I study the economic, social and cultural history of Imperial Russia, with a special focus on the Eurasia and Russia’s contacts with China. I plan to research the history of tea trade between Russia and China in the general context of the emergence of consumerism in Europe and increasing trade connections around the world. The critical issue that I hope this project would address is the question of how the consumption of material objects like tea shaped the perception of the cultural other and constructed the notion of "the self." Broadly speaking, I hope to conceptualize a new regional system of Eurasia within which multiple layers of exchanges are embedded, including political, economic, social, cultural and artistic ones.
I grew up in Moscow and Beijing, and I have received my B.A. with University Honors in Global Cultural Studies and Russian from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. Before coming to Princeton, I spent two years in St. Petersburg, Russia and received my M.A. in Applied and Interdisciplinary History at Higher School of Economics, St. Petersburg campus. During my time in Russia, I have also interned at Peterhof State Museum-Reserve and Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnology.
My master’s thesis examined the Russian perceptions of China in the late 18th and early 19th centuries both on the textual and material dimensions. In particular, by focusing on the phenomenon of “chinoiserie”, I argued that the materiality of things played an essential role in the Russian imagination of the Orient.
In my spare time, I’m passionate about learning and teaching foreign languages, traveling, visiting museums, hiking and doing yoga.