History | Wilson Center


A Journey to the Gulag: Film Screening and Virtual Reality Demonstration

Around 20 million people experienced the horrors of Soviet gulags. Many of these camps are still standing, deteriorating, and are hidden away in the Siberian taiga. With the exception of the former Perm 36 project, none of these abandoned camps work as museums dedicated to preserving the memory of Stalin era gulags.

How to Hide an Empire: A History of the Greater United States

When people think of the United States, they typically have the contiguous part of the country in mind. But there have been only three years of U.S. history when that familiar shape has corresponded to the actual borders of the country.

Dr. Charles King: Past and Present of the Orient Express

Former Wilson Center Fellow Charles King is featured as an expert in the 2019 film “In Search of the Orient Express” by French director Louis Pascal CouvelaireIn a trailer for the film, while traveling on the restored, fast-moving train with the original 19th Century dinnerware, King comments on the history of Europe, Turkey, and the politics of the 1920s and 1930s, during the heyday of the train.

Proliferation, Plutonium, and Power: The Carter Administration and Japan’s Search for a Plutonium Economy

Japan and the United States faced a serious rift in relations in the late 1970s over the future of civilian nuclear power. Japan hoped that the reprocessing of spent reactor fuel into plutonium would provide an abundant, domestically produced, and economical power source. The United States, especially under the Carter administration, saw an increase in the global stockpile of plutonium as a major proliferation threat.

On The Move: The Story of Kazakhstan’s Capital City

In this edition of Wilson Center NOW we are joined by Maria Blackwood, Title VIII Research Scholar at the Kennan Institute.  She explains the motivations behind the relocation of Soviet Kazakhstan’s capital three times in that nation’s first decade of existence. Blackwood also discusses the abrupt resignation of President Nazarbayev after almost thirty years in power and the subsequent decision to rename the capital of Astana in his honor.



Russia’s Trials of History


Mikhail Abyzov, who at one time spearheaded the drive to increase the Russian government’s transparency to the public, was arrested in Moscow on Tuesday. Investigators suspect Abyzov of embezzling and funneling abroad 4 billion rubles (about U.S. $62 million). This developing story is important because of the businessman’s long-standing ties to Dmitry Medvedev, the prime minister, and Arkady Dvorkovich, former deputy prime minister.