Stephen Brain

Stephen Brain

Stephen Brain

Associate Professor. Co-Editor of Environmental History, the journal of the American Society for Environmental History and the Forest History Society

Soviet/Russian History, Environmental History, Forest History



  • Ph.D. in History, University of California-Berkeley, May 2007. 
    Advisor: Yuri Slezkine 
    "Transforming Nature: The Russian Forest and the Soviet State, 1900-1953", Ph.D. dissertation 
  • Master of Arts in Humanities, California State University, Dominguez Hills, 2000. 
  • Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Ecology, 1994

Academic Career

  • Southern Federal University, Rostov-on-Don, Russia.
    Visiting Professor, September 2013—May 2014. Courses Taught: World Environmental History; Western Historiography.
  • Mississippi State University.
    Associate Professor, August 2013-Present 
  • Mississippi State University.
    Assistant Professor, August 2007-July 2013. 
  • Courses Taught: World Environmental History; History of Russia; History of the Soviet Union; Early Western World; Modern Western World; Europe 1914-1945; Europe Since 1945; Western Civilization Since 1500; Europe 1789-1991; Totalitarianism and Authoritarianism; Graduate Historiography. 


  • "The Environmental History of the Soviet Union," in J. R. McNeill and Erin C. S. Mauldin, eds., A Companion to Global Environmental History (Chichester, UK: Wiley-Blackwell, 2012), 222-243.
  • "Новый взгляд на уничтожение заповедников в СССР в 1950-е гг." ("The Destruction of the Zapovedniki Revisited"), Историко-биологические исследования (Studies in the History of Biology) Volume 4, No. 1 (Spring 2012): 57-82.
  • Song of the Forest: Russian Forestry and Stalin's Environmentalism, (Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, October 2011. ISBN: 978-08-229-61659.
  • "The Christian Environmental Ethic of the Russian Pomor," Ecozona: The European Journal of Literature, Culture and the Environment Vol. 2, No. 2 (Autumn 2011): 60-82.[Due for republication in a volume edited by Nicholas Breyfogle, forthcoming from the University of Pittsburgh Press in 2013.]
  • "Stalin's Environmentalism", Russian Review Vol. 69, no. 1 (January 2010): 93-118.
  • "The Great Stalin Plan for the Transformation of Nature," Environmental History Vol 15, no. 4 (October 2010): 1-31. 

Honors & Awards

  • Fulbright Grant, Southern Federal University, Rostov-on-Don, Russia, 2013-14.
  • Visiting Scholar, Harvard University (Davis Center for Russian Studies), Fall 2010
  • National Science Foundation Working Group, Arkhangel'sk, Russia, Summer 2010
  • George Breslauer Dissertation Fellowship, 2006
  • Fulbright Fellowship, Moscow, Russia, 2005-2006
  • FLAS Fellowship, 2002-2003
  • University of Arizona Graduate College Fellowship, 2001

Research Experience

  • Eighteen-month research trip in Moscow, Russia; work in the State Archive of the Russian Federation (GARF), the Russian State Economic Archive (RGAE), the Moscow Oblast Regional Archive (TsGAMO), and the Archive of the Communist Party (RGASPI). 

Professional Associations

  • Russian Academy of Sciences
  • Fellow, Institute of History of Science and Technology, 2005-2006.
  • American Society of Environmental Historians
  • American Historical Association
  • Alpha Zeta Agricultural Honors Society

<< Return to Faculty Page