PhD Student, Columbia University, ARISC fellow
Monday, August 15, 2022, 5:00-6:30 PM Baku time
Overview: In the last quarter of the 19th century, as a million and a half Russian Jews migrated to the United States in hopes of starting a new life in a far-off continent, nearly 15,000 of their co-religionists made a different decision: to migrate within the Russian Empire to the frontier capital of Baku. This was a unique setting in the Jewish geography of the Russian Empire; one that does not conform to the common perception of a destitute population passively bearing subjugation in the Pale of Settlement. Rather, Baku’s position on the periphery proved ideal for the expansion of Jewish merchant networks that emanated from Jewish population centers near the Black Sea. This economic situation, in turn, supported a self-possessed, even brash, middle class that announced its Eastern European cultural origins with confidence, giving its “Jewish identity” pride of place amidst the crowded landscape of Baku’s nationalist politics. In this talk, I will discuss the role that these Jewish migrants played in Baku’s dynamic oil industry, in its growing sugar export trade, and in the public life of the late-imperial South Caucasus.
Speaker: James Nadel is a PhD Student in History at Columbia University. He is currently an ARISC Fellow and has been an ASEEES Cohen-Tucker Fellow. His research focuses on Jewish economic activity in late imperial Russia.
Funding for the ARISC fellowship is provided by the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) through a grant to the Council of American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC). This event is sponsored by the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC). Lectures are free and open to the public. Learn more at www.arisc.org
*ARISC does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, physical or mental disability, medical condition, ancestry, marital status, age, sexual orientation, citizenship, or status as a covered veteran