I want to understand how groups of people and individuals without power manage, survive, resist, and protest in hostile environments. I have been particularly interested in the dynamics of communist societies, especially Poland. 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. I have recently completed a book on political prisoners in the modern world, from the mid-nineteenth century to Guantanamo Bay. Research in Poland, South Africa, and Ireland allowed me 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.
Professor, Department of History, on leave 2023-2024
Professor, International Studies
Department of History