David McDonald

Alice D. Mortenson/Petrovich Professor

Department of History

David McDonald has been a faculty member with UW–Madison since 1988. A graduate of the University of Toronto and the recipient of a doctorate at Columbia University, McDonald teaches and conducts research in the history of the Russian Empire. In addition to teaching classes in his specialty, McDonald has served as Special Assistant for Athletics (in the wake of the Shoe Box scandal) and has chaired UW–Madison’s Department of History. He also chaired the search that yielded Rebecca Blank, current chancellor of UW–Madison.


  • “Putin’s Russia” offers a historian’s perspective on Russia’s recent turn to an assertive foreign policy and more authoritarian rule at home. The talk offer several perspectives on this behavior and the challenges it presents to West, to Putin’s government and to citizens of the Russian Federation.

    Approximate Length of Talk: Variable

  • The Rhythms of Russian History
  • Why Canada Matters
  • Intercollegiate Athletics: Misunderstandings and Opportunities
  • The Case for the Humanistic Education