Program

Charles A. Ryskamp Research Fellowships , ACLS Fellowship Program

Project

Veiled Empire: Gender and Power in Stalinist Central Asia

Project

Four Days that Shook the World: Earthquakes and Empire Along the Eurasian Frontier

Department

History and Middle East Studies

Veiled Empire: Gender and Power in Stalinist Central Asia

Four Days that Shook the World: Earthquakes and Empire Along the Eurasian Frontier

This study explores the intertwined seismic and social histories of Central Eurasia. I use several major earthquakes—with their attendant drama and social, cultural, political, and economic consequences—to gain a fresh perspective on the Russo-Soviet empire. The resulting book is built around four traumatic episodes, all located in or near urban centers of the imperial periphery: Almaty, Kazakhstan (1887); Ashgabat, Turkmenistan (1948); Tashkent, Uzbekistan (1966); and Spitak, Armenia (1988). These cataclysmic events are the spine of a new, sweeping history of the empire, one that brings together colonial, environmental, cultural, and urban history, as well as the history of science.