Brigid O’Keeffe

Associate Professor of History at Brooklyn College (CUNY)

Brigid is broadly interested in the study of language’s many roles in international encounters and internationalist projects. Her book Esperanto and Languages Internationalism in Revolutionary Russia is under contract with Bloomsbury (expected in 2021).  It is a study of how men and women in revolutionary Russia variously contended with the challenges and opportunities of the evolving relationship between language and international communication in an avowedly global age.  It shows how the question of international language and international communication shaped revolutionary Russia’s debates about its – and ordinary people’s – place and role in an interconnected but divided world. Esperanto and Languages of Internationalism in Revolutionary Russia contributes to a recent historiographical trend of placing Russian and Soviet history in global perspective, but also prioritises what has too often been overlooked in historical studies of internationalism more broadly: language politics in a multilingual and fractured world.  Brigid has already begun work on her next book, The Family Litvinov: A History of the Twentieth Century.