Elizabeth (Betty) Banks is transnational historian of the Soviet Union. Her research examines Soviet history in global perspective, integrating histories of Soviet actions overseas with critical transformations of the twentieth century including decolonization, globalization, technological and environmental change.
She is currently revising her manuscript, Parallel Internationalisms: The Soviet Union and Mozambique in the Cold War Era, for publication. This work draws on extensive archival and oral history research in Russia, Mozambique, and the US to explore how the ideological ideal of socialist solidarity was put into practice by leaders, officials and citizens in the USSR and Mozambique, in a wider context of decolonization and cold war. “The African-Soviet Modern,” a co-edited special section of articles is forthcoming in Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East (issue 41.1).
From October to December 2020, she is also a visiting postdoctoral fellow at the Centre for the Studies Modern and Contemporary History at the University of Edinburgh. She received her PhD in History from New York University and holds an MA in Russian Studies from the School of Slavonic and East European Studies in London. Her broader research interests include gender histories, transnational history, the cold war, environmental history and the history of fishing.