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Dr George Gilbert BA, MA, Ph.D.

Lecturer in Modern Russian History

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Dr George Gilbert is a Lecturer in Modern Russian History at the University of Southampton.

I am a specialist in modern Russian history, with my own research focusing most closely on events, places and people from the exciting revolutionary period of Russia’s history (c. 1881-1917). My past research has included study of right-wing movements in early twentieth-century Russia. I am continuing to think about and explore this field, and another research project explores cases of political and religious martyrdom in late Imperial Russia. More broadly I am most interested in social and cultural history, and, in particular, themes of nationalism, national identity and commemorative culture in this same era.

I have a wide range of teaching experience in Russian history and modern European and world history more broadly. In addition to my undergraduate teaching I would be particularly interested in supervising research students in aspects of modern Russian history.

Currently, I am serving as the secretary of the British Association for Slavonic & East European Studies, the UK’s national learned society for the study of Russia, Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. At Southampton, I am also affiliated to the Parkes Institute for the study of Jewish/non-Jewish relations across the ages.


BA, History, University of East Anglia, 2009

MA, Modern European History, 2010

Ph.D., Modern Russian History, University of East Anglia, 2014


Scouloudi Fellow, Institute of Historical Research, 2013-14

Lecturer, Balliol College, University of Oxford, 2014-15

Lecturer in modern Russian History, University of Southampton, 2015-

Broadly speaking, my research work has encompassed two major areas to date.

The first of these is the radical right in late imperial Russia. This was the subject of my first monograph, titled The Radical Right in Late Imperial Russia: Dreams of a True Fatherland? (Routledge, 2016) The work assessed the changing social dynamics of the populist-nationalist radical right as it emerged in the early twentieth century in Russia. Key concepts examined were national identity, the use of anti-Semitism and the adoption of violence by the major groups assessed. I also considered the civic society projects of the far right and their approach to renewing Russia in the late imperial period, which many of their activists saw as a time of degeneration and decay. This is also something I have explored in research articles.

My current research is on martyrdom and martyrology in revolutionary Russia. I am most interested in the wave of martyrdoms on both right and left that emerged in the era of mass violence around the 1905 revolution in Russia, but I will contextualize the project more broadly – cases I have examined span from 1881 to 1917. The project will explore the intersections between these violent, noble deaths that emerged in public life in the late imperial period. I have started the primary research for this, which I hope will form the basis of my second book, and research articles in the future.

More recently I have become interested in the history of sport and physical culture in late imperial Russia. I published an article in Slavonic and East European Review on the Sokol movement, and I envisage future research in this area.

I have a broad range of teaching experience in European and world history but my primary focus is always the history of modern Russia. My current teaching consists of a number of modules on Russian history from the early nineteenth century to the present day, and a team-taught module on the radical right. I would be pleased to supervise students on aspects of modern Russian history.

Current students:

Anoushka Alexander-Rose, thesis title, ‘Vladimir Nabokov: Jewishness in Life and Work’, 2020-

Supervisory team: Devorah Baum (English), Claire Le Foll (History), George Gilbert (History)

British Association of Slavonic and East European Studies (BASEES), Secretary (2019-)

 I am a member of the following groups and institutes:

  • Asociation for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES), associate member
  • Parkes Institute, University of Southampton, member
  • Study Group of the Russian Revolution (SGRR), member
  • Manuscript/book proposal reviewer for publishers including Routledge, studies in modern European history, BASEES series of Russia/East European history, and Bloomsbury
  • Peer reviewer for journals including History, Contemporary European History, Revolutionary Russia and Slavic Review
  • Advisory board, New Histories of Russia (Novaia istoriia Rossiia)
  • Advisory board, Slavonic and East European Review
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Dr George Gilbert
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