Office: 48 Holden Hall
Ph.D., University of Chicago
Alan Barenberg specializes in the history of the Soviet Union, with an emphasis on the social and economic history of the 1930s-1970s. His research focuses on a broad range of topics in the economic and social history of the Russian Empire and the USSR. His book, Gulag Town, Company Town: Forced Labor and Its Legacy in Vorkuta (Yale UP, 2014), uses the case of the Arctic community of Vorkuta to resituate the Gulag in the history of the Stalin and post-Stalin eras. Gulag Town, Company Town has been recognized with various prizes, including the Canadian Association of Slavists' Taylor and Francis Book Prize in Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (2015), the Wayne S. Vucinich Book Prize for the most important contribution to Russian, Eurasian, and East European Studies from the Association for Slavic, Eastern European, and Eurasian Studies (Honorable Mention, 2015), and the TTU President’s Book Award (First Prize, 2016).
Dr. Barenberg teaches specialized courses on the Russian Empire, the Soviet Union, and Central Asia, as well as surveys of Western civilization. He has received multiple teaching awards, including the Hemphill-Wells New Professor Excellence in Teaching Award from the Texas Tech Parents Association (2013) and the TTU President’s Excellence in Teaching Award (2016).
Before coming to Texas Tech University, Dr. Barenberg received a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago (2007), an M.A. from the University of Chicago (2000), and a B.A. from Carleton College (1999).
Dr. Barenberg has received numerous fellowships, including: Kennan Institute Title VIII Long Term Research Fellowship, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, (2011-12, declined); Institute for Historical Studies Residential Fellowship, University of Texas (2010, declined); Social Science Research Council Eurasia Dissertation Fellowship (2005-2006); Council on Library and Information Resources Mellon Fellowship for Dissertation Research in Original Sources in the Humanities (2003-2004).
In summer 2015, Dr. Barenberg was a Visiting Professor at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), Paris.
Gulag Town, Company Town: Forced Labor and Its Legacy in Vorkuta
This insightful volume offers a radical reassessment of the infamous “Gulag Archipelago” by exploring the history of Vorkuta, an arctic coal-mining outpost originally established in the 1930s as a prison camp complex. Author Alan Barenberg’s eye-opening study reveals Vorkuta as an active urban center with a substantial nonprisoner population where the borders separating camp and city were contested and permeable, enabling prisoners to establish social connections that would eventually aid them in their transitions to civilian life. With this book, Barenberg makes an important historical contribution to our understanding of forced labor in the Soviet Union and its enduring legacy.
To learn more visit Yale University Press.