Russia’s Enclosure: Borders and the Caucasus Link

Speaker: Paul W. Werth, Professor of History, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Date & Time: Monday, July 24th, at 7pm Tbilisi time, (11am US eastern time)

Language: English

Registration required:

Russia’s border is the longest in the world, and like everything else it has a history. “Russia’s Enclosure” aspires to provide that history by investigating the making of boundaries in Russia and the USSR across three continents, from the earliest stages of boundary-making through the present. The Caucasus region represents a comparatively short segment of that border, but one of great geopolitical and cultural significance. It was here that three large Eurasian states intersected and where, in the nineteenth century, new borders had to be drawn—with significant implications for the economic, social, and religious life of the region’s residents. Based on a foray into archives in Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Armenia, this talk offers the author’s initial attempts to make sense of this story, with reference to diverse historical actors and matters of geography, infrastructure, and institutional cultures.

Paul W. Werth is Professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and was a fellow at the American Academy in Berlin earlier this year. He has written about religious minorities, toleration, and imperial rule and is the author, most recently, of 1837: Russia’s Quiet Revolution (2021). As an ARISC fellow, he is researching the history of the borders of Russia and the USSR.

Funding for this lecture 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). The lectures are free and open to the public. Learn more at

*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.