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Regular version of the site

About the Center for Historical Research

Center for Historical Research was founded in 2012. The mission of the Center is to systematically develop methodologies and approaches of global, comparative, and transnational history in different fields of historical research.

Fields of research:

  • The Russian Empire and the Soviet Union
  • Comparative history of empire, colonialism, and nationalism
  • Environmental and technological history
  • Social and cultural history of borders and borderlands
  • Intellectual history and history of science
  • History and anthropology of religion
  • History of Parliamentarism and Constitutionalism in Russian and Eurasian History
  • Historical Geography, digital humanities, and GIS

Since July 2017 the Center is a member of the European Information and Research Network on Parliament History. The Center for Historical Research is the only research organization from Russia among the network members.

The Center hosts research projects, some of them are international research collaborations.
Since 2018 the Center is in research consortium with Max Planck Institute for the Study of Ethnic and Religious Diversity of the University of Goettingen and the Karelian Institute of the University of Eastern Finland for implementation of the project “Post-Imperial Diversities - Majority-minority Relations in the Transition from Empires to Nations-States” supported by the Era.net Rus Plus Research Program.

Since the beginning, the Center hosts a regular research seminar “Boundaries of History”. The main strategic partners in organizing the seminars are Deutsches Historisches Institut (DWHI) Moskau, Norwegian University Center in St.Petersburg and the Netherlands Institute in Saint Petersburg. Within 5 years the Center has held more than 60 seminars.

During the seminars we discuss opportunities and potentialities of historical research across the boundaries of national history and beyond the research agenda of national historiographic canon; the history of diversity and the policies of difference; the porous boundaries between the discipline of history and adjacent fields of social sciences and potentialities of the cross-disciplinary research agenda-setting; the imagined boundary between the past and the present and the relevance of historical knowledge for contemporary and future-oriented public and expert debate in modern societies.

The Center hosts a program of International Associate Research Fellows for Ph.D. students and junior researchers. In the period from 2012-2017,17 fellows have held their researches at the Center. Fellows are granted access to research facilities of the Center for Historical Research and are included in the Center’s seminars and conferences.

Since 2014 the Center hosts post-doctoral fellows in the areas of its research projects, this program has two parts: for fellows holding a degree from a non-Russian university and fellows holding a degree from a Russian university. The program is highly competitive and usually 1-2 fellows are appointed every year. Here is the list of past and current post-doctoral fellows.

In 2015 the Richard Stites Memorial Historical Library was opened at the Center. The library is named after Richard Stites, who was a historian of Russian culture and professor of history at Georgetown University. There are more than 1600 books on history, social and human sciences, English translations of Russian philosophers, historians and publicists in the collection, and the fundamental works on all historical areas. About a third of the books are on the history and culture of the USA and Europe. The opening of the Richard Stites Historical Memorial Library was made possible by the generous donation of the Carmel Institute of Russian Culture and History at American University in Washington and with the great support of Deutsche Forshungsgemeinschaft. Research fellows of the Center can use the Library for research. 

The center organizes research summer schools aimed at training young historians and doctoral students, the past summer schools were organized jointly with the Free University in Berlin, Humboldt University in Berlin, Ab Imperio Quarterly, Tyumen State University. The Center is involved in the activities of the international Joint Doctoral Program “Global History of Empires” (HSE University and the University of Turin).

Presentation about the Center  Center for Historical Research.pptx

Interview with Director of the Center About the Development of Historical Studies of the Russian Empire at the IV Russian-German Week of the Young Researchers (2014)

Interview with the Director of the Center Alexander Semyonov «Whither New Imperial History? New Approaches to Russian History» (2016)

Video archive


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