Dr. Mayhill Fowler

Dr. Mayhill Fowler

historian, affiliated researcher

Dr. Mayhill C. Fowler is a historian and associate professor in the Department of History at Stetson University, where she also directs the Program in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies. She holds a Ph.D. from Princeton University (2011). She was a Mihaychuk Fellow at the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute (2012) and the Petro Jacyk Fellow at the University of Toronto (2012-2013). Her first book, Beau Monde on Empire's Edge: State and Stage in Soviet Ukraine (Toronto, 2017), tells the story of the making of theater both Soviet and Ukrainian through a collective biography of young artists and officials in the 1920s and 1930s. Her book project War Stories: Theater on the Frontlines of Socialism investigates how societies explain war and entertain soldiers through the story of PrykVO, the theater of the Carpathian Military District (or former Soviet Army Theater) in Lviv. A third research project, Comrade Actress: Soviet Ukrainian Women on the Stage and Behind the Scenes, re-thinks theater in Ukraine over the long 20th century through a focus on its women. She was a faculty member with the International Summer School of the Social Sciences from 2013-2019 and a member of the organizing committee of the Danyliw Seminar in Ukrainian Studies from 2014-2019. She is a member of the Shevchenko Scientific Society in New York. She holds a master’s degree in Acting (MFA) from the National Theater Conservatory (2000) and a BA in Slavic Languages from Yale University (1996).

Dr. Fowler is affiliated with the Center through research and teaching. She works with the Center on the Research Focus “Urban Cultural Infrastructures: Creators, Managers, Audiences in the Modern City” through her book project, War Stories: Theater on the Frontlines of Socialism. She is also engaged in the educational programs at the Center. As a postdoctoral fellow at the Center in 2011, she taught a course in cultural history at the Ukrainian Catholic University. She has taught at the Center’s summer schools in Jewish history and culture in 2013 and 2016, and she contributes to the online course programming with her 2021 course “Money and the Muse.” In her teaching at Stetson University she uses the materials from the Urban Media Archive and Lviv Interactive, and she seeks to connect students in Ukraine and in the US through educational experiences. She was a Fulbright Research Scholar based at the Center for Urban History and Ivan Franko National University in Ukraine 2019-2020. She can be found at the Center every summer.

Research Interests: theater history, cultural history, cultural infrastructures, Jewish history and culture, gender history, borderlands, transnational teaching



Beau Monde on Empire’s Edge: State and Stage in Soviet Ukraine (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2017).

Journal Article

“Comrade Actress: The Everyday Life of the Theatrical Avant-Garde,” Ukraina Moderna, vol. 29 (summer 2021): 289-312.

“Introduction: Ukraine in Revolution, 1917-1922” and “The Geography of Revolutionary Art,” Slavic Review, vol. 78, no. 4 (Winter 2019): 931-934 and 957-964.

"What was Soviet and Ukrainian about Soviet Ukrainian Culture?: Mykola Kulish's Myna Mazailo on the Soviet Stage," Nationalities Papers, vol. 47, no. 3 (May 2019): 355-365.

"Jews, Ukrainians, Soviets?: Backstage in the Yiddish Theaters of Soviet Ukraine," Jewish Culture and History, vol. 18, no. 2 (Spring 2017): 152-169; republished in translation by Svitlana Brehman, Naukovy zapysky tovarystva Shevchenka,vol. 263 “Pratsi Teatroznavchoi komisii” (Lviv, 2020): 143-163.

"Mikhail Bulgakov, Mykola Kulish, and Soviet Theater: How Internal Transnationalism Remade Center and Periphery," Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History, vol. 16, no. 2 (Spring 2015): 263-290.

"A Cesspool of Intrigues: Les Kurbas, Aleksandr Dovzhenko, and the Early Soviet Ukrainian Motion Picture Industry," in Canadian Slavonic Papers, vol. 56, nos. 1-2 (March-June 2014): 83-101.

"Na ulicy Prorizny: Ponadnarodowa historia modernizmu na Ukrainie [On Prorizna Street: A Transnational History of Modernism in Ukraine]," trans. Mikolaj Golubiewski, Przegłąd Filozoficzno-literackie: kwartalnik (special issue on Modernism), vol. 36, no. 2 (summer 2013): 101-113.

"Yiddish Theater in Soviet Ukraine: A Re-Evaluation of Jewish-Slavic Relations in the Arts," Ab Imperio 2011/3 (December 2011): 167-188.

Book Chapters

"Tylko we Lwowie: Tango, Jazz, and Urban Entertainment in a Multi-ethnic City," in Lviv-Wroclaw: Parallel Cities? Myth, Memory, Migration, 1890-present, ed. Jan Fellerer and Robert Pyrah (Budapest: CEU Press, 2020), 123-140.

"Guns, Money, and the Muse: New Patronage in the Russian Civil War," in Victor Emeljanow, ed., War and Theatrical Innovation, Palgrave Studies in Theater and Performance (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017), 121-138.

"Beyond Ukraine or Little Russia: Going Global with Culture in Ukraine," The Future of the Past: New Perspectives on Ukrainian History, ed. Serhii Plokhy (Cambridge: Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute, 2016), 249-274; reprinted in Harvard Ukrainian Studies, vol. 34, no. 1-4 (2015-2016): 259-286.

“'A Theatrical Mecca': The Stages of Kyiv in 1907,” Modernism in Kyiv: Jubilant Experimentation, edited by Virlana Tkacz and Irena Makaryk (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2010), 26-51.