Professor Sarah Cameron is a historian of Russia and the Soviet Union, with a particular research interest in the societies and cultures of Central Asia.
Her book manuscript in progress, “The Hungry Steppe: Famine, Mass Violence and the Making of Soviet Kazakhstan,” examines a little known episode of Stalinist modernization, the Kazakh famine of 1930-33. More than 1.5 million people, a quarter of Kazakhstan’s population, perished in this disaster. Those Kazakhs who survived abandoned their nomadic way of life for a settled one, dramatically altering the social profile and landscape of the surrounding Central Asian region.
Using this case study, she asks questions about the nature of Soviet development and nation-building, particularly in light of the experiences of other European empires. Her other research interests include the relationship between agrarian and non-agrarian peoples, environmental history, and the study of mass violence.
Prior to coming to the University of Maryland, Dr. Cameron held fellowships at the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society in Munich, Germany, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC, and an ACLS/Mellon fellowship at Yale University’s MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies. She received her PhD from Yale University, where her dissertation won the John Addison Porter Prize for the best dissertation in the Arts and Sciences (co-winner, 2011) and the Turner Prize for the most outstanding dissertation in European History (2011).