My work as a writer and a teacher has been shaped by a desire to understand the dynamics of communist societies, in particular those of Eastern Europe. I have written on the experience of workers in early Communist Poland, on the gendered nature of anti-communist opposition, on social movements in the fall of communism in Central Europe, and on Eastern Europe’s road from communism. Currently, I am researching a book on political prisoners in the twentieth-century world. In this project, I reach as far back as Poland under Tsarist Russian rule, and as far afield as South Africa and Ireland, to investigate whether there are common experiences in the political prisoner’s cell that might help us to understand this loneliest of political protests. Courses I teach include several that center on the experience of communism or on political protest, as well as courses in Eastern European and Polish History. I have also taught and written on problems of transnational history, and on the role of historical memory in contemporary politics. A background in sociology, and in Soviet History, informs my work.
Professor, Department of History
Professor, International Studies
Department of History