Samuel Casper

Ph.D. Candidate

B.A., University of Chicago (2010)


Examination Fields:

  • Modern Russia and the Soviet Union
  • Modern Jewish History
  • States, Atrocities, and Restitution in Modern Eurasia

Dissertation Title:

"The Bolshevik Afterlife: Rehabilitation in the Post-Stalin Soviet Union."

Personal Statement:

My research concerns the posthumous rehabilitation of repressed persons in the post-Stalin USSR. I examine the rationale for, significance of, and debates surrounding the exoneration of onetime "enemies of the people" in the decade and a half follwing Stalin's death, as well as the importance of rehabilitation as a prism for understanding the recent past under mature socialism. Through this topic I explore the encounter between the Soviet party-state's attempts to fashion a "usable past" from the life narratives of those who died during the Stalinist terror and individuals' efforts to obtain recognition of and compensation for the losses and torment endured between the 1930s and 1950s.

My project has received support from the Department of State Title VIII Program through the American Councils for International Education. I am currently a writer-in-residence at New York University's Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia.

Research Interests: 
  • Modern Russian and Soviet history
  • Modern European Jewish history
  • Socio-political history
  • Restorative and transitional justice