Author Archives: Matthew Romaniello

CFP: Asia in the Russian Imagination

This year while I’m on a research fellowship, I’m helping the University of Utah’s Asia Center to organize an interdisciplinary conference.  We’re planning it around the theme of “Asia in the Russian Imagination,” but are expecting it to be more broadly … Continue reading

Posted in Research & Practice, Russia in World History, Transnational History | Leave a comment

Untangling Ideas with Imperial Threads

The more time I’ve spent thinking about the Chuck Steinwedel’s excellent Threads of Empire, the more I’m taken by the idea of imperial threads.  The intertwined purpose of policy is difficult for anyone to unwind. I think this is an … Continue reading

Posted in Research & Practice, Threads of Empire, Transnational History | 3 Comments

The Merchants of Siberia: A Blog Conversation

Welcome to our new blog conversation on Erika Monahan’s remarkable The Merchants of Siberia: Trade in Early Modern Eurasia (Cornell University Press, 2016).  Erika’s book is a comprehensive study of the structure and logistics of trade in Siberia, which is … Continue reading

Posted in Blog Conversations, Merchants of Siberia, Russia in World History | 2 Comments

Shopping in Moscow, 1705

The British expat community found living in Russia to be a great hardship, regularly complaining about the inhospitable weather and its remote location. Even worse, Russia was expensive, especially for prominent foreigners who expected access to some of the finer … Continue reading

Posted in Imperial Russia, Russia in World History, Transnational History | 1 Comment

Travel tales and unreliable informants

While I was moving some stuff around my office, I rediscovered my copy of Kazan’s Mother of God icon.  I haven’t really thought about it since I wrote my first book, but I had recently come across some interesting pieces … Continue reading

Posted in Imperial Russia, Medieval Russia, Nostalgia and Memory, Russian Orthodoxy | Leave a comment

New online journal

Just this week a new online journal for Russian Studies arrived, The Journal of Frontier Studies/Zhurnal frontirnykh issledovanii.  It is being edited by a group of scholars at Astrakhan State University, and aspires to put Russian and Western scholars into … Continue reading

Posted in Digital Russian History, Historiography, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The 1936 Guide Book of the Soviet Union

A few years ago Steve Barnes was visiting Hawaii to give a talk on his work on campus here at UH. He spent a bit of time at our Library, and came across an unusual find in our special collections, … Continue reading

Posted in Russian History in Popular Culture, Soviet Era 1917-1991, Stalinism, Teaching Russian History | 1 Comment

Russia and ‘Homosexual Propaganda’

Over the past couple of months, I have been following with increasing apprehension the news from Russia about its treatment of its gay population. Yesterday, a blogger at Gawker summarized the recent events in a good (but disturbing) entry.  I … Continue reading

Posted in Current events in the Putin Era, Post-Soviet Russia | Leave a comment

Contemplating Odors in Russian History

Back when I was an undergrad, my advisor said something that has remained with me since: if you want to know what’s current in Russian historiography, just look at what the rest of the field was working on twenty years … Continue reading

Posted in Historiography, Imperial Russia | 1 Comment

Watching October

I have an uneasy relationship with using films in my classroom.  Since I most often teach early modern history, I tend to avoid the whole genre because I’d prefer to avoid ahistorical images in my classroom.  When I teach modern … Continue reading

Posted in Films, Russian and Soviet Art, Teaching Russian History | 1 Comment

“Under the beneficent rays of Soviet national policy…”

I spent some time this past week preparing for my fall class on the Soviet Union.  Each time I’ve taught it here at Hawai’i, I’ve made use of an unique resource at our Library, the “Social Movements Collection,” which is … Continue reading

Posted in Soviet Era 1917-1991, Stalinism, Teaching Russian History, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Russia and the Alaskan Tobacco “Mystery”

As I’ve been working on the history of Russia’s experience with tobacco, I encountered a surprising development – the domestic production of tobacco in Alaska.  Anyone who’s spent time working on Russian Alaska could not help to notice the colonists’ … Continue reading

Posted in Imperial Russia, Russia in World History | 3 Comments

How “Russian” is Kauai’s Fort Elizabeth?

In the early years of the Russian American Company, there was an odd incident that led to establishment of three “Russian” forts on the island of Kauai.  The reasons for that are somewhat complicated (and the study of several interesting … Continue reading

Posted in Imperial Russia, Nostalgia and Memory, Russia in World History, Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Aloha from Hawai’i

My name is Matt Romaniello, and I’m excited to be joining the Russian History Blog.  I’m an assistant professor of history at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa, and the associate editor of The Journal of World History. I specialize … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments