Benjamin Zajicek

Associate Professor


Contact Info

LA 4219
T 1:00-2:00, W 11:00-12:00, F 11:00-12:00, and by appt.


Ph.D., University of Chicago, 2009

Areas of Expertise

Soviet History; history of psychiatry; Europe in the 20th century


Benjamin Zajicek joined the History Department in 2010. He was awarded a PhD from the University of Chicago for his dissertation, “Scientific Psychiatry in Stalin's Soviet Union: The Politics of Modern Medicine and the Struggle to Define ‘Pavlovian’ Psychiatry, 1939-1953.” His research focuses on the Soviet Union in the Stalin era, particularly the history of professions and the history of psychiatry. He is currently working on a book manuscript titled “Soviet Psychiatry under Stalin.”

Peer Reviewed Articles and Book Chapters

  • “The Psychopharmacological Revolution in the USSR: Schizophrenia Treatment and the Thaw in Soviet Psychiatry, 1954–64,” Medical History 63, no. 3 (July 2019): 249-269. Doi:
  • “Soviet Psychiatry and the Origins of the Sluggish Schizophrenia Concept, 1912-1936,” History of the Human Sciences, 31, no. 2 (2018): 88-105 .
  • "Banning the Soviet Lobotomy: Psychiatry, Ethics, and Professional Politics during Late Stalinism," Bulletin of the History of Medicine 91, no. 1 (Spring 2017).
  • “A Soviet System of Professions: Psychiatry, Professional Jurisdiction, and the Soviet Academy of Medical Sciences, 1932-1951,” inRussian and Soviet Healthcare from an International Perspective: Comparing Professions, Practice, and Gender, 1880-1960, Susan Grant, ed. (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017).
  • “Insulin Coma Therapy and the Construction of Therapeutic Effectiveness in Stalin’s Soviet Union, 1936-1953,” in Psychiatry in Communist Europe, Matt Savelli and Sarah Marks, eds. (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015).
  • “Soviet Madness: Mild Schizophrenia, Mental Hygiene, and the Professional Jurisdiction of Psychiatry, 1918-1936,” Ab Imperio no. 4 (2014): 167-194.

Awards and Honors

Social Sciences Research Council Eurasia Program Dissertation Write-up Fellowship, 2007-2008.
Jacob K. Javits Fellowship, US Department of Education, 2005-2006, 2001-2004.
Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Grant, US Department of Education, 2004-2005.

SPRING 2022    
HIST 103

History of European Civilization from the
17th Century

HIST 103 History of European Civilization from the
17th Century
HIST 452 Russia/Soviet Union: 1894-1953