Not by Force Alone: Public Health and the Establishment of Russian Rule in the Russo-Polish Borderland, 1762-85

Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Marshall D. Shulman Seminar Room (1219 IAB)
Please join the Harriman Institute’s Ukrainian Studies Program for a lecture by Dr. Oksana Mykhed.
This presentation will focus on the borderland between the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Russian Empire in the late eighteenth century. Before the 1770s, a porous border in the Kyiv region allowed for large unregulated population migration and epidemics of the bubonic plague. Mykhed argues that a severe outbreak of the plague in 1771 changed Russian policies in the borderland and forced the empire to improve infrastructure and health care in the region. These advancements curtailed the spread of the plague and prepared the region for the 1782 administrative reform, which contributed to further development of Kyiv province as an important region of the empire. The presentation will demonstrate that the empire's ability to manage environmental, social and medical problems in the local community affected integration of this territory.
Oksana Mykhed is Visiting Assistant Professor of Ukrainian Studies at Columbia University. Her primary research and teaching interests are early modern and modern Ukrainian, Russian, and Polish Histories. In her research and courses, she explores the growth and disintegration of Russian, Hapsburg and Ottoman empires, and formation of imperial boundaries and borderland communities. Her current work focuses on the history of migration control, public health, and commerce in the Ukrainian and Polish territories of the Russian Empire in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Oksana's most recent research paper is forthcoming in Borderlands in World History, 1700-1914 (Palgrave, 2014).
This event is free and open to the public.