Eugene M. Avrutin is Associate Professor of modern European Jewish history and the Tobor family scholar in the Program of Jewish Culture and Society at the University of Illinois. He is the author of Jews and the Imperial State: Identification Politics in Tsarist Russia (2010). Together with Harriet Murav (Professor of Slavic Literatures at the University of Illinois) and Petersburg Judaica (a Jewish Studies institute affiliated with the European University in St. Petersburg), he edited Photographing the Jewish Nation: Pictures from S. An-sky''s Ethnographic Expeditions (2009), which was a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award in the visual arts category. Most recently, he edited with Robert H. Greene (Professor of Russian history at the University of Montana) a critical edition of the memoirs of the educator and feminist Anna Vygodskaia (2012). Supported by a Charles Ryskamp fellowship from the ACLS, Avrutin is currently working on a microhistory of a sensational ritual murder trial that took place in Velizh in the second quarter of the nineteenth century (1823-1835).