Marsha Siefert specializes in cultural and communications history, particularly media industries and public diplomacy, from the nineteenth-century to the present. The most recent of her six edited books is Labor in State-Socialist Europe, 1945-1989: Contributions to a History of Work, which appeared with CEU Press in 2020. Since 2020 she has taught in the CEU Erasmus Master's program, History in the Public Sphere. Currently she is the Director of Mentoring at the Invisible University for Ukraine.
Recent publications on cinematic diplomacy appear in “Rethinking the Cinematic Cold War,” ed. by Francesco Pitassio, Stefano Pisu, Maurizio Zinni, Cinema e storia (2021); Socialist Internationalism in the Cold War: Exploring the Second World (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016); Cold War Crossings: International Travel and Exchange in the Soviet Bloc, 1940s-1960s (College Station, TX: Texas A&M Press, 2014); Divided Dreamworlds? The Cultural Cold War East and West (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2012); and Cold War Cultures: Perspectives on Eastern and Western European Societies (New York: Berghahn, 2012).
In 2021 she returned to an abiding interest in music history, with contributions to two September workshops that she co-organized: “Underground Information, Unofficial News, Useful Rumors: Informal Communication in World War II Europe,” with the project “‘Man hört, man spricht’: Informal Communication and Information ‘From Below’ in Nazi Europe” (INFOCOM), Leibniz Institute for Contemporary History (IfZ), and “Transatlantic Relations in Music before World War I,” co-sponsored by the Institute of Advanced Study, Budapest, and Botstiber Foundation for Austrian-American Relations. She also published a chapter in Marko Kölbl and Fritz Trümpi, eds., Music and Democracy: Participatory Approaches (Vienna: transcript/mdw Press, 2021).
From her ongoing project on the history of ninteteenth-century communications infrastructure, "The Russian Empire and the International Telegraph Union, 1856-1875," was published in History of the International Telecommunication Union. Transnational Techno-Diplomacy from the Telegraph to the Internet (2020)
Since coming to CEU, she has supervised 92 MA theses; 10 were awarded the department's Hanák Prize in Modern History. Nine of her PhD students have successfully defended their dissertations. She is a Research Associate of the Democracy in History project at the Democracy Institute, CEU Budapest.
Projects and Fellowships
- Management Committee for Hungary, WORCK: Worlds of Related Coercions in Work, COST Action 18205, October 2020 +
- Partner in the Project, “‘Man hört, man spricht’: Informal Communication and Information ‘From Below’ in Nazi Europe” (INFOCOM), Leibniz Institute for Contemporary History (IfZ), Munich, November 2018 to present.
- Inaugural Fellow in the Study of Russia and Ballet, Center for Ballet and the Arts & the Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia, New York University, 25 January-13 May 2016.
- Humanities Grant (with Susan Zimmermann), “Laboring Lives: The Experience of Work in Eastern Europe,” 2015-2017.
- Honorary Research Associate, Graduate School for East and Southeast European Studies, Ludwig Maximillian University-Munich and University of Regensburg.
- St. Antony's College, Oxford University, Academic Visitor, January-June 2014
- Short-term grant, Kennan Institute, Wilson Center, Washington DC, October 2013
- Grant Partner, “Visegrad Cinemas,” Visegrad Foundation, 2011
- Mellon Fellowship, Harry Ransom Center, 2008
- Visiting Research Fellow, Rothermere American Institute, Oxford University, January–May 2007
- Mobility Grants from CEU-SEP to lecture at the Department of History, the National University of "Kyiv-Mohyla Academy," Kyiv, September—October 2007, at the Faculty of Philosophy, Department of the History and Theory of Culture, and the Institute of Ethnography, University of Sofia “Kliment Ohridsky,” May 2001; at the Department of Foreign Languages, Buryat State University, Ulan-Ude, and the Moscow State University Sociology Department, Moscow, April 2001; and at the Journalism Department at West University in Timisoara and Mass Communication Department at the University of Bucharest, Romania, January 1997
- National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminar, Princeton University, 2000
- Senior Associate Member, St. Antony’s College, Oxford University, Hilary term, 2000
- Bridgebuilder's Award, Muhlenberg College, for excellence in teaching students with learning disabilities, 1995
- Association of American Publishers Award for the "Most Outstanding Single Issue" of a Journal, “Mass Culture and Perestroika in the Soviet Union," 1991
- U.S. Council for World Communications Year 83, Commendation for World Communications: A Handbook
Selected Professional Activities
- Co-Editor, Historical Studies in Eastern Europe and Eurasia, CEU Press (9 volumes published)
- Co-Editor, Longman Communication Books in International communication, Longman Publishers, (23 volumes published)
- Co-Editor, Communications and Society Book Series, Oxford University Press, (15 volumes published)
- Editorial Boards: Popular Music and Society; New Media and Society; International Communication Gazette; Handbook of New Media, Interstitio: East European Review of Historical Anthropology; Media and Religion (Moscow); Global Histories of Work (de Gruyter Oldenbourg)
- Editor, Journal of Communication, 1985-1991, Oxford University Press, Circulation: 7,500
Courses taught in the previous years
- Media, Communication and Communism in International Perspective
- Culture, Commerce, and Diplomacy: An Entangled History
- European Labor History in Global Context
- Biography and Oral History
- International Communication
- Oral History and Public Memory
- History in the Public Sphere: An Introduction
- Music History Weekend in Vienna
- Socialist Realism in Ukrainian Soviet Art History and Art Criticism from the 1950s till the Perestroika / Polina Baitsym (current)
- Between Arts and Crafts: Soviet Modernization of the Art Industry, 1932-1965/ Elizaveta Berezina (current)
- Links in the Chain: Department Stores and the Transformation of the Economic, Social and Urban Environment in Socialist Yugoslavia, 1950s-1980s/ Ivana Mihaela Žimbrek (current)
- Remains in Revolution: Death and and Burial in France (1789-99) and Russia (1917-1927)/ Anastasia Papushina (current)
- Tito's Proliferation Puzzle: The Yugoslav Nuclear Program, 1948-1970; Best CEU Dissertation Award, 2023 / Marko Miljkovic (2021)
- Producing Socialism while Making Films: Film Industry in Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union (1957-1972) / Agne Rimkute (2021))
- Labouring Along: Industrial Workers and the Making of Postwar Romania (1944-1958) / Adrian Grama (2017)
- Designer socialism: the aesthetic turn in Soviet Russia after Stalin / Yulia Karpova (2015)
- Silenced ethnicity: Russian-Estonian intermarriages in Soviet Estonia (oral history) / Uku Lember (2014)
- The Yugoslav youth press (1968-1980): student movements, subcultures and communist alternative media / Marko Zubak (2013)
- A garden with mellow fruits of refinement: music theatres and cultural politics in Cairo and Istanbul, 1867-1892 / Adam Mestyan (2011)
- Engineering the human soul: science fiction in communist Romania 1955-1989 / Eugen Stancu (2011)
- Soviet cinema Soviet spaces: everyday life in Soviet film (1965-1985) / Sergei Dobrynin (2006)
- Labor in State-Socialist Europe, 1945-1989: Contributions to a History of Work, Budapest: Central European University Press, 2020. 484 pp.
- Extending the Borders of Russian History: Essays in Honor of Alfred J. Rieber. Budapest: Central European University Press, 2003. 553 pp.
- Mass Culture and Perestroika in the Soviet Union. New York: Oxford University Press, 1991. 200 pp. (Professional & Scholarly Publishing, Association of American Publishers Excellence Award)
- The Information Gap: How Computers and Other New Communications Technologies Affect the Social Distribution of Power (with G. Gerbner and J. Fisher). New York: Oxford University Press, 1989. 232 pp. (Supported by a grant from the Markle Foundation)
- World Communications: A Handbook (with G. Gerbner). New York: Longman, 1984. 537 pp. (Commendation by the US Council for World Communications Year 1983)
- Ferment in the Field: Communications Scholars Address Critical Issues and Research Tasks of the Discipline (with G. Gerbner). Philadelphia: Annenberg School Press, 1983. 338 pp. (Classic text revisited in 1993 and 2018).
Articles and Book Chapters
- “Entrepreneurial Tapists: Underground Music Reproduction and Distribution in the U.S. and U.S.S.R., 1960s and 1970s,” in Marko Kölbl and Fritz Trümpi, eds., Music and Democracy: Participatory Approaches (Vienna: transcript/mdw Press, 2021), 15-55.
- “Sergei Gerasimov and Soviet Cinematic Diplomacy from New York to Beijing (1949),” Special Issue “Rethinking the Cinematic Cold War,” ed. by Francesco Pitassio, Stefano Pisu, Maurizio Zinni, Cinema e storia (2021): 69-86 (in Italian).
- "The Russian Empire and the International Telegraph Union, 1856-1875," in Gabriele Balbi and Andreas Fickers, eds., History of the International Telecommunication Union: Transnational Techno-Diplomacy from the Telegraph to the Internet (Berlin: de Gruyter, 2020), 15-36.
- "Introduction: Labor in State-Socialist Europe after 1945: Toward an Inclusive History of Work," in Marsha Siefert, ed., Labor in State-Socialist Europe, 1945-1989: Contributions to a History of Work. Budapest: Central European University Press, 2020), 1-24.
- “Soviet Cinematic Internationalism and Socialist Filmmaking, 1955-1972,” in Patryk Babiracki and Austin Jersild, eds., Socialist Internationalism in the Cold War: Exploring the Second World (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016), 161-193.
- “Meeting at a Far Meridian: American-Soviet Cultural Diplomacy on Film in the Early Cold War,” in Patryk Babiracki and Kenyon Zimmer, eds., Cold War Crossings: International Travel and Exchange in the Soviet Bloc, 1940s-1960s (College Station, TX: Texas A&M Press, 2014), 166-209.
- “Co-Producing Cold War Culture: East-West Film-Making and Cultural Diplomacy,” in Peter Romijn, Giles Scott-Smith and Joes Segal, eds., Divided Dreamworlds? The Cultural Cold War East and West (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2012), 73-94.
- “East European Cold War Culture(s)? Commonalities, Alterities and Film Industries,” in Thomas Lindenberger, Marcus Payk and Annette Vowinkle, eds., Cold War Cultures: Perspectives on Eastern and Western European Societies (New York: Berghahn, 2012), 23-54. Paperback reprint 2014.
- “’Chingis Khan with the Telegraph’: Communications in the Russian and Ottoman Empires,” in Jörn Leonhard and Ulrike von Hirschhausen, eds., Comparing Empires: Encounters and Transfers in the Long Nineteenth Century (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2011), 80-110.
“Teaching History in a (New) Media World: Historical Narratives, the Audiovisual, and the Digital Past,” in Interstitio: East European Review of Historical Anthropology1, no. 2 (2007): 87-116.
- “Twentieth-Century Culture, “Americanization,” and European Audiovisual Space,” in Konrad Jarausch and Thomas Lindenberger, eds. Conflicted Memories: Europeanizing Contemporary Histories, (New York: Berghahn Books, 2007), 164-193.
- “Russische Leben, Sowjetische Filme: Die Filmbiographie, Tchaikovsky und der Kalte Krieg,” in Lars Karl, ed. Leinwand zwischen Tauwetter und Frost Der osteuropäische Spiel- und Dokumentarfilm im Kalten Krieg (Berlin: Metropol, 2007), 133-170.
- “From Cold War to Wary Peace: American Culture in the USSR and Russia,” in Indian Films inAlexander Stephan, ed. The Americanization of Europe: Culture, Diplomacy and Anti-Americanism After 1945 (New York: Berghahn Books, 2006), 185-217. Paperback reprint 2007.
- “Visualizing History: Design and Representation in History Textbooks,” Ukraina moderna 9 (2005): 92-105. (In Ukrainian).
- “The Metropolitan Opera and the American Century: Opera Singers, Europe and Cultural Politics,” Journal for Arts Management, Law and Society 33, no. 4 (Winter 2004): 298-315.
- “Allies on Film: US—USSR Filmmakers and The Battle for Russia,” in Marsha Siefert, ed. Extending the Borders of Russian History (Budapest: Central European University Press, 2003): 373-400.
- “Radio Diplomacy and the Cold War,” Journal of Communication 53, no.2 (2003): 363-373.
“Re-Mastering the Past: Musical Heritage, Sound Recording, and the Nation in Hungary and Russia,” in Mihály Szegedy-Maszák, ed., National Heritage – National Canon (Budapest: Collegium Budapest, 2002): 251-280.
- "Image\Music\Voice: Song Dubbing in Hollywood Musicals." Journal of Communication 45, no. 2 (Spring 1995): 44-64.
- "Introduction" (with Alfred J. Rieber) to Technology: Aesthetics, Politics, Culture. Science in Context 8, no. 2 (Summer 1995): 281-292.
- “Aesthetics, Technology, and the Capitalization of Culture: How the Talking Machine Became a Musical Instrument.” In Alfred J. Rieber and Marsha Siefert, eds., Technology: Aesthetics, Politics, Culture. Science in Context 8, no. 2 (Summer 1995): 417-450.
- "The Audience at Home: Sound Recording and the Marketing Musical Taste in the Early Twentieth Century,” in D. Chuck Whitney and James S. Ettema, eds., AudienceMaking: Media Audiences as Industrial Process (Beverly Hills, CA: Sage, 1994): 186-214.
- "A Second Draft of History," in Marsha Siefert, ed. Mass Culture and Perestroika in the Soviet Union (New York: Oxford University Press, 1991), 8-12.
- "Style as Substance: Richard M. Dorson as an Author of Folklore Scholarship." Journal of Folklore Research 26, no. 1 (January-April 1989): 61-72.
- "Opera,” article, captions, and illustrations for International Encyclopedia of Communications (New York: Oxford University Press, 1988), vol. 3: 217-222.
- "The Dynamics of Evaluation: A Case Study of Performance Reviews,” Poetics Today 5, no. 1 (Winter 1984): 111-128.
- Review of Rósa Magnúsdóttir, Enemy Number One: The United States of America in Soviet Ideology and Propaganda, 1945–1959 (New York: Oxford University Press, 2018), in Diplomatica 2, no. 1 (2020): 177-179.
- Review of Christine Evans, Between Truth and Time: A History of Soviet Central Television (New Haven: Yale University Press 2016), in Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television 38, no. 1 (2018): 216-219.
- Review of Alexander Prokhorov and Elena Prokhorova, Film and Television Genres of the Late Soviet Era (London: Bloomsbury, 2017), in Studies in Russian and Soviet Cinema 11, no. 3 (2017): 264-265.
- Review of Elizabeth Ravitsch, Frank Capra’s Far Eastern Horizons: American Identity and the Cinema of International Relations (London: I. B. Tauris, 2015) in Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television 35, no. 3 (2015): 539-541.
- Review of Popular Television in Eastern Europe During and Since Socialism, edited by Aniko Imre, Timothy Havens, and Katalin Lustyik (London: Routledge, 2012), Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television 34, no. 1 (March 2014): 172-176.
- Review of Moscow Prime Time: How the Soviet Union Built a Media Empire and Lost the Cold War by Kristin Roth-Ey (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2011) in Studies in Russian and Soviet Cinema 5, no. 3 (April 2012): 425-426.
- Review of The Post-Soviet Russian Media: Conflicting Signals edited by Birgit Beumers, Stephen Hutchings and Natalia Rulyova. BASEES/Routledge Series on Russian and East European Studies 53 (London and New York: Routledge, 2009) in Modern Language Review 106, no. 3 (July 2011): 932-934.
- Review of Indian Films in Soviet Cinemas: The Culture of Movie-Going after Stalin by Sudha Rajagopalan (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2009) in Studies in Russian and Soviet Cinema 4, no. 3 (Fall 2010): 366-368.