Mayhill Fowler

Assistant Professor of History

Mayhill Fowler teaches and researches the cultural history of Russia, Ukraine and Eastern Europe. She focuses in particular on how different kinds of state systems shape creativity, and how diversity leads to innovation.

Transnational history, urban studies and the social history of the arts are among her interests. Fowler has presented at many conferences, from North America to Ukraine to Russia, and has several publications in edited volumes and journals.

Her forthcoming book, "Beau Monde at Empire's Edge: State and Stage in Soviet Ukraine," explains the creation of the Soviet cultural periphery through the story of the rise and fall of a milieu of artists and officials in the 1920s and 1930s. Her next project focuses on military entertainment, from World War II to today, in Ukraine, Poland, and Russia - with a comparative eye to Bob Hope and the USO.

She translates from various Slavic languages, enjoys a side project on Yiddish theater and 19th century itinerant artists, and is tracing the collapse of the Soviet cultural infrastructure across the post-Soviet space. She has taught at Princeton University, the Ukrainian Catholic University and the University of Toronto, as well as at a summer school of Jewish history in Lviv, Ukraine.

Before coming to Stetson University, Fowler held postdoctoral fellowships at Harvard University and the University of Toronto. Fowler is also a former professional actress, and even performed once in Florida in 2003.


  • Ph.D., Princeton University, 2011
  • M.A., Princeton University, 2007
  • M.F.A., National Theater Conservatory, 2000
  • B.A., Yale University, 1996

Course Topics

  • Modern Western Civilization
  • The Russian Empire
  • The Soviet Century
  • Crossroads of Empire
  • Empire, Power, Culture: An Introduction to Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies
  • Money and the Muse in Russia: Methodologies of Cultural History
  • Approaches to History
  • Stalinism

Selected Publications

  • "Mikhail Bulgakov, Mykola Kulish, and Soviet Theater: How Internal Transnationalism Remade Center and Periphery," Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History, vol. 16, no. 2 (Spring 2015), 263-290.
  • "Berezil: Theater as Institution in Soviet Ukraine," chapter in catalogue for Staging the Ukrainian Theatrical Avant-Garde of the 1920s and 1920s, exhibition at the Ukrainian Museum, NYC, February 2015
  • "The Word in a time of War," article on Ukrainian poet Serhiy Zhadan for Asymptote, online literary journal, October 2014
  • "A Cesspool of Intrigues: Les Kurbas, Aleksandr Dovzhenko, and the Early Soviet Ukrainian Motion Picture Industry," in Canadian Slavonic Papers, vol. 56, nos. 1-2 (March-June 2014), 83-101.
  • "Na ulicy Prorizny: modernizm na Ukrainie [On Prorizna Street: Modernism in Ukraine]" Przegłąd Filozoficzno-literackie: kwartalnik (special issue on Modernism), 36/2 (summer 2013). Available online.
  • "Yiddish Theater in Soviet Ukraine: A Re-Evaluation of Jewish-Slavic Relations in the Arts," Ab Imperio 2011/3 (December 2011).
  • “'A Theatrical Mecca': The Stages of Kyiv in 1907,” Modernism in Kyiv: Jubilant Experimentation, edited by Virlana Tkacz and Irena Makaryk (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2010), 26-51.
  • Entries for the Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism on "Berezil Theater" and "Mykola Kulish"
  • Multiple pieces for Nowa Europa Wschodnia / New Eastern Europe: "Not Just a Woman," book review of Robert Massie, Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman (2/3, May-June 2012); "What is Unusual About the Borderlands" (2/4, July-August 2012); “Reflections on a Soviet Ukrainian Star: Bohdan Stupka 1941-2012,” (4/5 October 2012).


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