RAS Lecture

Tavern at the Radisson Xingguo Hotel

Victor Zatsepine – For Conquest and Learning: Imperial Russia’s explorers in Central Inner and East Asia, 1860-1917

This talk is about Imperial Russian explorers in China during the 19th century. They played multiple roles as the agents of Imperial Russia’s territorial expansion in Asia, as passionate scientists who studied China’s geography, ethnography and culture, and as mere adventurers. It will compare the activities of two colorful explorers, Nikolai Przhevalsky and Peter Kropotkin, who became internationally acclaimed for their contribution to geographic knowledge about Asia. They also left very different legacies: one as a xenophobe and an ardent advocate of imperial conquest, and another as a revolutionary and an anarchist.

Dr. Victor Zatsepine is a research assistant professor at the History Department, University of Hong Kong. Born in Samara (Russia), educated in Beijing, Boston and Vancouver, he is finishing a manuscript on the history of the Qing-Russian border to be published by the UBC Press. His research interests include regionalism in Chinese history, Sino-Western encounters, and the colonial built environment in China and Asia.

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