Norihiro Naganawa

Norihiro Naganawa

Modern History of Central Eurasia


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Norihiro Naganawa


2007 Ph.D., Area Studies, University of Tokyo
2001 M.A., Area Studies, University of Tokyo
1999 B.A., Oriental Studies, University of Tokyo

Field of Study:

I am a historian studying the Muslim communities in Russia, with a particular focus on the Tatars and Bashkirs in the eastern part of European Russia. My dissertation and first book addressed a vibrant Muslim civil society in the Volga-Urals region in the last decade of the Tsarist empire. I investigated Tatar-language public debates over the Islamic administration under the Orthodox Tsars, workings of local self-government, the draft to the army, and social welfare in the total war. In so doing, I reconstructed institutional contexts of the Muslim-state interactions using archival documents culled from St. Petersburg, Moscow, Kazan, Ufa, and Orenburg. Predicated upon this local knowledge, several projects are currently in progress. I am exploring the quest of local Muslims for Islamic knowledge, nationalism, and social reform/revolution in light of global circulation patterns in the 1880s to the 1920s, as well as the Hajj from the late imperial era to Putin’s Russia. I am also endeavoring the writing of the biography of a Tatar revolutionary and Soviet diplomat from Bashkiria, Karim Abdraufovich Khakimov (1890-1938), whose trajectory encompasses the Volga-Urals, Turkestan, Bukhara, northern Iran, and the Red Sea. His life story as a Bolshevik interlocutor to the Muslim world illuminates the transformation of the fractured empire into an anti-imperialist empire. It also provides Russia’s lessons of engagement with the Muslim world amid global politics.

Related Sites:

Recent Publications (Selected):

Islamic Russia: Empire, Religion, and Public Sphere, 1905-1917. Nagoya: Nagoya University Press, 2017. (in Japanese)

Edited Books:

(with Minoru Ozawa) Northwest Eurasia as a Historical Space: Pre-Modern Russia and Its Neighboring World. Sapporo: Hokkaido University Press, 2016 (in Japanese).
(with So Yamane) Borderlands and Minorities across Eurasian Regional Powers. Kyoto: Minerva Shobō, 2015 (in Japanese).
(Под сов. ред. Д.М. Усманова и М. Хамамото) Волго-Уральский регион в имперском пространстве. XVIII-XX вв. Москва: Восточная литература, 2011.

Journal Articles:

“Tatars and Imperialist Wars: From the Tsar’s Servitors to the Red Warriors,” Ab Imperio 1 (2020): 164-196. (Honorable Mention in the Ab Imperio Award 2020 for the Best Study in New Imperial History and History of Diversity in Northern Eurasia, Up to the Late Twentieth Century)
“Elusive Piety: Hajj Logistics and Local Politics in Tatarstan, Dagestan, and the Crimea,” Religion, State & Society 47, no. 3 (2019).
“Transimperial Muslims, the Modernizing State, and Local Politics in the Late Imperial Volga-Ural Region.” Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History 18, no. 2, 2017, pp. 417–436.
“Holidays in Kazan: The Public Sphere and the Politics of Religious Authority among Tatars in 1914.” Slavic Review 71, no. 1, 2012, pp. 25–48.

Book Chapters:

«Божьи гости» и антиимпериализм: Совестский хадж 1920-х гг. // Ислам в России и Евразии (памяти Дмитрия Юрьевича Арапова): Коллективная монография. СПб.: Алетейя, 2021. С. 561-582.
Гражданская война как цивилизаторская миссия: Роль татарских политработников Красной Армии в Туркестане // Гражданская война в России: Жизнь в эпоху социальных экспериментов и военных испытаний, 1917-1922. СПб.: Нестор-История, 2020. С. 417-435.
“Designs for Dâr al-Islâm: Religious Freedom and the Emergence of a Muslim Public Sphere, 1905-1916.” In: Randall A. Poole and Paul W. Werth, eds., Religious Freedom in Modern Russia. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2018, pp. 160-181.
“A Civil Society in a Confessional State? Muslim Philanthropy in the Volga-Urals Region.” In: Adele Lindenmeyr, Christopher Read, and Peter Waldron, eds., Russia’s Home Front, 1914-1922, Book 2: The Experience of War and Revolution. Bloomington: Slavica Publishers, 2016, pp. 59–78.
“Islam and the Rule of Modern Empire: A Case of the Russian Empire.” In: Shigeru Akita and Shiro Momoki, eds., Global History and Empire. Osaka: Osaka University Press, 2013, pp. 158–184 (in Japanese).
“The Hajj Making Geopolitics, Empire, and Local Politics: A View from the Volga-Ural Region at the Turn of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries.” In: Alexandre Papas, Thomas Welsford, and Thiery Zarcone, eds., Central Asian Pilgrims: Hajj Routes and Pious Visits between Central Asia and the Hijaz. Berlin: Klaus Schwarz Verlag, 2012, pp. 168–198.

Invited Lectures (Selected):

- “Officious Aliens: Tatars’ Involvement in the Central Asian Revolution,” School of Historical Studies, Princeton Institute for Advanced Study, 8 March 2021.
- “Making an Anti-imperialist Empire: Revolutionary Russia and the Muslim World,” NYU Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia, 16 February 2021.
- “What a Muslim Region of Imperial Russia Tells,” “Writing a Transnational History of Russia’s Civil War,” International Laboratory “Russia’s Regions in Historical Perspective,” Higher School of Economics in Moscow (15, 22 March 2019).
- Биография Карима Хакимова как методика изучения «антиимперской империи», Пленарное заседание. Международная научно-практическая конференция «Россия и страны Востока: векторы взаимодействия и сотрудничества», посвященная 125-летию со дня рождения Карима Абдрауфовича Хакимова. Уфа (4 декабря 2014 г).
- “Collaborators or Mutineers? Tatars in the Russian Empire,” the Opening Symposium “Empire and its Neighbors” at the 111th Annual Meeting of the Historical Society of Japan (Shigakukai), University of Tokyo (9 November 2013).
- “Russia’s Muslim Mediators in Arabia, 1890s-1930s: Some Thoughts on a Research Agenda,” Muslim Identities and Imperial Spaces: Networks, Mobility, and the Geopolitics of Empire and Nation (1600-2011), The Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies, Stanford University (7 April 2011).

Courses Taught:

- Russian History
- Introduction to the Slavic and Eurasian Studies
- Multiethnic Societies in the World
- Russia and the Muslim World, from the First Contact to the Present

Grants and Fellowships:

- William D. Loughlin Membership of the Princeton Institute for Advanced Study (2021)
- Democracy by Violence in the Twentieth Century: A Transnational History (JSPS Grants-in-Aid Scientific Research B, 2018–2022)
- Making an Anti-Imperialist Empire: A Biography of Karim Khakimov (1892-1937) (JSPS Grants-in-Aid Scientific Research C, 2013–2016)
- Empire and the Hajj: A View from Russia’s Muslim Regions, 1865-1914 (JSPS Grants-in-Aid Scientific Research C, 2010–2012)
- Beyond the Contours of State in the project “Comparative Research on Major Regional Powers in Eurasia” (Ministry of Education and Science as a five-year grant-in-aid for scientific research on innovative areas, 2008–2013)
- Muslim Administration and Foreign Policy in the Southern Frontier of the Russian Empire, 1856-1914 (JSPS Grants-in-Aid Scientific Research C, 2010–2012)


18th JSPS Prize and 18th Japan Academy Medal in 2021
The 2019 Mishima Kaiun Memorial Award given annually for a distinguished contribution to the study of Asian history

- Member of Slavic Review Editorial Board (from 2021)
- Member of the Editorial Board of Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History (2022-)
- Associate Researcher of the International Laboratory "Russia's Regions in Historical Perspective" at National Research University Higher School of Economics (Moscow)