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Regular version of the site
Of all publications in the section: 84
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Article
Waysband E. Ab imperio. 2018. Vol. 4. P. 253-280.

Winner of both the prestigious Russian Little Booker and Anti-Booker prizes, Alexander Goldstein’s book Parting from Narcissus (1997) advanced the Levantine idea as a new perspective enabling Russian-Israeli literature to become an integral part of the Mediterranean cultural ecumene. This concept was designed to facilitate both the writer’s literary self-fashioning and his cultural absorption. Having mobilized the notion of the Levantine to valorize his position in a broad Russian literary context, Goldstein, however, failed to embody the main tenets of post-orientalist multiculturalism associated with this notion; rather, he used the Israeli context to uphold Russian imperial views. Circulating in Israel exclusively among immigrants from the former Soviet Union, the Russian-Israeli Levantine literary idea with its ostensible cosmopolitan perspective clashed with the prevailing ethnonational segregationism of this milieu. The lack of acceptance by his Russian-Israeli audience was a major factor impelling Goldstein eventually to abandon his Levantine idea and to embrace the Jewish ethnonationalism that permeates the books he wrote after Parting from Narcissus.

Added: Apr 7, 2019
Article
Лавринович Майя Ab Imperio. 2016. № 1. С. 425-436.

Review on a new book of the American historian Alison Smith. The pioneer approach to the problem of "estates" in imperial Russia suggested by Smith is analyzed in this review. 

Added: Oct 20, 2016
Article
Ермолаева О. Е. Ab Imperio. 2010. № 3. С. 357-367.

Review of the book "Children of the Gulag". This groundbreaking book offers a comprehensive documentary history of children whose parents were identified as enemies of the Soviet regime from its inception through Joseph Stalin's death. When parents were arrested, executed, or sent to the Gulag, their children also suffered. Millions of children, labeled "socially dangerous," lost parents, homes, and siblings. Co-edited by Cathy A. Frierson, a senior American scholar, and Semyon S. Vilensky, Gulag survivor and compiler of the Russian documents, the book offers documentary and personal perspectives.  

Added: Jan 25, 2013
Article
Vdovin A. Ab imperio. 2017. No. 4. P. 108-137.

The article reconstructs the history of the creation of Russia’s literary canon in the second half of the nineteenth century, and more speci cally – the phenomenon of Russian classic literature as codi ed in the high school curriculum of the time. The fact that teaching Russian literature was not abandoned in schools in the 1870s and that the writings published before about 1842 had acquired the status of “classics” owed to a very speci c political constellation. The author argues that the turn toward classicism in education in the early 1870s by the newly appointed minister of public education, Dmitry Tolstoy, re ected the regime’s determination to embrace and promote Russian nationalism while curtailing its democratic potential. This both opened up an opportunity for Russian literature to be included in the school curriculum and mandated the format of this inclusion as rigid lists of compulsory reading.

   

Added: Jun 15, 2017
Article
Gerasimov I., Glebov S., Kaplunovski A. et al. Ab imperio. 2014. Vol. 1. P. 9-21.
Added: Dec 15, 2014
Article
Gerasimov I., Glebov S., Kaplunovski A. et al. Ab imperio. 2013. No. 4. P. 9-15.
Added: Dec 15, 2014
Article
Semyonov A. Ab imperio. 2008. No. 1. P. 193-204.

The article is an attempt of takign stock of the burgnoining field of empire studies but devising the framework of general challanges of historical understanding of empire of methodological nature. The main thesis is that studies of empire are heavily influenced by the visions and epistemes of modern social sciences which, in their turn, are woven into the performativity of nation. Thus the true understnding of empire is suggeted to lay in a radical historivization of this political and social phenomenon. The approach of historiziation is further enunciated in the article with the help of the theory of estrangement and with reference to the history of the Russian Empire.

Added: Sep 11, 2012
Article
Semyonov A. Ab imperio. 2008. No. 2. P. 377-392.
Added: Jan 15, 2015
Article
Semyonov A., Judson P. Ab imperio. 2019. No. 1. P. 25-43.

In the interview to Ab ImperioJournal within the series “Conversation with Author” Pieter Judson shares the research laboratory behind his revisionist account of the history of the Habsburg Empire (The Habsburg Empire: A New History) which was published by Harvard University press in English in 2016. The interview reveals an interesting historiographic situation at the end of the 20thcentury when historians of the Habsburg Empire felt the need to differentiate its experience from the domineering perspective coming from the history of the Russian Empire, while historians who rediscovered the imperial dimension in Russian history followed the ideal-type of the Habsburg multinational empire. The major thrust of revising the history of Habsburg Empire by Judson is twofold: to explore in the long dureeperspective the vitality of the empire-building (“state-building from above” and “state-building from below”) in the Habsburg case through institutions and subjecthood, i.e. to decenter the national narratives about the composite Habsburg space and the idiom of inevitable decline of the Habsburg empire as another “sick man” in Europe; and to advance a systematic and symmetric comparison of modern statehood in Europe, in which the Habsburg case does not look exotic, having the imperial dimension. The interview touches on the question of global and comparative history of empires, the usefulness of comparative taxonomy of colonial-continental empire, the problem of analytical languages and hegemony of nation-centered imaginary in description of the historical experience of empire, the balance between political and social and cultural history approaches to understanding empire, and, finally, on the reception of the book in the region.

Added: May 17, 2019
Article
Suny R. G. Ab imperio. 2017.
Added: Dec 14, 2016
Article
Semyonov A., Gerasimov I., Glebov S. et al. Ab imperio. 2015. Vol. 2. P. 17-23.
Added: Oct 26, 2015
Article
Gerasimov I., Glebov S., Kaplunovski A. et al. Ab imperio. 2014. Vol. 2. P. 13-16.
Added: Dec 15, 2014
Article
Semyonov A., Gerasimov I., Glebov S. et al. Ab imperio. 2014. Vol. 4. P. 14-18.
Added: Oct 26, 2015
Article
Gerasimov I., Glebov S., Kaplunovski A. et al. Ab imperio. 2013. No. 3. P. 16-22.
Added: Dec 15, 2014
Article
Semyonov A., Gerasimov I., Glebov S. et al. Ab imperio. 2014. Vol. 3. P. 17-21.
Added: Oct 26, 2015
Article
Semyonov A., Conrad S. Ab imperio. 2017. No. 1. P. 23-43.
Added: May 30, 2017
Article
Gerasimov I., Glebov S., Kaplunovski A. et al. Ab imperio. 2013. No. 2. P. 17-23.

This survey explores the development of post-colonial studies and the limits they reached with the established assumptions about the colonial empire and posits questions to this tradition from the field of new imperial history.

Added: Dec 15, 2014
Article
Semyonov A. Ab imperio. 2017. No. 4. P. 27-51.

Alexander Semyonov discusses the recently published book Imperial Visions: How Five Imperial Regimes Shaped the World, by Krishan Kumar, within the broader context of ongoing historiographic debates on global and imperial history, empires as regimes for managing diversity, ruptures and transformations in histories of empire, comparisons between and entangle- ment of imperial histories, methodological nationalism, and nationalism and collapse of empires. Semyonov contends that Imperial Visions relates to recent developments in the eld of global history, provides an impor- tant corrective to the view of global historians that empires are primarily political formations, and strengthens the argument of constructivists in the eld of global history, such as that of Sebastian Conrad on global history as an approach and the processes of “world making.” The most innovative contribution by Imperial Visions to the growing literature on empires is its systematic development of a constructivist approach to empire through ideas and ideologies of imperial mission and entanglement of imperial and national power claims. The article engages the ndings by Kumar with what Semyonov calls the growing consensus on “imperial pragmatism” (which stresses governing and practices in the experience of empire) and tests Ku- mar’s conclusions against the existing historical studies of subjectivity and functioning of universalist visions in the context of imperial diversity and hybridity. Semyonov also nds a serious tension in the book between the constructivist approach to empire through imperial ideologies and visions and the structuralist and essentialist view of the “imperial people.”

Added: Mar 15, 2018
Article
Mogilner M., Glebov S., Gerasimov I. Ab imperio. 2016. No. 1. P. 27-68.
This article revisits Joseph Stalin’s infamous 1950 critique of Nikolai Marr’s controversial linguistic theory as a “linguistic turn,” to borrow a modern concept. The authors argue that this was literally a shift in the language describing social diversity, rather than a purely ideological campaign as earlier studies suggested. Stalin explicitly insisted on the academic nature of his intervention, which was quite banal in terms of its theoretical input, reproducing standard theses of classic linguistic theory from prerevolutionary textbooks. One aspect, however, was both theoretical and original: the elaborate attack on the concept of “crossing” (skreshchenie) of languages as the driving force of linguistic processes, the central and most stable element of the evolving theory of Nikolai Marr and his disciples. By reviewing the intellectual context of the forming of Marr’s theory during the first two decades of the twentieth century (including cases of physical anthropology, archaeology, and nonclassical linguistics), the article claims that Nikolai Marr’s scholarly pursuits were but a specific case of rethinking and constructing the language of hybridity. Modern social sciences in Russia have produced a distinct metalanguage to describe and analyze the complex diversity of imperial situation. “Hybridity” was the central trope of this metalanguage, or rather its equivalents at the time – “mixing” (smeshenie) and “crossing” (skreshchenie) – insofar as “hybridity” had not yet entered the Russian vocabulary. It is in this sense that “hybridity” is discussed in this article: as a language of self-description in the imperial situation (category of practice) and as an element of the analytical language of the project of modern imperial social sciences, rather than a direct importation of the concept of hybridity from contemporary postcolonial scholarship (as used by Homi Bhabha and others). The emergence of scholarly models that explicitly used the trope of hybridity and perceived hybridity as a foundation of the norm (rather than a marginal condition of deviation from pure forms) is characterized here as the late imperial epistemological revolution. This epistemological revolution became possible and had potential in the context of the imperial situation and in the ideologically pluralistic regime of the late empire. It was already exhausted by the late 1920s, having received support from neither the hegemonic Soviet discourse nor from the subaltern Eurasianist or Soviet national and anticolonial projects. Methodological constructivism and hybridity as a whole became obsolete as survivals of the unstable and limited pluralism of the New Economic Policy era. Their final marginalization in the USSR was just a question of time, given the consolidation of the Stalinist regime throughout the 1930s and the stake on the Russian nation as the official Staatsvolk. The upheaval of World War II delayed the official correction of the metalanguage of social hybridity based on the controversial Marrist linguistic theory of “crossing,” until Stalin’s “linguistic turn” of 1950 formally established the foundations of the literally “counterrevolutionary” episteme of “simple things” and the project of the ideological state based on that episteme.
Added: Oct 22, 2016