• A
  • A
  • A
  • ABC
  • ABC
  • ABC
  • А
  • А
  • А
  • А
  • А
Regular version of the site

190068 Saint Petersburg
123 Griboedov channel, Room 123

Phone:+7 (812)786-92-49 

Postal address: 
190068 Saint Petersburg
123 Griboedov channel

Department Head Adrian A. Selin
Academic Supervisor Evgeniy Anisimov
Remembering the Neoliberal Turn: Economic Change and Collective Memory in Eastern Europe after 1989

Gökarıksel S., Gontarska O., Hilmar T. et al.

L.: Routledge, 2023.

Revolution and Political Violence in Central Europe. The Deluge of 1919

Gužvica S.

Europe-Asia Studies. 2023. Vol. 75. No. 8. P. 1419-1421.

Book chapter
The Stolbovo Treaty and Tracing the Bordere in 1617-1618

Selin A. A.

In bk.: Sweden, Russia, and the 1617 Peace of Stolbovo. Vol. 14. Turnhout: Brepols Publishers, 2023. P. 99-118.

Working paper
The Image of the Past in Ciro Spontone’s ‘Historia Della Transilvania’

Khvalkov E., Levin F., Кузнецова А. Д.

Working Papers of Humanities. WP. Издательский дом НИУ ВШЭ, 2021

Ideology and Political Imagination of Imperialism and Nationalism

Academic Year
Instruction in English
ECTS credits
Delivered by:
Department of History
Elective course
1 year, 1 semester

Course Syllabus


The aim of this course is to familiarize with current historical writings and reflections on empire. The ultimate thrust of the discussion is to scrutinize the epistemic revolution whereby the narrative of modern history previously written through the prism of national history has been recast to accommodate the fact of persistence of “imperial formations,” both in the sphere of international and global politics and in the area of management of diversity. The scope of the course mainly lies in the Modern history period, the geographic coverage is not universal, the main idea is to look at methodological debates and approaches. Global history has recently been constituted as a distinctive field of its own. Yet, in its thrust of overcoming the limitations of national history canon the global history has many resemblances with the field of imperial history. After all, empires were historic regimes that fostered connections and transfers in their often violent histories. At the same time, empires were habitually thought of by historians as autarkic and self-sufficient phenomena that allowed little space for cross-influence and entanglement. Following the optics of global history this course will be an attempt to explore the historic differences, comparisons and entanglements of empires in modern history.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • Be able to carry out theoretical and experimental research in the field of historical knowledge, including using the latest information and communication technologies
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • To be able to reflect (explicate) world-view, philosophical, paradigmatic foundations of historical / humanitarian knowledge
  • To be able to see (put) the problem and substantiate its relevance / fit your research into the context of modern historical / humanitarian knowledge
  • Be able to aggregate research results and carry out historical construction
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • Introduction.
    Requirements and the structure of the course. Brief introduction about positionality of the concept of empire in modern historical research. Empire as reified historic phenomenon and as a category of analysis. Grand narrative of modernity: empires or nations?
  • Current debates and disputed genealogies of global history
    Is global history an academic fashion or a research innovation? Must Global history be comprehensive and universalist in terms of chronology and geographic coverage? Is global history only about connections and comparisons? Situating Global history in the modern historiography: comparative history, transnational history, World-System analysis, post-colonial critique, multiple modernities. Global history and national history. Epistemologies of Global history: universalism or nativism? Normative issues of Global history: Eurocentrism debated. A dialogue between the global history and imperial history.
  • Critical theories of nationalism. Modernist and constructivist theories of nationalism.
  • Typologies of nationalism. Nationalism as a normative discourse.
  • Legacies of the Roman empire in Europe. Imperial traditions in Europe. Westphalian system. Peripheral empires in the system of modern international relations
  • Empire as a distinct ideal type of social and political organization
    The hegemony of nationalism and the historical understanding of empires in the context of modernity. From Empire to Nation?: imperial archaism and modern empires. Imperial visions and nationalism. The constructivist approach to understanding empires.
  • Citizenship and subjecthood, the history of normative categories and the history of political practices. Subjecthood as the definition of political belonging. The varied practices of subjecthood in the imperial settings.
  • Production of knowledge in the imperial and colonial contexts.
    Production of knowledge, governance, colonial power, rediscription of imperial politics and society. Traditions of sociology, ethnography and anthropology. Continental European (German-Russian) and colonial European settings
  • Empires in crisis and transformation
    Mass politics and modern political imaginaries of late 19th and early 20th century. Word War I as the war of total mobilization and the transformation of imperial politics in the context of war. Mobilization of ethnicity, ethnic cleansing and genocide. Different post-imperial trajectories and rethinking globalism and universalism in the inter-war period.
  • The question of rupture and continuity in the history between the Russian Empire and Soviet Union.
    National self-determination and the politics of autonomism and federalism. The Soviet nationality policy. Multiple explanations and agencies in the reshaping of the former imperial space in the Soviet Union.
  • Islam in the world history and in the history of empires.
    Pluralism in the history of Islamic communities. Regimes of governance of Islamic communities in the Russian Empire. Cross-border affinities and political imaginaries: the Russian and the Ottoman Empires. Problems of Islamic universalisms. Islam and Islamic communities under the Soviet regime.
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking In-class Participation
  • non-blocking Exam
    Exam in form of written assignment: review of a given trend in field of studies of nationalism and empire. The review should include the analysis of the historiographic context, the historiographic tradition (for instance, intellectual history, social history, post-colonial studies) in which the text is written, the main arguments and sources used in the research. The written assignment should be 15-20 pages long and will constitute 60% of the final grade. For every day the assignment is late one point is taken from the grade.
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • Interim assessment (1 semester)
    0.6 * Exam + 0.4 * In-class Participation


Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Gerasimov, I., Kusber, J., & Semyonov, A. (2009). Empire Speaks Out : Languages of Rationalization and Self-description in the Russian Empire. Leiden: Brill. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=351006

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • GLEBOV, S. (2017). BETWEEN FOREIGNERS AND SUBJECTS: Imperial Subjecthood, Governance, and the Chinese in the Russian Far East, 1860s-880s. Ab Imperio, (1), 86–130. https://doi.org/10.1353/imp.2017.0005
  • KHOURY, D. R., & GLEBOV, S. (2017). Citizenship, Subjecthood, and Difference in the Late Ottoman and Russian Empires. Ab Imperio, (1), 45–58. https://doi.org/10.1353/imp.2017.0003