Griffin Creech


Ph.D. Candidate

Stephen F. Cohen-Robert C. Tucker Dissertation Research Fellow in Russian Historical Studies

Griffin Creech studies the history of borders and citizenship in Inner Asia. Focusing on the Russia-Mongolia borderlands and their indigenous inhabitants, the Buriats, Griffin’s dissertation “Buriats Beyond Borders: Making and Unmaking Multi-Layered Citizens in the Russia-Mongolia Borderlands, 1890-1938” interjects an underrepresented, non-European, borderlands perspective into the broader literature on citizenship. It follows pastoral nomadic Buriats across the international border separating the Russian Empire and Soviet Union from Mongolia, traces these states’ efforts to claim Buriats as citizens in an age of imperial collapse and the rise of nation-states, and measures them against indigenous methods of navigating borderland life.

Creech's work has appeared in the peer-reviewed journal Revolutionary Russia and on the "Peripheral Histories" blog. In May 2023, he passed comprehensive exams with distinction in three fields: Modern Russia (1552-1991); Modern Inner Asia (1750-1991); and Frontiers, Borders, and Borderlands.

Before graduate school, he was the Outreach and Communications Coordinator at the University of North Carolina’s Center for Slavic, Eurasian and East European Studies; an English Teacher Trainer with the U.S. Peace Corps in Mongolia; a trainer for the Future Leaders’ Exchange (FLEX) program for Mongolian high school students; and a primary school teacher in Moscow, Russia.

Creech will spend the 2023-24 academic year conducting research for his dissertation in Mongolia, Finland, and the United States. He is a recipient of the Cohen-Tucker Dissertation Research Fellowship in Russian Historical Studies

Prospective or admitted students working on Russia, Inner/Central Asia, or transnational topics should feel free to contact Griffin with any questions about graduate life in the department or doing research in these regions.

Committee: Peter Holquist, Benjamin Nathans, Firoozeh Kashani-Sabet, Christopher Atwood

CV available upon request


B.A., History (Highest Honors) and Political Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2016

Certificate in Russian Language and Russian/Soviet History, Saratov State University (Russia)

M.A., History, University of Pennsylvania, 2022

Research Interests

Borders and borderlands



Late Russian Empire

Early Soviet Union

Inner Asia

Central Asia


Buriat studies



Selected Publications

“A Russian Businessman in Washington: PP Batolin and U.S.-Russia Relations in late 1918,” Revolutionary Russia 33, no. 1 (2020): 67–87


Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies

American Center for Mongolian Studies (Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia)