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School of Slavonic and East European Studies: New Director Announced

17 August 2017

New SSEES Director Diane Koenker

UCL is delighted to announce the appointment of Professor Diane P. Koenker as the new Director of the School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES). She will join SSEES as Professor of Russian and Soviet History.

Professor Koenker succeeds Professor Jan Kubik, who will be remaining at SSEES as Professor of Slavonic and East European Studies.

Professor Koenker is currently Professor of History, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her research specialism is modern Russian and Soviet history, and her broader interests include 20th century Russian and Soviet social history, comparative working class history, consumer societies and everyday life, leisure and tourism and the 1960s.

Professor Koenker is the author of Republic of Labor: Russian Printers and Soviet Socialism, 1918-1930 (2005), Strikes and Revolution in Russia, 1917 (1989), and Moscow Workers and the 1917 Revolution (1981). Her most recent book, Club Red: Vacation Travel and the Soviet Dream (2013), will be released in paperback later this year. Professor Koenker is also the editor, or co-editor, of a number of books, including Turizm: The Russian and East European Tourist under Capitalism and Socialism (2006) and The Socialist Sixties: Crossing Borders in the Second World (2013).

Following her appointment, Professor Koenker said, “My research has benefited from the remarkable SSEES library and interactions with its staff for many years, and I am honoured and delighted to be chosen to serve as Director of this outstanding UCL institution as it looks ahead to its second hundred years.”

Professor Anthony Smith, UCL Vice-Provost (Education and Student Affairs), said, “I am delighted that Professor Koenker will be joining SSEES as its new Director. Diane is a very distinguished scholar and I look forward to working with her.”

Professor Koenker will join UCL on 1 January 2018.

The interim Director of SSEES is Professor Simon Dixon, Chair of Russian History.


The UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES) is the world’s leading institution for research and teaching on Russia, the Baltics, and Central, Eastern and South-East Europe. The School’s mission is to foster cross-disciplinary approaches to area studies, using expertise in our primary geographical region to generate knowledge and understanding of the broader world. The School’s work is organized into four interrelated programmes: Economics and Business; History; Languages and Culture; Politics and Sociology. With its spectacular library and award-winning building in the heart of London, at the centre of a vibrant network of national and international connections, SSEES provides a unique and dynamic environment where students acquire the expertise and skills that employers want, including an unparalleled range of languages.