Julia Berest

- Adjunct Assistant Professor

Julia Berest

Ph.D. University of Western Ontario, 2008
Email: jberest2@uwo.ca



 Research Interests

I am an intellectual historian specializing in the history of modern Russian thought and political culture. In my research I focus mainly on the development of Russian liberalism as a philosophical and socio-political phenomenon. Over the past few years, my research interests have evolved in the direction of cross-cultural study of ideas. I examine Russian translations of Western European thinkers and the way their ideas influenced Russian thought and political vocabulary in the 19th century.

Current Research Project

In my current book project, J.S. Mill in Imperial Russia, I analyze the reception of the British philosopher and economist John Stuart Mill in pre-revolutionary Russia.  I am interested in exploring why the reaction of the Russian audience to Mill’s major works, including his iconic On Liberty, was often different from the reception of Mill by his British readers during the same period.


Julia Berest, The Emergence of Russian Liberalism: Alexander Kunitsyn in Context, 1783-1840. Palgrave Macmillan, 2011.

Select Publications

  • “Alexander Kunitsyn: Pioneer of Natural Law in Russia,” in Valliere Paul and Randall A. Poole, eds., Law and the Christian Tradition in Modern Russia, (Routledge: London, 2022), 92-112.
  • “The Theme of Happiness and British Utilitarianism in Russian Thought, from the 1860s to the early 1880s,” Journal of Modern Russian History and Historiography, 14 (2021), 5-68.
  • “J. S. Mill’s On Liberty in Russia: Democracy and Modernity in Focus,” Slavonic and East European Review, 97, no. 2 (2019), 266-98.
  • “John Stuart Mill and his Autobiography in Imperial Russia,” The Journal of Modern Russian History and Historiography, 10, no. 1 (2017), 28-70. 
  • “J.S. Mill’s Principles of Political Economy in Imperial Russia: Publication and Reception,” Modern Intellectual History 14, no. 1 (2017), 67-97.
  • “The Reception of John Stuart Mill’s Feminist Thought in Imperial Russia,” Russian History 43, 2 (2016), 101-42.
  • Review of The History of Liberalism in Russia by Victor Leontovitch (University of Pittsburg Press, 2012) in Left History, 16.2 (2012): 96-97.
  •  “Feofan Prokopovich, The Truth of Monarch’s Will” In Mikhail Mikeshyn, ed. Philosophical Age. European Identity and Russian Mentality. St. Petersburg. 2001, 39-50.  

Conferences & Invited Presentations

  • “The Image and Reputation of John Stuart Mill in Late Imperial Russia,” Conference,  International Society for Intellectual History, University of Toronto, June 2014.
  • “Crossing Borders and Cultural Frontiers: Translating and Reading John Stuart Mill in Russia,” Conference, Canadian Association of Slavists, Brock University, May 2014.
  • “The Reception of John Stuart Mill in Russia, 1860-1917,” Conference, New York State Association of European Historians, University of Rochester, Oct. 2013.
  • “Learning Skills” Presentation Series, Student Support Center, UWO, Nov 2008 - Apr. 2009: “Critical Thinking Skills for Graduate Students,” “Reading Strategies for International Students,” “Maximizing your Memory,” “Succeeding in Graduate School”
  • “Early Russian Liberals: Dilemmas of Opposition,” Domination and Resistance, Graduate Student Conference, Wayne State University, Detroit, USA, Apr. 2007.
  • “Russian Iconography in the Context of Western Religious Art,” McCaffrey Memorial Graduate Seminar, University of Western Ontario, Nov. 2004.
  •  “Mass Consciousness and Official Ideology. The Idea of Patriarchalism in Russian Early Modern Culture,” Conference, University of Heidelberg, Germany, Aug. 2003.
  • “The Social Ethics in Russia in the 16th and 17th centuries,” Conference, University of Helsinki, Finland, Apr. 2003.

Publications in Russian

  • “К Вопросу об Интеллектуальной Оригинальности А. П. Куницына,” Российское Право Онлайн. Московский Государственный Университет им. О. Е. Кутафина, 1 (2021), 105-112.
  • “Ранние Годы и Интеллектуальное Становление Куницына,” in С.А. Ершов, А.В. Большакова. Т.Н. Жуковская, eds., Для Блага Общего Александр Петрович Куницын – просветитель, правовед, государственный деятель (изд-во Дмитрий Буланин, Санкт-Петербург, 2018), 39-54.