Professor of History
Ph.D., Harvard University, 1991
Areas of specialization: Russian and East European history, with an emphasis on relations between ethnic and confessional groups.
After undergraduate studies at the University of Goettingen in his native Germany, Georg Michels first came to California as part of the EAP Exchange program. He completed a Master's degree in Slavic Languages at UCLA, then moved to Harvard for his doctoral work in Russian and East Slavic history. After one-year interludes at St. Olaf College and Appalachian State University, he is happy to return to Southern California. Michels specializes in the history of religion and dissent in the Slavic territories of the former Soviet Union. His book manuscript, which he is revising for publication, explores the phenomena of religious persecution and intolerance during the early modern period. His articles on the Old Belief, which is Russia's principal movement of dissent, and religious protests in Ukraine and Karelia have been published in the U.S. and Germany as well as in Russia. Michels received grants from the Social Science Research Council and the National Endowment of the Humanities to be co-director (with Professor Robert Nichols) of the first international conference on the history of the Old Belief in Fall, 1994. He is the author of At War with the Church: Religious Dissent in Seventeenth-Century Russia.