Michael G. Smith

Michael G. Smith

Professor // History

Ph.D., Georgetown University, 1991

Office Information

Office: UNIV 027
Office Phone: (765) 496-2420
Office Fax: (765) 496-1755
Office Hours: Spring 2019: MWF 9:30-10:20
E-mail: mgsmith@purdue.edu


Survey of Global History (105); History of Russia to 1861 (238), History of Russia from 1861 (239), History of Russian Cinema (391); The Kennedy Assassination in Global Perspective (302), Comparative Conspiracies and Conspiracy Theories (495); History of Aviation (384), History of the Space Age (387); Borderlands of the Russian Empire (590); Technology and Innovation in the Cold War (590).


Russian and Aerospace History

Michael Smith is currently finishing a textbook on the history of the Space Age, and is completing a monograph on the history of aerospace engineering at Purdue University (between 1946 and 1969).


Rockets and Revolution: A Cultural History of Early Spaceflight (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2014).

Language and Power in the Creation of the USSR, 1917-1953 (Berlin and New York: Mouton de Gruyter Publishers, 1998).


“Power and Violence in the Russian Revolution: The March Events and Baku Commune of 1918,” Russian History 41, nos. 1-2 (2014): 197-210.

“Cosmic Plots in Early Soviet Culture: Flights of Fancy to the Moon and Mars,” Canadian-American Slavic Studies 47, no. 2 (2013): 170-199.

“Stalin’s Martyrs: The Tragic Romance of the Russian Revolution,” Totalitarian Movements and Political Religions 4, no. 1 (2003): 95-126.

“The Russian Revolution as a National Revolution: Tragic Deaths and Rituals of Remembrance in Muslim Azerbaijan, 1905-1920,” Jahrbücher fur Geschichte Ost Europas 49, no. 3 (2001): 363-388.

“Anatomy of a Rumour: Murder Scandal, the Musavat Party and Narratives of the Russian Revolution in Baku, 1917-20,” Journal of Contemporary History 36, no. 2 (2001): 211-240.

“Cinema for the ‘Soviet East’: National Fact and Revolutionary Fiction in Early Azerbaijani Film,” Slavic Review 56, no. 4 (Winter 1997): 645-678.

“Gramsci in the Mirror of Italian Fascism: Mussolini, Gentile, and Spirito,” Italian Quarterly 31 (Winter-Spring 1990): 57-80.

“Marx, Technocracy and the Corporatist Ethos,” Studies in Soviet Thought 36 (1988): 233-250.


“An Empire of Substitutions: The Language Factor in the Russian Revolution,” in The Battle for Ukrainian: A Comparative Perspective, ed. Michael S. Flier and Andrea Graziosi (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2017), 143-166.

“The Hegemony of Content: Russian as a Language of State Assimilation in the USSR,” in Kampf um Wort und Schrift: Russifizierung in Osteuropa im 19.-20. Jahrhundert, ed. Zaur Gasimov (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck, 2012): 193-208.

“The Tenacity of Form: Language, Nation, Stalin,” in Politics and the Theory of Language in the USSR, 1917-1938, ed. C. Brandist and K. Chown (London: Anthem Press, 2010): 105-122.

“Pamiat’ ob utratakh i Azerbaidzhanskoe obshchestvo / Traumatic Loss and Azerbaijani National Memory,” in Azerbaidzhan i Rossiia: obshchestva i gosudarstva / Azerbaijan and Russia: Society and State, ed. Dmitrii Furman (Moscow: Andrei Sakharov Institute, 2001): 88-117.

“The Eurasian Imperative in Early Soviet Language Planning: Russian Linguists at the Service of the Nationalities,” in Beyond Sovietology: Essays in History and Politics, ed. Susan G. Solomon (Armonk, New York: M. E. Sharpe, 1993): 159-91.

“Ethnicity and Culture,” in The Soviet Union, ed. Daniel C. Diller (Washington, D. C.: Congressional Quarterly, 1990): 129-149.


“The Aerial Game: How Football and Aviation Grew Up Together,” Air and Space Smithsonian magazine (2 February 2018).

“Internet Approaches to Global History: Building Community and Creativity through Distance Learning,” Annual Conference of the American Historical Association, Chicago, Illinois (January 2000).

Editor with A.I. Zevelev et al., Istoriia natsional’nykh politicheskikh partii rossii / A History of the National Political Parties of Russia (Moscow: Russian Political Encyclopedia, 1997).

“Kultura Revolucio en Sovetunio: Lingvaj Reformoj kaj Esperanto, 1917-1937,” Sociaj Aspektoj de la Esperanto-movado, ed. Senad Colic, trans. Ralph Dumain (Sarajevo: Elbih, 1988): 53-58.

“For Rationalization of Language: the Bolshevik Experience with Esperanto,” in The Idea of a Universal Language, ed. Humphrey Tonkin and Karen Johnson-Weiner (New York: Center for Research of World Language Problems, 1986): 69-76.

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