Elizabeth (Betty) Banks is a historian of Soviet transnational history. 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.
As a Max Weber Fellow, she is revising her manuscript “Socialist Internationalism between the Soviet Union and Mozambique,” for publication. This workdraws 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. She is additionally completing work on a collaborate special issue of Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, expected 2020, that examines dynamism and legacies of Soviet engagement across the African continent.
She received her PhD in History from New York University in 2019 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 era, environmental history and the history of fishing.