Department of History
West Chester University
404 Wayne Hall
Professor of History
Office Location: 412 Wayne Hall
Modern Russia and the Soviet Union; world communism and comparative revolutions; twentieth-century Europe; gender in modern Europe
Professor Kirschenbaum's research has focused on questions of how individuals – children who grew up in the wake of the Russian Revolution, survivors of the siege of Leningrad – came to represent their life stories as part of history. Her current project explores the personal and political lives of international communists. Focusing on the transnational interactions that occurred in Soviet-dominated spaces ranging from Comintern schools in Moscow to the International Brigades in the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), her book project provides a grassroots history of international communism.
Dr. Kirschenbaum has long combined a serious commitment to research with enthusiasm for teaching. While completing her PhD at University of California, Berkeley (1993), she taught middle and high school students at Oakwood School, an independent school in southern California. Since coming to West Chester in 1996, she developed classes in Soviet and Russian history as well as thematic courses that transcend national boundaries. Prof. Kirschembaum's research has resulted in two books, Small Comrades: Revolutionizing Childhood in Soviet Russia, 1917-1932 (RoutledgeFalmer, 2000) and The Legacy of the Siege of Leningrad, 1941-1995: Myth, Memories, and Monuments (Cambridge University Press, 2006). Her current manuscript International Communism and the Spanish Civil War is under contract with Cambridge University Press. Her research has been supported by grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies, the International Research and Exchanges Board, and the Penn Humanities Forum. In 2009, Dr. Kirschenbaum was awarded the West Chester University Trustees' Achievement Award.