Nadieszda Kizenko researches and teaches Russian history, with a focus on religion and culture. She explores the history of Orthodox Christianity, saints’ lives as a historical source, lived religion, political liturgy, women’s written confessions, and depictions of religion in film. Her first book, A Prodigal Saint: Father John of Kronstadt and the Russian People (Penn State University Press, 2000) examined the cult of a charismatic priest whose cult spanned the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. A Russian edition appeared as “Святой Нашего Времени: о. Иоанн Кронштадтский и русский народ» (Novoe Literaturnoe Obozrenie, 2006). Her history of confession in Russia spanning four centuries, Good for the Souls: A History of Confession in the Russian Empire, was published with Oxford University Press in 2021 (https://global.oup.com/academic/product/good-for-the-souls-9780192896797?). She has now begun a new project exploring the intersection of women, devotional practice, and writing.
Prof. Kizenko's courses and seminars cover Russian history, East European history, religion and film, and European history in general. Recent dissertations supervised by Prof. Kizenko include: “Science and Culture on the Soviet Screen: Russian and Member Republic Biographical Films during the Early Cold War, 1946-1953,” “Promiscuous Pioneers of Morality: The Code of Ethics of a Secret Service Functionary in Communist Poland as Set by Law and Practice, 1944—1989,” "Sacrifice in the Name of Sacred Duty: The Representation of the Decembrist Wives in Russian Culture, 1825-Present," and "Striving for Salvation: Margaret Anna Cusack, Sainthood, Religious Foundations and Revolution in Ireland, 1830-1922.”