Biography and Professional Activity

Submitted by Harry Merritt on Sunday, 8/8/2021, at 7:25 PM


Ph.D., Brown University, 2020
M.A., Georgetown University, 2009
B.A., Eckerd College, 2007

Teaching Interests

For the 2021-22 academic year, I am teaching a course on Nazi Germany and a seminar exploring the History of Fascism. In the past, I have taught a wide range of courses on the histories of modern Germany and Russia as well as courses on World War II, nationalism, and interethnic/interreligious coexistence and violence. My courses approach these topics from the perspectives of social, cultural, and gender history, considering both the powerful institutions that shaped society from above and the agency of ordinary people of all backgrounds to make historical change from below.

Research Interests

My research interests include nationalism, collective identity, interethnic relations, and the impact of war on society. My reseach has centered on the history of Latvia as a borderlands nation-state caught between Germany and the Soviet Union in the era of the 20th century's world wars. At present, my research focus is on soldiers from Latvia serving in national units on the side of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union during World War II, exploring these opposing units and their legacies in juxtaposition to one another using first-person primary sources.

Scholarly Publications

Articles and Book Chapters

“‘My Home and My Family Are Now Our Regiment’: National Belonging and Familial Feelings in Latvian Units during World War II,” in Defining Latvia: Recent Explorations in History, Culture, and Politics, ed. Siobhán Hearne, Michael Loader, and Matthew Kott (forthcoming in 2022 from Central European University Press).

“Colony of the Colonized: The Duchy of Courland’s Tobago Colony and Contemporary Latvian National Identity,” Nationalities Papers 38, no. 4 (2010): 491-508.

Book Reviews

Review of Mischka’s War: A Story of Survival from War-Torn Europe to New York, by Sheila Fitzpatrick, Journal of Baltic Studies 50, no. 1 (2019): 125-127.

Review of The War Within: Diaries from the Siege of Leningrad, by Alexis Peri, REGION: Regional Studies of Russia, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia 7, no. 1 (2018): 145-47.

Public Writing

Review of Julius Margolin, Journey into the Land of the Zeks and Back. The Arts Fuse. October 8, 2020.

In the Fight, yet on the Margins: Latvian Jewish Red Army Soldiers.” Peripheral Histories. June 11, 2019.

The Hero and the Crocodile.” The Awl. March 30, 2017.

The Forever-Doomed Eastern Europe of Our Imaginations.” The Awl. August 12, 2015.