Crossing Borders in Eurasia: 18th-Century Contacts between the Russian Empire and Its Neighbors

AHA Session 170
Saturday, January 6, 2018: 8:30 AM-10:00 AM
Virginia Suite A (Marriott Wardman Park, Lobby Level)
James Millward, Georgetown University
Willard Sunderland, University of Cincinnati

Session Abstract

This panel looks at a variety of contacts across borders of four eighteenth-century polities: the Russian Empire, the Ottoman Empire, the Qing Empire, and post-Safavid Iran. While these empires had actively interacted in earlier centuries, the scope of their engagement and mutual discovery increased in the eighteenth century. Ranging from increased diplomatic interaction to more active management of border issues, these contacts produced new cultural responses, both locally and at imperial levels. While the Russian Empire is featured in all three papers, participants bring in perspectives from the other Eurasian polities as well. In line with the theme of the convention, paper authors will also address the following question: What do interactions between the Russian Empire and its neighbors tell us about the fluidity or stability of identities and representations at this important junction between the early modern and modern periods, and in what ways do these play out differently than outside of the specified region?
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