Lecture: Professor David Shearer (University of Delaware), “Spies, Scoundrels, and Adventurers: Russian, Soviet, and Other Foreign Explorers in Central Asia, 1870-1930”


Location: ROOM CHANGE: 118 DeBartolo Hall

David Shearer
University of Delaware

Please note room change to 118 DeBartolo Hall.

This lecture describes Russian imperial and Soviet scientific explorations in central Asia, Mongolia, and Tibet from the 1870s through the 1930s. It examines how science, adventure, and popular imagination merged in Central Asian expeditions, as did the goals of colonialism and revolution. We will examine the multiple (and sometimes secret) purposes of Russian and Soviet scientific expeditions and the routes they traced. The lecture will compare and contrast their descriptions of Central Asia with those of explorers from other Occidental nations and empires, especially the Americans, British, Germans, and French.

Sponsored by the Department of German and Russian Languages and Literatures with support from the Nanovic Institute for European Studies.