I graduated from Yale University in May 2008 with a B.A. in History. As a Fulbright fellow, I will be a history student at the European University in St. Petersburg and will study the published writings of the scholars from the Imperial Academy of Sciences who participated in the Academy’s eighteenth-century exploratory expeditions to Siberia. These men studied a remarkable variety of subjects during their journeys, including ethnography, commerce, geography, botany, industry, and history. My research will center on the observations these scholars made in the fields of diplomacy, commerce, and relations with native Siberians, and on the recommendations they made to Empresses Anna and Catherine II, who funded the voyages. I hope to understand how they contributed to the strengthening of the Russian Empire and their influence on Russian grand strategy. After my year in Russia, I plan to continue my study of the Academic exploration of Siberia in graduate school.
I have been interested in Russia since reading my first Russian history book at age twelve. In high school I enjoyed reading the great novels of nineteenth century Russian literature. Yale gave me the opportunity to study Russian history in a formal setting, and after just one course on the subject I knew I wanted to continue studying it at the graduate level. This year will be my second visit to Russia: last summer I spent two months living in St. Petersburg, studying Russian language, and researching the historical memory of the February Revolution in museums in St. Petersburg and Moscow. I absolutely loved the people I met in St. Petersburg over the summer, and I am very happy and grateful to be able to return to my favorite city.
I am also a dedicated cellist, and I hope to form a string quartet at EUSP. I envy the wide vibrato and lyricism of Russian string players—hopefully I will learn about Russian technique and make friends while playing Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev, and Shostakovich quartets.