Sie sind hier: FRIAS Fellows Fellows 2023/24 Dr. Michel Abeßer

Dr. Michel Abeßer

Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg

Internal Junior Fellow
Oktober 2022 - Juli 2023


Michel Abesser is assistant professor for Eastern European History at the Freiburg University’s History Department. He has studied history and sociology at the Friedrich-Schiller-University in Jena and finished the Master-Program “Russian Studies” at the European University at St. Petersburg. His dissertation on Jazz in the Soviet Union after 1953 questions cultural Cold War narratives and provides a case study of cultural production in late Socialism between dissent, the state-controlled and unofficial market for music. His work focuses on late Socialist culture, music, youth and organized crime, as well as economic and ethnic history of the Russian empire. His current projects explores multi-ethnicity, commerce and cultural identity on the southern Black Sea periphery of the Russian empire.

Publikationen (Auswahl)

  • Abeßer, Michel/ Bohn, Thomas/ Einax, Rayk (Hgg.) De-Stalinisation Reconsidered. Persistence and Change in the Soviet Union, Frankfurt, New York 2014.

  • Den Jazz sowjetisch machen. Kulturelle Leitbilder, Musikmarkt und Distinktion zwischen 1953 und 1970. Köln 2018 (=Beiträge zur Geschichte Osteuropas, Bd. 52).

  • Verflechtung wider Willen? Sowjetische Politik und westlicher Musikmarkt im Kalten Krieg, 1956-1962, in: Jahrbücher für die Geschichte Osteuropas 67 (2019), 2, pp.269-297.

  • Abeßer, Michel: Prosperity and Conflict in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Rostov-on-Don: Russian, Cossack, and Armenian Economic Cultures on the Northern Black Sea Coast, in: Alexander E. Balistreri and Boris Belge (Hgg.): "Exchange and Non-Exchange. Confronting Borders in the History of the Black Sea". Euxeinos - Culture and Governance in the Black Sea Region, 11 (2021), No. 32, pp. 56-71. (

  • Abesser, Michel: Sound, Tracks, and Signals. Recording Music, in: Klaus Nathaus, Martin Rempe (Hgg.). Musicking in Twentieth-Century Europe, Oldenbourg 2021, pp.189-210.

FRIAS Projekt

Bound by difference. Interethnic economies at the Russian Empire’s southern periphery

My FRIAS-project explores how the Russian Empire reconciled diversity, economic growth and political stability in the long nineteenth century in its southern periphery at the Black Sea coast. By focusing on the lower Don-Region and two neighboring cities within it, the Russian Rostov and Nakhichevan, an Armenian colony, I explore how two distinct ethnic communities in close proximity to each other over time merged into one contested urban space while retaining political administrative independence. Both their location as economic and military hubs to the Black Sea and the Caucasus and as knots of different trade networks spawning Eurasia, provides me with the opportunity to investigate multiethnic economic life through the lenses of cooperation and conflict along fluid borders of faith, language, estate or class between the two communities. The project thus allows me to explore the limits of the autocratic Russian state in planning imperial development, fostering and controlling economic prosperity and managing the effects of nationalism on economic practices at its periphery.