Graduate Studies

A History Lesson with Kate Transchel

Dr. Kate Transchel from the Department of History is the author of Under the Influence: Working-class Drinking, Temperance, and Cultural Revolution in Russia, 1895-1932 (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2006). She also has written The Breakup of Yugoslavia: Conflict in the Balkans (Chelsea House, 2006). Her articles have appeared in The Soviet and Post-Soviet Review, The Spirit, Saratovskie vesti, and the National Council for Eurasian and East European Research Newsletter. In addition to book chapters in three scholarly anthologies and 10 encyclopedia entries, Transchel has published book reviews in the Russian Review, Canadian American Slavic Studies, Slavic Review, Labor History, American Slavic Studies, and Europe- Asia Studies. Her current research focuses on sex, gender, and alcohol as forces creating an alternative culture in Leonid Brezhnev's Russia. She also is investigating the sex slave trade in Eastern Europe after World War II. Transchel is working with another Russian scholar in developing web-based modules to accompany history textbooks for classroom use in the teaching of Russian History.

 

I’m an accidental historian. I had planned on going to law school. I had a naïve love for justice. However, I soon learned that the law was more about circumventing justice. I was taking a class titled “The Politics of Nuclear War.” I didn’t know anything about the Soviet Union. I just remember all the duck-and-roll exercises we had to do back in school when I was a kid. So it was in this class about Soviet history when I fell in love—right away. I kept wondering: Are these people really that horrible? The history was so tragic, so dramatic. It was the first subject I had really been excited about. Read more...