Leah Goldman, Ph.D.
Visiting Assistant Professor of European History
Leah Goldman is the Visiting Assistant Professor in European History at Washington & Jefferson College. She earned her Ph.D. in Russian and European History from the University of Chicago. Before coming to W&J, she taught Russian history, European history, and humanities at Reed College, Lewis & Clark College, and Northern Arizona University and held a Fellowship at the Center for Slavic, Eurasian, and East European Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
As a cultural historian, Dr. Goldman investigates the interplay of cultural production and state authority in the Soviet Union through the lens of classical music. Her current book manuscript, Creative Comrades: Censorship and Collaboration in Late-Stalinist Music, examines Soviet classical music censorship during the late-Stalinist repression of the intelligentsia. Her research demonstrates the uniquely collaborative nature of authorship and censorship in Soviet music in this era while reforming our conceptualization of censorship itself within and beyond the Soviet context. Dr. Goldman is also pursuing research projects that explore the intersection of cultural production and national identity politics in the Soviet and post-Soviet space. This work includes case studies of minority composers’ position in the Soviet musical hierarchy and an attempt at musical reclamation of the Crimean Peninsula by a contemporary Russian artist. In addition, Dr. Goldman has embarked on a book-length study of the Stalinist and post-Stalinist effort to create “national” operas for the Soviet Central Asian republics, as a soft power mechanism for legitimizing Soviet authority in the region.
Dr. Goldman has presented research at a variety of national and international conferences and has published articles in Journal of Musicology, Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas, and Perspectives on Europe. In collaboration with a group of Chicago-based scholars, she co-curated an exhibit of Soviet children’s literature at the University of Chicago’s Regenstein Library Special Collections Research Center and contributed to the published catalog, Adventures in the Soviet Imaginary: Children’s Books and Graphic Art. As an interdisciplinary scholar, Dr. Goldman has brought together historians, musicologists, and other scholars of culture as co-founder and president of the Russian, Eastern European, and Eurasian Music Study Group. She is also a member of the public history network Women Also Know History and welcomes opportunities to speak to the public about the history and current events in Russia and Europe.
At W&J, Dr. Goldman teaches courses in Russian, Soviet, and European history in the modern era. In approaching these subjects, she emphasizes their transnational and comparative dimensions and introduces students to a range of methodological and interdisciplinary perspectives. Through community building and collaborative learning, she encourages students to engage directly with the sources, reconsider their assumptions, and draw their own evidence-based conclusions about the past and how it has shaped the world around them. Dr. Goldman has also advised senior theses in Russian history, European history, international history, history of empire, Jewish history, and cultural history.