Program

ACLS Fellowship Program

Project

Muscovite sketches: maps and their meanings in 17th century Russia

Project

Icons of Eurasian Empire: Early Modern Russian Visions of Encounter, Conquest, and Rule

Department

History

Muscovite sketches: maps and their meanings in 17th century Russia

Icons of Eurasian Empire: Early Modern Russian Visions of Encounter, Conquest, and Rule

In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the Russian tsardom grew explosively, reaching the Pacific by 1637. As they crossed Siberia, Russians subjugated indigenous people, welcomed Bukharan merchants, and attempted to trade with China. Muscovites made incursions into the Baltic, incorporated Ukrainian lands, and fought Poland-Lithuania and Sweden. Whereas early modern European overseas empires have generated rich literatures, research on Russia’s continental empire has only recently begun. The silence of the textual record pressures historians to seek alternative modes of investigation, particularly the visual. Attending to the nonverbal messages of images produced by Russians and their subjects and rivals, this study probes the unstated assumptions that shaped Muscovy’s imperial advance.