Krom, Mikhail

Dean, Professor, Department of History

EUSP Professorship in Comparative historical studies


Degree: Doctor of science in History

Research interests: The history of Russia and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (14th-17th centuries); source studies; historical research methodology; trends in contemporary historical studies (historical anthropology, micro-history, the history of everyday life, comparative studies).

Professor Krom graduated from the Leningrad State Pedagogical Institute’s Department of History in 1987. He completed his postgraduate studies at the St. Petersburg Historical Institute at the Russian Academy of Sciences in 1993. He defended his Candidate’s (1993) and doctorate (2010) dissertations there as well before the Dissertation Council. In 2007-2008 he was based at the University of Kiel (Germany) and conducted research with the support of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. He was awarded the prize of the European Academy (London) in 1999 for his book “Mezh Rus’iu i Litvoi [Between Rus’ and Lithuania]” (1995). He has received research grants from the University of Warsaw (1994), Max Planck Society Historical Institute (Göttingen, 2002, 2003) and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (2007-2008, 2009).



Topical Issues in Russian History, Part I (9th-17th centuries)
This lecture course (28 hours, 14 classes) will be devoted to key issues in Russian history from the 9th to 17th centuries that remain subject to contemporary debate. Among these are the origins of the Russian state and the social structure of ancient Rus’, the impact of the Mongol invasion on the fate of the country, the phenomenon of autocracy, issues of serfdom, and many others. We will consider the works of Russian researchers as well as foreign specialists in the history of Rus’.

Historical Anthropology
This course (28 hours, 14 classes divided into 11 lectures and 3 seminars) will introduce one of the most influential contemporary research trends. It traces the evolution of anthropologically-oriented history (from the history of mentality to micro-history, Alltagsgeschichte, and new cultural history). We will discuss classic works by foreign historians (N. Z Davis, E. Le Roy Ladurie, P. Burke, H. Medick, K. Ginsburg, and others) as well as Russian forays into historical anthropology and micro-history.

On-line course on Stepic platform

New Political History
This course (28 hours, 14 classes divided into 10 lectures and 4 seminars) will familiarize students with contemporary methods and tendencies in the study of political history. We will analyze the influence of the social sciences (anthropology, politology, and sociology) on the renewal of this traditional genre of historical writing. The signs of new political history that will discussed include the widening of research topics (symbols of power, political rituals and ceremonies), sources (in particular, the use of visual materials), updated terminology (“political culture,” “discourse,” “representation of power”) and the search for new ways of studying the phenomenon power in history. We will become familiar with widely known works (by M. Block, E. Kantorovich, J. Le. Goff, L. Hunt, M. Ozouf, K. Skinner, R. Koselleck, etc.) that will be supplemented by specific historical studies developed by the author (“The Birth of the Russian In the Early Modern Period.”)

Historical Studies Practicum (History Workshop, Part I)
This course (28 hours, 14 classes divided into 4 lectures and 10 seminars) is aimed at developing and improving the research skills needed for writing master’s and doctoral theses in history. It will cover the collection of material, the advancement of a preliminary hypothesis and the submission of the final text.

Introduction to Comparative History
This course (24 hours, divided into 4 lectures and 8 seminars) will introduce the primary milestones in the development of comparative history studies. Primary emphasis will be placed on problems of methodology: does the so-called “comparative-historical method” exist? How does historical comparison differ from analogous operations in the other social sciences? We will explore examples of successful comparative-historical research in different areas.


Publications 120 total published works, including books:

 radzivilovskie akty s Radzivillovskie akty iz sobraniya Rossijskoi natsional’noi biblioteki: pervaya polovina XVI veka [Radziwill Acts from the Collection of the Russian State Library: First Half of the 16th Century.] Moscow-Warsaw: “Drevlekhranilishche [Archives],” 2002. 267 pages.
starobudskaia voina Starodubskaya voina (1534-1537.) Iz istorii russko-litovskikh otnoshenij [The Starodubskaya War (1534-1537.) From the History of Russian-Lithuanian Relations.] Moscow: “Rubezhi XXI,” 2008. 140 pages.
(The Forgotten War. On the “Starodubskaya War” of the 16th Century on Radio Svoboda.)
mezdu rusju i litvoi Mezh Rus’iu i Litvoi: Zapadnorusskie zemli v sisteme russko-litovskikh otnoshenij kontsa XV-pervoi treti XVI v. [Between Rus’ and Lithuania: Western Russian Territory in the System of Russo-Lithuanian Relations in the Late 15th-16th Centuries.] Moscow: “Kvadriga,” 2010. 318 pages (“Between Rus’ and Lithuania” on Radio Svoboda).
hist anthrop Istoricheskaya antropologiya: Uchebnoe posobie [Historical Anthropology: A Textbook.] 3rd edition. EUSP Press, 2010. 214 pages.
dowager kingdom “Vdovstvuiushchee tsarstvo”: Politicheskij kriziz v Rossii 30-40 godov XVI veka [“Widowed Kingdom:” The Political Crisis in Russia During the 30s and 40s of the 16th Century.] Moscow: New Literary Review, 2010. 888 pages.


Selected Articles:

  • Ispol’zovanie ponyatij v issledovaniyakh po istorii dopetrovskoi Rusi: smena vekh i novye orientiry [Using Concepts in Research on the History of Pre-Petrine Russia: A Change in Milestones and New Directions.] // How Do We Write History? Ed. G. Garrett, G. Dufour, L. Pimenov. Moscow, 2013. P. 94-125.
  • Fenomen reform v Evrope rannego Novogo vremeni [The Phenomenon of Reform in Europe in the Early New Time] (in lieu of a preface). // The Phenomenon of Reform in Western and Eastern Europe in the Early Modern Period (16th-18th Centuries): Collection of Articles. SPB, 2013. P. 7-16 (coauthored with L. A. Pimenova).
  • From the Center to the Margin: the Fate of Marxism in Contemporary Russian Historiography // Storia della Storiografia, 62/2, 2012, p. 121–130.
  • Changing Allegiances in the Age of State Building: The Border between the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Grand Principality of Moscow // Imagined, Negotiated, Remembered: Constructing European Borders and Borderlands / Ed. by Kimmo Katajala and Maria Lähteenmäki. LIT Verlag: Berlin – Münster – Wien – Zürich – London, 2012. P. 15–30.
  • Chastnaya sluzhba v Rossii XVI veka [Private Service in 16th Century Russia.] // The Russian Middle Ages: A Collection of Articles in Honor of Professor Yury Georgievich Alekseev. Moscow, 2012. P. 422-432.
  • Institut regenstva na zapade i vostoke Evropy: opyt sravnitel’no-istoricheskogo issledovaniya [The Institute of Regency in Western and Eastern Europe: The Experience of Comparative Historical Research.] // Images of the Past: Collection in Memory of A. Ya. Gurevich. SPB, 2011. P. 411-426.
  • Status Pskova v sisteme velikogo knyazheniya Vladimirskogo XV-nachala XVI v. (K voprosu o suverenitete srednevekovogo russkogo goroda) [Pskov’s Status in the System of Prince Vladimir’s Reign (15th-16th Centuries.) (On the Question of Sovereignty in Medieval Russian Cities.)] // Pskov, Russian Territory and Eastern Europe of the 15th-17th Centuries. On the 500th Anniversary of Pskov’s Inclusion in the Unified Russian State: international scientific conference in Pskov on May 19-21, 2010. 2011, p. 114-125.
  • Kantselyarii i dokumenty velikikh knyazhestv Litovskogo i Moskovskogo v XV-pervoi polovine XVI v: opyt sravnitel’nogo analiza [Offices and Documents of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Moscow in the 15th-first half of the 16th Century: The Experience of Comparative Analysis.] // Auxiliary Historical Disciplines. T. XXXI. SPB, 2010. P. 46-54.
  • “Delo gosudarevo i zemskoe”: Ponyatie obshchego blaga v politicheskom diskurse Rossii XVI v [“Business of the Sovereign and the Land”: The Concept of the Common Good in Russian Political Discourse of the 16th Century.] // Estates, Institutions and State Power in Russia (Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period): A collection of articles in memory of L. V. Tcherepnin. Moscow, 2010. P.581-585.
  • Religiozno-nravstvennoe obosnovanie administrativnykh preobrazovanij v Rossii XVI veka [Religious and Moral Justification of Administrative Reform in 16th Century Russia.] // Religion und Integration im Moskauer Russland. Konzepte und Praktiken, Potentiale und Grenzen. 14-17. Jahrhundert. Hrsg. von Ludwig Steindorff. Wiesbaden, 2010 (Forschungen zur osteuropäischen Geschichte. Bd. 76). P. 49–64.
  • Eshche raz o chislennosti russkogo voiska v XVI v [Once More on the Size of the Russian Army in the 16th Century] (apropos an article by A. N. Lobin) // Studia Slavica et Balcanica Petropolitana. 2009. № 1/2 (5/6). P. 79–90.
  • Formen der Patronage im Russland des 16. und 17. Jahrhunderts: Perspektiven der vergleichenden Forschung im europäischen Kontext // Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas. Bd. 57 (2009). H. 3. P. 321–345.
  • Les réformes russes du XVIe siècle: un mythe historiographique? // Annales. Histoire, Sciences Sociales, 64e année, no 3 (mai – juin 2009), p. 561–578.
  • Private Service and Patronage in Sixteenth-Century Russia // Russian History, vol. 35, nos. 3 – 4 (2008), p. 309–320.
  • Aron Yakovlevich Gurevich i antropologicheskij povorot v istoricheskoi nauke [Aron Yakovlevich Gurevich and the Anthropological Turn in Historical Science.] // New Literary Review. 2006. No. 5 (81). P. 221-228.


Organization of Conferences and Seminars:


Research Projects:

  • International summer schools project (2001-2003) and publication (2003-2008) “Sovremennye napravleniya v istoricheskom nauke [Contemporary Trends in Historical Science]” (with support from the Max Planck Society and the Volkswagen Foundation.)
  • Independent research project “Patronat i klientela v Rossii rannego Novogo vremeni: sravnitel’no-istoricheskoe issledovanie v evropeiskom kontekste [Patrons and Clientele in Russia of the Early Modern Period: A Comparative-Historical Study in the European Context.]” (2007-2008, with support from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.]
  • Collective research project “Reformy i reformatorstvo v istorii Rossii [Reform and Reformism in the History of Russia.]” (since 2011, with support from the "Goznak")