Elizabeth A. Wood
Professor of History at MIT and Co-Director of the MIT-Russia Program
Elizabeth Wood is Professor of History at MIT, where she teaches Russian history as well as courses on Soviet and Post-Soviet Politics and Society. A graduate of Harvard (A.B., 1980) and the University of Michigan (PhD, 1991), she has worked in the fields of Russian history, literature, and politics for her whole academic career. Since 2011 she has co-directed the MIT-Russia Program, which is dedicated to building bridges between MIT and Russia, especially in the areas of science and technology, supporting faculty research as well as programs to send students (both undergraduates and graduates) to Russia to work in internships in their fields of study. At MIT she also oversees the Russian Language Program which she helped to reinstate after a long hiatus.
In scholarly work Elizabeth Wood has written both in the fields of Soviet history and in current Russian affairs. Her first book, The Baba and the Comrade: Gender and Politics in Revolutionary Russia (Indiana University Press, 1997), analyzes Bolshevik policies toward women and gender during the Russian Civil War and the New Economic Policy. From there she turned to a study of mock trials performed in the 1920s in her monograph, Performing Justice: Agitation Trials in Early Soviet Russia (Cornell University Press, 2005). Most recently, she co-authored Roots of Russia’s War in Ukraine (Woodrow Wilson Center Press/Columbia University Press, 2016) with William Pomeranz, Wayne Merry, and Maxim Trudolyubov, in which she examined the role of Crimea as a “short victorious war” for Russian President Vladimir Putin.
In service to the field Wood has served as Program Chair for ASEEES in 2008-2009 and Program Committee member in 2007-2010 and 2012; member of the Tucker/Cohen Prize Committee for an outstanding doctoral dissertation in 2006-2008 and the W. Bruce Lincoln Prize Committee for the best first book manuscript in 2004. She has also been a member of the Association of Women in Slavic Studies (AWSS) since its founding in the late 1980s. She has served as Board member and Vice-Chair of the National Council for Eurasian and East European Research (NCEEER), and on the editorial boards of Problems of Post-Communism and Gender and History. In Russia she has served on the International Council for the St. Petersburg University of Information Technology, Mechanics and Optics (ITMO). In May 2007 she lectured as Visiting Professor at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris, while in the summers of 2009 and 2010 she directed Harvard University’s Summer School Program in St. Petersburg, and in spring 2015 she held a fellowship at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, DC. She speaks Russian and French fluently, as well as having some reading knowledge of German and Spanish. Most recently she has spoken to a group of members of Congress about U.S.-Russian relations.