Rowan historian receives national fellowship for research on Russian black market

Rowan historian receives national fellowship for research on Russian black market

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Rowan University historian James Heinzen is one of only 81 scholars to receive a national fellowship this year from the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS), the preeminent representative of American scholarship in the humanities and related social sciences.

Heinzen was selected for the $70,000 fellowship through an intense review process by his peers. More than 1,100 scholars applied to be ACLS fellows, according to Matthew Goldfeder, director of fellowship programs at ACLS.

“The 2019 ACLS fellows exemplify ACLS’s vision of excellence in the humanities and humanistic social sciences,” Goldfeder says. “The awardees, who hail from more than 60 colleges and universities, were selected for their potential to make an original and significant contribution to knowledge.”

A scholar of Russian and European history in Rowan's College of Humanities & Social Sciences, Heinzen will use the fellowship to work on his book, Underground Entrepreneurs and the Soviet Shadow Economy Under Late Socialism, 1950s-1980s.

Last summer, Heinzen was awarded a prestigious National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend grant to work on the book, which is his third. He also received an NEH grant for his critically acclaimed 2016 book, The Art of the Bribe: Corruption Under Stalin, 1943-1953, which was published by Yale University Press. The Art of the Bribe examined the social history of corruption among public officials in the post-war Soviet world during the last years of Stalin’s life.

Underground Entrepreneurs and the Soviet Shadow Economy Under Late Socialism will examine how the black market emerged and thrived in the USSR under Soviet leaders Nikita S. Khrushchev and Leonid Brezhnev. 

A Rowan professor since 2000, Heinzen also is the author of Inventing a Soviet Countryside: The Soviet State and the Transformation of Rural Russia before Collectivization (2004, University of Pittsburgh Press). In 2013, he was a visiting professor of history at Princeton University, where he taught the history of modern Russia.

Based in New York City, ACLS is a private, nonprofit federation of 75 national scholarly organizations.