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Richard Byington


Richard Byington is a second-year graduate student in the joint Master of Arts in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies/Master of Science in Library and Information Science Program and a 2023-2024 REEEC FLAS fellow, studying Finnish. Before coming to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Richard received his B.A. in History from Ferris State University and his M.A. in Comparative History of the Circumpolar World from Northern Arctic Federal University (Arkhangelsk, Russia).

This summer, Richard completed a summer intensive language program through Indiana University's Summer Language Workshop for Finnish. As an M.A./M.S. dual degree student, his research focuses on the Komi people of Northwestern Russia, with an eye towards a comparative approach. He is most interested in exploring Arctic Indigenous Peoples/communities and how their interactions with missionaries and Russian imperial provincial governments influenced their cultural development and worldviews.


Research Interests

Imperial Russian History

Russian Religious History

Russian Northern Indigenous Peoples

Russian Colonialism

Arctic History

Arctic International Relations


BA from Ferris State University in History

MA From Northern Arctic Federal University in Comparative History of the Circumpolar World (Arkhangelsk, Russia)