Matthew P. Romaniello

Associate Professor of History

Lindquist Hall, Office 260
Phone: 801-626-6706

Research & Teaching Areas

  • Russian and East European history
  • History of medicine
  • Commodities/material culture
  • World History


  • BA, Brown University (1995)
  • MA, Ohio State University (1998)
  • PhD, Ohio State University (2003)


  • HNRS 3900 Diagnosing Disease in Past and Present
  • HIST 1500 World History to 1500
  • HIST 1510 World History 1500 to Present
  • HIST 1620 The LGBTQ Experience
  • HIST 3530 History Editing
  • HIST 4240 Absolutism, Enlightenment, and Revolution: Europe, 1660-1815
  • HIST 4310 Tsarist Russia
  • HIST 4320 The Soviet Experiment
  • HIST 4440 Eastern European Empires
  • HIST 4450 The Warsaw Pact
  • HIST 4490 Exploring History Teaching
  • HIST 4730 Gender and Sexuality in World History


Matt Romaniello received his Ph.D. from Ohio State in 2003 with candidacy fields in Russia and Eastern Europe, Medieval Europe, and Gender and Sexuality.  He is the author of Enterprising Empires: Russia and Britain in the Eighteenth Century (2019) and The Elusive Empire: Kazan and the Creation of Russia, 1552-1671 (2012). He is currently writing two books. One is a study of public health and the regulation of colonial bodies in the Russian Empire, Enigmatic Empire: Climate and Complexions in Eighteenth-Century Russia. The second is a study of early-modern commodities that failed to transition to the modern era, Unplanned Obsolescence: Modernity and the Loss of the Natural World. He is currently the editor of Journal of World History, and was the former editor of Sibirica: Interdisciplinary Journal of Siberian Studies. His latest edited volume, The Life Cycle of Russian Things: From Fish Guts to Faberge, was the runner-up for the 2021 Bookseller/Diagram Prize for Oddest Book Title of the Year.

Before coming to Weber State, he was professor of history at University of Hawai'i at Manoa, where he taught for eleven years. Before Hawai'i, he spent two years at George Mason University as both a postdoctoral teaching fellow and the associate director of Making the History of 1989 for the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, and one year as a visiting assistant professor at Hamilton College.



  • Enterprising Empires: Russia and Britain in Eighteenth-Century Eurasia (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019)
  • The Elusive Empire: Kazan and the Creation of Russia, 1552-1671 (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2012)

Edited Volumes

Special Journal Issues

Journal Articles

  • "Commodities with Context: Moving Materials and Medical Knowledge into Medieval Russia," forthcoming Canadian-American Slavic Studies 57 (2023)
  • "Could Siberian 'Natural Curiosities' be Replaced? Bioprospecting in the Eighteenth Century," Early Science and Medicine 27:3 (2022): 257-77
  • “‘Tobacco! Tobacco!’ Exporting New Habits to Siberia and Russian America,” Sibirica 16:2 (2017): 1-26
  • “True Rhubarb? Trading Eurasian Botanical and Medical Knowledge in the Eighteenth Century,” The Journal of Global History 11:1 (2016): 3-23
  • “Russian Women and Orthodox Ideals on the Early Modern Frontier,” Journal of Frontier Studies no. 3 (2016): 18-37
  • “Who Should Smoke? Tobacco and the Humoral Body in Early Modern England,”  The Social History of Alcohol and Drugs 27:2 (2013): 156-73
  • “Russia Encounters Islam: Merchant Narratives and the Early Modern Global Economy,” World History Connected 10:1 (2013)
  • "Through the Filter of Tobacco: The Limits of Global Trade in the Early Modern World," Comparative Studies of Society and History 49:4 (2007): 914-37
  • "Mission Delayed: The Russian Orthodox Church after the Conquest of Kazan'," Church History 76:3 (2007): 511-40
  • "Ethnicity as Social Rank: Governance, Law, and Empire in Muscovite Russia," Nationalities Papers 33:4 (2006): 447-69
  • "The Profit Motive: Regional Economic Development in Muscovy after the Conquest of Kazan'," Journal of European Economic History 33:3 (2004): 663-85
  • "Controlling the Frontier: Monasteries and Infrastructure in the Volga Region, 1552-1682," Central Asia Survey 19:3-4 (2000): 429-43

Book Chapters

  • "Making Fish Guts into Isinglass and Glue," in The Life Cycle of Russian Things: From Fish Guts to Faberge, 1600 to the Present (London: Bloombsury Academic, 2021), 71-85
  • "'This whole business should be kept very Secret': The English Tobacco Workhouses in Moscow," in Commercial Cosmopolitanism? Cross-Cultural Objects, Spaces, and Institutions in the Early Modern World, ed. Felicia Gottmann (London: Routledge, 2021), 92-107
  • "Astrakhan and Orenburg: Russia's Asian Trade in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries," in Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Asian Commercial History, ed. David Ludden (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2020)
  • “‘Grandeur and Show’: Clothing, Commerce, and the Capital in Early Modern Russia,” in The Right to Dress: Sumptuary Legislation in Comparative and Global Contexts, edited by Ulinka Rublack and Giorgio Riello (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019), 375-92
  • “Trans-regional Trade in Early Modern Eurasia,” Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Asian History, ed. David Ludden (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017)
  • “Humoral Bodies in Cold Climates,” in Russian History through the Senses: From 1700 to the Present (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2016), 23-43
  • “Customs and Consumption: Russia's Global Tobacco Habits in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries,” in The Global Lives of Things: Materiality, Material Culture and Commodities in the First Global Age, ed. Anne Gerritsen and Giorgio Riello (London: Routledge, 2016), 183-97
  • “Trade and the Global Economy,” in Oxford Handbook of Early Modern European History, c. 1350-1750, ed. Hamish Scott (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016), II: 307-33
  • "The Facade of Order: Claiming Imperial Space in Early Modern Russia," in The Limits of Empire: European Imperial Formations in Early Modern World History, ed. Tonio Andrade and William Reger (Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate, 2012), 183-204
  • "Muscovy's Extraordinary Ban on Tobacco," in Tobacco in Russian History and Culture: From the Seventeenth Century to the Present (New York: Routledge, 2009), 9-25
  • "Grant, Settle, Negotiate: Military Service in the Middle Volga Region," in Peopling the Russian Periphery: Borderland Colonization in Eurasian History, ed. Nicholas Breyfogle, Abby Schrader, and Willard Sunderland (New York: Routledge, 2007), 61-77 


Over 40 books reviews published in The American Historical ReviewThe English Historical ReviewSlavic ReviewRussian ReviewSlavonic and East European ReviewAb ImperioCanadian-American Slavic StudiesJahrbucher fur Geschichte OsteuropasRussian History/Histoire RusseJournal of World HistoryJournal of Interdisciplinary HistoryEnterprise and Society, The Journal of Early Modern HistoryThe Sixteenth Century Journal, and The Historian