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Joshua Sanborn, assistant professor of history, has received an American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship for research that he will conduct while on leave during the upcoming school year.

Sanborn’s project is entitled “Life in the killing zone: soldiers, civilians and the ecosystem of war in Russia.” It will examine the interrelationship between civilians and military men in front-line areas of the Eastern Front of World War I.

Sanborn was one of 66 scholars selected from a pool of 721 applicants for the American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship. Lafayette is one of just 50 institutions to have a faculty member receive the fellowship this year.

In the past school year, Sanborn taught the classes Introduction to the Modern World; Imperial Russia; 20th Century Russia; Imperialism, Nationalism and Communism in the Balkans; and Seminar in Russian History – Stalinism.

Sanborn also mentored Shannon Tyburczy ’01 of Nazareth, Pa. in her honors thesis that examined the relationship between Russia’s last czar, Nicholas II, and the nation’s state assembly, the Duma. A double major in history and Russian and East European studies, Tyburczy was awarded a James Madison Fellowship to pursue a master’s degree in teaching with an emphasis on American constitutional history. The James Madison Fellowship is the leading award for secondary teachers undertaking the study of the Constitution, and will provide Tyburczy up to $24,000 over the next two years to complete her degree.

“With writing my thesis this year, I could always go in and talk to professor Sanborn, who spent a lot of time helping me,” says Tyburczy. “I don’ t know whether another school could have given me the opportunity where I could walk into his office and go over every page of my thesis, then hand it over to the review committee and get it back after the weekend. The faculty put a lot of time into helping me do my best and motivating me.”

Sanborn received a Ph.D. in Russian history from the University of Chicago in 1998, writing his dissertation on “Drafting the Nation: Military Conscription and the Formation of a Modern Polity in Tsarist and Soviet Russia.” He earned a master’s in history from the University of Chicago in 1993 and a bachelor’s degree in history from Stanford University in 1991. Before joining the Lafayette faculty in 1999, he was assistant professor of history at Stephen F. Austin State University in Texas.

Sanford has written numerous articles and reviews for academic journals, including Slavic Review, Russian History/Histoire Russe, Canadian Ethnic Studies/Etudes Ethniques au Canada, and Journal of Modern History, as well as for edited volumes in his field. He has given presentations at a number of conferences, including the Great War Society Convention, American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies Convention, American Historical Association Convention, Western Social Science Association Conference, Russian and Soviet Studies Workshop, Nations and Nationalism Workshop, and an international colloquium on “Russia in the First World War” held in St. Petersburg, Russia.

In addition to the American Council of Learned Societies, Sanborn has received fellowships from Lafayette, Princeton University, the Social Science Research Council, the Council for Advanced Studies in Peace and International Cooperation Fellowship, the Mellon Foundation, and the University of Chicago.

The American Council of Learned Societies is a private, nonprofit federation of 66 scholarly associations devoted to the advancement of humanistic studies in all fields of learning.

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