VISUALIZING ATTRACTIVE SPOTS FOR VISITORS AND THE MAKING OF THE TOURIST PLACES AT THE BLACK SEA COAST OF RUSSIA (THE END OF THE 19TH AND THE BEGINNING OF THE 20-TH CENTURIES)
Russian guidebooks evolved to become more practical and utilitarian at end of the 19th century, several decades later than in Europe. By analyzing an extensive body of Russian travel guides, we explore the network of actors who actively engaged in this transformation. We approach travel guides as complex artifacts that combine social interaction and market logistics, integrating elements from the past and present, from different geographical locations, and from the various professional activities of authors, publishers, and entrepreneurs to inform increasingly diverse consumers. Approaching travel guides collectively as a boundary object helps shed light on the processes of commercialization of travel and emergence of the tourism industry in the Russian Empire, which were set in motion not only by work arrangements of governmental bodies but also, and more significantly, by public and commercial initiatives.
Iran has remained one of the most effective tools in Russia's foreign policy towards the West for more than two hundred years. Drawing on previously unpublished and recently declassified sources which change the established wisdom on many aspects of the history of Russia and Iran, Denis V. Volkov examines this relationship, and situates it within the broader context of Oriental studies. With a particular focus on the activities of scholars-diplomats, as well as scholars involved in academia, missionary activities and the military within their own professional domains, Volkov analyses the interaction of intellectuals with state structures and their participation in the process of shaping and conducting foreign policy towards Iran. This work explores the specific institutional practices of Russia's Oriental studies, including organisation of scholarly intelligence networks, taking advantage of state power for the promotion of institutional and individual interests, and profound engagement with Russia's domestic and foreign policy discourses of its time.
At the turn of the twentieth century and especially during the interwar period, Jews served as an important litmus test for modernization projects aimed at restoring, establishing, and standardizing pure forms of groupness, such as nation-state, postimperial racial homogenization, or class-based society. The article considers the racialization of Jews by Jewish intellectuals themselves in three different contexts: in the United States, late Imperial Russia, and the early Soviet Union. The "Boasian revolution" took place in the Progressive Era United States, in the context of rising anti-immigrant sentiment and panic about the "pollution" of American society by the influx of East Europeans. The 1911 study of Jewish immigrants by the anthropologist Franz Boas relativized the notion of race in order to rehabilitate the idea of America as a melting pot and prove that Jews could assimilate into a modern society. In Eastern Europe and particularly in the Russian Empire during the interrevolutionary period and in the early USSR, Boas's ideas and methods were picked up and developed to prove the reality of Jews as a particular race. Self-racialization became an effective anticolonial strategy of a nonterritorial nation whose representatives rejected the perspective of becoming a "secondhand" minority or integrating into Soviet modernity exclusively on Soviet terms. Ultimately, the article raises the issue of functionality of the language of race in different early twentieth-century projects of Jewish modernity.