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Joseph Kellner

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Assistant Professor

Joseph Kellner teaches Russian and Soviet history, and was previously a lecturer in Russian and global history at the University of California, Berkeley. His forthcoming book, The Spirit of Socialism: Culture and Belief at the Soviet Collapse, is a cultural history of the collapse of the USSR, focused on the highly visible flourishing of radical spiritual movements and worldviews that emerged in Soviet cities at that time. The manuscript is comprised of four case studies, each examining problems that Soviet people faced, and the beliefs—esoteric or dogmatic, foreign or homespun, utopian or apocalyptic—that offered solutions. These histories speak to the nature of Soviet ideology, exposed as it unraveled, and to the common features of societies undergoing crisis. The book is due out in 2025.

Dr. Kellner is also co-editing a primary source reader on settler-colonialism in the history of the Russian Empire, tentatively titled Red Against Empire. The book collects and translates academic and popular writing by early Bolshevik historians, who sought to correct flattering self-depictions of the Russian Empire by earlier imperial historians, and in their place, enter Russian history into the global record of exploitative settler-colonialism and indigenous erasure. These texts, which were suppressed (often with their authors) in the Stalin era, have never been translated, and are all but forgotten in contemporary Russia. The new translations will be published alongside commentaries by experts on settler-colonialism from a wide range of disciplines and area specializations. 

Finally, Dr. Kellner is slowly reviving earlier work on the Soviet-Finnish border, and dusting off his Finnish language textbooks. 


Ph.D. History, University of California, Berkeley (2018)


Events featuring Joseph Kellner
101 LeConte Hall

This installment of the Department of History's undergraduate lecture series welcomes Dr. Joseph Kellner to our history faculty. 

Joey Kellner teaches Russian and Soviet history, and was previously a lecturer in Russian and global history at the University of California, Berkeley.

Free admission, free lunch! (Box lunches will be distributed at…

221 LeConte Hall

Please join us as the history department’s Soviet expert, Dr. Joey Kellner, will explain Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and answer questions from students about the crisis.

A FREE and public event.

101 LeConte Hall

In a two-part mini-series, experts from UGA's history faculty will provide context and answer questions on the crises of the day: first Dr. Joseph Kellner on the war in Ukraine, then Dr. Kevin Jones on the major, ongoing protests in Iran.

This is a free and public event.

Refreshments will be served.

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