Barbara Walker

Associate Professor
BA, Bowdoin College, 1980
MA, Yale University, 1986
Ph.D., University of Michigan, 1994


Lincoln Hall, 206
(775) 784-4303



Barbara Walker has published extensively on the history of Russian and Soviet intellectual life, with a special focus on its economic foundations, social organization and culture. Her work has appeared in such journals as Slavic Review, The Russian Review, Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History, Cross Currents, Comparative Studies in Society and History, Contemporary European History, and Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie. She published the 2005 monograph Maximilian Voloshin and the Russian Literary Circle: Culture and Survival in Revolutionary Times (Indiana University Press), which was nominated for Best Book of Slavic Literary/ Cultural Criticism in 2004/2005 and won the Feltner-Mousel Award for Research and Creative Activities at the University of Nevada, Reno. She has also published articles in such edited volumes as Personenkulte im Stalinismus / Personality Cults in Stalinism (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2004), Imagining the West in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union (University of Pittsburg Press, 2010), and The Russian Experience: Americans Encountering the Enigma 1917 to the Present (Routledge, 2012). She co-edited Memory and Mass Dictatorship as Ever-Present Past (Palgrave,2014) with Peter Lambert and Jie-Hyun Lim. Her work has been supported by grants and fellowships from the Thomas Watson Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the International Research Exchange (IREX), the University of Nevada, Reno, the Hoover Institution, the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, and others.

Her current book project, “A War of Experts: Soviet and American Knowledge Networks in Cold War Competition and Collaboration,” explores the transnational relations of Soviet and American “information experts” in the Cold War, placing a special emphasis on informal knowledge network discourses such as professional gossip, story-telling, and myth-making. It includes a foray into the history of Cold War computer competition.

Some of her work can be found at

Maximilian Voloshin and the Russian Literary Circle: Culture and Survival in Revolutionary Times


As a teacher Professor Walker specializes in the area of modern Russian and European and Inner Eurasian History, with a recent emphasis on the history of technology. In the Core Humanities program she teaches The Modern World (CH 202) and is developing a new course, CH 212, The Modern World: Electricity from Frankenstein to the Internet. In the History Department at the 200-level she teaches a regional survey of Inner Eurasian history, Nomads to Nations in Inner Eurasia; at the 300-level, the national surveys Russia to 1900 and 20th century Russia and the Soviet Union; and in her 400-level series of seminars on Topics in Russian and Eastern European History, she teaches Women, Family and Community in Russian History, Politics and Society in Modern Eastern Europe, The World of Joseph Stalin, Soviet Dissent, Literature and Society in Modern Russia, Russia of the Romanov Tsars, and US-Soviet Cold War Competition. She also teaches History 300, Historical Research and Writing, for History majors, and History 300A, Digitizing History. As a USAC guest professor in Lueneburg, Germany her courses included East Germany and ‘The Beautiful West,’ and Hitler’s Germany.  At the graduate level she has taught History 712, Seminar in Modern European History, and History 780, Seminar in Methodology, as well as individualized fields in modern Russian and Soviet history, modern European history, and Cold War history.