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Article

A Critique of A. Samoilovich and the Process of an «Imperial Visitor’s» Evolution

Acta Slavica Iaponica. 2020. No. 40.
Ikhsanov A.

This article does not pretend to criticize or to pay tribute to the theoretical discussion on the nature of colonial knowledge and the way it should be treated. Its main aim is to track the change in a scholar’s methodological approach toward his local assistants that actually affected both sides of this interaction. That was the key factor in the creation of colonial knowledge. Thus, I suggest showing how this interaction was used by both sides for their own benefit and what the strategies and foundations were for that kind of relationship. As the main case for this study, I have chosen Russian Turkologist-encyclopedist Alexander Samoilovich. Almost yearly from 1900 to 1936, Samoilovich attempted to visit regions inhabited by Turkic-speaking groups, and as a result, he was able to form a network of assistants. Therefore, Samoilovich's ideas and self-reflection are crucial for understanding his multiple contacts with the Others and the consequences of these interactions.