On December 15th last, David Schimmelpenninck van der Oye, Professor of Russian Studies at Brock University in Ontario, visited Leiden for a lecture on the applicability of Edward Said's theories on Orientalism to Russian images of Asia. He kindly consented to a lunchtime conversation with fellow Russianist Henk Kern and Carolien Stolte to talk about his life, his work and his most recent book. David Schimmelpenninck van der Oye teaches courses in Russian and Inner Asian history. His research interests focus on Imperial Russian intellectual, cultural and diplomatic issues. He has written two books, Toward the Rising Sun: Ideologies of Empire and the Path to War with Japan (DeKalb: Northern Illinois University Press, 2001), and Russian Orientalism: Asia in the Russian Mind from Peter the Great to the Emigration (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2010).