Steven Seegel is an associate professor of history who began teaching at UNC in 2008. His interests are in the intellectual and political history of Russia, the USSR and successor states, and modern East Central Europe. He received his Ph.D. from Brown University in 2006. He is the author of many books and articles on the history of East European geography and geopolitics, the spatial turn, and critical cartography. Engaged internationally as a researcher, he has presented his work in the United States as well as in the Czech Republic, England, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Russia, Sweden, and Ukraine.
His first book, Ukraine under Western Eyes (Harvard University Press, 2011), was re-released by Harvard in 2013 with a DVD of 95 maps. It profiles 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 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, permanently stored at Harvard’s Pusey Library.
His second book, Mapping Europe’s Borderlands: Russian Cartography in the Age of Empire (University of Chicago Press, 2012), was critically acclaimed and nominated in 2013 for the Joseph Rothschild Prize of the Association for the Study of Nationalities. 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.
His third book (under review) is a transnational microhistory of the entangled modern lives and careers of six geographers in East Central Europe from the 1870s to the 1950s. He has introduced chapters at Uppsala University in 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 Institute in Marburg, Germany. The full manuscript is a product, along with several articles, of his 2014-2015 sabbatical from UNC.
Dr. Seegel has reviewed books for the American Historical Review, Ab Imperio, Austrian History Yearbook, Canadian Slavonic Papers, H-Habsburg, H-Urban, H-Nationalism, Imago Mundi, Kritika, Nationalities Papers, Nations and Nationalism, Pol-Int (Viadrina), and Slavic Review. He has contributed to the ongoing six-volume 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 by Indiana University Press and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
At UNC, Dr. Seegel was named the UNC College Scholar for the Humanities and Social Sciences during the 2013-14 year. He spent time during his UNC sabbatical on separate grants as a visiting fellow at the Herder-Institute and the Center for Urban History of East Central Europe in L’viv, Ukraine. In addition to doing new archival research on the history of civil aviation and transport in Eastern Europe, he gave lectures on the history of Russian foreign policy at the Prague University of Economics, in the Czech Republic.
In each of his courses at UNC, Dr. Seegel looks to disciplines beyond history proper in order to find inspiration and innovation. He invites his students to undertake the challenge of learning—and teaching oneself—how to read, write, research, and think independently about how historians go about their business. He encourages his students to undertake careful study of the liberal arts, the global history of science and technology, and rapidly changing fields in the spatial humanities and GIS.
During Fall 2015 – Spring 2016, Dr. Seegel is teaching the following courses:
HIST 121: Western Civilization since 1689
HIST 283: Russian Cultural History
HIST 386: Twentieth Century Russia
HIST 388: Imperial Russia
HIST 589: Empires, Nations, Borders
Download Dr. Seegel’s curriculum vitae.