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Oral history interview with Richard Wortman, 2016

Creator: Wortman, Richard
Project: Harriman Institute oral history collection.
(see all project interviews)
Phys. Desc. :Transcript: 31 pages
Location: Columbia Center for Oral History
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Biographical Note

Richard Wortman is the Bryce Professor Emeritus of European Legal History at Columbia University. He received his B.A. from Cornell University and his PhD from the University of Chicago. He taught at the University of Chicago from 1963 to 1977, and Princeton University from 1977 to 1988, before coming to the Harriman Institute. Wortman's research focuses primarily on representation and political culture in imperial Russia.

Scope and Contents

Richard Wortman reviews his personal academic history, including ties with Leopold Haimson which drew him to the then-Russian Institute. Wortman describes the 1990s as a time of "efflorescence" at the Harriman Institute, especially in the field of Russian history, and discusses the internal structure of the Institute at that time. Wortman specifically references two instances of tension between groups at Harriman: between PhD students and non-PhD students, and between Political Science faculty/scholars and humanities-focused faculty/scholars. Wortman notes Harriman's influence on the rise of nationality studies and discusses his conflicted view on the place of human rights studies within the Institute.


Access Conditions

Copyright by the Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York, 2016.

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