Andrew Jenks

Andrew Jenks, Ph.D.




Ph.D. Stanford University

M.A. University of Michigan

B.A. Bucknell University

Contact Information:

(562) 985-8759

Office: FO2-122

California State University, Long Beach
1250 Bellflower Blvd., MS 1601
Long Beach, CA 90840-1601


I specialize in the history of modern Europe, Russia, environment, technology and science. My first book (Russia in a Box: Art and Identity in an Age of Revolution, 2005) examined Russian identity through a group of famous artisans in the village of Palekh. I published a book on technological disasters in 2010, entitled Perils of Progress, that examines four large-scale environmental and technological tragedies in the twentieth century. This book was based on case studies that I had incorporated into my classes on history of technology, science, and environment. My biography of the first space traveler (The Cosmonaut Who Couldn’t Stop Smiling: the Life and Legend of Yuri Gagarin, 2012) explored modern Soviet and Russian history through the life and times of the first man in space, Yuri Gagarin. My most recent book (Collaboration in Space and the Search for Peace on Earth, 2021) examines the period of the late Cold War and détente through the history of joint manned space flight missions, beginning with the Apollo-Soyuz space venture of 1975. 

Current Research

Dr. Jenks is now writing a book on Russian immigrants to Mexico (Los Rusos: Revolutions, Statelessness, and the Russian Diaspora in Mexico, 1905-1965), under contract with Cornell University Press. 

Selected Publications
  • Collaboration in Space and the Search for Peace on Earth. Anthem Press, 2021. 
  • The Cosmonaut Who Couldn’t Stop Smiling: The Life and Legend of Yuri Gagarin. Northern Illinois University Press, 2012.
  • The Perils of Progress: Environmental Disasters in the Twentieth Century. Prentice-Hall, 2010.
  • Russia in a Box: Art and Identity in an Age of Revolution. Northern Illinois University Press, 2005.
  • “Androgynous Coupling and the Engineering of Peace: A Cold-War Romance in Space,” Journal of Russian American Studies 5, no. 2 (2021): 78-111.
  • “Handshakes in Space and the Cold War Imaginary,” Journal of Cold War Studies 23 (Spring 2021): 100-132.
  • “Securitization and Secrecy in the Late Cold War: The View from Space,” Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History 21 (Summer 2020): 659-689.
  • “Transnational Utopias, Space Exploration, and the Association of Space Explorers, 1972-1985,” in Post-Apollo: Outer Space and the Limits of Utopia, ed. Alexander Geppert (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2018), 209-237.
  • “The 50th Jubilee: Yuri Gagarin in the Soviet and Post-Soviet Imagination,” in Spacefarers: Images of Astronauts and Cosmonauts in the Heroic Era of Spaceflight, eds. Michael J. Neufield and Stephen J. Garber (Smithsonian Institution Press, 2013): 81-106.
  • “Conquering Space: The Cult of Yuri Gagarin,” in Post/Soviet Identities, eds. Catriona Kelly and Mark Bassin (Cambridge University Press, 2012), 129-149.
  • “Yuri Gagarin: The Sincere Deceiver,” in Into the Cosmos: Soviet Culture and Space Exploration, eds. Asif Siddiqi and James Andrews (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2011), 107-133. 
  • “Thinking Inside and Outside the Box: The Paradoxes of the Palekh Lacquer,” in Palekh — Icons to Souvenir Boxes to Icons (Washington, D.C.: Art Alliance LLC, 2008), 4-15.
  • “Model City USA: The Environmental Cost of Victory in World War II and the Cold War.” Environmental History 12. July 2007: 552-77.|
  • “The Art Market and the Construction of Soviet Russian Culture,” in Lewis Siegelbaum, ed., Borders of Socialism: The Private Sphere in the Soviet Union. Palgrave Macmillan, 2006, 47-65.
  • “Iconography, Power, and Expertise in Imperial Russia,” The Donald W. Treadgold Papers in Russian, East European, and Central Asian Studies no. 42 (June 2004).
  • “Palekh and the Forging of a Russian Nation in the Brezhnev Era.” Cahiers du monde Russe, vol. 44 (October-December 2003): 629-656.
  • “From Center to Periphery: Palekh and Indigenization in the Russian Heartland, 1917-1933,” Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History, vol. 3 (Summer 2002): 427-58.
  • “A Metro on the Mount: The Underground as a Church of Soviet Civilization.” Technology and Culture, vol. 41 (October 2000): 697-724..