 1998 series on Imperialism, April 8.


"Seize the Time! How Do We Peer Into a Muscovite Turf-War? (and How Do We Even Know It's There?). New England Slavic Conference. Wellesley University. April 1997.


"Allen Drury Redux! Advise and Consent: Careers, Confidants, Counsel, and Crises in Seventeenth-Century Russia." Historians' Seminar. Davis Center for Russian Studies, Harvard University. November 1997.


"Adversity, Rewards, and Mental States: What Kept the Trail-Broken Elite in Line? The Non-Duma Ranks of the Moscow Service Group, 1650s-1680s." American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies, Boston. November 1996. Panel organizer.


"Neither Fish Nor Fowl: Administrative Legality in Mid-Seventeenth Century Russia." Historians' Seminar. Davis Center for Russian Studies, Harvard University. October 1996.


"Future Prospects for Early Russian Studies in U.S. Colleges and Universities." New England Slavic Association. College of the Holy Cross, Worchester, Mass. April 1996.


"Social Mobility and the Moscow Service Class." American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies, Washington, D.C. October 1995. Panel organizer.

"The Frontier, the Elite, the Army, and the Bureaucracy in the Second Half of Seventeenth-Century Russia." Historians' Seminar. Russian Research Center, Harvard University. April 1995.


"The Moscow Civil Elite's Salaries." AHA Convention, San Francisco. January 1994. Panel organizer. Presented also (in Russian) at the conference, Estates and State Power in Russia, 15th--mid-19th Centuries (Sosloviia i gosudarstvennaia vlast' v Rossii. XV--seredina XIX vv.), Moscow. 14 June 1994.


"The Sources of Elite Stability in Seventeenth-Century Russia." Faculty Colloquium, Rhode Island College. November 1993.


"Tula, Izhevsk, and Sestroretsk Armories, 1860s-1930s: Continuity and Change in Russian and Soviet Technical Innovation, Industrial Development, and Governmental Patronage." New England 
Historical Association Conference, Rhode Island College. October 1992.


"The Pre-1700 Origins of Peter the Great's Provincial Administrative (Guberniia) Reform: The Significance of the Frontier." Conference on the Russian Frontier Before 1800. University of Chicago. May 1992.


Chair and Commentator for panel--"Social and Political Issues of the 16th Century." The Sixteenth Century Studies Conference, Philadelphia. October 1991.


"Muscovite Grand Princely Texts, 1380s-1550s, and the Origins of Early Modern Russian Officialese." 26th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan. May 1991. Panel organizer.


"The Impact of the Gulf Crisis Upon Policy Change in the USSR." Rhode Island College. April 1991.


"A Seventeenth-Century Account by a Muscovite Functionary on the Performance of the Russian Bureaucracy." Sixteenth Century Studies Conference, St. Louis, Missouri. October 1990.


Chair and Commentator for panel--"The Origins of Early Modern European Absolutism, I." The Sixteenth Century Studies Conference, St. Louis, Missouri. October 1990.


"What Did Muscovite Civil Servants Think of Their Bureaucracy?" American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies, Washington, D.C. October 1990. Panel organizer.


"The Government Workers of Moscow: Salaries and Economic Survival." AHA Convention, San Francisco. December 1989. Panel organizer.


"Are We Back to 1914 and 1939? Taking a Look at Ethnic Tension in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe." Rhode Island College. October 1989.


"What Do We Know About Early Russian Government?" Faculty Colloquium, Rhode Island College. May 1989.


"New Angles on the Politics of Ukrainian Muscovite Unification in the Seventeenth Century." Harvard University. April 1988.


"Master and Minion in the 'Little Russian` Chancellery (Bureau) Before 1700." Harvard University. March 1987.


Round Table Discussion on Early Russian History. American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies Convention (AAASS), New Orleans. November 1986.


"How to Understand Russian Military History." University of Connecticut, Storrs. November 1986.


"Method in the Mindset: What Seventeenth Century Records Reveal About Russian Perceptions of Muscovite Non Russians." Harvard University. February 1986.


"Rzeczpospolita et eius magistratus: Measuring the Effectiveness of Seventeenth-Century Polish Government." III World Congress for Soviet and East European Studies, Washington, D.C. Panel organizer.


"Muscovite Generals and Military Amateurism: Unravelling the Tactical Blunders and Human Costs of Seventeenth Century Russian Warfare." AHA Convention, Chicago. December 1984. Panel organizer.


Chair and Commentator for panel "Documents from the Petrine Era and Foreigners' Images of Russia." Midwest Slavic Conference, Chicago. May 1983.


"An Insider's Look at the Polish Government and Economy, 1977 1981." Grinnell College. March 1983.


"Muscovite Administration and the Peoples of the North." AAASS Convention, Washington, D.C. October 1982. Panel organizer.


Commentator for panel "Fiscal Policies, Institutions, and Revenues in Pre Petrine Russia." Midwest Slavic Conference, Chicago. May 1982.


"The Auditing Chancellery and the Struggle Against Seventeenth Century Bureaucratic Graft." Midwest Slavic Conference, Chicago. May 1982.


"Muscovite Concepts of Bureaucracy." AHA Convention. Los Angeles. December 1981. Panel organizer.


"The Muscovite Military District System." Midwest Slavic Conference, Urbana Champaign. April 1981.


"The Decline of Muscovite Bureaucracy." Stanford University. January 1980.


"The Seventeenth Century Crisis of Muscovy and Poland." Midwest Slavic Conference, Minneapolis. May 1979. Panel organizer.


"Bureaucracy, Thought, and Communication in Seventeenth Century Russia." University of Chicago. February 1979.


"Administracja Polska, 1569-1696" (in Polish). Institute of History, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw. November 1977.


"The Muscovite Chancellery System." Hope College, Holland, Michigan. October 1975.


"Sistema prikaznogo kontrolia" (The Chancellery Control System) (in Russian). Department of Feudalism, Moscow State University. April 1974.


"Monastery Immunity Charters in Sixteenth- and Seventeenth-Century Muscovy." University of Chicago. February 1972.



FYS (First-Year Seminar)
GenEd 104. Honors. Twentieth Century.
History 104. Europe Since 1600.
History 110. Western Experience I.
History 111. Western Experience II.
History 161. Western History.
History 200. The Nature of Historical Inquiry.
History 207. Quantitative History Through Applied Statistics.
History 213. Perspectives on Slavic Civilization.
History 261. Russian Identity: Between East and West.
History 275. Russia from Beginning to End.
History 311. Russia Before Peter the Great.
History 312. Imperial Russia (new 312)
History 312/324. Rise of the Russian Empire.
History 313. The Soviet Union and After.
History 325. The Emergence of the Soviet Union.
History 361. Seminar in History.
History 371. Reading Course in History.
History 390. Directed Study (Honors in History).
History 391. Directed Study (Honors in History).
History 521. Graduate Seminar. Topics in Comparative History.
History 561. Graduate Seminar in History.
History 562. Graduate Reading Seminar.
History 599. Directed Graduate Research.

Honors and Awards

Harvard University, Davis Center for Russian Studies/Russian Research Center. Fellow and Associate. 1990-to the Present. 
Harvard University, Ukrainian Research Institute. Research Associate, Associate. 1984‑to the Present.
Phi Alpha Theta, 1989-to the Present.
Yale University, Visiting Fellow, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
Eastern European Short-Term Studies Grant.
Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. 
NEH Travel to Collections Grant..
IREX (International Research and Exchanges Board), Soviet Union/Russia, Short‑Term Travel 
Grant.(Moscow and Tartu, Estonia).
NEH Translation Grant. 
IREX (International Research and Exchanges Board), Soviet Union,  accepted for Senior  Exchange, 
Polish Academy of Sciences and Main Archive of Ancient Acts, Warsaw, Poland. Researcher.
Kosciuszko Foundation, accepted for research in Poland.
Ford Foundation Fellowship.
Fulbright Hayes Fellow, International Research and Exchanges Board. Moscow, Leningrad. 
National Defense Education Act, Title VI.
Cate Fellowship and Social Science USSR Fellowship, University of Chicago.