My Spring 2018 office hours are on Tuesdays from 1-3 pm. Students are welcome to drop by my office hours without an appointment. I prefer to meet in person, but you can also reach me by email at kaminsky [at]  


I am the Director of Studies for the Committee on Degrees in History & Literature, a Lecturer on History & Literature, and a Faculty Associate at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University. I received my Ph.D. in History from New York University, where I focused on modern Europe, the Soviet Union, and the history of women and gender. My research has been funded by Fulbright-Hays, SSRC, NSEP, and NYU.


Drawing on legal history and gender and sexuality studies, my research asks why some families are more highly valued than others. For example, in the first decades of the Soviet Union, family laws designed to protect single mothers defined marriage to include couples whose unions were not registered. The loudest objections came from women themselves, who asserted that the legitimate children of registered marriages were more deserving of state recognition and financial protection. To learn more, read my article, Utopian Visions of Family Life in the Stalin-Era Soviet Union.


As the instructor of record for all sophomore, junior, and senior tutorials in History & Literature, I coordinate the tutorial system that is the heart of Harvard's honors concentration in the humanities. In addition, I teach seminars such as WWI in Fiction, Film, Poetry, and Memoir.