I am an environmental historian of Modern Russia and the Soviet Union, with a geographical research focus on the "subtropical" south and the Black Sea, in transnational and international context. I am especially interested in intersections between environment and health, nature protection, urban planning, and maritime environments. Before coming to Flinders, I was a post-doctoral fellow at Birkbeck College, University of London.
My first book, Therapeutic Natures: Environment and Health in the Soviet Sanatorium, 1917-1991 (currently under peer review), is a history of the sanatorium covering the entire Soviet period. It examines how medical research produced environmental knowledge in the past, and how this environmental knowledge shaped the medical practice, architecture, urban planning, and landscapes of the sanatorium and the rise of ecological self-understanding and consciousness in society. This study applies theoretical frameworks developed in the “post-Pasteurian” turn in environmental humanities, emphasizing the interconnection of the human body and the environment and between textual, material, and embodied knowledges and experiences. I argue that the rise of bacteriology did not lead to a paradigm shift away from the environmental dimensions of disease in Soviet medicine, as occurred in other contexts within scientific medicine particularly after the discovery of antibiotics. A distinctly socialist form of natural healing developed in the Soviet Union, which had its origins in Central European natural healing practices and international socialist politics. The Soviet approach to medicine was not backward, but rather constituted a socialist variant within the shared experience of scientific medicine in the twentieth century.
I am the curator of a forum on 'The Black Sea World and the Question of Boundaries', published in Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian Studies, drawing on a workshop that I convened on 'The Black Sea in the Socialist World' at Birkbeck in 2015.
I have a PhD and MA in History from Harvard University and a BA in Comparative Literature from Yale University.
2022-2024 Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Research Fellowship
2020-2021 Fellow, Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich, Germany
2019 Title VIII Summer Research Scholar, Kennan Institute, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington, DC
2019 Vice Chancellor's Award for Early Career Researchers, Flinders University
2017 Kathleen Fitzpatrick Visiting Fellow in the Laureate Research Program in International History, The University of Sydney
2017 The European Society for Environmental History St Andrews Article Prize in European Environmental History, Honourable mention
2015 Wellcome Trust Small Grant in the Medical Humanities
2015 Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities Conference Organisation Grant
2015 Society for the Social History of Medicine Conference Organisation Grant
2015 British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies Conference Organisation Grant
2013-2014 Dumbarton Oaks Dissertation Completion Fellowship
2013 Society for the Social History of Medicine Conference Attendance Grant
2013 American Society for Environmental History National Science Foundation Grant
2011-2012 Foreign Language and Area Studies Research Fellowship (U.S. Department of Education)
2010-2011 Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Award (U.S. Department of State)
At Flinders, I teach historiography, global history, environmental history, the history of Modern Europe, the history of the Russian Empire, and Soviet history.
History Honours Program Coordinator, 2019.
My research on Sochi was featured in coverage of the 2018 World Cup in Russia on ESPN.com. See Eliot Rothwell, "World Cup, global wealth transforming Sochi's unique beach culture." ESPN.com. May 29, 2018.
“What’s New in Modern Russian History?” History Teachers’ Association of South Australia Annual State Conference, University of Adelaide, August 26, 2017.
I have served as a referee for Environmental History, Contemporary European History,The Slavonic and East European Review, The Soviet and Post-Soviet Review, East European Politics and Societies, and History of the Human Sciences. My reviewing activity is registered in part on Publons.
I am currently a research fellow at the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet, Munich, Germany.
I am a member of the Centre for the Study of Internationalism at Birkbeck College, University of London. I am also a Center Associate at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University.
In November 2020, I presented a paper, 'The Human Organism: Climate and Geography in Stalinist Models of Life', at the Annual Convention of the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies, Washington, DC, held online.
In May 2019, I presented a paper, 'Beyond the Human Machine: Theories of Embodiment in Stalinist Medicine, 1928-1953’, at Technologies of Mind and Body in the Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc, a conference at the University of Nottingham, 17-18 May 2019.
In July 2018, I presented a paper, 'Legacies of the Second International', at What Is International History Now? A conference of the Laureate Research Program in International History at the University of Sydney.
In April 2018, I presented a paper, 'On the Use of Crimea for the Cure of Workers: Climate and Health on the Southern Coast of Crimea, 1928-1941', at Crimea Matters, a conference of Black Sea Networks: A collaborative initiative to investigate the Black Sea as a hub of cultural, political, and historical interest at Columbia University in New York.
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