Samuel J. Hirst

Assistant Professor

Samuel J. Hirst


Department of International Relations
Bilkent University
06800 Bilkent Ankara




+90 312 2901068


Personal Website:



Sam Hirst joined Bilkent’s Department of International Relations in September 2017. His research focuses on Russia, Turkey, and relations between the two states. In thematic terms, he is interested in transnational history and questions related to empire and nationalism – both Russia and Turkey’s legacies of imperial power and also their opposition to Western imperialism. His work has been published in, among other places, the journals Kritika, Slavic Review, and Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Before coming to Bilkent, he worked at the European University at St. Petersburg, where he served for two years as chair of the history department.


  • B.A. History, Washington University in St. Louis
  • M.A. History, University of Pennsylvania
  • Ph.D. History, University of Pennsylvania

Selected Publications:

    Journal Papers

  • Hirst, S. (2021). "Comrades on Elephants: Economic Anti-Imperialism, Orientalism, and Soviet Diplomacy in Afghanistan", Kritika , v.22(1) p.13-40

  • Hirst, S., İşçi, O. (2020). "Smokestacks and Pipelines: Russian-Turkish Relations and the Persistence of Economic Development", Diplomatic History, v.44(5) p.834-859

  • Hirst, S. (2017). "Soviet Orientalism across Borders: Documentary Film for the Early Turkish Republic", Kritika , v.18(1) p.35-61

  • Hirst, S. (2013). "Anti-Westernism on the Eurasian Periphery: The Meaning of Soviet-Turkish Convergence in the1930s", Slavic Review, v.72(1) p.32-53