Christine D. Worobec

Christine D. Worobec

Among the world’s leading historians of tsarist Russia, Christine Worobec has won international praise for her work exploring the extraordinary history of Russia’s common folk in the 18th and 19th centuries. Her scholarship has been described by colleagues as nothing short of trailblazing.

She joined the NIU Department of History in 1999. Rather than studying people of wealth and power, Worobec focused her scholarship on members of Russian society who might otherwise be voiceless in the pages of history. She has conducted pioneering work on women, folklore, peasants, family, religion and social life in tsarist Russia and Ukraine.

Those explorations have taken Worobec to such places as Helsinki, St. Petersburg and Moscow. And her work has delved into specific topics ranging from courtship and inheritance practices to sainthood, pilgrimages, demon possession and miraculous cures.

Worobec has penned three books, two bibliographic compilations, 20 book chapters and articles and more than 50 book reviews. She has presented nearly 50 conference papers and invited talks in national and international forums and has participated in more than 30 panel sessions.

She is the only scholar in her field who is a two-time recipient of the prestigious Heldt Prize from the Association for Women in Slavic Studies. The award is presented for the book of the year in Slavic, East European and Eurasian women's and gender studies. In addition to being designated as a Distinguished Research Professor at NIU, she also received the Southern Historical Association Amos Simpson Award and the Ohio Academy of History Publication Award.

“My love of students and my scholarly sense of responsibilities to them have taken two directions,” Worobec said. “I infuse my courses with the most up-to-date scholarly research, including the results of my own work and experiences in Russia. I also work to instill students with a sense of professionalism through constant advising.”

Her support of students extends beyond the classroom to her recent two-year position as acting director of graduate studies in the Department of History.

“Christine’s extraordinary dedication as acting director of graduate studies made her a huge favorite of our students,” History Chair Beatrix Hoffman said. “She is truly a role model for anyone determined to combine great scholarly distinction with a strong commitment to supporting and mentoring students.”