University of Southern California

Graduate Students

Heather Ashby

Contact Information


Biographical Sketch

I am going into my last year of graduate studies (thank God!) and currently spending my time trying to complete my dissertation.  My project is a humble attempt to write an intellectual history of the Third World/Global South during the period between World War I and World War II.  Inspired by the fantastic work of Vijay Prashad (especially his book The Darker Nations), I link the writings of people from the Middle East, Asia, the Americas, and Africa to tell a story about the emergence of the Third World project.  In particular, I am focusing on a university that the Soviet Union founded solely for people of color.  Ho Chi Minh, Nazim Hikmet, and Jomo Kenyatta were students at the university, while M.N. Roy and Mir-Said Sultan Galiev served as teachers.  I spent nearly 8 months in Russian archives and have conducted research in three different countries.  This dissertation includes sources in Arabic, Vietnamese, French, Russian, and English.  

I welcome any questions you have about my research or the history department. 


  • MA Georgetown Univ
  • BA George Washington Univ, 05/2006


Research Specialties

  • Soviet nationalities policy, Central Asia, Asia, Africa, nationalism, Third World/Global South