Professor Sheila Fitzpatrick FAHA FAAAS (USA)

Photo of Professor Sheila Fitzpatrick.

Areas of expertise: transnational history; social history; history of Russia/Soviet Union; migration history; life writing; Russian music

HDR Supervisor accreditation status: Full

Phone: +61 2  9351 2555


Location:  ACU Melbourne Campus

Sheila Fitzpatrick is a historian of modern Russia/the Soviet Union and migration who received her B.A. (Hons.) at the University of Melbourne and her D. Phil. at St. Antony’s College, Oxford. She was based in the US for many years, latterly as Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago, before her return to Australia in 2012. Her recent books include Tear off the Masks! Identity and Imposture in Twentieth-Century Russia (2005), A Spy in the Archives: A Memoir of Cold-War Russia (2014); On Stalin’s Team: the Years of Living Dangerously in Soviet Politics (co-winner of 2016 Prime Minister’s Award for Non-Fiction), and Mischka’s War: A European Odyssey of the 1940s (2017, short-listed for 2018 Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction). With Mark Edele and Atina Grossmann, she co-edited and co-authored Shelter From the Holocaust. Rethinking Jewish Survival in the Soviet Union (2017). Her book, White Russians, Red Peril: A Cold War History of Migration was published by Black, Inc., Melbourne, in 2021; followed by The Shortest History of the Soviet Union in 2022. She is currently working on a monograph, Displacement: Repatriation and Resettlement of Russian and Soviet Displaced Persons after the Second World War, and a biography of Lenin’s wife, Nadezhda Krupskaya, under contract to Princeton University Press.

Select publications

Books (single-authored)

  • Fitzpatrick, S. (2017). Mischka’s War: A European Odyssey of the 1940s. Melbourne University Press and I. B.Tauris (London).
  • Fitzpatrick, S. (2015). On Stalin’s Team: The Years of Living Dangerously in Soviet Politics. Princeton University Press and Melbourne University Press.
  • Fitzpatrick, S. (2014). A Spy in the Archives. MUP and I. B. Tauris (London)
  • Fitzpatrick, S. (2010). My Father’s Daughter. Memories of an Australian Childhood. Melbourne University Press.
  • Fitzpatrick, S. (2005). Tear off the Masks! Identity and Imposture in Twentieth-Century Russia. Princeton University Press.
  • Fitzpatrick, S. (1999). Everyday Stalinism. Ordinary Life in Extraordinary Times: Soviet Russia in the 1930s. Oxford University Press.
  • Fitzpatrick, S. (1994). Stalin’s Peasants: Resistance and Survival in the Russian Village after Collectivization. Oxford University Press.
  • Fitzpatrick, S. (1992). The Cultural Front. Power and Culture in Revolutionary Russia. Cornell University Press.
  • Fitzpatrick, S. (1982; 2nd revised ed. 1994; 3rd revised ed. 2008; 4th revised ed. 2017). The Russian Revolution. Oxford University Press.
  • Fitzpatrick, S. (1979). Education and Social Mobility in the Soviet Union, 1921-1932. Cambridge University Press.
  • Fitzpatrick, S. (1970). The Commissariat of Enlightenment. Soviet Organization of Education and the Arts under Lunacharsky, 1917-1921. Cambridge University Press.

Books, edited and co-authored

  • Edele, M, Fitzpatrick, S., and Grossmann, A. (eds.) (2017). Shelter from the Holocaust: Rethinking Jewish Survival in the Soviet Union. Wayne State University Press.
  • Kozlov, V., Fitzpatrick, S., and Mironenko, S. (eds.) (2011). Sedition: Everyday Resistance in the Soviet Union under Khrushchev and Brezhnev. Yale University Press.
  • Fitzpatrick, S. and Geyer, M. (eds.). (2008). Beyond Totaltiarianism: Nazism and Stalinism Compared. Cambridge University Press.
  • Fitzpatrick, S. and Rasmussen, C. (eds.) (2008). Political Tourists. Travellers from Australia to the Soviet Union in 1920s-1940s. Melbourne University Press.
  • Fitzpatrick, S. and Macintyre, S. (eds.) (2007). Against the Grain. Brian Fitzpatrick and Manning Clark in Australian History and Politics. Melbourne University Press.
  • Fitzpatrick, S. and Slezkine, Y. (eds.) (2000). In the Shadow of Revolution. Life-Stories of Russian Women from 1917 to the Second World War.
  • Fitzpatrick, S. (ed.). (1999). Stalinism: New Directions. Routledge.
  • Fitzpatrick, S. and Gellately, R. (eds.) (1997). Accusatory Practices: Denunciation in Modern European History, 1789-1989. University of Chicago Press.
  • Fitzpatrick, S. and Viola, L. (eds.) (1992). A Researcher’s Guide to Sources on Soviet Social History in the 1930s. M. E. Sharpe.
  • Fitzpatrick, S., Rabinowitch, A., and Stites, R.(eds.) (1991). Russia in the Era of NEP: Explorations in Soviet Social History and Culture. Indiana University Press.
  • Ferro, M. and Fitzpatrick, S. (eds.) (1989). Culture et Révolution. Éditions de l’École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales.
  • Fitzpatrick, S. (ed.) (1978). Cultural Revolution in Russia, 1928-1931. Indiana University Press.

Selected articles

  • Fitzpatrick, S. (2019). Russians in the Jungle: Tubabao as a Way Station for Refugees from China to Australia, 1949. History Australia 16:4.
  • Fitzpatrick, S. and Greenwood, J. (2019) Anti-Communism in Australian Immigration Policies 1947-1954: the Case of Russian/Soviet Displaced Persons from Europe and Russians from China. Australian Historical Studies 50:1.
  • Fitzpatrick, S. (2018). The Tramp’s Tale. Travels with the Soviet Union and Across its Borders, 1925-1950. Past and Present 241:1.
  • Fitzpatrick, S. (2018). The Motherland Calls: ‘Soft’ Repatriation of Soviet Citizens from Europe, 1945-1953. Journal of Modern History 90:2.
  • Fitzpatrick, S. (2017). Annexation, Evacuation and Antisemitism in the Soviet Union, 1939-1946. In Shelter from the Holocaust, ed. M. Edele, S. Fitzpatrick and A. Grossmann. Wayne State University Press.
  • Fitzpatrick, S. (2017). Celebrating (or Not) the Centenary of the Russian Revolution. Journal of Contemporary History 52:4.
  • Fitzpatrick, S. (2017). Soviet Repatriation Efforts among ‘Displaced Persons’ Resettled in Australia, 1950-1953. Australian Journal of Politics and History 63:1.
  • Fitzpatrick (2017). Writing History/Writing about Yourself: What’s the Difference?. In D. Munro and J. Reid, eds., Clio’s Lives: Biographies and Autobiographies of Historians. ANU Press.
  • Fitzpatrick, S. (2015). ‘Determined to Get On’: Some Displaced Persons on the Way to a Future. History Australia 12:2
  • Fitzpatrick, S. (2014). The Cold War as Remembered by Children of the Old Left. In A. Curthoys and J. Damousi (eds.), What Did You Do in the Cold War, Daddy? Personal Stories from a Troubled Time. NewSouth Publications.
  • Fitzpatrick, S. (2013). T. H. Rigby Remembered. Explorations in Soviet and Eurasian History 14:2.
  • Fitzpatrick, S. (2010). A World War II Odyssey: Michael Danos, en route from Riga to New York. In D. Deacon, P. Russell and A. Woollacott (eds), Transnational Lives. Biographies of Global Modernity, 1700-present. Palgrave-Macmillan.



  • ‘IHSS ACU Project, ‘Departures’, 2020
  • Application pending for ARC Discovery Project Grant (‘Russian Immigrants and Anti-Communism in Cold War Australia, 1946-1966’), 2020-23, Co-CI with Ruth Balint, Jayne Persian and Philip Deery
  • ARC Discovery Project Grant (‘Postwar Russian Displaced Persons arriving in Australia via the China Route’), 2016-19, Co-CI with Ruth Balint, Jayne Persian
  • ARC Discovery Project Grant (‘War And Displacement: From the Soviet Union to Australia in the Wake of the Second World War’), 2013-16, Co-CI with Mark Edele
  • ARC Discovery Project Grant (‘Rethinking the History of Soviet Stalinism’), 2011-13, PI (Stephen Wheatcroft CI)

Accolades and awards


  • Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction for On Stalin’s Team, 2016
  • Association for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES, USA) Award for Distinguished Contributions, 2012
  • American Historical Association Award for Scholarly Distinction, 2012
  • Awarded Australian Historical Association’s Magarey Medal for Biography for My Father’s Daughter, 2012
  • Delivered annual Kedourie Lecture, British Academy, London. 2008
  • Elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2005
  • Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Distinguished Achievement Award, 2002
  • President, American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies, 1997
  • Elected to Australian Academy of Humanities, 1996
  • Faculty Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching, University of Chicago, 1995
  • AAASS Heldt Prize (for Stalin’s Peasants), 1994
  • John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, 1988
  • John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Research & Writing Award, 1987-8

Appointments and affiliations

  • Honorary Professor, University of Sydney, 2010-present
  • Professor, then Bernadotte E. Schmitt Distinguished Service Professor, University of Chicago, 1990-2012
  • Professor, then Oliver H. Radkey Regents’ Professor of History, University of Texas at Austin, 1980-1989
  • Assistant, then Associate Professor, Columbia University, New York, 1976-1980
  • Fellow, University College, University of Melbourne, 2019-present
  • Fellow, RANKHIGS (Russian Presidential Academy of the National economy and Public Service, Moscow, 2017-present
  • Visiting Fellow, Neubauer Collegium, University of Chicago, 2017
  • Visiting Fellow, Jordan Institute, New York University, 2017
  • Visiting Fellow Commoner, Trinity College, Cambridge (UK), 2017
  • Fellow, Wissenschafts-Kolleg, Berlin, 2008-9
  • Visiting Fellow, Research School of Humanities, ANU, 2008
  • Visiting Scholar on project “Representations of Social Order in Transition”, Humboldt University, Berlin, 2006
  • Honorary Professorial Fellow, University of Melbourne, 2000
  • Visiting Fellow, Centre for Comparative History, Freie Universität, Berlin, 1999
  • Visiting Professor, University of Tübingen, Germany, 1997
  • Co-Director, Center for Soviet and East European Studies, University of Texas at Austin, 1984-9
  • Directeur d’Études Associé, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris, 1990
  • Fellow, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington, DC, 1981-2

Editorial roles

Journal editor

  • Journal of Modern History, 1996-2006

Member of editorial board

  • History Australia, 2009
  • History of Stalinism, ROSSPEN, Moscow, 2007
  • Antropologicheskii forum, St Petersburg, Russia, 2004
  • Revolutionary Russia (London), 2004
  • Documents of Soviet History, ROSSPEN, Moscow, 2002
  • Mondes russes. États, sociétés, nations, CNRS-Editions (Paris), 2001
  • Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History (US), 2000
  • Europe-Asia Studies (Glasgow), 1994
  • Annals of Communism, Yale University Press, 1992
  • Russian Review (US), 1988
  • Studies in Soviet History and Society, Cornell University Press, 1985

Grant agency review panels


  • Peer reviewer, Discovery Project applications, ARC
  • Peer Reviewer, Excellence in Research for Australia, ARC (2018)

Public engagement

  • Award committees: Chair, Jill Roe Prize (AHA) (2015); Chair, judging committee for Magarey Medal for biography (AHA) (2020)
  • Talks and panels at public fora: (2016) Talks at Fintona Girls’ School to Year 10 students (on My Father’s Daughter) and Year 12 students (on The Russian Revolution), 18 April; (2017) Talk at Joy Damousi’s mentoring programme, ‘Writing and Researching’, University of Melbourne, 15 February; Discussion with Mark Edele in ‘Ideas and Society’ Program, State Library, Victoria, 23 February; (2018) Panel participant, Gaidar Forum, Moscow, January 16-18; ABC Radio Nightlife on Trotsky and Stalin, 8 November; Expert panelist on BBC History Magazine’s forum, on centenary of the Russian Revolution (UK); talk at panel of Life Writing, Australian Studies Centre, Harbin, China, 7 May; (2019) keynote speech to conference of History Teachers of NSW, Sydney, 26 July; (2020) Lecture on ‘The Russian Revolution’, History Teachers of Victoria, recorded Zoom 17 August.
  • Radio, TV, film and Skype interviews: (2016) Natalie Golitsin, London correspondent of Radio Free Europe/Radio liberty, 17 July; with Mike Kenneally for film documentary on great events of the twentieth century, 22 June; with Curt Thompson for film documentary on Russian violin school in Australia; (2017) Amy Mullins on Melbourne Radio 3RRR (14 February),Tom Switzer on Radio National, 7 March; BBC Radio 4, 14 June; Lindy Burns on ABC Radio National, 5 July; Late Night Live with Phillip Adams, 12 July; Conversations with Richard Fidler, ABC Radio, 18 July; Margaret Throsby on ABC Classic FM, 9 August; The Conversation’, Radio Melbourne, 25 August; Jakub Bozek, for Polish weekly Polytyka, Warsaw; Canadian Broadcast Commission Radio on ‘Russian Revolution and its Aftermath’, 5 October; Pablo Marin in La Tercera (Santiago, Chile), 10 October; Tom Switzer on Radio National, 5 and 26 October; Richard Lawson, BBC National Radio, 7 November; Patrick K. Reevell, ABC TV (US), Moscow correspondent, 7 November
  • Journalism: Regular writer for London Review of Books, The Guardian (London), Nation (New York), Australian Book Review
  • Writers’ festivals: (2010) Melbourne, 27-28 August, and Brisbane, 4-5 September; (2013) Melbourne, discussion with Paul Michaels on Soviet Archives; (2014) Sydney, panel with Ian Buruma and Frank Dikötter; (2015) panel on ‘Leaving the USSR’, Conversation on On Stalin’s Team; (2017), Melbourne, Conversation with Rafail Epstein; panelist on ‘Writing Family Histories’


Visit us

Level 3, 250 Victoria Parade
East Melbourne, Victoria, 3002

Mailing address

115 Victoria Parade
Fitzroy, Victoria, 3065