20 years under Putin: a timeline

CI: Yes, him. This reflective and concerned reader, who isn’t a historian, will he be able to read and understand everything you’d like him to?

AS: We are working very closely with language, seeking out certain compromises. On the one hand, we don’t want our book to be bogged down in specialized terminology, but, on the other hand, we don’t want to treat the past in a reductionist manner fitting it to the conceptual habits of the present day. Many of the prevalent or simply habitual formulas for describing reality or the contemporary situation don’t take the true nature of the past into account. We are being very careful with language.

CI: Your project attempts to influence the quality of historical thought in Russian society. And probably not just Russian society. Why are you concerned with the quality of historical thought?

AS: Because the possibility for a different future, as well as an active social orientation toward the present, are both directly related to the quality of historical thought in a society.


Aleksander Semyonov

Aleksander Semyonov received his MA and Ph.D in History at the Central European University in Budapest. He has the unique experience of having taught at the most progressive Russian learning institution: the Smolny College for Liberal Arts and Sciences (St. Petersburg State Universtiy). He has also taught at the University of Michigan and University of Chicago. Semyonov writes about the history of Russian liberalism and public policy in the late imperial period. Along with his teaching experience, Semyonov has participated in creating the Russian history curriculum for educational institutions in Islamic regions of the Russian Federation. In addition, he has worked on developing an instructional guide for studying Russia in the 1990s.

Ilya Gerasimov

Between 1995 and 2000, Ilya Gerasimov earned three graduate degrees: in Russia, Hungary, and the United States. He published a number of books in Russia and Great Britain; his articles have been appearing in Russian, Ukrainian, English, Italian, and Japanese. In 1992, together with Marina Mogilner, he participated in a competition to write a history textbook for middle school students co-sponsored by the Russian Ministry of Education and Cultural Initiative (Soros Foundation). Their project made it through two out of three rounds.

Marina Mogilner

Marina Mogilner holds an MA in History from Central European University in Budapest and a Ph.D. in History from Rutgers University. Her most prominent studies are The Mythology of the Underground Man: The Radical Microcosm in Early 20th Century Russia as a Subject of Semiotic Analysis (Moscow: 1999) / Mifologiia “podpol’nogo cheloveka:” radikal’nyi mikrokosm v Rossii nachala XX veka kak predmet semioticheskogo analiza and Homo Imperii: The History of Biological Antropology in Russia(Moscow: 1998) / Homo Imperii: Istoria fizicheskoj antropologii v Rossii. An American edition of her latest book is being prepared for publication. Mogliner has taught Russian and international college and graduate students at the Kazan' University for over a decade. She also has experience developing new approaches to social sciences education in Russia, work which has been supported by grants from the U.S. State Department.

Sergey Glebov

Sergey Glebov received his Master'ss degree in Nationalism Studies from the Central European University in Budapest and his Ph.D. from Rutgers University. Over the past ten years, he has been teaching Russian history in a number of American universities. In addition to articles that have appeared in Europe and the US, Glebov recently published a major study of Eurasianism in Russia: Eurasianism Between Empire and Modernity: A History in Documents (Moscow: 2009) / Evraziistvo mezhdu imperiei i modernom: Istoria v dokumentakh. Glebov's experience of teaching in American universities provides him with a fresh perspective on presenting history to his Russian students, for whom the Russian past is often as foreign as it is to their American counterparts.