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Russia on the Pacific Ocean

February 15, 2:30pm - 4:00pm
Manoa Campus, Sakamaki A201 Add to Calendar

Professor Ilya Vinkovetsky (History, Simon Fraser University) will present "Russia on the Pacific Ocean: Indigenous Encounters in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries" as part of the ongoing History Workshop series on "Human Rights and Historical Responsibilities." Expanding rapidly across northern Asia, the Russians reached the shores of the Pacific by 1639 but it was not until a hundred years later that they began to venture around the Pacific Rim and sailed deep inside the Pacific Ocean, an initiative that would stretch the Russian Empire as far as California and, briefly, even the Hawaiian Islands. The eighteenth and especially the nineteenth century would witness dramatic expansion, contraction, and realignment of Russia’s claims around the Pacific. This talk explores the impact of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Russian colonial activities on the Pacific. Specifically, it addresses how the interaction among the Russians, their fellow European-based colonialists, and some of the indigenous people reshaped the cultures, the ecology, and the political geography of the region.

The Russian venture on the Pacific was heavily dependent on the indigenous people they encountered – in Eurasia, on the Aleutian Islands, on Kodiak, and beyond. The main economic activity, at least until the middle of the nineteenth century, that drew the Russians here revolved around the marine fur trade: indigenous people were the indispensible workforce that made profit in this endeavor possible. The disappearance of the sea otter and other fur-bearing marine animals affected both Russian colonialism and indigenous lives. The talk emphasizes an important function that the Pacific Ocean served for the Russian Imperial Navy, which used such remote bases as Okhotsk, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskii and New Archangel (present-day Sitka, Alaska) as Pacific ports for circumnavigating ships originating from the Baltic. When the Russian Empire, and thus its navy, gained Vladivostok, a much more promising port, these bases became expendable.

Event Sponsor
History, Manoa Campus

More Information
History Workshop, 956-7407,

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Friday, February 15
11:30am Digital Image Use 101: Finding and Using Images From the Internet
Manoa Campus, Hamilton Library 306
2:30pm Education Final Oral
Manoa Campus, LSP 4A
2:30pm Russia on the Pacific Ocean
Manoa Campus, Sakamaki A201
3:00pm German Club - Stammtisch
Manoa Campus, Manoa Gardens
5:00pm Mystical Poetry Night
Manoa Campus, Hale Halawai (Between John Burns Hall and Hale Manoa on East West Road)
6:30pm John Hughes movie mash up night
Manoa Campus, Campus Center Ballroom, 3rd Floor
7:00pm Hakuoh University Handbell Choir Free Concert
United Church of Christ, 467 Judd St., Honolulu
8:00pm Taiko Drum and Dance
Manoa Campus, Kennedy Theatre on the Mainstage
8:30pm John Hughes movie mash up night
Manoa Campus, Campus Center Ballroom, 3rd Floor
11:00pm Danny and the Deep Blue Sea
Manoa Campus, Late Night at the Earle Ernst Lab Theatre
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