Sergei Antonov

Postdoctoral Fellow

Harriman Institute, Columbia University

Sergei Antonov earned his Ph.D. in Russian history from Columbia University in 2011 and a J.D. from New York University School of Law in 2002. At the Harriman Institute he will work on his first book, exploring personal debt in nineteenth-century Russia as a cultural, legal, and social phenomenon. Based largely on close readings of unpublished court cases, Antonov examines such topics as attitudes and practices relating to debt, insolvency, usury, debt imprisonment, credit fraud, court practice, and the connections between debt and patronage, kinship and family structures. He argues that both debt and related legal practices pervaded Russian life, at once reinforcing and challenging such key categories as the empire’s system of distinct legal estates, the relationship of individuals to the state, notions about criminality, the control of property, gender roles, and kinship and patronage networks. In addition to this book project, Antonov will also work on articles dealing with corruption and organized crime in imperial Russia, as well as military culture in the late imperial period.