Russia Beyond, Russia Within: Complications to a History of Russia's Territory

  • Date: –17:00
  • Location: IRES Library, Gamla torget 3, 3rd floor
  • Organiser: Institute for Russian and Eurasian Studies (IRES)
  • Contact person: Mattias Vesterlund
  • Phone: 0703230428
  • Föreläsning

This presentation offers a portion of a grand, synthetic territorial history of Russia across some seven centuries. But whereas the bulk of that short book recounts Russia's territorial evolution in a fairly conventional fashion (about which the author will speak briefly), the two chapters at the foundation of the presentation represent complications to that narrative. If, on the one hand, Russia's exercise of territorial control sometimes took forms short of direct and exclusive sovereignty (protectorates, occupations, spheres of influence, etc.), then, on the other, the empire and later the USSR were faced with the challenge of delineating a "Russia" within those large imperial formations. The presentation takes up both of those complications, with hopes that they will serve as a foundation for robust discussion that does not descend into violence. 

Bio: Paul W. Werth is professor of history at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas and is currently a fellow of the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Studies and of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Last spring he was a fellow at the American Academy in Berlin. Having initially written two books about the role of religious toleration in imperial Russian governance in the long nineteenth century, he more recently released a brief book about 1837, a year that might seem unremarkable but was in fact highly consequential for Russian history. His present work centers on problems of borders, territory, and sovereignty, and in Uppsala he is trying to finish a short book entitled A Territorial History of Russia (under contract with Bloomsbury).