Yanni Kotsonis

Kotsonis, Yanni - Headshot (02.27.13)

Yanni Kotsonis is the Founding Director of the Jordan Center and a historian of Russia. His expertise includes Russian economic history and political economy. He has completed a book on the history of Russian and Soviet taxation, titled States of Obligation: Taxes and Citizenship in the Russian Empire and Early Soviet Republic (Toronto, 2014).  

He was educated in Athens, Montreal, Copenhagen, London, Moscow, and New York. He taught in England before coming to NYU in 1994. In his teaching  he is concerned with the ways we can make intelligent comparisons between one time period and another (Imperial and Soviet Russia), and one country and another (Russia and other parts of Europe). His articles on taxation and his introduction to the book Russian Modernity reflect these interests. So does the range of courses he teaches and the variety of topics researched by his PhD students. As someone once said, “Better fewer, but better.”

Current and former PhD advisees:

Elizabeth (Betty) Banks, Russia and Africa
Chia Yin Hsu, Russian Harbin and decolonization (currently assistant professor at Portland State)
Ivan Kostin, Russian Civil War
Brigid O’Keeffe, Soviet Roma (currently assistant professor at Brooklyn College)
James Phillips, Russian and Soviet psychiatry
David Rainbow, Siberian regionalism

Articles by Yanni Kotsonis

Stephen Cohen (1938-2020): Professor Emeritus, NYU Russian and Slavic Studies

He was a marvelous colleague, helpful to the Russian Department, to the Jordan Center, and to his colleagues. I can’t recall a time when he turned us down. I want this to be known and appreciated.

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Triumph of the Trump

To quote the Washington Post, “Reporters thought this video was North Korea propaganda. It came from the White House.”

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Russians Cope with Aftermath of Cannibalism

How can you trust your neighbor when she sees you like a sausage?

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The Panama Papers, Russia, and Us: A News Quiz

See how many you can get right, but the answers depend on the skills of your accountant.

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Breaking News: Size Matters

How are we to understand two hundred years of Canadian (passive) aggression?

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Does Stephen Cohen Have the Right to Be Outspoken? Does the ASEEES Board Have the Right to Remain Silent?

I am a member of ASEEES, a historian of the Russian Empire and the USSR, and I direct a center that is an institutional member of ASEEES. Surely I can be trusted with the facts. One may insist that it is complicated, but I insist that it is that simple.

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It’s the economy, durachok! A Snapshot of the Current Mess

Foreign policy is completely related to the economy. Internationally Russia has been finding itself less and less capable, less able to exert lasting influence.

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Diaspora? What’s in It for the Russian Field?

It was a fascinating start to the Jordan Center’s Diasporas series which was held jointly with Glicksman Ireland House at NYU on 31 January – 1 February 2013.

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A Semester of Diaspora at the Jordan Center

What would change if the emigration were renamed and recast as a diaspora, not to keep up with the fashion but to seriously consider what vistas it might open, what might be at stake, deliberately or as we stumble into a theoretical and political minefield? Other fields have been there already and we can learn from them.

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Gerard Shrugged, or the Newest New Russian

I am struggling to find some deeper meaning to the petulance of Gerard Depardieu, but the actor is already an idiosyncrasy.

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