TOC (Journal): Ab Imperio 3/2022 and 2023 Annual Program

Aleksandr Turbin's picture

Dear Colleagues,

The latest issue of Ab Imperio (3/2022) is now available at

This thematic issue of Ab Imperio within the annual program “The Rise and Fall of the State as an Institution and an Analytical Concept” explores the role of human agency in making a distinction between the imperial state and the nation-state. Titled The State of the Nation and Empire: Was There a Difference?,” it focuses not so much on political institutions but rather on the types of institutionalizing human agency as a conventional social identity.

Contributing to the ongoing discussion of the historians’ response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the issue opens with Mykhaylo Gaukhman’s survey of the new historical metanarrative’s development in Ukraine since 1991. In turn, Riccardo Nicolosi’s essay deconstructs identity politics in the modern-day Russian Federation. Normative Russianness is produced by cultivating the paranoia, resentment, and reenactment of a mythologized past.

This issue also features a review forum dedicated to Mark Gamsa’s book Harbin: A Cross-Cultural Biography (University of Toronto Press, 2021). Its participants, Sergey Glebov, Laurie Manchester, and Kristin Stapleton, comment on various aspects of this double biography of the city and one of its inhabitants.


“Methodology and Theory” section:

“In the Eye of the Beholder: ‘Seeing Like a Nation-State’ as Identity Politics” by the Editors.

“In Search of a New History: Early Twenty-First Century Historiographical Discussions regarding the Metanarrative of Ukraine’s History” by Mykhaylo Gaukhman.

“History” section:

“‘I Have Seen and Heard What Pertains to the Kirghiz-Kaisak and Other Foreign Circumstances’: The Russian Empire’s Informants in the Kazakh Steppe (Second Half of the Eighteenth Century to the 1860s)” by Gulmira Sultangalieva and Ainura Suinova.

“Prehistorical Archaeology, Race Science, and Blackness in Imperial Russia” by Louise McReynolds.

“Occupation, Categorization of the Population, and the Selectivity of Genocide: The Case of the Kharkiv Karaites (1941–1943)” by Yuri Radchenko.

“Archive” section:

“Colonialism and Imperial Nationalism of Russian Naval Elites in the Pacific Region: Publication of the Journal Kept by Vice Admiral and Viceroy in the Far East, Evgeny Ivanovich Alekseev” by Ivan Burmistrov.

Archival publication of E. I. Alekseev’s Journals.

“Newest Mythologies” section:

“Paranoia, Resentment, and Reenactment: The Russian Political Discourse on the War in Ukraine” by Riccardo Nicolosi.

“Historiography” section:

Forum AI on Mark Gamsa’s “Harbin: A Cross-Cultural Biography” (University of Toronto Press, 2021):

“Hybrid History for a Hybrid City” by Sergey Glebov.

“On the Encounter between Chinese, Russians, and Rossiiane in Harbin before and after 1920” by Laurie Manchester.

“Child Brides, Queues, Oriental Wisdom, and Cross-Cultural Eccentricity” by Kristin Stapleton.

Response by Mark Gamsa.

The issue also contains an extended section of book reviews.

Ab Imperio 2023 Annual Program “Toward a Postnational History of Eurasia: Deconstructing Empires, Denationalizing Groupness” is available at

Ab Imperio Syllabus module – reading library for your syllabi – is available at:

Submission guidelines: