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Gwenn A. Miller
College of the Holy Cross (Worcester, MA 01610-2395)

Summer Stipends
Research Programs

$5,000 (approved)
$5,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2006 – 9/30/2006

Communities of Empire in Early Russian America: 1720-1820.

For a brief time in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, Kodiak Island, Alaska, was the nucleus of a bustling Russian colonial fur trade in North America. Using a range of Russian sources, from imperial decrees to Orthodox Church records, this project explores the connections between Russians and Alutiiq people during the first phases of colonial contact in Alaska. Attention to the intimacy of those connections offers a means to understand the nature of colonial enterprise and imperial power more broadly; people’s lives on colonial Kodiak intersected not at the crossroads of two homogeneous cultures, but rather composed a rich fabric of overlapping communities beyond the mere categories of “European” and “Native.”