Introduction to the History of Russia

SS112
Spring 21

Russian history is usually discussed as the ethnic history of the Russian people or the history of the Russian state. This course will take an alternative look taking Russia as a geographic entity, which today includes multiple regions that had originally belonged to different cultural spheres, including the Caucasus, the Eurasian Steppe and different parts of Siberia. The course will provide foundational knowledge on geography of Russia, ethno-linguistic mapping, and traditional economic systems. Separate sessions will be devoted to the important culturally distinct regions in Russia’s European and frequently overlooked Asian parts. Russia’s expansion after the 16th century, its conquest of Siberia and the history of Russian contacts with China will also be explored. The class will foster the understanding of Russia as a complex geographic and historical entity that inherits not only East Slavic history, but also that of other ethnicities that used to flourish on its vast territory over many millennia.

Yegor Grebnev


Yegor Grebnev


Yegor works on ancient Chinese texts and history. He is particularly interested in comparative studies of the ancient world.