Aaron B. Retish - Associate Professor

Aaron Retish is the author of Russia’s Peasants in Revolution and Civil War: Citizenship, Identity, and the Creation of the Soviet State, 1914-1922 (Cambridge University Press, 2008/pbk 2012), a regional study of how peasants’ conceptions of themselves as citizens evolved in a time of total war, mass revolutionary politics, and civil breakdown.  He is also the author of articles on violence and peasant identity in the Revolutionary era and has research interests in gender and ethnicity in the late Imperial and Soviet countryside. 
He is currently working on a book project, “In the Courts of Revolution: Vengeance, Legality, and Citizenship in the Rural Soviet Courtroom, 1917-1939” that examines how rural Soviet citizens engaged local legal organs, such as the people’s courts, from the 1917 Communist revolution until the eve of World War II. Based on deep archival research of cases before courts in the Russian regions of Kirov, Nizhnii Novgorod, Moscow, and Samara regions, as well as the archives in the Udmurt Republic and Kazakhstan this project shows a vibrant legal culture among Soviet peasants and uncovers how people understood criminality and justice in a time of dynamic political and social violence. In his spare time, Retish tends to his garden and his Green Bay Packers. Retish co-edits the journal Revolutionary Russia with Dr. Sarah Badcock (U. of Nottingham).

Education
Ph.D., The Ohio State University, 2003
M.A., The Ohio State University, 1996
B.A., The University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1992

Select Publications

Books

Russia’s Peasants in Revolution and Civil War: Citizenship, Identity, and the Creation of the Soviet State, 1914-1922 (Cambridge University Press, 2008, paperback 2012) Winner of the Wayne State Board of Governors Faculty Recognition Award, 2009.

Articles, Chapters, and Review Essays

A Kaleidoscope of Revolutions: Russia in Regional Perspective, 1914-1921, with Sarah Badcock and Liudmila Novikova. Edited volume on Russia’s provinces and peripheries of the Revolution in progress. Forthcoming in 2015.

“The Izhevsk Revolt of 1918: The Fateful Clash of Revolutionary Coalitions, Paramilitarism, and Bolshevik Power” in A Kaleidoscope of Revolutions.

“Judicial Reforms and Revolutionary Justice: The Establishment of the Court System in Soviet Russia, 1917-1922,” in Homefronts: Russia’s Great War and Revolution. Accepted for publication and forthcoming, 2015.

“Controlling Revolution: Victims of Social Violence and the Rural Soviet Courts 1917-1923,” Europe-Asia Studies (November 2013).

“Ìàññîâàÿ ïîëèòèêà è ðîëü ïðîñòûõ ëþäåè̆ â Ãðàæäàíñêîè̆ âîè̆íå” (Popular Politics and the Role of Ordinary People in the Civil War)Roundtable Discussion, Rossiiskaia istoriia 5 (Sept.-Oct.) 2013.

“Eastward Ho!  Peasant Migratory Networks of Viatka Province During Peace and Revolution, 1850-1921,” The Making of Russian History: Festschrift for Allan K. Wildman (Slavica, 2009).

“Creating Peasant Citizens: Rituals of Power, Rituals of Citizenship in Viatka Province, February-October 1917,” Revolutionary Russia, June 2003.

“Becoming Enlightened: National Backwardness and Revolutionary Ideology,” Proceedings of the Ohio Academy of History 2002, 2003.

“Ñîöèàëüíûå êîíôëèêòû â ñðåäå Âÿòñêîãî êðåñòüÿíñòâà â õîäå ïðîâåäåíèÿ çåìåëüíîé ðåôîðìû â 1918 ã.” (Social Conflicts Among the Viatka Peasantry During the Implementation of the Land Reform in 1918),Nauchnyi vestnik. Kirovskogo filiala Moskovskogo gumanitarno ekonomicheskogo instituta. Nauchno-metodicheskii zhurnal, no. 5. Kirov, Russia, 2000.

Select Awards
Harry Frank Guggenheim Research Fellowship, 2012-13
National Council for Eurasian and East European Research, Short Term Travel   Grant, 2013
American Philosophical Society Franklin Research Grant, 2012
President’s Research Enhancement Award, Wayne State University, 2011-12
Career Development Chair, Wayne State University, 2011-12
Extra Mile Award, Student Disability Services, Wayne State University, 2011
Wayne State Board of Governors Faculty Recognition Award, 2009
Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching, Wayne State University 2008
Kennan Institute Short-Term Research Fellow, 2008
Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies Residence Research Grant, U. of Michigan, 2007-08
Humanities Center Faculty Fellowship, Wayne State University, 2006-07
Humanities Center Scholar in Residence, Wayne State University, 2006-07
Scholar in Residence, Illinois University Russian Research Laboratory, 2006, 2013
International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX) Short Term Grant, 2004
University Research Grant, Wayne State University, 2004
Social Science Research Council (SSRC) Title VIII Fellow, 2003

Courses Taught

  • Western Civilization, 1500-1945 (HIS 1300)
  • The World Since 1945 (HIS 1400)
  • The First World War (HIS 3995/6000)
  • Europe in the Interwar Period (HIS 5450/7450)
  • Russia and Eurasia to 1917 (HIS 3490/5490)
  • The Russian Revolution (HIS 5495/7495)
  • The Soviet Union (HIS 5500/7500)
  • Capstone Seminar for History Majors (HIS 5996)
  • Graduate Readings Seminar in European History (HIS 8225)
  • Graduate Seminar in Modern European History (HIS 8240)  
  • Graduate Readings Seminar in World History (HIS 8310)
Office#
3107 FAB
Research Area
European
Gender
World
Phone
(313) 577-2525
Fax
(313) 577-6987
Email
Website
clas.wayne.edu/aretish
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