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Joshua Sanborn, assistant professor of history at Lafayette, has received a fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) to conduct research on Russia’s Eastern Front in World War I.

Entitled “Life in the Killing Zone: Soldiers, Civilians and the Ecosystem of War in Russia,” Sanborn’s project will examine the interrelationship between civilians and military men in front-line areas of the Eastern Front.

Sanborn was one of just 66 scholars selected from a pool of 721 applicants for ACLS fellowships, which permit scholars to devote a full year to research and writing. Lafayette is among 50 institutions whose faculty members received fellowships this year.

Sanborn will do the research while on leave from Lafayette during the upcoming academic year.

Sanborn joined the Lafayette faculty in 1999. He holds a Ph.D. in Russian history from the University of Chicago, where his dissertation topic was “Drafting the Nation: Military Conscription and the Formation of a Modern Polity in Tsarist and Soviet Russia.” He holds a master’s degree in history from the University of Chicago and a bachelor’s degree in history from Stanford University.

Among the classes Sanborn has taught at Lafayette are Introduction to the Modern World; Imperial Russia; 20th Century Russia; Imperialism, Nationalism and Communism in the Balkans; and a seminar on Stalinism.

During the last academic year he mentored Shannon Tyburczy, a 2001 summa cum laude graduate from Nazareth, Pa., in a senior 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.

Tyburczy says, “I could always go in and talk to professor Sanborn, who spent a lot of time helping me. 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.”

Sanborn 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.

He 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.

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