Dr. Daniel Schafer is Professor of History at Belmont University. Born and raised in Chicago, he pursued an undergraduate degree at Washington University in St. Louis and earned the M.A. and Ph.D. in history at the University of Michigan. Before coming to Belmont in 1996 he taught for several years at Truman State University in Missouri. As a scholar Dr. Schafer is particularly interested in the role that the non-Russian nationalities have played in Russian and Soviet history, particularly the Muslim peoples of Central Asia, the Caucasus, and Russia proper. His research focuses on the history of two Muslim groups in Russia, the Tatars and Bashkirs, who live throughout the former Soviet Union, but especially in a region stretching from the Volga River eastward to the Ural Mountains. He is currently working on a Tatar-English dictionary, which he hopes will assist other scholars in mastering Tatar, which is the second-most spoken language in Russia.
Dr. Schafer's teaching load includes an introduction to historical methods and historiography, a two-semester sequence on the history of Russia and the Soviet Union, a research seminar on the Russian Revolution and Civil War, surveys of Central Asian and Middle Eastern history, and an introduction to environmental history. He also teaches the First-Year Seminar and Linked Cohort classes. He works with students on campus as an advisor to Belmont's chapter of Amnesty International and has travelled with students on study abroad trips to Russia, Eastern Europe, and China. Dr. Schafer has a teenage son, Jacob, and his wife Melissa is classical pianist and college professor. His hobbies include gardening, collecting historic paper money, and reading alternative history novels.