Michael Khodarkovsky: "Where Russia Was “Ahead” of Europe: The Russian Empire in Comparative Perspective"

Open to the Public
Nador u. 11
Hanak Room
Monday, February 21, 2011 - 5:30pm
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Monday, February 21, 2011 - 5:30pm to 7:00pm

"Where Russia Was “Ahead” of Europe: The Russian Empire in Comparative Perspective"

a public lecture by


Loyola University, Chicago (USA)

Russian empire has traditionally been considered outside of the European colonial experiences. This paper argues that despite its peculiar developments, Russia, like its western counterparts, was also a colonial empire. In fact, I argue that Russia became a colonial empire earlier than most of the Western European powers. Some of the contradictions were obvious and yet, throughout the centuries, the Russian ruling elites stubbornly refused to define the empire as a colonial one. I shall suggest some of the reasons for Russia's inability to conceptualize itself as a colonial empire and the political consequences that followed.

Michael Khodarkovky, Professor of History at Loyola University in Chicago, is a leading specialist in the history of Russian relations with the cultures and peoples of Eurasia. His published works include Where Worlds Met: the Russian State and the Kalmyk Nomads, 1600-1771 (Cornell University Press, 1992) ; Russia's Steppe Frontier : The Making of a Colonial Empire, 1500-1800 (University of Indiana Press, 2002) and as co-editor and contributor to Of Religion and Empire. Missions, Conversions and Tolerance in Tsarist Russia (Cornell University Press, 2001). He also contributed two chapters to the Cambridge History of Russia and has written numerous articles on Russian and Ottoman history. He has won most of the major awards in his field: the Fulbright, SSRC, National Endowment for the Humanities, American Council of Learned Societies, and National Council for Russian and Eurasian Studies fellowships. He is currently working on a comparison of the Russian and Ottoman Empires as a fellow at the Humboldt University in Berlin. He is also a Grandmaster of Chess and was a coach of the U.S. Women's Chess Team at the Olympics. His lecture is entitled "Where Russia was 'Ahead' of Europe: A Study in Comparative History."