Mayhill Fowler, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of History, Director of Russian, Eastern European and Eurasian Studies

Mayhill Fowler teaches and researches the cultural history of Russia, Ukraine and Eastern Europe. She focuses in particular on the intersection of artists, states, and publics, and how different kinds of state systems shape creative production.

Transnational history, urban studies and the social history of the arts are among her interests. Her research centers on Ukraine: a place of diversity, change, and rich history. Fowler has presented at many conferences, from North America to Ukraine to Russia, and has multiple publications in edited volumes and journals.

Her first book, Beau Monde at Empire's Edge: State and Stage in Soviet Ukraine (Toronto, 2017), 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 Soviet military entertainment, from World War II to today - with a comparative eye to Bob Hope and the USO. She is also working on articles on the transformation of theatrical infrastructure in today's Ukraine, and the figure of the Soviet actress.

She translates from various Slavic languages, enjoys side projects on Yiddish theater and 19th century itinerant theater artists, and travels to Ukraine every summer. 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. She has written for New Eastern Europe and CNN and argues for the importance of culture and the arts in understanding societies.

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

  • Beau Monde on Empire's Edge: State and Stage in Soviet Ukraine (University of Toronto Press, 2017)
  • "Jews, Ukrainians, Soviets?: Backstage in the Yiddish Theaters of Soviet Ukraine," Jewish Culture and History, vol. 18, no. 2 (Spring 2017), 152-169.
  • "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.
  • "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.
  • "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.
  • "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]" PrzegÅ‚Ä...d Filozoficzno-literackie: kwartalnik (special issue on Modernism), 36/2 (summer 2013).
  • "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.


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