Cathy Frierson

Phone: (603) 862-3011
Office: History, Horton SSC Rm 415, Durham, NH 03824
Cathy Frierson

Cathy A. Frierson is an historian of modern Russia and the Soviet Union. She earned her B.A. in Slavic studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she held a National Merit Scholarship. She earned her A.M. in the Soviet Union program at Harvard University, where she also earned her Ph.D. in history. The author or editor of seven books on Russian and Soviet history, she has held fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities; the Kennan Institute at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, DC; the Fulbright-Hays program; the International Research Exchanges Board; the National Council for Eurasian and East European Research; and the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University. At UNH, she has held two term, endowed research professorships. Frierson is a dedicated teacher and mentor for undergraduate research. Her pedagogy stresses active student learning and engagement. The recipient of UNH’s most prestigious teaching awards in the College of Liberal Arts, she takes particular pride in having co-founded the “first-in-the-nation” International Research Opportunities Program for undergraduate students in all disciplines at UNH in 1997, during her tenure as director of the UNH Center for International Education. Many of her UNH undergraduate students have gone on to graduate and professional schools. She also has brought international students to UNH through U.S. Department of State funding; those students subsequently have variously promoted democracy in their home countries, become U.S. citizens, and even entered the Foreign Service of the U.S. Department of State. Frierson has been traveling to Russia since 1984 for research or U.S. Department of State programs related to the rule of law.  Since 2005, she has focused on child survivors of Soviet political repression, forging relationships with survivors and their advocacy and commemorative organizations. A native of the U.S. Deep South, Frierson relishes time out of doors, even in the deep snows of New Hampshire during the winter months.


  • Ph.D., Russian History, Harvard University
  • A.M., Harvard University
  • B.A., Slavic,Baltic,&Albanian Lang., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Research Interests

  • History of natural disasters
  • Intellectual history
  • Modern Russia
  • Oral history

Selected Publications

Frierson, C. A. (1997). ''I must always answer to the law'' - Rules and responses in the reformed volost court. SLAVONIC AND EAST EUROPEAN REVIEW, 75(2), 308-334. Retrieved from