Dr. Krista Goff is a historian who challenges notions of what the relationship is, has been, and should be between communities and the state, by looking to a wide range of sources and exploring the histories and experiences of ethnic minoritization in the Soviet Union. She is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida.
Using oral histories as well as archival and everyday sources, Goff’s work critically examines asymmetries of power and layered processes of belonging and exclusion in the Soviet Union. She hopes to explain why history writing on this topic has proven so problematic in the past and engages with themes of nationalism, citizenship, empire, minoritization, and migration in this context.
The region on which Goff focuses her work continues to face explosive political clashes, ethnic conflicts and wars inextricably tied to the legacy of the Russian Empire and Soviet Union. The questions she poses about colonialism, majority-minority relations, and the contested memories of empire speak to present day reality as much as they do to the past.
Her current research on the afterlives of German occupation and national deportations in the Soviet Union, builds on the themes of her earlier work. She is also currently collaborating on a digital mapping project that critically examines the interplay of erasure, power and empire in Soviet era ethnographic maps of the Caucasus.
Goff is also co-editor of the journal Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History and co-director of the Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies (REEES) Think Tank, a national program based at Howard University. The Think Tank is a leading DEAI undergraduate program in the U.S. for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) and other underrepresented and underserved students studying Eastern Europe and Eurasia.
Goff coedited the book Empire and Belonging in the Eurasian Borderlands (Cornell University Press, 2019) and is the author of the award-winning book Nested Nationalism: Making and Unmaking Nations in the Soviet Caucasus (Cornell University Press, 2021).
Nested Nationalism received the Rothschild Prize in Nationalism and Ethnic Studies from the Association for the Study of Nationalities, the Reginald Zelnik Book Prize in History from the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies, the Baker-Burton Award from the European Section of the Southern Historical Association, and the Biennial Best Book in Slavic Studies Award from the Southern Conference on Slavic Studies.