Elidor Mëhilli

Assistant Professor of History at Hunter College of the City University of New York

Elidor is Assistant Professor in the Department of History at Hunter College of the City University of New York. He received a PhD from Princeton University and held a postdoctoral fellowship at Columbia University’s Harriman Institute and a Mellon fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania’s Humanities Center. His research has been published in the Journal of Cold War StudiesKritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian HistoryThe International History Review, and a number of edited volumes. He serves as co-president of the Northeastern Slavic, East European & Eurasian Studies Conference, based in New York.

Elidor’s research interests lie in modern Europe, authoritarian regimes, globalization, political and economic integration and disintegration, and the politics of development. His first book, From Stalin to Mao: Albania and the Socialist World (Cornell 2017), illuminates one of Europe’s longest but least understood dictatorships. By tracking the Balkan country’s post-1945 internationalist engagements – from Southeast Europe to East Asia – the book captures the powerful globalism of socialism. It also explores the unintended consequences of transnational exchanges across a vast territory. After a decade of vigorous borrowing from the Soviet Union – advisers, factories, school textbooks, urban plans – Albania’s party clique switched allegiance to China during the 1960s Sino-Soviet conflict, seeing in Mao’s patronage an opportunity to keep Stalinism alive. From Stalin to Mao shows how socialism created a shared transnational material and mental culture, but failed to generate political unity. His work brings together Fascist Italy’s involvement in the Balkans in the 1930s-40s, Eastern bloc technical and economic entanglements in the 1950s, the profound fascination with the Soviet Union as a model of development, and the dramatic consequences of the Sino-Soviet split within international communism. Elidor is currently working on a project on “The Mediterranean and the Making of Modern Europe.”