Dr. Mirjam Voerkelius, Assistant Professor (Ph.D, University of California, Berkeley)
Dr. Voerkelius is a scholar of European history and specializes in the history of the Soviet Union, science, and the environment. She is interested in how nature and the relationship of humankind to the natural world have been conceptualized historically and explores these questions in her current work on Darwinism in twentieth-century (Soviet) Russia. Based on archival research in Russia, the US, and her native Germany, Mirjam’s book will analyze how researchers and ideologues in the Soviet Union sought to reconcile Darwin’s theory of evolution with Soviet revolutionary ideology. The setting of her book project is the Moscow State Darwin Museum, founded in pre-revolutionary Russia and a thriving institution to this day.
In addition to the history of the biological sciences and Darwinism in the Soviet Union, she maintains an interest in the history of equines and is looking forward to eventually examining the crucial role of babushki in the Soviet Union before being a granny herself.
Dr. Voerkelius looks forward to exploring together with the students at UMBC the history of science, Russia and the Soviet Union, environmental history, as well as the history of museums.