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Ian Campbell


  • Ph.D., History, University of Michigan, 2011
  • B.A., History (highest honors, highest distinction), University of Michigan, 2005


Ian Campbell has been a professor of history at UC Davis since 2012. Prior to his appointment, he was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies. He has expertise in pre-revolutionary Russian and Central Asian history.

Research Focus

Professor Campbell’s research focuses on Russian imperialism in Central Asia prior to 1917, using the lens of knowledge production to address problems ranging from environmental history to state violence.

Selected Publications

  • Campbell, I. (2017) Knowledge and the Ends of Empire:  Kazak Intermediaries and Russian Rule on the Steppe, 1731-1917 (Cornell University Press).
  • Campbell, I. (2014) "Our friendly rivals: Rethinking the Great Game in Ya'qub Beg's Kashgaria, 1867-1877," Central Asian Survey 33.2, 199-204.
  • Campbell, I. (2011) "Settlement promoted, settlement contested: The Shcherbina Expedition of 1896-1903," Central Asian Survey 30.3-4, 423-436.


Ian Campbell regularly teaches the undergraduate survey of European history (History 4C), an upper-division sequence on Russian history (History 138A-C), and upper-division courses on European military history (History 119 and 145). He also offers an eclectic range of seminars, most recently on the history of science in Russia (History 102F).


  • American Councils Title VIII Advanced Research Fellowship, 2018-29
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Harvard University, 2011-12
  • Fondiler Dissertation Prize, Department of History, University of Michigan (most outstanding dissertation of 2011)
  • Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad grant (for fieldwork in Russia and Kazakhstan, 2008-2009)