Alexander Morrison

Alexander Morrison

Tutorial Fellow in History
History and Economics
History and Politics
MA DPhil (Oxon)
I work on the history of empire and of colonial warfare, focusing on Russian conquest and rule in nineteenth-century Central Asia. I spent part of my childhood in Moscow, and a spell teaching in India stimulated my interest in South Asian history, and that seems to be how I ended up studying the regions in between. Before arriving at New College in 2017 I worked in Kazakhstan, and I travel regularly to Russia and Central Asia for my research. I am currently writing a history of the Russian conquest of Central Asia, which spanned the period from the end of the Napoleonic Wars to the First World War, adding 1.5 million square miles of territory to the Russian empire, but which as yet has no dedicated study in English.
1997 – 2000 Undergraduate, Oriel College
2000 – 2007 Prize Fellow, All Souls College
2007 – 2013 Lecturer in Imperial History, University of Liverpool
2013 – 2017 Professor of History, Nazarbayev University, Astana, Kazakhstan
I am fond of cooking, cricket, cycling and walking, and I sing – especially Gregorian chant and Gilbert & Sullivan.
The Cloister is the single most beautiful spot in Oxford, and there is a lot of competition for that title!

Research Interests

Russian Colonialism
Russian military History
Central Asian History
South Asian History

Selected Major Publications:

  • ‘The Turkestan Generals and Russian Military History’ War in History (2018 – forthcoming)
  • ‘Beyond the Great Game. The Russian Origins of the Second Anglo-Afghan War’ Modern Asian Studies Vol.51 No.3 (2017) pp.686-735
  • ‘Peasant Settlers and the Civilising Mission in Russian Turkestan, 1865-1917’ Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History Vol.43 No.3 (2015) pp.387 – 417
  • ‘Camels and Colonial Armies. The Logistics of warfare in Central Asia in the early nineteenth century’ Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient Vol.57 No.4 (2014) pp.443-485
  • ‘ “Nechto Eroticheskoe”? “Courir après l’ombre”? logistical imperatives and the fall of Tashkent, 1859-1865’ Central Asian Survey Vol.33 No.2 (June 2014) Special Issue: The Russian Conquest of Central Asia ed. Alexander Morrison pp.153-169
  • 'Twin Imperial Disasters. The Invasions of Khiva and Afghanistan in the Russian and British Official Mind, 1839 – 1842' Modern Asian Studies Vol.48 No.1 (2014) pp.253 – 300
  • ‘Amlakdars, Khwajas, and mulk land in the Zarafshan Valley after the Russian Conquest, 1868-1874’ in Paolo Sartori (ed.) Explorations in the Social History of Modern Central Asia (19th-early 20th centuries) (Leiden: Brill, 2013) pp.23-64.
  • ‘Metropole, Colony, and Imperial Citizenship in the Russian Empire’ Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History Vol.13 No.2 (Spring 2012) pp.327 – 364.
  • ‘Sufism, Panislamism & Information Panic. Nil Sergeevich Lykoshin and the aftermath of the Andijan Uprising’ Past & Present No.214 (February 2012) pp.255 – 304.
  • ‘Sowing the Seed of National Strife in this Alien Region. The Pahlen Report and Pereselenie in Turkestan, 1908-1911’ Acta Slavica Iaponica Tomus 31 (2012) pp.1 – 29.
  • ‘ “Applied Orientalism” in British India and Tsarist Turkestan’ Comparative Studies in Society and History Vol.51 No.3 (July 2009) pp.619-647.
  • Russian Rule in Samarkand 1868-1910. A Comparison with British India Oxford Historical Monographs. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008)
All my publications can be found on my academia page:
I write occasional journalistic pieces for, which can be found here:
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