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Elidor Mëhilli

Ph.D. (2011) Princeton University
M.A. (2007) Princeton University
B.A. (2005) Cornell University
B.S. (2005) Cornell University


Phone: 212-772-5485
Twitter: ElidorMehilli

Elidor Mëhilli’s research interests include modern Europe in the world, authoritarian regimes, non-capitalist forms of exchange, and political and economic forms of integration and disintegration. He teaches widely in 20th century European and international history, the Cold War, the Mediterranean, and in the comparative study of dictatorships. He has also taught seminars by invitation at the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University.

Mëhilli's first book From Stalin to Mao explored Cold War-era socialism as a form of globalization through the angle of Albania under Yugoslav, Soviet, Eastern bloc, and Chinese patronage. It was based on eight years of archival research in Tirana, Berlin, London, Moscow, Prague, Rome, Washington, New York, and Palo Alto, including newly declassified Communist party, state, diplomatic, and police collections. He has also written on Stalinism as a historical problem, urbanism as an angle into writing local, national, and transnational histories of socialism, the concept of "self-reliance" during the Cold War, and on Soviet-Albanian-Chinese cinematic encounters across the Sino-Soviet split. Other work has appeared in the official catalogue of the Pavilion of the Republic of Albania at the 56th Venice Biennale (2015). He has also published popular commentary in QuartzThe Conversation, and in some of the largest Albanian-language daily newspapers.

Mëhilli received a PhD from Princeton University and held a postdoctoral fellowship at Columbia University’s Harriman Institute (2011-2012) and a Mellon fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania’s Humanities Center (2012-2013). He has been a visiting fellow at the Zentrum für Zeithistorische Forschung in Potsdam, Germany; at Birkbeck College in London, United Kingdom; and with the Workshop on Authoritarian Regimes at the Hoover Institution at Stanford. In 2017, he received the Feliks Gross Award, CUNY's top recognition for Assistant Professors in the humanities or sciences, including the social and life sciences. Until 2019, Mëhilli served as President of the Northeastern Slavic, East European & Eurasian Studies Conference, based in New York.

Recent Publications:

From Stalin to Mao: Albania and the Socialist World (Cornell University Press, 2017)

Book-related features: BBC's World Update, VOA's Albanian-language service, cover story of Gazeta Dita (Tiranë), Woodrow Wilson Center (DC)

"Documents as Weapons: The Uses of a Dictatorship’s Archives," Contemporary European History 28:1 (February 2019): 82–95.

“Globalized Socialism, Nationalized Time: Soviet Films, Albanian Subjects, and Chinese Audiences across the Sino-Soviet Split,” Slavic Review 77:3 (Fall 2018): 611-637.

“Kryeqyteti dhe pushteti,” Përpjekja no. 34-35 (September 2016): 83-108.

“States of Insecurity,” The International History Review 37: 5 (October 2015): 1-22.

“Written. (Erased.) Rewritten,” Armando Lulaj et. al., Albanian Trilogy: A Series of Devious Stratagems (Berlin: Sternberg Press, 2015).

“Mao and the Albanians,” in Alexander C. Cook (ed.), Mao’s Little Red Book: A Global History (Cambridge University Press, 2014), pp. 165-184.

“Socialist Encounters: Albania and the Transnational Eastern Bloc in the 1950s,” in Patryk Babiracki and Kenyon Zimmer (eds.), Cold War Crossings: International Travel and Exchange Across the Soviet Bloc, 1940s–1960s (Texas A&M University Press: 2014), pp. 107-133. • Awarded Webb-Smith Prize

“Technology and the Cold War,” in Artemy Kalinovsky and Craig Daigle (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of the Cold War (New York: Routledge, 2014), pp. 292-304.

“The Socialist Design: Urban Dilemmas in Postwar Europe and the Soviet Union,” Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History 13:3 (Summer 2012): 635-665.

“Defying De-Stalinization: Albania’s 1956,” Journal of Cold War Studies 13:4 (Fall 2011): 4-56.

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