Sean M. Pollock, Ph.D.

Sch of Humanities & Cult. Studies
Associate Professor, History
Allyn Hall 419, 3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy, Dayton, OH 45435-0001

Dr. Pollock earned his Ph.D in History from Harvard University (2006), where he received several teaching awards, including the Thomas T. Hoopes Prize for senior thesis advising and the Stephen Botein Prize for teaching in History and Literature.  He has also taught at Yale University and the University of New Haven, and was Postdoctoral Fellow at the Harriman Institute for Russian, Eurasian, and Eastern European Studies at Columbia University (2007).  Since joining the Department of History in 2008, he has received recognition for teaching excellence in General Education and Writing across the Curriculum.  He was the 2013 Phi Alpha Theta Outstanding Faculty Member (Department of History) and received of the College of Liberal Arts Outstanding Teaching Award for 2015.  In addition to teaching in traditional classroom settings, he has designed and successfully taught asynchronous and synchronous online courses at every level, and has advanced the university's mission to engage in meaningful community service by teaching service‐learning courses in partnership with Dayton's Thurgood Marshall High School.  He chaired the University Undergraduate Curriculum Committee and the Faculty Senate Taskforce on Distance Education, served as the inaugural Faculty Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning (2014-18), and represented the College of Liberal Arts on Faculty Senate (2012-2018).  Pollock has published on various dimensions of Russian empire-building in the Caucasus and laws concerning Russian subjecthood, and his current research focuses on the history and memory of Russia's 1812 campaign against Napoleonic France.  He recently served as the Special Assistant to the Provost for Wright State Online.

Curriculum Vitae

Education History

Ph.D. - Harvard University, 2006 
A.M. - Harvard University, 1996
B.A. - University of Washington, 1994



Imperial Russia

Comparative Empires

Courses Taught:

Introduction to Historical Analysis

Historical Methods

Imperial Russia

Soviet Union

Russia's People of Empire

The West and the World since 1500 (including synchronous and asynchronous online, service-learning intensive, and SCALE-UP sections)

Themes in Modern European History (online synchronous)

Comparative Empires

Early Modern Europe:  14th - 18th Centuries

Modern Europe:  19th and 20th Centuries

Teaching Awards:

Phi Alpha Theta Outstanding Faculty Member, Department of History, WSU (2013)

Writing across the Curriculum Faculty Recognition Award, WSU (2013, 2010, 2009)

Excellence in Teaching General Education: Western Civilization, WSU (2014, 2013, 2011, 2010, 2009)

Stephen Botein Teaching Prize in History and Literature, Harvard University (2007)

Thomas T. Hoopes Prize for Senior Thesis Advising, Harvard University (2006)

Certificate of Distinction in Teaching, Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning, Harvard University (4 times, 1999-2001)


Research Statement

“Friend and Foe: Religious Toleration in Northern Caucasia in the Age of Catherine the Great” Princeton Papers: Interdisciplinary Journal of Middle Eastern Studies (forthcoming).

"'Ty pokazal, kak russkomu dolzhno umirat' za Rus'': Kniaz' Petr Ivanovich Bagration i stanovlenie russkogo natsional'nogo geroiia," in Denis Sdvizhkov (in collaboration with Guido Hausmann), ed., Posle grozy: 1812 god v istoricheskoi pamiati Rossii i Evropy (Moscow: Kuchkovo pole, 2015), pp. 23-45. 

(co-authored with Sheri Stover) "Building a Community of Inquiry and Analytical Skills in an Online History Course," International Jounral of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education 26: 3 (2014): 393-403.

 “‘Thus We Shall Have Their Loyalty and They Our Favor’: Diplomatic Hostage-Taking (amanatstvo) and Russian Empire in Caucasia,” in Brian J. Boeck, Russell Martin, and Daniel Rowland, eds., Dubitando: Studies in History and Culture in Honor of Donald Ostrowski (Bloomington: Slavic Publishers, 2012), pp. 139-163.

“Petr Ivanovich Bagration, 1765-1812,” in Stephen M. Norris and Willard Sunderland, eds., Russia’s People of Empire: Life Stories from Eurasia, 1500 to the Present (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2012), pp. 93-103.

“‘As One Russian to Another’: Prince Petr Ivanovich Bagration’s Assimilation of Russian Ways,” Ab Imperio: Studies of New Imperial History and Nationalism in the Post-Soviet Space, no. 4 (2010): 113-142.

 “Historians and Their Sources: Discourses of Empire and Islam in Eurasian Archives,” Ab Imperio: Studies of New Imperial History and Nationalism in the Post-Soviet Space, no. 4 (2008): 234-252.

Guest Editor: “Forum: Islam in the Imperial Archives,” Ab Imperio: Studies of New Imperial History and Nationalism in the Post-Soviet Space, no. 4 (2008): 233-333.

Recent Talks

"Commemorating Bagration: The Making of a National Hero in Imperial and Soviet Russia," History Colloquium, Wittenberg University, March 14, 2013.

“Deep Learning and High Interaction in Online Learning – Is This Possible: Helping Faculty Feel Prepared to Teach Quality Online Classes” (with Dr. Sheri Stover), Lilly International Conference on College Teaching, Miami University, Nov. 17, 2012.

 “Russian National Identity in Imperial Russia?  The Case of Prince Bagration,” After the Storm: The Year 1812 in the Historical Memory of Russia and Europe, German Historical Institute, Moscow, Russia, May 28-30, 2012.

 “Commemorating Bagration: Russia’s Myth of a National War Hero,” Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES) National Convention, New Orleans, LA, Nov. 16, 2012.

“Fortress Life: Go-Betweens in 18th-Century Kizliar, ASEEES National Convention, Washington, D.C., Nov. 19, 2011.

"Imperial Identities: Russian and Non-Russian." University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Sept. 15, 2011.

"'Alone Together': Teaching and Learning in the Digital Age." First Weekend Institutes, Wright State University, September 4, 2011.

"Purpose, Passion, Payoff: the Real Deal about Going to College." First Weekend Institutes, Wright State University, September 3, 2011.

"Caucasia and the Eastern Question," Roundtable on "The Eastern Question: New Approaches," Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES) National Convention, Los Angeles, CA, Nov. 20, 2010.

"The Policy and Practice of Religious Toleration in Northern Caucasia in the Age of Catherine the Great," ASEEES National convention, Los Angeles, CA, Nov. 19, 2010.

"Imperial Identities: Russian and Non-Russian." University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Sept. 16, 2010.

Presenter, "'The Dumbest Generation'? The Promise and Perils of Growing Up Online," First Weekend Institutes, Wright State University, September 4 and 5, 2010.

Participant: National Center for Academic Transformation, Fourth Annual Redesign Alliance Conference, Orlando, FL, March 28-30, 2010.

Invited participant: Western Civilization Symposium, McGraw-Hill, New York City, NY, March 25-26, 2010.



Member, Faculty Senate, elected (2012- )

Chair, Faculty Senate Distance Education Taskforce (2014-2015)

Chair, Undergraduate Curriculum Committee (2013-2015)

Member, Undergraduate Curriculum and Academic Policy Committee (2012-2013)

Member, Academic Integrity Hearing Panel, College of Liberal Arts, appointed (2009-10)

College of Liberal Arts:

Member, Faculty Senate (2010-2011)

Member, Curriculum Committee (2010-2011)

Member, Ad Hoc Committee on Russian Studies Minor, Dept. of Modern Languages (2009-10)

Department of History:

Member, Student Relations Committee (2012- )

Member, Graduate Committee (2011-12)

Member, Undergraduate Curriculum Committee (2008-2011)

Member, Ad Hoc Committee on Conversion to Semesters (2009-2010)


Reader, AP European History, College Board, Kansas City, MO, June, 2012

Panel chair, “Mongol and Rus’ian Authorities: Conflicting, Complementing, and Exemplary (13th-16th Centuries),” ASEEES National Conference, Washington, D.C., Nov. 20, 2011

Member, World History and Western Civilization Board of Advisors, McGraw-Hill (2010)

Peer Review/Referee, Proceedings of the Ohio Academy of History (2009-10)

Peer Review/Referee, Ab Imperio: Studies of New Imperial History and Nationalism in the Post Soviet Space (2009-10)

Panel chair: “Gender and Empire in the Caucasus,” American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies (AAASS) National Convention, Nov. 2008

Conference organizer, “Russia and Islam in the Archives of Eurasia: An International Workshop,” The Harriman Institute, Columbia University, Dec. 1, 2007

Panel chair and discussant, “The Southern Borderlands: Studying the Caucasus.”  Conference:  “Research and   Identity: Non-Russian Peoples in the Russian Empire, 1800-1855.”  The Second A.J. Sjögren Memorial Conference, 14-17 June 2006, Kymenlaakso Summer University, Kouvola, Finland

Chair, “Power and Prestige in Representation,” Central Eurasian Studies Society (CESS) annual conference, 2003.


Member, Harvard Schools Committee, Harvard Club of Cincinnati (2012- )

Mentor, Higher Education Mentoring Initiative, University of Cincinnati (2011- )

Co-Chair, Parent Committee, University of Cincinnati Early Learning Center (UCELC), (2011- )

Board Member, UCELC (2011- )

Member, Parent and Steering Committee, UCELC (2009-2010)

Member, Clifton Heights, University Heights, Fairview Neighborhood Association (2010-)


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