Henner Kropp, M.A.

Contact

Graduate School for East and Southeast European Studies
Universität Regensburg
Landshuter Str. 4
D-93047 Regensburg
Telephone: +49 (0)941 / 943 - 5487
Email

Project

The Colonists in Russian-America and the Imperial Expansion of Russia and the United States of America, 1787-1867.

Project description

The territorial expansion eastwards over the Ural Mountains commencing in the 16th century was for many centuries a key factor for the development of the Russian Empire and became an important pillar of Russian historiography. In lightning speed the Siberian space was crossed to the shores of the Pacific Ocean and beyond. The Russian influence reached during the 18th and 19th centuries up to today's Alaska and put the very northwest of the American continent – Russian-America – under the control and protection of the tsars as Russia's only overseas colony.

There is another country for which territorial expansion can be descried as a central, if not even more important state building element. Within a century the United States of America claimed the entire North American continent as its own area of expansion and ousted all European rivals from the Western Hemisphere, including the Russian Empire trough the Alaska Purchase in 1867. The conquest of the West is ever since a part of the US-American identity and a key aspect of the national historiography.

The Russian and US-American interest in Alaska forms the thematic, political and geographical clash between the both expansions. Therefore the Russian colonists in northwest America deserve a special interest from the perspective of foreign policy and imperial history. That they stand albeit outside of the political and geographical focus of the capitals Sankt Petersburg and Washington for a long time makes their role only even more interesting.

The project does not focus on the centers Saint Petersburg and Washington but on the Men on the Spot in Alaska, the Russian colonists. The research is based on the thesis that the colonists were confronted with various factors of uncertainty. In an unexplored space they had to cope with the native population as well as other states' formal and informal agents and their agendas. The project aims at answering the questions, how the colonists in Russian-America defined their role within the process of Russian imperial expansion and how their self-conception differed from the interests and goals of the governments in Saint Petersburg and Washington.

Curriculum Vitae

Henner Kropp, born in Bremen. 2006 to 2009 B.A. studies at the University of Bremen and Kaliningrad (Russia) in European Studies, History and Cultural History. 2009 to 2012 M.A. studies at the European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder) and at the American University (Washington, D.C., USA) in History, Cultural Sciences and Foreign Policy. 2012 to 2013 Associate in the Language Assistant Program CIS by the Goethe Institute and the Auswärtiges Amt in Yekaterinburg (Russia). Since 2013 doctoral student at the Graduate School for East and Southeast European Studies, supervised by Prof. Martin Aust and Prof. Volker Depkat, and Research Assistant at the Chair of Southeast and East European History (Prof. Ulf Brunnbauer) at the University Regensburg.

Publications

Article

Halfway around the World. Russian America as a Part of the Russian Empire. In: Global Humanities. Studies in Histories, Cultures, and Societies 01/2015, pp. 13-23.

Review

Karl Schlögel, Grenzland Europa. Unterwegs auf einem neuen Kontinent, München: Hanser, 2013. In: Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas/jgo.e-reviews, 2014, No. 4, pp. 50-51 (online via recensio.net).

Presentations

11/2016 The Colonists in Russian-America and the Expansion of Russia and the USA, ASEEES-Convention, Washington, D.C.
11/2016 Die Erfindung Russisch-Amerikas: Koloniale Perspektiven auf das russische Alaska, 1742-1799, Forschungskolloquium zur Osteuropäischen Geschichte, Universität Bonn
07/2016 Imperial expansion into the North Pacific, 1784-1825: distinctions and entanglements from a colonial perspective, Imperial Comparison, All Souls College, University of Oxford
09/2015 Russia: A Superpower on Three Continents and its Recognition in Europe in the 18th Century, Frühneuzeittag "Globale Verflechtungen - Europa neu denken" [Early Modern History Convention "Global Entanglements - Rethinking Europe"], University of Heidelberg
06/2015 Presentation of the Doctoral Project, Kolloquium zur Ost(mittel)europäischen Geschichte [Colloquium on East (and Middle) European History], University of Bremen
11/2014 Presentation of the Doctoral Project, Oberseminar zur Geschichte Russlands und Asiens [Advanced seminar on the History of Russia and Asia], LMU Munich
10/2014 Presentation of the Doctoral Project, 4th German-Russian Week of the Young Researcher: Global History and Regional Studies, Saint Petersburg