Anna Graber is a historian of modern and early modern Russia specializing in the scientific culture of the Russian Enlightenment. She received her Ph.D. in History from Yale University in December 2016. Before coming to NU, Dr. Graber was a Davis Center Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard University. In addition to her affiliation with NU, Dr. Graber is a Research Fellow at the Laboratory for Primary Source Studies at Ural Federal University in Ekaterinburg, Russia and a Davis Center Associate.
Anna Graber’s work examines the science and technology of the Russian mining industry in the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries. During this period, Russia went from being a net importer of metals to Eurasia’s leading producer of iron, copper, and silver. Using sources including factory records, scientific correspondence, mineral catalogues, maps, folk tales, and metallurgical treatises, Dr. Graber investigates the creation and circulation of mining knowledge across Eurasia from German mining centers to Eastern Siberia. In the book manuscript she is preparing for publication, Tsardom of Rock: Science, Society, and Enlightenment in Imperial Russia’s Mining Empire, Dr. Graber situates mineralogical study and mining activity in the context of Enlightened reform. She argues that mines in the Urals and Siberia served as laboratories where wealthy mine owners and state mining officials tested new methods of knowing and governing the Russian Empire. Dr. Graber is also interested in the Europeanization of Russian elite culture over the course of the eighteenth century, and she researches the theologically charged revolution in Russians’ conception of the earth brought on by engagement with European mineral science.