Nottingham ESRC Doctoral Training Centre

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Jonathan Rowson

ESRC DTC PhD Student, Faculty of Arts



I am an ESRC-funded PhD Candidate, working on a project entitled, 'Out-migration in the Russian village: Perm' Province, 1880-1914', which aims to be one of the first province-specific studies of the migratory patterns of Russian peasants in the late-Tsarist period. Basing my research on the regional level, this project aims to ascertain the destinations of peasant migrants; temporal and spatial patterns in migratory flows; and their motivations and other causal factors that impelled them to re-settle from their places of origin. In this way, it will offer new insights into the sources and form of Russia's rapid urbanisation and industrialisation and into the causes and character of what some historians have termed Russia's rural crisis. Many present-day countries, including China, are undergoing similar demographic and spatial processes as Russia did in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and facing the same challenges in understanding, channeling and containing population pressures and flows. This research thus has strong contemporary relevance, as it will provide a case study of rural to urban migration as a crucial dimension of economic development and modernisation.

Research Summary

Conference Papers & Presentations

  • 'Backward peasants and modernising refomers?: Conceptions of "backwardness" and "modernity" in studies of the nineteenth-century Imperial Russian Economy', Conceptualising Europe: An Interdisciplinary Workshop, The University of Nottingham, February 2016
  • 'The Contested Narratives of Nineteenth-Century Russian Travel Writing', On the Margins: Postgraduate Seminar on Travel Writing, Nottingham Trent University, June 2016
  • '"The Gateway to Siberia": Tracing Migrants' journeys in Perm' province during the long nineteenth-century', Irish Association of Russian, Central, and East European Studies Annual Conference - "Journeys", May 2017
  • 'Factory Settlements and Peasant Labourers in Perm' Province, 1890-1914', Annual Conference of the Study Group of the Russian Revolution, Cardiff University. January 2018

Online Publications

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