Elena I. Campbell

  • Associate Professor

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

Fields: Imperial Russia
Phone: 206-543-6924
Office: SMI 208A |

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 1991, the empire and nationalism in tsarist Russia, 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 (forthcoming with the 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-early Soviet period.


The "Pilgrim Question": Regulating the Hajj in Late Imperial Russia, forthcoming, Canadian Slavonic Papers / Revue canadienne des slavistes vol. 56. 3–4, September-December 2014.

“The ‘Muslim Question’ in Late Imperial Russia,” Russian Empire: Space, People, Power, 1700-1930. Indiana-Michigan Series in Russian and East European Studies, 2007, pp. 320-347.

“The Autocracy and the Muslim Clergy in the Russian Empire (1850s-1917)”, Russian Studies in History,vol. 44, no. 2, Fall 2005 , pp. 8-30.

“Russians or Tatars? The Imperial View on the Problem of Cultural Dominance in the Russian Eastern Borderlands: Second Half of the 19 th Century - Beginning of the 20th century”, Страницы Российской истории. Проблемы, события, люди. Сборник статей в честь Б.В. Ананьича, St. Petersburg , 2003, pp. 85-94, [in Russian].

“On the Question of Orientalism in Late Imperial Russia”, Ab Imperio, № 1, Kazan, 2000, pp. 311-321,[in Russian].

“The ‘Muslim Question’ in Russia: the History of the Problem”, “ Исторические записки ”, 4 (122), Moscow, 2001, pp. 132-158, [in Russian].

“United and Indivisible Russia’ and the ‘Alien Question’ in Russian Imperial Ideology”, Пространство власти : исторический опыт России и вызовы современности.  Moscow: MONF, 2001, pp. 204 – 217, [in Russian].

“On the Role of Christianization in Russian Imperial Policies among Volga Muslims”, «Имперский строй России в региональном измерении», Moscow , 1997, pp . 138-148, [ in Russian ].