Professor Gerstein teaches courses on Russian history and modern Europe. She regularly offers surveys in the history of Western Civilization, from the fall of Rome to the present. Other recent courses include surveys of Russia in the 20th century and seminars in modern Russian literature and society. Gerstein’s courses are regularly cross-listed in the Russian program.
Gerstein's research interest focus on 19th and 20th-century Russia, with a special focus on philosophical and scientific currents. Her book on Nikolai Strakhov (1828-1896) provides a guide both to the individual and to the amazingly complex picture of Russian intellectual life in the nineteenth century. Gerstein illustrates how Strakhov's concerns were the major concerns of his era: positivism, nihilism, materialism, the woman question, Darwinism.
Forward to Talking to the Russians: Glimpses of History by a Voice of America Pioneer, by Victor Franzusoff (Santa Barbara, CA: Fithian Press, 1998).