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Regular version of the site

About the School


Update 06.06: Dear participants, we are glad to inform you that the Summer School will be organised offline. Please keep in mind international requirements by crossing the boarders.

Russia’s Imperial history is full of contradictions. It’s one of forced expansions and peaceful colonisation, of ferocious conquests and non-violent territorial gains, tolerant coexistence and merciless repressions. As the empire expanded, a huge variety of people of different faiths and races found themselves in Russian territory and had to find ways to live together. The history of the empire begins in 1721, when Tsar Peter I was proclaimed Russian Emperor, and ends with the overthrow of the monarchy and the October revolution in 1917


HSE is one of Russia’s elite academic institutions. Its head office is in Moscow and it has campuses in Saint Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod and Perm. Founded in 1992 by academic economists from among colleagues of the then minister of economics Yegor Gaidar, it rapidly became one of the leading universities in social sciences and humanities in Russia. It is known for its liberal character, openness and emphasis on research.

The Summer School 2021 is organized by the Department of History (HSE in St.Petersburg) in cooperation with the Department of the History of Eastern Europe (Georg-August University of Göttingen), HSE's partner in the new launched double diploma MA program on Central European History, and is generously supported by the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service).

Directors of the Summer School/Contacts

Pavel VasilyevAcademic director, Department of History, HSE St. Petersburg

Marina Kudriashova – Manager, Center for Historical Research, HSE St. Petersburg

Lecturers of the Summer School

Phillip Schroeder

Senior Lecturer, Department of the History of Eastern Europe, Georg-August University of Göttingen

Doсtorand in History of Eastern Europe, Georg-August University of Göttingen

Research interests: History of the Soviet Union, Urban studies, Late Socialism History of technology and infrastructure, Mobility and spatial history
Lorenz Erren

Associate Professor, Department of History, HSE St Petersburg

Dr. habil. in History of Eastern Europe (Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz)
Anton Kotenko

Associate Professor, Department of History, HSE St Petersburg

PhD in World History (Central European University)

Research interests: Comparative history of empires, Intellectual history, Modernity, History of nationalism, Historical geography
Marina Loskutova

Associate Professor, Department of History, HSE St Petersburg

PhD in History (Central European University)

Research Interests: History of science, History of education, Environmental history, Oral history
Tatiana Y. Borisova

Associate Professor, Department of History, HSE St Petersburg

PhD in Law (University of Turku)

Research interests: Comparative legal history, History of Russian Law
Aleksandra Bekasova

Associate Professor, Department of History, HSE St Petersburg

PhD in National History (St. Petersburg Institute of History of Russian Academy of Sciences)

Research Interests: History of mobility and transportation, Environmental history, History of technology, History of science and education in the 18th – 19th centuries

Important dates:

Closing date for applications: 30.05.2021

Participants arrive: 05.09.2021

Classes begin: 06.09.2021

Course ends: 26.09.2021

Participants depart: 27.09.2021

The Summer School is designed for students of social sciences and humanities. The curriculum will include Russian language courses for foreign students, presentations, workshops, partially held in Saint Peterburg’s public space, and master classes, as well as a special cultural program in the city. The summer school welcomes students from all foreign universities. Admission to the school is also open to students of the Saint Petersburg campus on a competitive basis.

Students who wish to attend the summer school should fill in the form and send a motivation letter to Professor Pavel Vasilyev pvasilev@hse.ru.

The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) will provide scholarships for participants from German universities. Students from German universities are eligible to apply for DAAD scholarship that will cover a relevant part of the participation in the Summer School. Please note: this is a separate application! Further information is available on the programme website Go East, German Academic Exchange Service.

Requirements: knowledge of Russian is not essential as all the lectures, seminars and excursions will be conducted in English. A basic knowledge of the history of the country and of contemporary Russia are desirable, but not essential.

Structure of the summer school: the HSE summer school comprises an intensive course in Russian language (students are divided into groups for beginners and advanced levels), seminars and lectures on Topography of Imperial Power: the Political and Cultural Space of Saint Petersburg, and excursions. The main thrust of the summer school is on the theme of the lectures. The mornings will be devoted to language classes with seminars and lectures in the afternoons and tourist excursions arranged around the lecture programme

Language classes: Once students arrive in St Petersburg, they will be divided into groups according to the level of their Russian. Qualified teachers with experience of teaching Russian to absolute beginners will be running the classes. There will be 2-3 hours spent learning Russian every day. Students will be taught speaking skills and a basic knowledge of specialised vocabulary.

Thematic course: the thematic seminar is at the centre of the summer school, and is taught by professors of HSE and Georg-August University of Göttingen. Participants will be sent a reading list in advance to help them to prepare. In the framework of the thematic course the participants should write an essay (4-5 pages).

Lecture programme: Leading historians, political scientists and economists will be lecturing at the summer school on the history of Saint Petersburg and on the city in the present, about the complex inter-relations between the political institutions of the empire and the contemporary transformational processes in Russia.

Excursions: Saint Petersburg is a European metropolis with an impressive array of monuments which reflect the history of the city and of Russia as a whole. For the summer school the city is both a magnificent backdrop and an object of close examination in seminars and excursions.

HSE will give an official certificate to all students who complete the summer school successfully. If you take part, and on condition you present your own paper, you can earn 5 ECTS credits.