Allison Katsev


Areas of Interest

  • Russia and the Soviet Union
  • Germany
  • European Intellectual and Cultural History
  • Historiography
  • World History
  • Interdisciplinary methods


"Imperial Russia and the Making of a Nation, 1700-1914," Globalyceum, 2018.

"Active and Inclusive Learning in a Western Civilization Course." CSU Course Redesign with Technology E-Portfolio Showcase. June, 2017.

“In the Forge of Criticism: M. T. Kachenovskii and Professional Autonomy in Pre-Reform Russia,” in Historiography of Imperial Russia: The Profession and Writing of History in a Multinational State, edited by Thomas Sanders (Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 1999).

“Social Identity and Russian Cultural Politics: Defining the Historian in the Pre-Reform Era” (Ph.D. dissertation, Stanford University, 1998).

Selected Honors

Teaching Fellowship, Introduction to the Humanities, Stanford University, 1998–2005.

Whiting Fellowship in the Humanities, 1993–1994.

Mazour Fellowship, Stanford University, 1992.

Travel Grant and Stipend, Stanford Center for Russian and East European Studies/Institute of Russian History Exchange Program, October, 1992.


I am originally from Ohio and went to college at Yale University. After college, I traveled to Russia often, and then settled down to studying Russian history at Stanford University.

In my doctoral dissertation, "Social Identity and Russian Cultural Politics: Defining the Historian in the Pre-Reform Era," I reconsider the impact of Russia's encounter with modernity by examining elite identity in the first half of the nineteenth century. I analyze the changing self-representations of three Moscow University historians. I conclude that their careers suggest that attitudes towards modernity, far from fracturing educated Russian society, actually served as a source of cohesion. I am currently reworking my dissertation for publication.

After graduate school, I taught in Stanford's Introduction to Humanities Program. There I had the opportunity to teach interdisciplinary courses, with subjects ranging from Russian culture, to art and philosophy, to philosophical and anthropological perspectives on mortality. From this experience, I developed a particular interest in the ways that other disciplines can enrich discussions of "history."

I joined the faculty of San José State University in 2005. I teach survey courses in Russian, European and World history, as well as seminars in historiography and research methodology. In my classes, I include art, architecture, literature, film, etc., encouraging students to explore the past from many angles.