We are excited to welcome Dr. Louis Porter to Texas State this semester! He studies studies Russian and Eastern European history.
After getting my PhD in Russian History at the University of North Carolina, I am stoked to be joining the Texas State University Department of History to teach Russian and East European History.
I am often asked why I study Russia and never have a pithy answer. However, my background provides a couple of reasons. In…. West Philadelphia (“born and raised”), I grew up living in a bunch of different worlds, kind of like the Fresh Prince. My parents split so I went to school in the suburbs where my mother lived while visiting my Dad in Philly on the weekends. With a Black father from the Cleveland projects and a white mother from a working-class family in West Virginia, I had to negotiate a range of racial and class settings from as far back as I can remember. This made me eager to learn how hierarchies of class and race structure history and how various people have struggled to overcome these hierarchies.
But, as a bit of a cynic, I decided to study the greatest failed experiment in overcoming these hierarchies––the Soviet Union. I am fascinated by Marxism (in theory and practice) and its historical contexts. I am also passionate about recruiting students of all backgrounds to join me in studying Russian and European history. When not in the classroom, I am writing a book that examines how Soviet citizens reacted to the idea of international organizations.
My courses at Texas State will cover a range of topics in Russian and East European history. If you want to learn about medieval Ukraine, the Russian Revolution, or why Putin…is the way he is, I got you covered! For now, I am teaching surveys of Russian history (HIST 4333 in the Spring and 4334 in the Fall) as well as Western Civ. But I hope in the future to teach classes on the Russian Revolution, Marx and Marxism, and the Cold War.
In my free time, I chase a skedaddling nine-month old, LJ, around my house with my wife. Apart from that, I love swimming, running, hiking with my dog, canoeing, watching basketball (Sixers or whatever team Lebron is on), and listening to music (everything from DaBaby to My Bloody Valentine to Bruce Springsteen). My favorite movie is Disney’s Robin Hood.