Boris Fonarkov

United Kingdom
Year of Enrollment: 

I completed by BA in History at Selwyn College in the University of Cambridge, where I focused on courses offering overviews of non-British and extra-European history, before focusing in on Ottoman and Eurasian history in my final year. My BA thesis, titled "Reconsidering the Nature and Extent of Failure in Nikolai Spafarii's Embassy to Beijing, 1675-77", won the Cambridge Historical Society Prize, and lead me to my current pursuit of early modern Russian diplomatic history. My MPhil thesis developed this theme, investigating "Russian Diplomacy at the Ottoman Court during the Petrine Transition, 1702-1714".

I am interested in the cultural history of early modern Eurasian diplomacy, focusing on how ceremonial and ritual was used by the Muscovite and Russian Empires, especially during the period of transition under Tsar Peter I. I am keen to look at the roles of semiotics and space in constituting both early modern diplomacy and inter-cultural encounter more broadly. My PhD project is set to investigate this topic through case studies of two Sino-Russian treaties from the very beginning and very end of the Petrine period; namely the 1689 Treaty of Nerchinsk, and the 1727 Treaty of Kyakhta.


BA (Hons) - History - Selwyn College, Cambridge
MPhil - Early Modern History - Selwyn College, Cambridge



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