I am the child of immigrants, and so have always lived my life conscious of being caught between vastly different lands. Thus, though born in Canada, Canada is but a small part of my identity. It is also no surprise that I have been fascinated by the past from an early age. It was always a land of mystery for me, one that I always knew held the answers to questions I wanted to engage: who was I, what was my community, and how did my world come to be?
On a more mundane level I received a PhD from the University of Toronto in 1989 after extensive graduate studies in a country that no longer exists (the Soviet Union, and Leningrad/St. Petersburg above all). I have been at Laurier since 1994 and I have seen the History Department at this university develop into a remarkably strong unit in that time.
I think that it's safe to say that my published research has been rather diverse of late. Recent publications include a social history of southern Ukraine (known in the Imperial era as "New Russia". More recently my book on Dostoevsky's vision for an ethical world was published, and a book on Russian Mennonites that I have edited is due out in the fall of 2017. I have begun several new projects, including a major rethinking of the Mennonite experience in Russia and Ukraine.
I have broad expertise in Russian and Soviet history, most especially in the Social History of Southern Ukraine (New Russia); the great Russian writer Fedor Dostoevsky, and most recently on the history of Russian Mennonites, who lived in what is today Ukraine; a people who spoke German but were of primarily Dutch and Flemish origin. See why the study of History is important!
I am willing to work with graduate students in areas that pertain to my areas of research and publication, but more broadly in Russian history as appropriate. Please contact me.
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