Michael Khodarkovsky

Professor, Department of History, Loyola University Chicago

Academic Bio

Michael Khodarkovsky (Ph.D., University of Chicago, 1987; B.A., Kalmyk State University, Elista, Russia, 1977) is a Professor of History at Loyola University Chicago where he teaches courses in Russian empire, comparative empires, colonialism, and Western civilization.

Khodarkovsky is a historian of the Russian Empire who specializes in the history of Russia's imperial expansion into the Eurasian borderlands.  His books examined the relationship between the expanding Russian state and the non-Christian peoples across the colonial frontier: Where Two Worlds Met: the Russian State and the Kalmyk Nomads, 1600-1771 (Cornell University Press, 1992), Russia’s Steppe Frontier: The Making of a Colonial Empire, 1500-1800 (Indiana University Press, 2002), and Bitter Choices: Loyalty and Betrayal in the Russian Conquest of the North Caucasus (Cornell University Press, 2011).  He has explored the impact of organized religion, missionary work and religious conversion on Russia's non-Christian population and in a co-edited volume Of Religion and Empire: Missions, Conversion and Tolerance in Tsarist Russia (Cornell University Press, 2001).

Most recently he took a detour from his traditional interests to explore Russian and Soviet history in 100 vignettes that became his most recent book, Russia’s 20th century: A Journey in 100 Histories (Bloomsbury Academic, 2019). 

He is now back to completing his past and current book project on a broad comparative history of the Eurasian empires. This project compares the policies and practices of the Russian empire with those of its Eurasian counterparts between the sixteenth and early nineteenth centuries.  The book is tentatively titled Imperial Visions, Policies and Impacts: Russian and Eurasian Empires in Comparative Perspective, 1500-1850s.