This fall, Curtis Richardson joins the REEEC affiliated faculty as a Visiting Assistant Professor. Dr. Richardson has a very impressive background. He holds a Ph.D. in Imperial Russian history from Northern Illinois University. His dissertation centered heavily on the preparation for the Great Reforms which took place in Russia under tsar Alexander II. He wrote an intellectual and political biography of Konstantin Kavelin, a Westernizer who played a crucial role in drafting legislation for the emancipation of the serfs. Prior to arriving at the University of Illinois, Dr. Richardson was a tenure-track professor at Northwest Missouri State University where he taught Russian, European, and Middle Eastern history. He also taught at Rockford College (now Rockford University) as both an Adjunct and Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science, and he served as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Grand Valley State University in Michigan, where he taught early Russian and European history. In addition, he also taught Russian and European history at Niagara University in New York.
He is currently teaching REES 200 Introduction to the Cultures of Russia and Eurasia as well as writing a manuscript entitled “A Kinder, Gentler Russia: Hierarchies of Violence, Domestic Abuse, and Domesticity,” in which he analyzes modernization in Russia from the reign of Peter the Great to Alexander II. Specifically, he is “investigating perceptions of modernization among the educated elite in Russia” and “their fluid concepts of national identity through their understanding of relations between spouses.” He is also currently working on another manuscript in which he is investigating the role of the zagranichniki (those who go abroad) “in establishing a new legal ethos in Russia in the early to mid-nineteenth century.” Dr. Richardson notes how great his experience has been at the University of Illinois. He especially likes the library’s “outstanding Slavic collections” and “the scholarly community” of the university which provides the “opportunity to discuss and present research frequently.”