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About the project

Russian Perspectives on Islam documents the encounter and evolving relationship between the Orthodox/secular state and the Islamic regions, groups, individuals, and ideologies on the territory of the former Soviet Union and neighboring countries. This set of unique materials illuminates the strategies implemented by the Soviet and Russian state to establish authority and legitimacy among predominantly Muslim populations in Central Asia, the Northern Caucasus and Siberia and to enhance Moscow’s influence internationally with nearby Muslim countries, including Iran, Iraq, Pakistan and Turkey. The digital archive is designed to disseminate these documents to the widest possible scholarly community and general readership.

The project will digitize and translate a large number of primary sources pertaining to these topics. Besides presenting the documents from a number of Russian and international archives, we also work with institutional partners and individual scholars to assist in their search, management, and publication of primary sources related to their forthcoming or published books and articles. These synergetic themes will allow to broaden the reach of traditional publications by introducing a virtually unlimited number of well-organized relevant primary sources to scholars and the general public.

How it works


  • Vadim Staklo (Project Director): Staklo is Research Associate Professor at GMU
  • Steve Barnes (Consulting Scholar): Barnes is Associate Professor of History at GMU
  • Karina Korostelina (Consulting Scholar): Korostelina is Associate Professor of Conflict Analysis and Resolution and director of the History, Memory, and Conflict Program at GMU
  • T. Mills Kelly (Director of Technology): Kelly is Executive Director of the Center for History and New Media and a Professor of History at George Mason University. 
  • Eric McGlinchey (Consulting Scholar): McGlinchey is Associate Professor of Government and Politics at GMU

Project Partners

Russian Perspectives on Islam is made possible through funding from the Henry Luce Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the support from the Mardjani Foundation.