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Grant number like: FEL-257017-18

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Faith C. Hillis
University of Chicago (Chicago, IL 60637-5418)

Research Programs

[Grant products]

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2018 – 6/30/2019

Europe's Russian Colonies: Tsarist Subjects Abroad and the Quest for Freedom in the 19th Century

A book and digital project about Russian émigré settlements in western Europe and their impact on western European and Russian political movements (1860-1917).

Between 1860 and 1917, hundreds of thousands of tsarist subjects left the Russian empire for Europe’s large urban centers and university towns. The travelers came from every corner of the empire and from many walks of life, yet they gravitated toward one another in exile, creating close-knit and intellectually vibrant communities that they referred to as “Russian colonies.” This project provides the first synthetic treatment of pre-1917 traffic between Russia and the west, reconstructing the unique cultures that coalesced in émigré settlements. In addition, it traces how the colonies informed the world that lay beyond their borders. Treating these spaces as laboratories of liberation, it shows how the ideologies and practices forged in the colonies traveled back to Russia, catalyzing revolutionary movements. It also argues that the colonies had a profound effect on European understandings of freedom, shaping political movements on both the left and right.