VILLANOVA, Pa. – Citizen Countess: Sofia Panina and the Fate of Revolutionary Russia (University of Wisconsin Press, 2019), by Adele Lindenmeyr, PhD, Dean of Villanova University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowships Open Book Award.
NEH’s Fellowships Open Book Program, administered by the agency’s Division of Research Programs and Office of Digital Humanities, is a special initiative for scholarly presses to make recent NEH-supported books and monographs freely available for scholars, students and the public. The program was launched in June 2020 in recognition of the fact that the global pandemic has heightened the need for scholars to be able to conduct serious research remotely.
Based on Dr. Lindenmeyr’s 20 years of detailed research in numerous archival collections, Citizen Countess is the first-ever biography of Countess Sofia Panina. Dubbed “Russia’s Jane Addams” for her passion for improving the lives of urban workers, she was the first woman in world history to hold a cabinet position and the first political prisoner to face the Bolsheviks’ terrifying revolutionary tribunal. Panina became an astute eyewitness to and passionate participant in the historical events that shaped her life.
“Lindenmeyr’s biography has brought Panina’s sun out from the clouds of historical obscurity but has also shone its light on numerous other impressive figures who inhabited Panina’s world and deserve further historical study in their own right,” notes the Russian Review.
All Open Book Program awardees will receive $5,500 per book to support digitization, marketing, and a stipend for the author.
“I am very grateful to both the University of Wisconsin Press and the NEH,” said Dr. Lindenmeyr. “This grant ensures that my story of one of the 20th century’s most remarkable women will reach a wider readership.”
An expert in Russian history, Dr. Lindenmeyr is the author of Poverty is not a Vice: Charity, Society and the State in Imperial Russia (Princeton University Press, 1996) and coeditor of Russia’s Home Front in War and Revolution, 1914–1922 (Slavica Publications, 2018). She has presented her research at several international conferences, including the annual Convention of the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies, (ASEEES), the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Kennan Institute Seminar on the 1917 Russian Revolution and the University of Notre Dame Workshop on the Russian Revolution of 1917. She received her doctorate in History from Princeton University.
About Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences: Since its founding in 1842, Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has cultivated knowledge, understanding and intellectual courage for a purposeful life in a challenging and changing world. With more than 40 majors across the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences, it is the oldest and largest of Villanova’s colleges, serving more than 4,500 undergraduate and graduate students each year. The College is committed to a teacher-scholar model, offering outstanding undergraduate and graduate research opportunities and a rigorous core curriculum that prepares students to become critical thinkers, strong communicators and ethical leaders with a truly global perspective.
About Villanova University: Since 1842, Villanova University’s Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition has been the cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others. There are more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University's six colleges—the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing, the College of Professional Studies and the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law. Ranked among the nation’s top universities, Villanova supports its students’ intellectual growth and prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them.