Shaping Up the Stubborn: School Building and “Discipline” in Early Modern Russia
This article uses the genealogy of school building in Russian school as a lens to explores the articulation of “disciplinary” sensibilities and practices in the empire in the first half of the eighteenth century. While in pre‐Petrine and Petrine Russia school building as an instrument of control over students remained unarticulated and “invisible” to policymakers, by the time of Catherine II’s accession it was perceived as a tool of power central for organizing surveillance over students and manipulating their space and time in order to achieve internalization of prescribed models of behavior and thought. By exploring the shifting meanings of school building in educational projects, regulations, and official correspondence across the decades the article highlights the role of “administrative entrepreneurs” in promoting the new, “disciplinary” understanding of special arrangements. On the other hand, it illustrates the ways in which these religiously‐inspired techniques were domesticated and “secularized” in the Russian context by actors who reinterpreted the school building and ascribed a variety of different meanings to it.