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Rebecca Friedman

Co-Director, Miami-Florida European Union Center of ExcellenceDirector, European Studies Program, Florida International University

Office: DM 387B

Phone: 305-348-0169



Professor Friedman's research focuses on the history and culture of modern Russia. Her 2006 book on the history of masculinity in Russia—Masculinity, Autocracy and the Russian University, 1804-1863—examines behavior, loyalty and sociability among a generation of Russian university students that would reshape the Russian social and political landscape for decades to come. She is particularly interested in exploring the models of manhood these young men encountered and created during their three to four years of study, including the respectable servitor, drunken comrade, honorable fraternity member, romantic friend and loyal son. This project offers a picture of the complex processes through which gender ideologies were forged and negotiated in the nineteenth century. She also edited (with Barbara Clements and Dan Healy) the collection Russian Masculinities in History and Culture, which is the first volume in English to focus on the growing field of Russian masculinity studies. She has also written about Russian childhood and the gendering of the Cadet Corps.

Friedman is currently working on a larger project tentatively entitled Time at Home. This book project—supported by a National Endowment for the Humanities Faculty Research Grant—reveals how domestic space embodies modern concepts of time. In particular, Time at Home highlights how, in a period of tremendous upheaval from about 1890-1930, Russians embraced notions of the home that reflected new ideas about the flow of historical time. Domestic aesthetics – both in prescriptions and desires – embodied two, often seemingly contradictory, temporal narratives: modernism's insistence on pastiche and the layering of historical styles, on the one hand and modernity's investment in linearity and progress, on the other. By peering into the windows of gentry estates, urban apartments and communal kitchens, Friedman explores how the spaces of domestic life become historical vessels that embodied a sense of movement through time. As populations across Europe and the United States were undergoing processes of modernization at various speeds, including the spread of mass consumer and political society, and the rise of new technologies, they began to think of themselves as part of a distinctly modern history, one that had a past and looked consciously toward the future. These modern ideas contrasted with an earlier emphasis on the cyclical nature and rhythms of life. Ideas about the home, like time itself, were in flux at the turn of the century. In Russia, not only were many people actually moving into new homes as rural life gave way to urban living, they were also influenced by new domestic ideologies and expectations. These domestic ideologies often migrated east from Europe and transformed when grown in Russian soil, both in bourgeois and revolutionary utopian iterations. After the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, Russians looked to the future for a new revolutionary domesticity, which never completely shed its bourgeois – or even gentry – past. Desires for past, present and future were all manifest within the domestic interior.


Ph.D., University of Michigan, 2000