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Head to Head: A Meeting of Inspired Minds

History of Russia’s Imperial Ambitions

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has raised important questions about the scope of Vladimir Putin’s territorial ambitions and about the imperial character of Russia’s conception of itself as a nation. These are essentially historical questions, informed by both the distant past and more recent developments. In this conversation, Karoline Gil and Paul Werth offer thoughts about this history and how it shapes the contours of Russian thinking about its relationship with Ukraine—and with Eastern Europe more broadly.

Paul W. Werth is Professor of History at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where he has primarily studied the history of religious diversity and confessional policy in imperial Russia. He completed a BA at Knox College and PhD at the University of Michigan. Werth’s books include At the Margins of Orthodoxy: Mission, Governance, and Confessional Politics in Russia’s Volga-Kama Region (Cornell, 2002), The Tsar’s Foreign Faiths: Toleration and the Fate of Religious Freedom in Imperial Russia (Oxford, 2014), and his most recent monograph, 1837: Russia’s Quiet Revolution (Oxford, 2021). His scholarly articles have appeared in Social History, Journal of Modern History, Comparative Studies in Society and History, Slavic Review, Ab Imperio, Cahiers du monde russe, and Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History, which he co-edited from 2010-2015.

Karoline Gil studied cultural studies, Eastern and Southeastern European studies, and Polish studies. She is Deputy Head of the Dialogues Department and Head of Integration and Media at the Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations (ifa) in Stuttgart and Co-Head of the German Council of Foreign Relations (DGAP) in Baden-Württemberg. Gil publishes regularly in the field of culture and history and has co-edited the volumes on the 1991 Treaty between Germany and Poland on Good Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation, cross-border cooperation between both countries, and on regional European Identities.

In cooperation with the Evangelisches Bildungszentrum Hospitalhof Stuttgart and the Deutsch-Amerikanisches Zentrum Stuttgart

Generously supported by Holtzbrinck Publishing Group and Berthold Leibinger Stiftung GmbH

17 Apr 23
19:30 - 21:00
Hospitalhof Stuttgart
Büchsenstraße 33
70174 Stuttgart
Speaker: Paul W. Werth

This event took place on April 17, 2023.

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