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Maria Galmarini
James Madison University



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James Madison University

Department of History MSC 2001

58 Bluestone Drive

Harrisonburg , VA 22807



2012  University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Ph.D. in History

  • Specialization: Russian Twentieth Century History

Dissertation title: “The ‘Right to Be Helped’: Welfare Policies and Notions of Rights at the Margins of Soviet Society, 1917-1950.” Dissertation advisor and chair: Diane Koenker

2005  University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

M.A. in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies

2000  Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Milan (Italy)

B.A. in Foreign Languages and Literatures, magna cum laude



2012-current      James Madison University

Assistant Professor of History




“Defending the Rights of Gulag Prisoners: The Story of the Political Red Cross, 1918-38,” The Russian Review, 71:1 (January 2012), 6-29


“Bylo li u sovetskikh liudei pravo na pomoshch’? Problemy metodologii, istoriografii i korpusa istochnikov v izuchenii sotsial’noi pomoshchi i prav cheloveka v Sovetskom Soiuze v 1917-1953 gg.,” Vestnik Permskogo universiteta, Series Istoriia i politologiia, 2009, no. 2, 123-131


“Il soccorso ai prigionieri politici nella Russia Sovietica: le attivita’ degli emigrati russi a Berlino, 1921-1926,” Mondo Contemporaneo. Rivista di storia, 2006, no. 1, 83-98


“I Comitati di Soccorso, prima denuncia del GULAG,” La Nuova Europa, No. 5/2002, 85-94



“Autobiography and the Soviet Blind-of-War: Re-Integrating the Disabled Self and Turning Defects into Advantages.” Manuscript submitted for review


The “Right to Be Helped”: Entitlement and Marginalization in Soviet Russia, 1917-1950. Book-long study of the entitlements to social welfare among unemployed single mothers and people with disabilities in the Soviet Union between 1917 and 1950


Disability Rights and Socialist Humanism: The Advocacy for the Blind and the Deaf in post-WWII Socialism, 1948-1968. Comparative study of disability advocacy among blind and deaf people in the Soviet Union, Bulgaria, and Yugoslavia



Faculty Research Grant, College of Arts and Letters, James Madison University, Summer 2013


Dissertation Completion Fellowship, Graduate College, University of Illinois, 2011-2012


Joseph Ward Swain Publication Prize, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2011-2012


Kathryn W. Davis Graduate Student Travel Grant, Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies, 2011


International Dissertation Research Fellowship, Social Science Research Council, 2009-2010


Nelle Signor Scholarship, International Scholars Program, University of Illinois, 2009-2010


Dissertation Travel Grant, Graduate College, University of Illinois, 2009-2010


Frederick S. Rodkey Memorial Prize for the Most Promising Graduate Student in Russian History, University of Illinois, 2008-2009


Teacher Ranked as Excellent from the list compiled from students’ evaluations in the Spring 2008


Bastian Fellowship, University of Illinois, Summer semester 2008


Departmental Fellowship, Department of History, University of Illinois, 2006-2007



“A School of Motherhood: Providing Help and Constructing Gender Boundaries in the Facilities for Soviet Single Mothers,” ASEEES, New Orleans, 15-18 November 2012


“The Politics of Gender and the ‘Right to Be Helped’ in early Soviet and Stalinist Russia, 1917-1950,” Noontime Scholar Lecture Series at the REEEC, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 13 March 2012


“Autobiography and the Soviet Blind-of-War: Reintegrating the Disabled Self and Turning Defects into Advantages,” ASEEES, Washington DC, 17-20 November 2011


Help as trudoustroistvo: disabled citizens’ legal capacities, working abilities, and heroic feats of labor between 1917 and 1950,” Midwest Russian History Workshop, Ohio State University, Columbus (Ohio), 14-15 April 2011


“Defending the Rights of Gulag Prisoners: The Story of the Political Red Cross between 1918 and 1938,” Tenth Annual International Young Researchers Conference: The Gulag in History and Memory, Miami University, Oxford (Ohio), 28-31 October 2010


“Rights and Emotions in Stalinist Political Culture,” Istituto per l’Europa Centro-Orientale e Balcanica, Faenza (Italy), March 20-24, 2010


“Conceptions of Rights and Entitlement to Material Aid in Stalinist Russia,” invited talk at Perm’ State University, Perm’ (Russia), June 2008


Commentator on the panel “Activism across Borders,” Ninth Women’s and Gender Graduate Symposium, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, March 2008


“Deiatel’nost’ Berlinskikh Komitetov Pomoshchi Russkim Politicheskim Zakliuchennym,” International conference “Russkii Berlin: 1920-1945 gg.,” Moscow (Russia), December 2002



Courses Developed











Russian Minor Coordinator


Student advising


History 102, World History since 1500


History 385, The Russian Empire to 1881


History 386, Russia and the Soviet Union from 1881 to 1991


History 489/590, Stalinism in Theory, Practice, and Memory


History 352, Europe in the World, 1750 to the Present (at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)


Coordination of a minor in Russian studies, which offers students a broad cross-disciplinary perspective on Russian culture, history, political institutions, economy, and geography


Reader on Katelyn Murray’s honor thesis



Editorial Assistant, Slavic Review, 2010-2011


Research Assistant, Department of History, University of Illinois, 2010-2011 and 2008-2009. I assisted Professor Mark Steinberg in conducting research for his project on the experience of the Russian Revolution.


Indexer, The American Bibliography of Slavic and East European Studies, 2007-2009


Research Assistant, Department of History, University of Illinois, Spring 2006 and Summer 2007. I assisted Professor Diane Koenker in conducting research for the project “Proletarian Tourism and Vacations in the USSR.”


Assistant, Slavic Acquisitions, Slavic and East European Library, University of Illinois, Spring 2006 and Summer 2007


Assistant, Slavic Reference, Slavic and East European Library, University of Illinois, 2002-2005




Fluent in speaking, reading, and writing: English, Russian, and Italian

Fluent in reading: German, French, Spanish, Serbo-Croatian, Bulgarian, and Romanian





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