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Dolbilov, Mikhail

Prof. Dr. Mikhail Dolbilov

Honorary Research Associate
– Former Visiting Fellow


University of Maryland
Department of History
2121 Francis Scott Key Hall
College Park, MD 20742, USA



Mikhail Dolbilov received his PhD (kandidat nauk) degree from Voronezh State University, Russia in 1996. At the present time, he teaches at the Department of History, University of Maryland College Park, USA.

His major Russian-language book, Russian Country, Foreign Faith: Empire's Ethno-confessional Policy in Lithuania and Belarus under Alexander II (2010) deals with the imperial dialectics of religious tolerance and discrimination against non-Orthodox faiths (as practiced towards Roman Catholics and Jews) during the era of the Great Reforms, detecting the impact that nationalist sensibilities had on earlier Enlightenment-born disciplining patterns of the state's confessional engineering. The book´s central argument is about a certain dialectics of tolerance and intolerance in imperial religious politics.

With Aleksei Miller, Dolbilov has co-authored in Russian the volume The Western Borderlands of the Russian Empire (2006), and with Darius Staliunas, A Reverse Union: An Episode from the History of Relationship between Catholicism and Orthodoxy in the Russian Empire, 1840-1873 (2010). He is author of a range of articles, mostly in Russian, but also in English, French, German, Lithuanian, Polish, that address complex issues of the Russo-Polish rivalry and identity-shaping imperial policies in a broader imperial context and argue that the rule over these borderlands was an essential part of how the empire functioned as a whole.

In 2005-2011, Dolbilov served on the editorial board of the Historia Rossica series of the Moscow publisher Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie (New Literary Observer), committed to fostering provocative revisions of the field of Russian history and, particularly, translating into Russian recent innovative works by Western Russianists. He has taught at the European University in St. Petersburg (2006-2009) and has been a visiting scholar at the Harriman Institute of Columbia University and the Slavic Research Center of Hokkaido University (Japan). Dolbilov´s current project focuses on political loyalty in imperial Russia as a phenomenon at the intersection of politics, emotions, ideology, and religiosity.


  • Visiting Research Fellow of the Graduate School in Munich, July - August 2013