Norihiro Naganawa

Hokkaido University
I am a historian studying the Muslim communities in Russia, with a particular focus on 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, organs of local self-government, the draft to the army, and social welfare in the total war. In doing so, I reconstructed institutional contexts of the Muslim-state interactions with archival documents culling from St. Petersburg, Moscow, Kazan, Ufa, and Orenburg. Predicated upon this local knowledge, several projects are currently moving on. I am examining the local Muslim quest for Islamic knowledge, nationalism, and social reform/revolution in light of global circulation patterns in 1880s to 1920s, as well as the hajj from late imperial to Putin’s Russia. I am also trying to write a biography of one 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.