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Aaron J. Cohen

courses | education | papers and publications | research projects | professional associations

Contact Information

Professor and Chair
Tahoe Hall 3080
By appointment
Office phone
(916) 278-7209

Department of History
California State University, Sacramento
6000 J Street
Sacramento, CA 95819-6059 USA


  • History 51: World Civilizations, 1600-present (web only course)

  • History 129a: Medieval Russia

  • History 129b: Culture and Politics in Imperial Russia

  • History 129c: Twentieth Century Russia

  • History 130: The Fall of Communism (web only course)

  • History 200: History and Theory

  • History 400: The Teaching of History in College

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papers and publications

peer-reviewed monograph:

Imagining the Unimaginable: World War, Modern Art, and the Politics of Public Culture in Russia, 1914-1917 (Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 2008).

Find reviews in The Journal of Modern History (volume 82, number 3, September 2010, p. 762), Cultural and Social History (volume 7, number 1, March 2010, p. 133), Europe-Asia Studies (volume 62, number 1, 2010, p. 182), Revolutionary Russia (volume 22, issue 2, 2009, p. 233), Slavic Review (volume 68, number 4, Winter 2009, p. 982), The Russian Review (volume 68, issue 2, April 2009, p. 332), Cultural Politics (volume 5, number 3, 2009, p. 391-394), and The American Historical Review (volume 114, number 3, June 2009, p. 865).

Purchase from the University of Nebraska Press, Amazon.com, or wherever available.


peer-reviewed articles:

"'Our Russian Passport': First World War Monuments, Transnational Commemoration, and the Russian Emigration in Europe, 1918-39." The Journal of Contemporary History, vol. 49, no. 4 (October 2014): 627-651. Full text.

"Commemoration, Cult of the Fallen (Russian Empire)." 1914-1918-online. International Encyclopedia of the First World War. 2014. Full text.

"The Feast in the Time of Plague: The Russian Art World, Easel Painting, and the Experience of War and Revolution, 1914-22." In Russian Culture in War and Revolution, 1914-1922. Book 1: Popular Culture, the Arts, and Institutions. Ed. Murray Frame, Boris Kolonitskii, Steven G. Marks, and Melissa K. Stockdale. Bloomington, IN: Slavica Publishers, 2014.

"Russian Monuments to the First World War: Where Are They? Why Are They?" In Russian Culture in War and Revolution, 1914-1922. Book 2: Political Culture, Identities, Mentalities, and Memory. Ed. Murray Frame, Boris Kolonitskii, Steven G. Marks, and Melissa K. Stockdale. Bloomington, IN: Slavica Publishers, 2014.

"Long Ago and Far Away: War Monuments, Public Relations, and the Memory of the Russo-Japanese War in Russia, 1907-1914." The Russian Review, vol. 69, no. 3 (July 2010): 388-411. Full text.

"Oh, That! Myth, Memory, and World War I in the Russian Emigration and the Soviet Union." Slavic Review, vol. 62, no. 1 (Spring 2003): 69-86. Full text (JSTOR).

"Making Modern Art Russian: Artists, Politics, and the Tret'iakov Gallery during the First World War." Journal of the History of Collections, vol. 14, no. 2 (November 2002): 271-281. Full text.


other articles

"Profession and Politics: Modernism and the Rhetoric of Art Criticism in Late Imperial Russia, 1898-1917." In Critical Exchange: European Art Criticism of the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries, ed. Carol Adlam and Juliet Simpson. Oxford: Peter Lang, 2009.

"The Dress Rehearsal? Russian Realism and Modernism through War and Revolution." In Rethinking the Russo-Japanese War, 1904-05: A Centennial Perspective, Volume 1, ed. Rotem Kowner. Folkstone: Global Oriental Publishers, 2007.

"Bild und Spiegelbild: Deutschland in der russischen „Russkoe slovo" (1907–1917)" [Image and Reflection: Germany in the Russian newspaper "Russkoe Slovo" (1907-1917)]. In Deutsche und Deutschland aus russischer Sicht 19./20.Jahrhundert: Von den Reformen Alexanders II. bis zum Ersten Weltkrieg, ed. Dagmar Hermann. Munich: W. Fink, 2006.

"Flowers of Evil: Mass Media, Child Psychology, and the Struggle for Russia's Future during the First World War." In Children and War, ed. James Marten. New York: NYU Press, 2002.

"Vladimir Putin: Problem or Solution?" With Alexander Petrov. Analysis of Current Events (February 2002).

"Revolution und Emanzipation: Bilder der russischen Frau in der deutschen Öffentlichkeit" [Revolution and emancipation: Images of Russian women in the German public]. In Deutschland und die russische Revolution, 1917-1924, ed. Gerd Koenen. Munich: W. Fink, 1998.


selected conference participation, scholarships, and other professional activities:

"Chinese City, French Space, Russian Monument:  French Colonial Ideology, Russian Émigrés, and the Construction of the 1937 Pushkin Monument in Shanghai." Paper, French Colonial History Society. Siem Reap, Cambodia (2014).

"Masters of the Material World: The Russian Art World, the Avant-Garde, and the Experience of World War I, 1914–7." Paper, College Art Association of America. Chicago, IL (2014).

"The Feast in the Time of Plague: The Russian Art World, Easel Painting, and the Experience of War and Revolution, 1914–22." Paper, American Historical Association. Washington, DC (2014).

"Love in the Time of Cholera. The Russian Art World and the War Experience, 1914-1917." Paper, Russian Culture During the First World War and Revolution, 1914-1922. Clemson, SC (2011).

"Representing Losers as Winners in Imperialized Space: Russian Émigré Monuments in China, 1920- 1941." Paper, World History Association. Beijing, China (2011).

"Русские памятники Первой мировой войны. Где они? Почему они?" Paper, Российская культура в годы Мировой войны и революции (1914 – 1922). St. Petersburg, Russia (2011).

"Best Friends Forever: Memorials of the First World War in France, Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia through the experience of the Russian emigration, 1918-1939." Paper, California World History Association. Sacramento, CA (2010).

Fulbright Scholar, Helsinki, Finland (2007).

Discussant, American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies. Washington, DC (2006).

Roundtable participant, American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies. Salt Lake City, UT (2005).

"Teaching World History in California Secondary Schools." Paper, First European Congress of World and Global History. Leipzig, Germany (2005).

"Long Ago and Far Away: Remembering the Russo-Japanese War." Paper, American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies. Boston, MA (2004).

"The Dress Rehearsal? Russian Realism and Modernism through War and Revolution." Paper, The Russo-Japanese War and the Twentieth Century: An Assessment from a Centennial Perspective. The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the University of Haifa, Israel (2004).

"Profession or politics? Interpretations of Modernism in Russian art criticism 1898-1917." Paper, Art Criticism, 1700-1900: Emergence, Development, Interchange in Eastern and Western Europe. University of Exeter, UK (2003).

"Can Computer Bulletin Boards Replace Traditional Class Meetings?" Web poster originally for the Visible Knowledge Project (VKP), Georgetown University Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship. You can also find discussion of this project as a case study at the TLT group and the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning at the Center for New Designs in Learning & Scholarship.

"The Language of War: Exhortation, Condemnation, and Symbolism in German and Russian Public Culture During the World Wars." Paper, Young Scholars Forum: War and Society: Germany and Europe in Comparative Perspective. German Historical Institute, Washington, DC (2002).

"Meta-myth-making: the Memory of Russia’s First World War 1917-1939." Paper, First European Conference In First World War Studies. Lyon, France (2001).


book reviews:

Canadian Slavonic Papers (1, 2, 3), The English Historical Review, German Studies Review, H-Soz-u-Kult, Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas, Journal of World History, The Maryland Historian, The Public Historian (1, 2, 3), Russian Review (1, 2), Slavic Review (1, 2, 3), and Studies in Twentieth and Twenty-First Century Literature.

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research projects and interests

general interests:

Late imperial and revolutionary Russia, war and public culture, memory and history, World War I


works in progress:

"Russian Monuments, Chinese Cities, Imperialist Spaces: The Russian Emigration and Public Culture in French Shanghai and Japanese Manchuria, 1932-1941" (article).

Memorial: Public, Place, and the Past in Russia Through Revolution and Emigration, 1905-45 (long-term research project).

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professional associations

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Last updated: 09/16/2015