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From Border Guards to Body Guards: The Cossacks in Imperial Russia 

An online lecture by Professor Brian J. Boeck 

This lecture traces the rise and fall of the Cossacks as a population dedicated to the service of the Russian empire. Starting with their frontier origins in the steppes between the Russian and Ottoman empire in the sixteenth century, analyzing their subjugation under tsar Peter I and his successors, and exploring their changing roles in an expanding empire, this lecture provides an overview of their unique privileges and crushing responsibilities under the Romanovs.


About the Speaker

Professor Brian J. Boeck of DePaul University is the author of Imperial Boundaries: Cossack Communities and Empire-Building in the Age of Peter the Great (Cambridge: 2009) and Stalin’s Scribe. Literature, Ambition and Survival: The Life of Mikhail Sholokhov (Pegasus: 2019), a shortlist finalist for the Pushkin Prize for best non-fiction writing about Russia.

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Connecting With Zoom

This virtual lecture is presented live via Zoom. Registered users will be emailed a link to join this Zoom program. To get started, please download Zoom on your chosen device and explore the Frequently Asked Questions.

This program will be recorded.


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