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An Empire of the Seas?: The Future of Russian Maritime and Oceanic History

Fri, December 7, 8:00 to 9:45am, Boston Marriott Copley Place, Floor: 5th, Massachusetts

Session Submission Type: Roundtable

Brief Description

Most historians have focused on Russia as a territorially expansive land empire spanning Eurasia. In recent years, however, increasing attention to transnational and environmental history has led historians to reconsider the history of Russia as that of a maritime power that reached far beyond its land boundaries. This roundtable brings together five international scholars working on the new maritime and oceanic histories of Russia to reveal the current state of the field and steer its future development. The panelists will probe the limits and possibilities of this new approach to Russian history by considering the development of Russian marine harvesting in the 17th and 18th centuries; the laws of war and commerce in the Black Sea in the 18th and 19th centuries; Russia's search for a port on the Asian coast of the Pacific; the Russian exploration of the Northern Sea Route in the 20th and 21st centuries; and the inter-oceanic history of Russia's various straits. They will collectively consider the ways in which these themes engage with the latest developments in the field of maritime and oceanic history. Together with the audience, they hope to show how focusing attention on water rather than on land greatly expands our understanding of Russian history since at least 1700.

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