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This evening Professor David Schimmelpenninck will examine the fascinating story of Tsar Paul's ill-fated expedition to India in 1801. He will discuss and describe the preparations and execution of Ataman Orlov-Denisov’s mission in January 1801 in the context of the Napoleonic Wars and of previous French schemes to conquer the subcontinent. Schimmelpenninck will also examine what Russians know about the lands that separated Russia’s steppe frontier from British India at the turn of the nineteenth century.  What was the state of military Orientology at the time, and what was the place of India in geopolitical thought in Catherinian and Pauline Russia?  This is a GB Russia event and all are welcome.

David Schimmelpenninck van der Oye is Professor of Russian history at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada.  His research interests focus on 18th- and 19th-century Russian cultural, intellectual, diplomatic and military history.  Schimmelpenninck is the author of works including: Toward the Rising Sun: Russian Ideologies of Empire and the Path to War with Japan (DeKalb, IL: Northern Illinois University Press, 2001) and Russian Orientalism: Asia in the Russian Mind from Peter the Great to the Emigration (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2010).  He is currently writing a book about tsarist expansion into Central Asia, as well as coediting a volume on “The International History of Russia’s Great War” for the Russia’s Great War and Revolution series.

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