Economy, Economics, and Empire: Diversity and Universality
Panel 1: Commerce and Visions of Diverse Social and Political Space
Sergey Glebov (Smith College/Amherst College/Tyumen U), Goods and Bodies: Tariffs, Race, and the Invention of Chinese Commerce in Late Imperial Russia
Discussant: Alexander Semyonov (HSE St Petersburg)
Panel 2: The Meaning of Commodities in Diverse Social Spaces
Marina Loskutova (HSE St Petersburg), Лесное хозяйство и лесное управление Российской империи в эпоху наполеоновских войн: дефицит стратегических ресурсов, эмбарго на экспорт и установление территориального контроля
Discussant: Ilya Gerasimov (Ab Imperio)
Panel 3: Borders and Commerce
Discussant: Sergey Glebov
Panel 4: Routes, Spaces, and Commerce
Andreas Renner From Mangazeia to Sabetta. The Northern Sea Route and Dreams of Globalization (Munich University)
Discussant: Alexander Semyonov
Panel 5: Long-Distance Trade in Imperial Contexts
David Aragai (University of Zurich) Establishing a Lifeline through the North Pacific: Hawaiʻi as a Food Supplier for the Russian-American Colonies (1804–1867)
Discussant: Andreas Renner
Panel 6: Trade and Commerce During the Cold War
Discussant: Benjamin Beuerle (German Historical Institute, Moscow)
Panel 7: Agents and Structures: Entrepreneurship in Historical Context
Alexander Turbin (HSE St. Petersburg), Between Welcomed “Foreigners with Capitals” and Dangerous “Exploiters of the Russians”: Practices and Discourses of Inclusion and Exclusion of “Foreign” Merchants in the Russian Far East in the 1880-1910s
Discussant: Sergey Glebov
Panel 8: Economic Exchanges in Anti-Colonialist Empire
Discussant: Ilya Gerasimov
- Panel 9: Soviet Economy in War and Peace
Since the rise of liberal economic theory, trade was widely viewed as a universalizing experience. Not only did classical liberals consider commerce a tool of civilization but they also widely assumed that economic exchanges would serve as great equalizers and would benefit every side involved in economic exchange.
At the same time, various imperial formations which emerged in Eurasia thrived on the production and management of ethnic, cultural, social, and confessional differences. The empires of Eurasia were worlds of particular social and economic niches, often occupied by diasporas or other particular groups.
In the modern period, the underlying tension between the universalizing thrust of economic exchange and the particularizing logic of empires overlapped with new ideas about productivity, efficiency, and modernity, introducing into the debate about economic exchanges notions of civilizational competence or racial suitability. Scientific theories of productivity, national economic spheres, and protective tariffs did not displace the tension between the universality of commerce and particularity of difference but recast it in new ways.
Organizers of the conference invite scholars whose work focuses on different aspects of trade, commerce, productivity, and empire in Eurasia.
With questions about the conference thematic focus, please, write to Sergey Glebov at
With questions about the logistics, please, write to Alexander Vileykis at