Steven Seegel is an associate professor of history, and came to UNC in 2008. His interests are in the intellectual and political history of Imperial Russia, the USSR and successor states, and modern East Central Europe. He received his Ph.D. from Brown University, in Russian and European History, in 2006. He is the author of books and articles on the history of East European geography and geopolitics, the spatial turn, and critical cartography. Internationally engaged as a researcher, he has presented his work in the United States as well as in England, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Russia, Sweden, and Ukraine.
His first book was Ukraine under Western Eyes (Harvard University Press, 2011), re-released by Harvard in 2013 with a DVD of 95 maps. It is a profile of the life and maps of Bohdan Krawciw (1904-1975), the multilingual Ukrainian poet, cultural activist, translator of Rainer Maria Rilke, and émigré journalist in North America. The project was executed while he was a Shklar postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute, where he also curated an exhibition. The Krawciw Ucrainica Collection today is the largest single collection of maps of Ukraine outside the country, and is now stored at Harvard’s Pusey Library.
His critically acclaimed second book, Mapping Europe’s Borderlands: Russian Cartography in the Age of Empire (University of Chicago Press, 2012), was nominated in 2013 for the Joseph Rothschild Prize of the Association for the Study of Nationalities. Various reviews have appeared in the American Historical Review, Austrian History Yearbook, Canadian Slavonic Papers, Cartographica, Choice, Foreign Affairs, H-Net, Imago Mundi, Isis, the Journal of Historical Geography, Nationalities Papers, Polish Review, the Times Literary Supplement, and other venues.
In addition, he has reviewed books for the American Historical Review, Ab Imperio, Austrian History Yearbook, Canadian Slavonic Papers, H-Habsburg, H-Urban, Imago Mundi, Kritika, Nationalities Papers, Nations and Nationalism, Pol-Int (Viadrina), and Slavic Review. He has contributed to the international History of Cartography series. He has served as a translator for nearly 300 entries from Russian and Polish sources and survivor testimonies for the award-winning Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos, 1933-1945. The first books in the seven-volume series were published recently by Indiana University Press and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
His third book project, Map Wars, is a microstudy of the entangled modern lives and transnational careers of six geographers across East Central Europe, from the 1870s to the 1950s. He has introduced parts of the manuscript at Uppsala University (Sweden), Columbia University, the Polish Academy of Sciences in Berlin, Indiana University, Pomona College, the University of California, San Diego, Harvard’s Radcliffe Institute and Ukrainian Research Institute, and the Herder-Institut in Marburg, Germany.
He was named the UNC College Scholar for the Humanities and Social Sciences during the 2013-14 academic year. He is on sabbatical in 2014-15.
At UNC, Dr. Seegel in his courses tends to look to disciplines well beyond history in order to find inspiration and innovation. He invites students to undertake the challenge of learning—and teaching oneself—how to read, write, research, and think independently about what historians do in their everyday craft, in relation to the liberal arts, science and technology, and rapidly changing fields in the spatial humanities and GIS.
During Fall 2014, Dr. Seegel is on sabbatical.
Download Dr. Seegel’s curriculum vitae.