Bazhenova plans to focus on historians at two “borderland” universities in the Russian Empire whose work was closely connected to the language and ideology of power and local cultures. Her research will examine the formation of the historians’ identity, their scholarly careers, works, and international contacts during the second half of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th Centuries. Bazhenova stresses that the generalized notion of “Russian” universities at this time includes Ukrainian (Kyiv, Kharkov, Odessa) and Polish (Warsaw) universities located within the boundaries of the Russian Empire. Accordingly, “actors” like Kyiv and Warsaw universities that define the scope of her research will be studied within the context of the Russian academic sphere.
As part of her research, Bazhenova hopes to better define the characteristics of the historians at the Kyiv and Warsaw imperial universities; to examine the issues related to their choices of national and political identity made at a time marked by conflicts between national and imperial interests. In addition, Bazhenova hopes to determine how the Ukrainian and Polish environment influenced the scholars’ views, as well as to examine their views on Ukrainian-Russian and Polish-Russian relations. Finally, she will study the role of the university historians in establishing European educational trends within the imperial curriculum and define the place of borderland universities on the scholarly map of the Russian Empire.