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National Identity in Russia from 1961 : Traditions & Deterritorialisation

 

 

 

Participants

 

The structure of the project involves a network of 40 scholars, including a core group of 4 Russian 

and 5 British academics, each of whom will work on a particular aspect of our general theme.

 

CORE GROUP:

   Professor Albert Baiburin (European University, St Petersburg), is a leading Russian expert in semiotics and in the study of Russian traditional peasant culture, especially ritual; publications include The House in the Rituals and Beliefs of the Eastern Slavs [Zhilishche v obryadakh i predstavleniyakh vostochnykh slavyan] (Leningrad: Nauka, 1983; reprinted Moscow, 2005). Edited publications include Ethnic Behaviour Stereotypes [Etnicheskie stereotipy povedeniya] (Leningrad; Nauka, 1985) and Ethnic Stereotypes of Male and Female Behaviour [Etnicheskie stereotipy muzhskogo i zhenskogo povedeniya] (Leningrad: Nauka, 1991; co-editor Igor’ S. Kon). Recent publications include articles on attitudes to the word and language in traditional Russian culture, and an essay on the semiotics of the ethnographical museum for Neprikosnovennyi zapas magazine. He has also led projects in the field of ethnic tolerance, an area that is extensively developed at the European University. For this project, he plans to write a book on the Soviet/Russian passport as a means of constructing ethnic and personal identity.

   Dr Dmitry Baranov is Curator of the Russian Ethnographical Collections at the Russian Ethnographical Museum in St Petersburg. He has published a large number of articles on Russian peasant beliefs and practices, particularly those relating to pregnancy and childbirth. Recently, he has begun working on the history of ethnography in Russia; an article about the conceptual assumptions behind the famous data-collection project organised by Prince V. N. Tenishev in the late nineteenth century is forthcoming in Antropologicheskii forum/Forum for Anthropology and Culture (St Petersburg).  For the current project, he will extend this work into the Soviet period and discuss the presentation of ‘traditional culture’ in the Soviet and post-Soviet ethnographical museum, drawing on archival resources at the REM.

   Dr Birgit Beumers (Bristol) is an internationally recognised specialist in Russian cinema; her publications include an edited volume of essays, Russia on Reels: The Russian Idea in Post-Soviet Cinema (London: I.B. Tauris, 1999), as well as studies of the cinema of Nikita Mikhalkov, an introduction to Russian cultural studies, Pop Culture Russia! (Santa Barbara: ABC Clio, 2005), and many articles and reviews. She was the editor of a special issue of Slavic Review on Russian cinema. For a more complete list of publications click here. For the current project, she intends to extend and update her work on the ‘national idea’ in Russian cinema, analysing this in the context of a broader project on contemporary Russian film.

   Dr Andy Byford (Durham) has published in Russian cultural history, especially on the professional self-representation of Russian literary academics in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries (cf. Literary Scholarship in Late Imperial Russia: Rituals of Academic Institutionalization, Oxford: Legenda, 2007). He has also published on the emergence of Russian 'child study' (paedology) and its roots in fin de siècle Russian pedagogy, psychology, psychiatry and social hygiene. His current project is on national self-definition and collective remembering among Russian migrants in the late Soviet and post-Soviet eras, focusing especially on the construction and transmission of national culture among Russians currently domiciled in Britain.

   Professor Catriona Kelly (Oxford) has published extensively in the field of Russian cultural history, especially from 1900. Her recently-completed monograph, Children’s World: Growing Up in Russia, 1890-1991, to be published by Yale University Press in 2007, includes material on patriotic education for children in the Soviet period, a subject on which she has also published an article in the Russian literary and cultural magazine, Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie (New Literary Review). Her contribution to the project will be a monograph on cultural memory and multiculturalism in Leningrad/St Petersburg from 1961, as well as articles on patriotic education for children in post-Soviet Russia, and on the ‘new tradition’ of the ‘palace of marriages’, which emerged in the late 1950s.

   Dr Anna Kushkova (European University, St Petersburg) is noted for her work on conflict in Russian village culture (the cultural history of quarrels and gossip, the role of the ‘comrades’ courts’ in the 1960s). Recently, she has begun work on the history of food, and its relationship with perceptions of national identity, in late Soviet and post-Soviet Russian culture (cf. her article on ‘Russian Salad’, salad oliv’e, published in Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie early in 2006). She will be extending this discussion in her work for the project.

   Dr Stephen Lovell (King’s College London) has published extensively in the field of Russian cultural history, including The Russian Reading Revolution: Print Culture in the Soviet and Post-Soviet Eras (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 2000); (ed., with A. Ledeneva and A. Rogachevsky), Bribery and Blat in Russia: Negotiating Reciprocity from the Middle Ages to the 1990s (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 2000); and the prizewinning study, Summerfolk: A History of the Dacha, 1710-2000 (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2003). For this project he has written a history of the Soviet Union and Russia since 1941. This is forthcoming as The Shadow of War: The Soviet Union and Russia, 1941 to the Present (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010).

   Dr Elena Omelchenko (Ulyanovsk) is well known for her work in the field of sociology, and has an especial interest in youth issues and in regionalism in contemporary Russia. Her publications include The Heroes of Our Time. Sociological Studies [Geroi nashego vremeni: Sotsiologicheskie ocherki], Ulyanovsk: Srednevolzhskii nauchnyi tsentr, 2000) and Youth and Drugs: An Overview (Moscow: Prosveshchenie, 2003); she also edited (ed.) The Thirteenth Step. An Analysis of Regional Anti-Drug Abuse Social Policies [Trinadtsatyi shag. Opyt analiza antinarkoticheskikh regional’nykh sotsial’nykh politik] (Ulyanovsk: Ulyanovsk State University, 2002).

   Professor Hilary Pilkington (Warwick) is a leading specialist in the sociology of late Soviet and post-Soviet Russia, with a particular interest in Russian youth. She has also published extensively in the area of ethnic identity in contemporary Russia, including Migration, Displacement and Identity in Post-Soviet Russia (London and New York: Routledge, 1998); with E. Omelchenko, M. Flynn, U. Bliudina, and E. Starkova, she edited Looking West? Cultural Globalization and Russian Youth Cultures (University Park Pennsylvania: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 2002); and with G. Yemelianova, she was the editor of Islam in Post-Soviet Russia: Public and Private Faces (London and New York:RoutledgeCurzon, 2002). For this project, she and Dr Omelchenko will investigate attitudes to ethnic identity and ‘otherness’ among young people, basing their analysis on questionnaires, interviewing, and fieldwork in St Petersburg and Vorkuta.

   Dr Josie von Zitzewitz (Oxford) recently completed her doctoral dissertation at Oxford on the literature of the 'Religious Renaissance' in 1970s USSR. As a Post-Doctoral Fellow on the project she will be developing her work on Viktor Krivulin, one of the most important 'unofficial' poets of that decade, focusing on Krivulin’s indebtedness to various Silver Age figures. She will also be investigating the problem of preserving the material memory of the Gulag on the basis of the 'Virtual Museum of the Gulag' (www.gulagmuseum.org), a project run by 'Memorial' St Petersburg in which she has been involved since 2003.

  

PROJECT STUDENTS:

   Rowenna Baldwin (Warwick) studied at St Andrews University and received an MA Honours in Ancient History and Russian in 2005 and an MLitt in Central and East European Studies in 2006. In 2006-07 she worked as a British Council language assistant at two universities in Samara, Russia. At the British Council offices she also ran a discussion club aimed at promoting cultural fusion between Britain and Russia. At Warwick, Rowenna is reading for a PhD in Sociology under the supervision of Professor Hilary Pilkington. Her thesis, provisionally entitled ‘Patriotic Education in post-Soviet Russia’, will focus on the educational programme in 'patriotism' that has been implemented in Russian schools for several years. In particular, she will be examining the experiences of students and teachers who have been involved in such programmes.

   Victoria Donovan (Oxford) received a BA with First Class Honours in Politics and a Modern Language from Bristol University in 2000. She completed an MA in East European Studies at the University of Bologna in 2007, during which she lived in St Petersburg and studied at the Faculty of International Relations at St Petersburg State University. At Oxford, Victoria is reading for a DPhil in Medieval and Modern Languages under the supervision of Professor Catriona Kelly. Her DPhil project, ‘Nestolichnaya kultura: Regional and National Identity in post-1961 Russian Culture’, will involve a comparative study of local identities and cultural memory in three towns with medieval origins in North-Western Russia (Novgorod, Pskov and Vologda).

 

PROJECT INTERVIEWERS:

 

   Svetlana Amosova           Aleksandra Kasatkina           Irina Nazarova

 

PARTNER INSTITUTIONS: 

   ‘Region’ Research Centre, Ulyanovsk State University, was set up in 1995, and has conducted intensive research in youth problems since then. At the centre of a strong national and international network, including CREES (University of Birmingham) and Warwick as well as institutions in Russia, it is a non-profit making operation whose research results have been of practical use to regional and municipal authorities and to public organisations, and have been widely publicised in the mass media.

   The European University, St Petersburg is a state-accredited but independent post-graduate university with five faculties (Arts, Economics, Ethnology, History, and Social Sciences). Founded in 1995, it has rapidly become one of the premier educational and intellectual centres in St Petersburg, and indeed in the Russian Federation. Many of its staff have studied or taught at Western universities, and there is an excellent small library including many Western journals and publications; the European University’s own publishing house issues large numbers of almanacs and journals in the humanities and social sciences. Distinguished Western academics (recently including Marshall Sahlins and Quentin Skinner) make frequent visits to give lectures. Conferences and workshops organised by the University regularly include non-Russian academics and make a point of fostering scholarly dialogue across the East-West divide. Like the Region Centre, the European University is a major contributor to the creation of a civil society in Russia, above all through programmes such as the in-service course for government officials, ‘Ethnic Tolerance in Russia’.

 

WIDER NETWORK:

Levon Abrahamian (Erevan) (National identity: Armenia)

Catherine Andreyev (Oxford) (Russian emigration)

Mark Bassin (UCL) (Eurasianism)

Vitaly Bezrogov (Moscow) (Religious revival in Russian education)

Nancy Condee (Pittsburgh) (National identity in Russian cinema)

Francis Conte (Paris) (Russian popular culture)

Evgeny Dobrenko (Sheffield) (Non-Russian Soviet literature)

Jan Fellerer (Oxford) (Polish, Ukrainian and Czech linguistic nationalism in the 19th century)

Boris Firsov (European University, St Petersburg) ('Mentality' in Russia)

Roy Foster (Oxford) (National identity: Ireland)

Yoram Gorlizki (Manchester) (Regional politics in Russia)

Anne Gorsuch (UBC) (Tourism in Russia)

Bruce Grant (New York) (National identity: Azerbaijan)

Elza-Bair Guchinova (Moscow/Erevan) (National identity: Kalmykia)

Nick Harney (UWA, Perth) (National identity in the Italian diaspora)

Julie Hessler (Oregon) (Russian views of ‘the Third World’)

Geoffrey Hosking (London) (Russian nationalism in historical perspective)

Caroline Humphrey (Cambridge) (‘Cosmopolitanism’ in Russia/the CIS)

Andrew Jenks (California State) (The military-industrial complex in Russia/USA)

Markus Kaiser (Bielefeld) (Russian Diaspora in Germany)

Martha Lampland (UC Davis) (National identity: Hungary)

Katerina Levidou (Oxford) (National idea in Russian émigré and East European music)

Martin McLaughlin (Oxford) (National identity: Italy)

Mike Nicholson (Oxford) (Solzhenitsyn and nationalism)

Sergei Oushakine (Princeton) (National identity: Siberia)

Dimitris Papanikolaou (Oxford) (National identity: Greece)

György Peteri (NTNU) (National identity: Hungary)

Alexandra Piir (European University, St Petersburg) (Ethnic Minorities in Education)

Robert Pyrah (Oxford) (Cultural history of 20th-century L'viv, Ukraine)

Alim Sabitov (Almaty) (National identity: Kazakhstan)

Anton Shekhovtsov (Sevastopol) (Russian far right)

Jeremy Smith (Birmingham) (Non-Russian minorities)

Ron Suny (Michigan) (National identity: Russia/CIS)

Aleksandr Titov (Birmingham) (Russian regionalism)

Vera Tolz (Manchester) (National identity: Russia)

Ilia Utekhin (European University, St Petersburg) (Visual sources on Russian identity)

Nikolai Vakhtin (European University, St Petersburg) (Language and identity in Russia/Siberia)

Andrew Wachtel (Northwestern) (Migrancy in Slovenia/Italy)

Faith Wigzell (UCL) (Russian folk traditions)

Alexander Wöll (Regensburg/Oxford) (Russian nationalism with reference to other East European cultures)

Svetlana Yaroshenko (St Petersburg) (National identity: Russia)  

 

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