Elena I. Campbell

Associate Professor
Walker Family Endowed Professor in History
Professor Elena Campbell

Contact Information

SMI 208A
Office Hours
On leave during the 2021-2022 academic year


Ph.D. (equivalent) Russian Academy of Sciences, Institute of Russian History, St. Petersburg, Russia, 1999

My teaching and research interests focus on the history of empire, nationalism, and religion in late tsarist Russia.

I completed my graduate work at the Institute of Russian History of the Russian Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg (Russia). Prior to taking a position at the University of Washington, I taught at the European University at St. Petersburg, the University of Michigan, and Harvard University.

At the University of Washington, I teach undergraduate courses on the History of Imperial Russia from 1700 to 1917, the History of St. Petersburg/Leningrad from 1703 to the present, Russian History through Biography,  Empire and Nationalism in Tsarist Russia, Arctic Histories, and History and Memory. I offer graduate seminars on the historiography and primary sources of imperial Russia, and on Empire and Nationalism in Russian history.

My first book - The Muslim Question and Russian Imperial Governance (Indiana University press, 2015) - examines how imperial Russia dealt with its Muslim subjects in the late 19th and early 20th century as growing nationalism was transforming the empire's relationship with its many different ethnic and religious communities. I use what was historically known as the "Muslim Question," ? in Russian, "Musul'manskii vopros" ? as a prism through which to explore Russia's complex imperial relations and changing political culture in late 19th and early 20th centuries.

My next book project takes the study of the Russian imperial experience into a new direction. By linking histories of politics, economics, environment, science, and culture, my project seeks to explore the creation of the modern Russian North during the late imperial period.


Courses Taught

Graduate Study Areas

Division: Russia and Central Asia

Professor Campbell's current research interests concern empire, religion and nationalism in late Imperial Russia.

A graduate field will include a variety of topics in Russian history from the 18th to the early 20th centuries. The content of the field and the specific focus of graduate study will be determined through consultation with the professor.

Students will be expected to read major works in Imperial Russian history and be familiar with the current state of the field. Students who are choosing Russian history as their primary area of study must acquire a reading knowledge of Russian and any other language relevant to their research.

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