Eklof, Ben

- Professor of History.



Ph.D. in History, Princeton University, 1977

B.A. in History, Middlebury College, 1968

Professional Appointments

2001-present Professor of History (Adjunct Professor of Education)

1984-2001 Associate Professor of History, Indiana University

1977-1984 Assistant Professor of History, Indiana University


  • Soviet Briefing: Gorbachev and the Reform Process (1985-1988). Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1989. 195 pp.
  • Russian Peasant Schools: Officialdom, Village Culture and Peasant Pedagogy 1861-1914. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1986; paperback edition, 1990. vii-xv + 652 pp.
  • “How They Were Taught: A Distinctive Russian Culture of Schooling, 1864-1914,”
  • Manuscript in process, based on Moscow, Viatka, Kazan and Iaroslavl’ archives, as well as RGIA, zemstvo publications, memoirs, and pre-revolutionary periodical press.

Edited Volumes:

  • Educational Reform in Post-Soviet Russia (1991-2003): Legacies and Prospects (Frank Cass/Routledge) ( 2005)
  • A Social History of Imperial Russia. Two volumes. Boris Mironov with Ben Eklof. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2000. Volume I: xxxiv + 562 pp. Volume II: ix + 388 pp.
  • Russia’s Great Reforms, 1855-1881. Eds. Ben Eklof, John Bushnell, and Larissa Zakharova. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1994. xvii + 297 pp.
  • Velikie reformy v Rossii, 1856-1876. (Russian version, with several different articles, of Russia’s Great Reforms) Moscow: Moscow University Press, 1992.
  • Democracy in the Russian School: The Reform Movement in Education Since 1984. Eds. Ben Eklof and Edward Dneprov. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1993. 269 pp.
  • School and Society in Tsarist and Soviet Russia. Selected Papers from the Fourth World Congress for Soviet and East European Studies, Harrogate, 1990. Ed. Ben Eklof. New York: St. Martin=s Press, 1993. xii + 254 pp.
  • The World of the Russian Peasant: Post-Emancipation Culture and Society. Eds. Ben Eklof and Stephen Frank. Boston: Unwin Hyman, 1990. 234 pp.

Major Recent Articles:

  • “By a Different Yardstick: Boris Mironov’s A Social History of Russia, 1700-1917 and its Reception in Russia,” Ab Imperio, 3, 2008, pp. 289-319; Text of Comments by 8 Scholars, pp. 319-394, and “Final Comments by Author” pp. 395-400.
  • “The Gorbachev Era,” Article length entry in Encyclopedia of the Modern World, ed. By Peter Stearns [Oxford University Press, 2007]
  • “By a Different Yardstick: The Reception to Boris Mironov’s Social History of Imperial Russia in the American and Russian Historical Professions,” in What is Soviet Now: Nostalgia and Russian Reality since 1991 (Palgrave, 2008)
  • “Catriona Kelly’s School Waltz: Who is Dancing” article-length review essay in Russian and English, of an article by Catriona Kelly on the Soviet school, Forum for Anthropology and Culture/Antropologicheskii forum (St. Petersburg 1 2006)
  • “New Work and Perspectives on the Social History of Soviet Education,” A review of volumes by Krasovitskaia and Balashov: History of Education, Vol. 35, Issue 4, July 2006 (Special Issue: Making Education Soviet)
  • “Russian Education: The Past in the Present,” (Article length introduction to: Educational Reform in Post-Soviet Russia (1991-2003): Legacies and Changes ( Frank Cass/Routledge) (2005) pp. 1-19.
  • “The Russian Teacher in the Twentieth Century,” in Educational Reform in Post-SovietRussia (1991-2003): Legacies and Changes (co-authored with the late Scott Seregny)
  • "Russia and Eastern Europe." In Comparative Education: The Dialectic of the Global and the Local. Eds. Robert F. Arnove and Carlos Alberto Torres. New York: Rowman and Littlefield, 1999. (Co-authored with Maria Bucur. Revised article published in second edition, 2003
  • "Russian and Soviet Literacy Campaigns, 1861-1939." In National Literacy Campaigns. Second, Revised Ed.: Robert Arnove and H.Graff, eds. . Plenum Press, 2008, pp. 123-145.

Accepted; Solicited, Submitted

  • “Laska i poriadok: The Daily Life of the School in Imperial Russia,” Essays in Honor of Dan Field (forthcoming, 12,000 words, Russian Review: Dec., 2009)
  • “The Archaeology of Backwardness: Rural Libraries in Late Imperial Russia’,” in Books and Libraries in Russia [Tentative Title; Toronto U Press: Papers of the Conference on the Book, University of Illlinois, June 2009] Forthcoming, 12,000-words, 2009.

Earlier Publications:

  • “Cultural Pioneers and Professionals: The Teacher in Society." In Between Tsar and People. Eds. Edith W. Clowes, Sam Kassow, and James West. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1991, pp. 199-214. (Co-authored with Christine Ruane).
  • "Worlds in Conflict? Patriarchal Authority, Discipline and the Russian School, 1861-1914." Slavic Review, vol 50, no 4 (Winter 1991): 792-806; reprinted in School and Society in Tsarist and Soviet Russia. Ed. Ben Eklof (see under Edited Volumes).
  • "Face to the Village: Russian Teachers and the Peasant Commune." In Land Commune and Peasant Community in Russia: Communal Forms in Imperial and Early Russian History. Ed. Roger Bartlett. London: MacMillan, 1990, pp. 339-362.
  • "Ways of Seeing: Recent Anglo-American Studies of Russian Rural Life." Jahrbuecher fur Geschichte Osteuropas, vol 36, no 1 (1988): 57-79.
  • "Kindertempel or Shack? School Buildings in Late Imperial Russia (A Study in Backwardness)." Russian Review, vol 47, no l (1988): 117-145.
  • "The Adequacy of Basic Schooling in Rural Russia: Teachers and Their Craft, 1880-1914." History of Education Quarterly (Summer 1986) 199-233
  • "Russian and Soviet Literacy Campaigns, 1861-1939." In National Literacy Campaigns. Ed. H. Graff. Plenum Press, 1987, pp. 123-145.
  • "The Myth of the Zemstvo School." History of Education Quarterly (Winter 1984): 561-584.
  • "Literacy and Schooling in Russia, 1864-1914." In Literacy in Historical Perspective. Ed. Daniel Resnick. Washington: 1983. pp. 105-128.
  • "Peasant Sloth Reconsidered: Education, Literacy and Peasant Strategy in Imperial Russia." Journal of Social History, vol. 14, no. 3 (Spring 1981): 355-385.
  • “The Outsider and the Village: The Rural Teacher in Russia, 1864-1910." Slavic and European Education Review, vol. 1 (1979): 1-19.

Conference Papers (Recent)

  • ABy a Different Yardstick: The Reception of Boris Mironov=s Social History of Imperial Russia and the Russian Historical Profession Today,@ University of Toronto, Conference on “What is Soviet Now: Nostalgia for the Past in Russia,” May 2006 (to be published in forthcoming conference volume with Palgrave)
  • “School Libraries, Readers and Reading Habits in Late Imperial Russia” Conference on the Book, University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, June 2006 (accepted for publication in the conference volume)
  • “The Daily Life of the Russian Classroom: Outlines of a Distinctive School Culture,” Tel Aviv University, May, 2005
  • AHow They Were Taught: The Daily Life of the Russian School,@ Midwest Russian Historians Biannual Conference, Depaul University/University of Chicago (Oct 1, 2004)
  • AHow They Were Taught: Classroom Strategies and Interactions in Tsarist Russia,@ (Keynote Address and Research Paper) Conference on Tsarist and Russian Education (Oxford University, England, May 2004)
  • AThe World of the Post-Soviet Russian Historian,@ University of Georgia Conference on Russian and Soviet History (December, 2003)
  • ABy a Different Yardstick: The Reception of Boris Mironov=s Social History of Imperial Russia and the Russian Historical Profession Today,@ Midwest Russian Historians= Biannual Conference (University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, April 2004