Mayhill Fowler

Associate Professor of History Director of SPREES, Stetson's Program in Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies

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. She is a former actress, trained in history at Princeton, and has taught at the University of Toronto, the Ukrainian Catholic University and at various summer schools across Ukraine.

  • PhD, history, Princeton University, 2011
  • MA, history, Princeton University, 2007
  • MFA, acting, National Theater Conservatory, 2000
  • BA, Russian, Yale University, 1996


Mayhill Fowler


Mayhill C. Fowler, PhD, is Associate Professor in the Department of History and is director of SPREES, Stetson's Program in Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies. She came to Stetson in 2013 to teach Russian and East European history and culture. She holds a PhD in History from Princeton University, a BA in Slavic Languages and Literatures from Yale University, and an MFA in Acting from the National Theater Conservatory. She has published widely on culture in Ukraine. Her first book, Beau Monde on Empire's Edge: State and Stage in Soviet Ukraine (Toronto, 2017), explains the making of culture both Soviet and Ukrainian through a collective biography of artists and officials in the 1920s and 1930s. She is now completing two projects: War Stories: Theater on the Frontlines of Socialism and Comrade Actress: Soviet Ukrainian Women on the Stage and Behind the Scenes. She was a postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute (2012) an d the Petro Jacyk Postdoctoral Fellow at University of Toronto (2012-2013). She won the John Hague Award for Distinguished Teaching in the Liberal Arts and Sciences in 2018, teaches in summer workshops in Ukraine every year, and was thrilled to be a Fulbright Research Scholar in Ukraine for the 2019-2020 academic year.

More About Mayhill Fowler

Areas of Expertise

  • Ukraine
  • Theater
  • Culture in Eastern Europe
  • Art and Politics

Course Sampling

  • 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
  • Introduction to Public History
  • Arts and Revolution: Theater


  • Beau Monde on Empire's Edge: State and Stage in Soviet Ukraine (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2017).

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

  • "Introduction: Ukraine in Revolution, 1917-1922" and "The Geography of Revolutionary Art," in Critical Discussion Forum organized with contributions by three other scholars for Slavic Review, vol. 78, no. 4 (Winter 2019): 931-934 and 957-964.
  • "What was Soviet and Ukrainian about Soviet Ukrainian Culture?: Mykola Kulish's Myna Mazailo on the Soviet Stage," Nationalities Papers, vol. 47, no. 3 (May 2019): 355-365.
  • "Jews, Ukrainians, Soviets?: Backstage in the Yiddish Theaters of Soviet Ukraine," Jewish Culture and History, vol. 18, no. 2 (Spring 2017): 152-169.
  • "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.
  • "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.
  • "Yiddish Theater in Soviet Ukraine: A Re-Evaluation of Jewish-Slavic Relations in the Arts," Ab Imperio 2011/3 (December 2011): 167-188.

Peer-Reviewed Book Chapters

  • "Guns, Money, and the Muse: New Patronage in the Russian Civil War," in Victor Emeljanow, ed., War and Theatrical Innovation, Palgrave Studies in Theater and Performance (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017), 121-138.
  • "'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.

Reviewed by Editorial Boards

  • "Beyond Ukraine or Little Russia: Going Global with Culture in Ukraine," The Future of the Past: New Perspectives on Ukrainian History, ed. Serhii Plokhy (Cambridge: Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute, 2016), 249-274; reprinted in Harvard Ukrainian Studies, vol. 34, no. 1-4 (2015-2016): 259-286.

Other Writing

  • "Berezil: Theater as Institution in Soviet Ukraine," in Myroslava Mudrak and Tetiana Rudenko, eds., Staging the Ukrainian Theatrical Avant-Garde of the 1920s and 1920s (NYC: Ukrainian Museum, 2015): 140-155; catalogue won the Alfred H. Barr award at the College Art Association Conference 2016.
  • "The Word in a time of War: Mayhill Fowler on Serhiy Zhadan," Asymptote, October 2014