Jonathan Raspe

Graduate Student

Jonathan Raspe is a historian of modern Russia, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia. His dissertation examines ethnicity in the Soviet Union through the lens of industry, which he argues was key for creating Soviet nations and joining the former Eurasian borderlands together into a unitary state. Focusing on the Karaganda Iron and Steel Works in Kazakhstan and the Minsk Tractor Works in Belarus, the dissertation shows how industrialization spawned economic nationalism in the Union republics, integrated non-Russian communities and territories yet perpetuated ethnic hierarchies, produced new technocratic elites, and Sovietized national identity.

Raspe has previously conducted research on national identity and ethnic relations in the Soviet Union during the interwar period. His article on the Soviet indigenization policy in Belarus appeared in the Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas. A second paper on Jewish national autonomy in 1920s Soviet Ukraine was published in Nationalities Papers. Before coming to Princeton, he received an MPhil in Russian and East European Studies with Distinction from St Antony’s College, University of Oxford, and a BA in History and Economics from the Humboldt University of Berlin. His research has been supported by the Gerda Henkel Foundation, the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES), and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).

Photo credit: Sameer Khan

Year of Study
Seventh Year
Area of Interest
Borderlands History
Colonialism & Post Colonialism
Cultural History
Economic History
Immigration & Migration
Imperial History
Jewish History
Labor History
Political History
Race & Ethnicity
Social History
Home Department & Other Affiliations
19th Century
20th Century
21st Century
Russia and Eurasia