I have been teaching Russian and European history at Michigan State University since 1983. I migrated from labor history to the history of consumption and material culture in the Soviet Union, and in the process shifted my attention from the Stalin era to the late Soviet period. I have written dozens of scholarly articles and book chapters and am co-author of the award-winning website Seventeen Moments in Soviet History (www.soviethistory.msu.edu), the most widely used online source for teaching and learning about Soviet history. My book, Cars for Comrades: The Life of the Soviet Automobile (Cornell, 2008) was awarded two prizes by the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies. In 2011, I was appointed the Jack and Margaret Sweet Professor of History, a Russian edition of Cars for Comrades was published by ROSSPEN in Moscow and The Socialist Car: Automobility in the Eastern Bloc, a collection of 11 essays that I edited, was published by Cornell University Press. I also became editor-in-chief of REGION, a print journal based in Seoul, South Korea devoted to Russia and the former Eastern Bloc countries, now in its eighth year of publication and available via Project Muse in academic libraries.
For the past eight years or so, my research and writing have focused on migration in Russian political space across the Imperial, Soviet, and post-Soviet periods. The fruits of my collective endeavors with Leslie Page Moch include Broad is My Native Land: Repertoires and Regimes of Migration in Russia’s Twentieth Century (Cornell, 2014) and “Transnationalism in One Country? Seeing and Not Seeing Cross-Border Migration within the Soviet Union,” Slavic Review, vol. 75, no. 4 (Winter 2016): 970-986. During my consultancy year (2017-18) I wrote Stuck on Communism: Memoir of a Russian Historian (Northern Illinois, 2019) and co-edited with Krista Goff Empire and Belonging in the Eurasian Borderlands (Cornell, 2019). I also gave keynote speeches to conferences in Passau, Germany (on “Privacy outside its comfort zone”) and at the German Historical Institute in Moscow (on “Industrial Cities – a global perspective”). For an interview with me about my career, see “An Interview with Lewis Siegelbaum,” Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History, vol. 17, no. 4 (2018): 689-696.
I am no longer accepting graduate students because I officially retired in May 2018.