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Drs. P. (Paul) van Dijk MA

Faculty of Humanities
Europese studies

Visiting address
  • Kloveniersburgwal 48
  • Room number: D3.03
Postal address
  • Postbus 1619
    1000 BP Amsterdam
  • Profile

    Raised in a village on the Veluwe, I nevertheless received my BA and MA degrees (Utrecht University, cum laude) in 2013 and 2018, writing my graduation thesis on late imperial citizenship development among Russian peasant colonists in Bashkiria, a border region in the southern Urals. You could say that I am interested in rural history in the broadest sense of the word, as my current PhD research ‘Land, Life & Fate’ lies at the intersection of (Russian) empire, modernization, colonialism and citizenship. By focusing on land conflicts, public health and elections to get the changing relations between state and subjects into view, I seek to understand how and why these relations developed in multiple directions in two imperial borderlands: Livland on the Baltic coast and Bashkiria near the Kazakh steppe. And how does the fact that these peripheries transformed in diverging ways impact our ideas of how imperial states work as well as our understanding of diversity in society? At some later date, I would like to investigate the ramifications of the imperial transformations for the rural environment - and vice versa. Since I study Russian history partly through the lens of Soviet historians, I have also become interested in Marxist theories and their national iterations. Naturally, intellectual history and political philosophy in general have found their way onto my bookshelves too. My door is always open for a chat and I am looking forward to learn a lot from colleagues and enthusiastic students. Lastly, I like to cook and love good food, perhaps a bit too much. I can fortunately always misuse the words by Henri Pirenne: isn't a historian supposed to love life?

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