Nicholas Breyfogle

Nicholas Breyfogle

Nicholas Breyfogle

Associate Professor of History


159 Dulles Hall
230 Annie & John Glenn Ave
Columbus, OH 43210

Google Map


  • Ph.D., Russian and European History, University of Pennsylvania (1998)
  • M.A., Russian and European History, University of Pennsylvania (1994)
  • B.A., History and French Civilization, Brown University (1990)


Nicholas Breyfogle is a specialist in Imperial Russian history, c. 1700 to 1917, especially the history of Russian imperialism and the non-Russian nationalities of the tsarist empire. His research interests include Russian colonialism, inter-ethnic contact, peasant studies, religious belief and policy, and the history and culture of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Siberia.

He is also a specialist in environmental history. His writings have examined the history of earthquakes in Russia and the human history of water. He is currently working on an environmental history of the Lake Baikal region of Siberia, tentatively entitled "Baikal: The Great Lake and its People."

Breyfogle is author of Heretics and Colonizers: Forging Russia's Empire in the South Caucasus (Cornell University Press, 2005), which was awarded the Ohio Academy of History Book Award for 2006.

He is also co-editor of Peopling the Russian Periphery: Borderland Colonization in Eurasian History (Routledge, 2007); guest editor of "Russian Religious Sectarianism," a thematic issue of the journal Russian Studies in History (Winter 2007-08); and guest co-editor (with Chris Otter and John Brooke) of "Technology, Ecology, and Human Health Since 1850," a thematic forum in Environmental History (October 2015), and "Health, Disease, and Environment in Global History," a thematic issue of the Journal of World History (December 2013).

Breyfogle works as co-editor of the online magazine Origins: Current Events in Historical Perspective, available at

Faculty Links

Curriculum Vitae (pdf)
Department web page

Media Links

Arts and Sciences: Breaking Fresh Ground: Environmental History Takes to the Field (2013)
Arts and Sciences: Breaking Fresh Ground: Environmental History Takes a New Direction (2013)
Origins: Russia and the Race for the Arctic (2012) 
Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching (2011) 
Origins: Dry Days Down Under: Australia and the World Water Crisis (2010)

Mershon Projects

The Nature of War: American Environments and World War II with Peter Mansoor (2015-16)
Water, Culture, and Society in Global Historical Perspective with Philip Brown (2015-16)
Eurasian Environments: Nature and Ecology in Eurasian History (2011-12)
Lake Baikal and The World Water Crisis (2010-11)