You are here

Nicholas Bujalski

Graduate Student

Nicholas Bujalski

Educational Background

M.A., Cornell University, 2015

B.A., Middlebury College, 2011



I am a Ph.D. candidate in History at Cornell University. My dissertation – Russia’s Peter and Paul Fortress: From Heart of Empire to Museum of the Revolution, 1825-1930 – is a cultural, intellectual, and spatial history of the Russian autocracy’s most notorious political prison.

Here the empire’s most illustrious dissidents – Bakunin, Chernyshevsky, Nechaev, Kropotkin, Trotsky – not only suffered and died, but also wrote novels and treatises, planned future political activities, and reimagined what it meant to be a revolutionary actor in tsarist Russia. As successive imprisoned generations learned to navigate (and narrate) the Fortress prison cell, this citadel was gradually transformed from a site of mute discipline into a stage of radical struggle and, eventually, a soviet Museum of the Revolution. By tracing this development over the course of the long nineteenth century, my dissertation argues for new understandings of the birth of the Russian revolutionary intelligentsia; the entwinement of symbols, spaces, and subjects in cultures of dissent; and the history of modern political imprisonment.

This work is grounded in archival research undertaken in thirteen institutions across Russia and Western Europe. My scholarship has been supported by fellowships from the Social Science Research Council, the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies, and the Cornell Institute for European Studies.

My teaching interests include early-modern, imperial, and soviet Russia; global radicalisms; spatial history; and modern Europe. My next projects focus on the theory of ‘combined and uneven development’ in intellectual history as well as the concept of death in revolutionary political cultures.

Advisor:  Claudia Verhoeven


  • History