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'The Key to the World's Treasures': 'Russian Science,' Local Knowledge, and the Civilizing Mission on the Siberian Steppe

Date and Time: 
Tuesday, November 12, 2019. 05:30 PM
Meeting Location: 
Humanities Center Boardroom
Workshop: 
Eurasian Empires
Meeting Description: 

We will meet at 5:30 for dinner. Then Professor Campbell will give a short background sketch of his work, followed by questions and discussion.

Ian Campbell is a historian of pre-Revolutionary Russia with particular interest in the relationship between non-Russian subjects (and territories) and the imperial core. His first book, Knowledge and the Ends of Empire (Cornell, 2017) investigates the relationship between what tsarist bureaucrats knew about one part of the empire, the Kazak steppe, and the policies they actually enacted, with a particular interest in the shifting role of local intermediaries and the expertise they possessed. His current project, tentatively entitled The Bleeding Edges: Borderlands Violence and Russia's Enduring Empire, 1800-1917, studies violent practices of counterinsugency and conquest across multiple borderlands - Poland, the Caucasus, and Turkestan. By marrying operational military history to a study of the tsarist army's institutional culture, he hopes to better understand why large-scale retributive violence took place when (and where) it did, and more broadly the repertoire of techniques that allowed the Russian Empire to endure moments of crisis on its fringes.

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