Ilya Vinkovetsky

Associate Professor
Office: AQ 6244
Personal Website



Future courses may be subject to change.


I was born in Leningrad (presently St. Petersburg), but left the Soviet Union at the age of ten. I attended high school in Texas and university in New England. After wandering the earth in the guises of interpreter/translator and camp counselor/outdoor educator, I went to the University of California, Berkeley, where I received training in both Russian and North American history. Before arriving at SFU in 2004, I spent two years teaching at the American University in Bulgaria.

Research Interests

The bulk of my research is directed to examining the culture, commerce, politics, and colonial practices of nineteenth-century Russian Empire. I wrote a book that explores the paradox of Russian America (aka Alaska, 1741-1867) as a sole overseas colony of an empire that otherwise conformed to a continental, as opposed to maritime, modus operandi. I am also keenly interested in how Russian imperial officials responded to, learned from, and incorporated the colonial practices of their neighbours and competitors, particularly the British in North America and the Ottomans in the Balkans.



Graduate Supervision

Russia/Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, Central Asia, northern Pacific Rim (aka Russian Far East & Russian-era Alaska, including First Nations of that part of North America & Siberia)

Accepting new MA students, but not PhD