Donna Arnold is the long-time music research librarian at the University of North Texas Music Library, where she serves a diversity of university, local, national, and international patrons. Her work is informed by her own music research interests, which range from Schubert, 17th-century lute music, and Russian Orthodox choral music to American roots music and early jazz.
Ala is a PhD Candidate (ABD) in Russian History at the University of Maryland, College Park. Her dissertation examines the nationalization of the Russian monarchy under Alexander III (1881-1894) and its far-reaching social, economic, and political implications. She holds an MA in Comparative History from Central European University (CEU) in Budapest, Hungary, awarded in 2013. Ala received her BA in Political Science and International Relations from the American University in Bulgaria in 2011. At the University of Maryland, she designed and taught during Fall 2016 and Spring 2017 her research methods course “Russian History in Art, Music, Literature, and Film.” During Spring 2017, Ala also underwent a curatorial internship at the Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens in Washington DC, which holds the largest collection of Russian art in the West. In January 2018, Ala was selected as a Cosmos Scholar by the Cosmos Club Foundation of Washington, DC.
Samuel Zerin is a musicologist, music theorist, composer, and pianist. He is a chief editor of the International Journal of the Study of Music and Musical Performance (forthcoming) and has held teaching positions at New York University and Brown University.
His PhD dissertation, for defense in April 2018 at New York University, is the first critical biography of the Russian-Jewish violinist and composer Joseph Achron (1886-1943) and a theoretical investigation of late Romantic paradigms surrounding child prodigies and performer-composers. His research on music of the long 19th century focuses primarily on virtuosity, transcription, and supernatural creatures. He is a specialist in early 20th century Jewish musical nationalism, and has broader analytical interests in 21st century Yiddish pop songs and Disney music.
In 2010, he founded the Joseph Achron Society, working together with musicians and scholars from over a dozen countries to revive the forgotten legacy of this brilliant musician. In this role, he has been editing and publishing first editions of Achron’s manuscript works, in addition to networking musicians and fundraising. He has also worked as a music archivist, creating an online archive of rare Jewish classical scores at the website of the American Society for Jewish Music and processing, sorting, and cataloguing thousands of manuscripts, published scores, and other archival music documents at the New York campus of Hebrew Union College.
Zerin is also an amateur polyglot, with particularly strong interests in Yiddish, Russian, and the Scandinavian languages.
Louise Hardiman is an art historian specialising in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Russian and Soviet art. She is a graduate of the universities of Oxford, London, and Cambridge, where she completed a PhD on the history of Russian Arts and Crafts in Victorian and Edwardian Britain. Her primary research areas concern the history of the neo-national revival and Anglo-Russian cultural exchange. Hardiman teaches for universities and adult education providers on a freelance basis and lectures frequently for education institutions, galleries, and museums. She was consultant to the Watts Gallery (Guildford, UK) exhibition ‘A Russian Fairy Tale: The Art and Craft of Elena Polenova’ (2014-15).
My research interests are guided by a broad question of what inspires contemporary composers, in particular, the influence of spiritual or philosophical beliefs on their music and its reception. My current research focus is music during the last two decades of the USSR.
Gabrielle Cornish is a PhD candidate in Musicology at the Eastman School of Music. Her research broadly considers music and everyday life in the Soviet Union. In particular, her dissertation traces the intersections between music, technology, and the politics of “socialist modernity” after Stalinism. Her research in Russia has been supported by the Fulbright Program, the Glenn Watkins Traveling Fellowship, and the Cohen-Tucker Dissertation Research Fellowship from the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies. For the 2019-2020 academic year, Gabrielle will be supported by a Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship as well as an honorary Alvin H. Johnson AMS-50 Fellowship from the American Musicological Society. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in the Journal of Musicology, Sounding Out!, Slate, and The Washington Post. She has appeared as a guest to discuss Russian history, culture, and politics on NBC Nightly News, BBC World Service Television, and BBC Radio Newsday. In her free time, she performs Russian-to-English translation, does freelance graphic design, and makes loud (and soft) noises on drums.
2016-2017 Fulbright Scholar – Russia
Susan Smith-Peter works on Russian history beyond the two capitals of Moscow and St. Petersburg. Beginning with a study of identity in the provinces of European (or central) Russia, she has branched out to investigate the regional identity of the Russian North and Siberia as well. Her book, Imagining Russian Regions: Subnational Identity and Civil Society in Nineteenth-Century Russia, was published with Brill in 2018.
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 [https://kritika.georgetown.edu/], 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 over forty-five articles and chapters, David-Fox has probed unexpected connections between culture and politics, institutions and mentalities, and domestic and international shifts. His latest work explores covert entanglements across borders, ideologies, and cultures. 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). His current book project, “Smolensk under Nazi and Soviet Rule,” is a study of the exercise of power in a Russian region under Stalinism and the German occupation during WWII. Aiming squarely at the place where regional history meets the grand narrative, it cross-fertilizes three rapidly evolving fields: the study of Stalinism, German occupation on the Eastern Front during World War II, and the Holocaust. 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.