Smithsonian Journeys Experts
Nadieszda Kizenko teaches Russian and East European History at the State University of New York at Albany. She received degrees in Russian History and Literature at Harvard University, Columbia University, and the Harriman Institute. Prof. Kizenko explores the intersection of nations and empires, of history and culture, and the extent to which religion has been a constituent element of national and imperial identity. She has long been fascinated by how the intersection with Asia has formed a Russian identity distinct from its neighbors, both Slavic and Western. For Russia in particular, this means a lens through which it sees itself as uniquely open to other cultures—but with a unique message as well.
Prof. Kizenko’s research, supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Social Sciences Research Council, and the National Council for Eurasian and East European Research, has allowed her to publish widely on questions of religion as an instrument of empire. Her first book, A Prodigal Saint: Father John of Kronstadt and the Russian People, won the Heldt Prize; a recent article, “The Feminization of Patriarchy?”, won the Best Article award from Association for the Study of Eastern Christianity. Prof. Kizenko is currently writing a history of confession in the Russian empire.
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