Curriculum Vitae

Curriculum Vitae

Francis William Wcislo

Associate Professor of History and European Studies

230 Appleton Place # 555

Vanderbilt University

Nashville, Tennessee 37203



Degrees Earned

PhD, 1984 [Department of History, Columbia University]

Russian Area Studies Certificate, 1984 [W. Averill Harriman Institute for Advanced Study of the Soviet Union, Columbia University]

M.Phil, 1984 [Department of History, Columbia University]

M.A., 1977 [Department of History, Columbia University]

Russian Language Certificate, 1975 [Leningrad State University]

B.A., with Distinction 1973 [Political Science, University of Michigan]


Employment History

Founding Dean of The Ingram Commons, Vanderbilt University, July 2006-June 2015

Visiting Professor, School of History, University of Leeds [UK], 1994-1995

Associate Professor, Dept. of History, Vanderbilt University, May 1990-present

Director, Honors Program, Department of History (juniors and seniors), 1992-4, 1995-6, 1997-1999, 2000-2001

Postdoctoral Fellow, The W. Averill Harriman Institute for Advanced Study of the Soviet Union, Columbia University, 1987‑1988

Assistant Professor, Dept. of History, Vanderbilt University, September 1984‑May 1990

Preceptor [Introduction to Contemporary Civilization in the West], Columbia University, September 1980‑December 1983


Honors and Awards

Alumni Outstanding Freshman Adviser Award, College of Arts & Science, 2006

The Madison Sarratt University Prize for Excellence in Undergraduate Education, 2003

The Alumni Education Award, Vanderbilt University National Alumni Association, 1998

Jeffrey Nordhouse Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in the College of Arts and Science, Vanderbilt University, 1993



1) books

i)authored and co-authored works

Francis W. Wcislo, Reforming Rural Russia:  State, Local Society, and National Politics, 1855-1914 (Princeton, NJ:  Princeton University Press and Studies of the Harriman Institute, 1990).

Francis W. Wcislo, Tales of Imperial Russia.  The Life and Times of Sergei Witte, 1849-1915 (Oxford and New York:  Oxford University Press, 2010).

Francis W. Wcislo, Tales of Imperial Russia.  The Life and Times of Sergei Witte, 1849-1915 (Oxford Scholarship Online, 2010)

ii)edited volumes

Russian Academy of Sciences.  St. Petersburg Institute of History and Columbia University in New York. The Bakhmetieff Archive of Russian and East European History and Culture.  Iz arkhiva S. Iu. Vitte. Vospominaniia. [From the Archive of S. Iu. Witte. Memoirs], 3 vols. [St. Petersburg, Dmitrii Bulanin, 2003].  Editorial Board:  B. V. Anan’ich, F. Wcislo, R. Sh. Ganelin, R. Wortman, A.A. Fursenko, L. Haimson.

2) journal articles

“Sergei Witte and His Times.  A Historiographical Note,” Kritika.  Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History.  New Series, Volume 5, Number 4 (Fall 2004):  749-58.

“Vitte, samoderzhavie i imperiia:  mechty kontsa XIX veka,” Rossiia XXI.  Obshchestvenno-politicheskii i nauchnyi zhurnal, vol 4 [Moscow: July-August 2001]:  144-161.

“Witte, Memory, and the 1905 Revolution:  A Reinterpretation of the Witte Memoirs,” Revolutionary Russia, vol. 8, no.2 [December 1995]: 166-78

“Bureaucratic Reform Before World War I,” Russian History/Histoire Russe, 16, Nos. 2-4 [Festschrift for Leopold H. Haimson] (1989), 377-388.

“The Land Captain Reform of 1889 and the Reassertion of Unrestricted Autocratic Authority,” Russian History/Histoire Russe, 15, No.2-4 (1988), 285-326.

“Soslovie or Class?  Bureaucratic Reformers and Provincial Gentry in Conflict, 1906‑1908,” Russian Review, vol.47, no.1 (January 1988), pp.1-24.

“A Critique of V.S. Diakin’s Samoderzhavie, burzhuaziia i dvorianstvo v 1907‑1911 gg.,” Kritika XVI, no.2 [Spring 1980], pp.108‑20

3) chapters/articles in edited collections

“Rereading Old Texts:  Sergei Witte and the Industrialization of Russia,” in McCaffrey, Susan P and Michael Melancon (eds.), Russia in the European Context 1789-1914.  A Member of the Family [New York:  Palgrave MacMillan, 2005]:  71-84

“Peter Arkadievich Stolypin,” Encyclopedia of Russian History (Macmillan Reference USA, 2003)

“The Dilemmas of Emancipation,” in James Cracraft (ed.), Major Problems in the History of Imperial Russia (Lexington, MA:  D.C. Heath and Co., 1994), pp. 315-316.


4) articles in conference proceedings

“O nashikh kategoriiakh,” [On Our Categories”] in Rossiia i pervaia mirovaia voina (Materialy mezhdunarodnogo nauchnogo kollokviuma) [St. Petersburg Branch, Institute of History, Russian Academy of Sciences, 1999]: 171-173

“Otnosheniia mezhdu pravitel’stvom i mestnoi vlast’iu. Stolypin i tret’eiiunskaia monarkhiia,” in Russian Academy of Sciences, Division of History, Institute of Russian History, St. Petersburg Branch. Reformy ili revoliutsii.  Rossiia 1861-1917 gg. Materialy mezhdunarodnogo kollokviuma istorikov (Nauka:  St. P, 1992), pp. 43-55, 295-7


5) book reviews

The Russian Revolution of 1905:  Centenary Perspectives, Smele, J.D. and A. Haywood (eds.), Slavic Review 67 (2008), 1: 240-1.

Natsional’nye okrainy rossisskoi imperii: Stanovlenie i razvitie sistemy upravleniia by Agadzhanov, S.G. and V.V. Trepalov (eds.), Slavic Review 60 (2001), 1: 175.

Kistiakovsky. The Struggle for National and Constitutional Rights in the Last Years of Tsarism (Harvard (Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute), 1998) by Susan Heuman: Journal of Modern History 1999

Between Two Revolutions.  Stolypin and the Politics of Renewal in Russia (Northern Illinois, 1998) by Peter Waldron: Journal of Modern History 71 (no.4, Dec. 1999): 1022-3

Paul Miliukov and the Quest for a Liberal Russia, 1880-1918 (Cornell, 1996) by Melissa Kirschke Stockdale: Slavic Review 56 (1997), 3: 570-1.

Memoirs by Mikhail Gorbachev (Doubleday, 1995): America 176 (no.20), June 7-14, 1997, pp. 24-5.

Russia in the Age of Reaction and Reform 1801-1881 (Longman, 1992) by David Saunders: Russian History/Histoire Russe 1993:284-6.

The Memoirs of Count Witte (M.E. Sharpe,1990) by Sidney Harcave: Slavic Review 1992:613-4.

The Tsar’s Viceroys: Russian Provincial Governors in the Last Years of the Empire (Cornell, 1988) by Richard G. Robbins: Slavic Review 48 (1989), 4: 269

Ubiistvo Stolypina: Svidetel’stva i Dokumenty (Telex, 1986) by A. Serebrennikov: Slavic Review 46 (1987), 3/4:602-3

Stolypin: Russia’s Last Great Reformer (Princeton, 1986) by A.V. Zenkovsky: Slavic Review 45(1986), 3: 564-5


7) Fellowships and Grants Received

Research Scholar Fellowship, University Central Research Scholar Grant Program, 1 July 2001-30 June 2002

National Alumni Forum.  Fund for the Renewal of Education [Vanderbilt Institute of Public Policy Studies] (with Professors William Damon [Economics] and John Lachs [Philosophy] for development of interdisciplinary course Liberty: 1996-8

University Research Council Summer Award (St. Petersburg, Russian Federation) [Witte], summer 1996

Fellow, Robert Penn Warren Center for the Study of the Humanities, Vanderbilt University [“End Times and the Millenium”]: July 1995-July 1996

Short-Term Travel Grant, International Research and Exchanges Board, November 1994 [travel and expense funds for Prof. R. Sh. Ganelin, St. Petersburg Institute of History, Russian Academy of Sciences, to New York for collaborative discussions of Witte Correspondence publication project] and Leningrad, USSR,  May-July 1990 [Witte]

Fellow, Robert Penn Warren Center for the Study of the Humanities, Vanderbilt University [“East Central European Literature and the Origins of 1989”]: 1990-1991

Direct Research Support and University Summer Research Grants, University Research Council, Vanderbilt University [A Russian Statesman and His Times:  A Political Biography of Sergei Iul’evich Witte, 1849-1915]:  June-August 1989

Short‑Term Research Grant, Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars  [“Bureaucratic Reform and Political Culture in Late Imperial Russia”]:  Summer 1985

Post‑Doctoral Fellowship, Department of History, University of Pennsylvania [“Peasant Politics and Rural Culture in 19th and 20th Century Russia”]:  Spring 1984

Junior Fellow, Russian Institute, Columbia University:  September 1979‑May 1980

Junior Scholar, International Research and Exchanges Board (Leningrad, Moscow U.S.S.R.):  August 1978‑June 1979

9) invited presentations

“How Can Biography Be History? Memoirs, Memory, and Stories of the Prerevolutionary Russian Empire,” Artz History Lecture (invited), Oberlin College, 3 March 2005 (travel and honorarium)

“Peopling the Periphery:  Russian Settlers in Eurasia from Muscovy to the Recent Past,” invited conference commentator, Ohio State University, Sept. 28-30, 2001 (travel)

“Tales of Imperial Russia.  The Life and Times of Sergei Witte,” Tulane University History Faculty Research Seminar, 14 September 2001 (travel)

“Sergei Witte as a Man of Empire,” Davis Center for Russian Studies, Harvard University, April 2000 (travel and honorarium)

“The ‘Healthening of Russia:  Notes of A Traveler,” Tennessee State University Great Lecturers Series, Nashville, TN, October 1998

“Rereading Old Texts: Sergei Witte and the Industrialization of Russia,” Midwest Russian History Workshop, University of Chicago, October 1997

“Witte, Memory, and the 1905 Revolution:  A Reinterpretation of the Witte Memoir,”  Conference of the Study Group on the Russian Revolution (Bath, UK): [January 1995]

“Biography and Late Imperial History,” Soviet Industrialization Project Seminar, Centre for Russian and East European Studies, University of Birmingham, May 1995 (travel and honorarium)

“What Happened to Theology After the Death of Christ:  Some Thoughts on the Teaching of Russian History”.  Kentucky Association of Teachers of History [Frankfort, KY, Sept. 1993] (travel and honorarium)

“Teaching Russian History after the Collapse of the Soviet Union,” Ohio Valley History Conference (Murray, KY): October 1992 (travel and honorarium).

“Imperial Historiography and a Research Agenda,” Research Consortium on Twentieth Century Russian and Soviet History, Harriman Institute, Columbia University, October 1989 (travel)

“Class or Soslovie? Bureaucratic Reformers and Provincial Nobility in Conflict, 1906‑1908,” National Seminar for the History of Russian Society in the Twentieth Century [Philadelphia, Pa.: January 1983]

11) Professional Conferences and Presentations

“Russian Revolutionary Discourses,” Discussant, Southern Conference on Slavic Studies (SCSS), [March 2009, University of Virginia-Charlottesville]

“Roundtable:  Writing Emotion into Late Imperial History,” SCSS [March 2008, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia]

“Roundtable:  Gender and Power in Imperial Russia,” SCSS [March 2007, Montgomery, Alabama]

“Roundtable:  The Russian Revolution of 1905.  Current Work and Research [American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies, AAASS [November 2005, Salt Lake City]

“Roundtable:  Imperial Russian Bureaucrats on the Move,” Southern Conference on Slavic Studies, April 2005, Nashville

“From the Alexander Nevsky Lavra:  Witte in 1915,” SCSS [March 2004, Savannah]

Roundtable:  Conceptualizing Space in Modern Russian History:  New Research (“Imperial Space and Imperial Imagination,”) AAASS [November 2003, Toronto]

“Pravitel’stvo i nauka (Government and Science),” VI International Colloquium, St. Petersburg, June 2000

“Memories of an Empire Past: A.M. Fadeev, Sergei Witte, and the Caucasus before 1861,” AAASS [Denver, 2000]

“Economic Visions in Late Imperial Russia: Deconstructing the Witte System,” AAASS  [St. Louis, November 1999]

“O nashikh kategoriiakh” (“Concerning Our Categories”), Commentator, “War and Society”, VI International Colloquium:  Russia in the First World War [European University and Institute of History, Russian Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg, Russian Federation, June 1998]

“Witte and Late Imperial Economic Thought,” SCSS [Chapel Hill, NC, April 1998]

“Roundtable:  Engendering the Russian History Survey,” AAASS [Seattle, 1997]

“Roundtable:  Russia’s Long Century, 1861-1991.  A Discussion about Teaching the Russian History Survey,” SCSS [Lexington, Ky, March 1997]

“War, Patriotism, and National Identity in Russia, 1904-1917,” Discussant, AAASS [Boston, 1996]

“Making Societies: Knowledge and Authority in Twentieth Century Russia,” Discussant, AAASS [Boston, 1996]

“Roundtable:  Thirty Years after the Haimson Thesis: A Discussion of Late Imperial Historiography,” SCSS [Asheville, NC, April 1996].

“A Comparative View of Graduate Education in the United States:  1970s vs. 1990s,” Modern Europe Seminar, School of History, University of Leeds [May 1995]

“Witte’s Views of Empire,” Conference of British Association for Slavonic and East European Study [Cambridge, UK, March 1995]


“Witte, Autocracy, and Empire:  Dreaming in the Late 19th Century,” AAASS [Philadelphia, Pa; November 1994]

“Witte’s Memories of the 1905 Revolution,” AAASS [Phoenix, November 1992]

“The Zemstvo and the Emergence of Civil Society in Late Imperial Russia,” Discussant, American Historical Association [Chicago, December 1991].

“Roundtable:  Stolypin ‘Voskres’:  The Resurrection of P. A. Stolypin?  A Reconsideration of Late Imperial History,” AAASS [Miami, November 1991]

“Economics and History in Imperial Russia,” Discussant, SCSS [Savannah, March 1991]

“Otnoshenie mezhdu mestnym i tsentral’nym pravitel’stvom,” International Colloquium on the Development of the Revolutionary Situation in Early Twentieth Century Russia, USSR Academy of Sciences, Institute of History, Leningrad Division [Leningrad, June 1990]

“Witte’s Early Years and the World of Nineteenth Century Russian Officialdom,” AAASS [Chicago, November 1989]

“Restructuring Rural Society:  Law and Administration in the Editing Commissions,” Conference on the Great Reforms in Russian History, 1861-1874 [Philadelphia, May 1989]

“Isolation and Defeat:  Bureaucratic Reform on the Eve of the First World War,” SCSS [Charleston, October 1988]

“The Politics of Social Welfare in Russia, 1864-1917,” Discussant, AAASS [Boston, October 1987]

“Imperial Russian Bureaucratic Reform at the End of the Old Regime:  An Appraisal,”  Tennessee Conference of Historians [Vanderbilt University, March 1986]

“Bureaucratic Reform in Tsarist Russia:  A Work in Progress,” Harriman Institute Seminar Series [January 1984]

“The Stolypin Program of Local Reforms,” American Historical Association [Washington, D.C., December 1982].


Teaching-Related Activities introduced at Vanderbilt:


Medieval and Early Modern Russia

Imperial Russia to 1917

Soviet and Post-Soviet History

European Civilization since 1700

Interdisciplinary Lecture Course, Concepts of Liberty

Comparative Revolutions in China and Russia (team-taught)

b)undergraduate seminars

Demise of the Soviet Empire

Russian Revolutionary Era, 1890-1929

Late Imperial Russian Intellectual History

Agrarian Russia from Serfdom to Collectivization

Images of Men and Women in Modern Russian History

Undergraduate Honors:  Introduction to Methods and Research

Undergraduate Honors:  Senior Thesis Seminar

c)graduate seminars:

The Russian Revolution

Historical Methods and Research


2.master’s and ph.d. graduate students

Julie Deanne Blagojevich, “A Survey of Recent American Scholarship on Imperial Russian Orthodoxy, 1977-2000:  A Reconsideration of the Late Imperial Church and Its Clergy,” MLAS Master’s Essay, 2007.

Alison Felter Salka, “Ethnonational Support in Post-Soviet Republics: Identity, Incentives, and the Role of Interethnic Relations”, VU Ph.D., 2002 (reader)

Joel Harris Dark, Jr., “Religion and Refugees in Postwar Germany,” VU Ph.D., 1998 (reader)

Carol Gale Woodfin, “Reluctant Democrats: Women of the Protestant Frauenhilfe and Weimar Politics, 1918-1933,” VU Ph.D., 1997 (reader)


Cecilia Stiles Cornell, “James V. Forrestal and American National Security Policy, 1940-1949,” VU Ph.D., 1987 (reader)

Hugh Daniel Phillips, “Between the Revolution and the West:  A Political Biography of Maksim M. Litvinov,” VU Ph.D., 1986 (adviser)

Susan Morrison, “Dostoevskij’s The Insulted and the Injured:  a Transitional Novel,” VU Ph.D., 1984 (reader)


4) undergraduate research projects supervised

History Department Baccalaureate Honors Theses; European Studies Baccalaureate Honors Theses; Vanderbilt University Summer Research Project, 1993; independent research projects in History and European Studies.

Director, History Honors Program, 2000-2002, 1997-99, 1995-96, 1992-94



1.To Department

Chair, Promotion and Tenure Committees (McDaniel, 2000-2001; Igarashi, 1999-2000)

Director of Undergraduate Studies 1990-1994

Member, Undergraduate Studies Committee 1989-1990, 1998-2000, 2006-11

Member, Graduate Studies Committee, 1997-98, 1995-1996

Member, Library Committee, 1984-1987

Recorder, 1986-1987

2. To the College

“From Soviet Power to the PostSoviet World.  The Transformation of Russian Society, 1978-1996,” Dean of the College of A&S’s Meet the Faculty Luncheon, Nashville, TN [March 1998]

Chair, College Admissions Committee, 2003-5 and 1999-2001 (chair)

Chair, Faculty Working Group on Admissions and Liberal Education, 1999-2000

Member, A&S Faculty Council, 1997-98, 1993-94

Member, Slavic Language and Area Center, 1984-present

Member, European Studies Program (guest lecturer, EUS 201, 1984-present)

Member, College Program Committee, 1997-99, 1995-96

Member, History and Culture Subcommittee of CPC, 1997-99

Member, Social Science Subcommittee of CPC, 1988-1989, 1995-96

Member, Committee on Academic Standards and Practices, 1989-1991, 1993-94

Member, Social Science Subcommittee of URC, 1990-1991

Freshman Adviser, 1986-1987

Pre-Major Adviser, 1985-1986, 1998-2000

3. To University:

“Cold War Means Little to Internet Generation,” The Tennessean:  May 23, 2007; 14A

Faculty VUceptor, Vanderbilt Visions, 2006-11

Director, Vanderbilt-in England, University of Leeds, 1994-95

University Senator, 2002-2003, 1992-1995

Member (1989-1990) and Chair (1991), Officer Education Advisory Committee

Interviews with local television, radio, and newspapers:  November 1986 (Reykjavik summit); December 1988 (Gorbachev at United Nations); August-December 1991 (August Revolution); summer-fall 1993 (WLAC-AM); BBC-Radio Leeds (November 1994 U.S. Congressional elections)

Contributor, Impact Magazine (February 1986) [“What Can the Historian Possibly Add?  Reflections on Russian and Soviet History”]

“The Russian Empire:  18th Century to 1917 Revolution,” six lectures, OSHER Senior Learning Institute, VU, October-November 2010

“Traveling Over Two Millennia:  Empires and Civilizations in the Eastern Mediterranean” AND “A History of Croatia   Why Historians Wrestle with ‘The Problem of National Identity,’ ” Vanderbilt Alumni Association Lecture Tour, Adriatic Sea, May 2010.

“20th-Century Soviet and Post-Soviet History,” six lectures, OSHER Senior Learning Institute, VU, October-November 2009

“Russian History and the Black Sea,” Vanderbilt Alumni Association Lecture Tour, Black Sea, summer 2007

“Lectures on Polish History, early modern-present,” Vanderbilt Alumni Association Lecture Tour, Krakow and Warsaw, summer 2006

“The End of the USSR and a Look to the Future,” Vanderbilt University Parents’ Weekend Faculty Lecture Series, April 2004

“Russian History, Kiev to the Present,” six lectures, OSHER Senior Learning Institute, October-November 2004

“A Romanov Family Album,” Vanderbilt University Alumni Clubs of Nashville and Memphis, Brooks Museum (“Jewels of the Romanovs”), Memphis, TN [December 1997, January 1998]

“Notes on the Memories of Liudmila Petrovna,” Vanderbilt University Senior Learning [Spring 1997]

“D-Day and the War in the East,” Vanderbilt University Alumni Reunion [May 1994]

“Vignettes from Russian History,” Vanderbilt University Alumni Trip, Russian Federation [March 1994]”

“Historian Ponders What Happened to the Former U.S.S.R.,” Vanderbilt University Alumni Club of Louisville [May 1992]

“Eighteenth-Century Imperial Russia,” Vanderbilt University Alumni Club of Dallas [Nov. 1992]

“The Changing U.S.S.R,” Vanderbilt University Alumni Reunion [May 1991]

“The Russia of Catherine the Great,” Vanderbilt University Alumni Club of Memphis [April 1991]

4.To Profession

President, Southern Conference on Slavic Studies, 2007-8

President-elect, Southern Conference on Slavic Studies, 2006-7

member, executive committee, Southern Conference on Slavic Studies,  2002-2005

program co-director, Organizing Committee, VI International Colloquium (“Science and Power” [Vlast’ i nauka; nauka i vlast’]), St. Petersburg Institute of History, European University of St. Petersburg, Rutgers University, Southern Methodist University, and Vanderbilt University: St. Petersburg, Russian Federation, June 2000

program chair, Southern Conference on Slavic Studies 1998 Conference (Durham-Chapel Hill), March 1998

member, American Historical Association

member, American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies

member, Southern Conference on Slavic Studies

Outside Reader/Referee:  Kritika; Slavic Review; Russian Review; Cornell University Press; McGill University Press; Northern Illinois University Press; The Annenberg/CPB Project (“The Other Side of Europe”); Houghton Mifflin.


5. To the Community

“Russia Today”.  Shepherd’s Center “Adventures in Learning Adult Education,” Belle Meade Methodist Church, Nashville, TN [13 Oct. 1997]

“Russia’s Current Crisis: Report of an American in Russia in 1996” United Nations Association Foreign Affairs Seminar [Nashville, TN], October 1996

“Dear Mom: My Impressions of England,” Leeds University School of History Third-Year Christmas Banquet, Leeds, UK [Dec. 1994]

“Is the Twentieth Century Ending on a Happy Note?  The Example of Soviet History,” Nashville Chapter of the United Nations Association [Nov. 1991]

“A Lesson in Twentieth-Century Soviet History,” Harpeth Hall Academy [Spring 1991]

“What Happened to the Former U.S.S.R.,” NAIOP annual dinner [autumn 1991]

“After the Wall Came Tumbling Down: Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union in the 1990s,” Belle Meade Women’s Club [April 1990]

“Iraq and the U.S.S.R.,” First Unitarian Church, Nashville [Spring 1990]

“Tsarist Russia and the Romanov Dynasty,” The Centennial Club Lecture Series, Nashville, TN [January 1989]

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