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Empire speaks out : languages of rationalization and self-description in the Russian Empire /
edited by Ilya Gerasimov, Jan Kusber and Alexander Semyonov.
Leiden ; Boston : Brill ; 2009.
vi, 280 p. ; 25 cm.
9004175717 (hbk.), 9789004175716 (hbk.)
More Details
Leiden ; Boston : Brill ; 2009.
9004175717 (hbk.)
9789004175716 (hbk.)
contents note
Defining empire in a dialogue. New imperial history and the challenges of empire / Ilya Gerasimov ... [et al.] ; Considerations on imperial comparisons / Ann Laura Stoler -- The challenge of unification and resistance. Governance, education, and the problems of empire in the age of Catherine II / Jan Kusber ; Us and them?: Polish self-descriptions and perceptions of the Russian Empire between homogeneity and diversity (1815-1863) / Hans-Christian Petersen ; Siberian middle ground: languages of rule and accommodation on the Siberian frontier / Sergey Glebov -- The challenge of transformation and rationalization. Russian physical anthropology of the nineteenth-early twentieth centuries: imperial race, colonial other, degenerate types, and the Russian racial body / Marina Mogilner ; The real and live ethnographic map of Russia: the Russian Empire in the mirror of the State Duma / Alexander Semyonov ; Redefining empire: social engineering in late imperial Russia / Ilya Gerasimov.
general note
"Published ... within the collective research project "Languages of Self Description and Representation in the Russian Empire""--T.p. verso.
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Review Quotes
"die Aufsätze führen besser als jede aufgetürmte Abstraktion vor, auf welchen Gleisen sich eine ertragreiche russländische Imperiumsforschung bewegen kann" Matthias Stadelmann, Institut für Geschichte, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg in H-Soz-u-Kult (October 2010)
This item was reviewed in:
Reference & Research Book News, February 2010
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Description for Reader
Students of multinational empires and imperial polities in both Europe and Asia, those interested in Russian and Soviet history, political scientists that study the post-Soviet transition.
Main Description
Historians habitually write about empires that expand, wage wars, and collapse, as if empires were self-evident and self-conscious entities with a distinct and clear sense of purpose. The stories of empires are told in the language of modern nation-centred social sciences: multi-cultural and heterogeneous empires of the past appear either as huge nations with a common language, culture, and territory, or as amalgamations of would-be nations striving to gain independence. Empire Speaks Out reconstructs the historical encounter of the Russian Empire of the seventeenth through the early twentieth centuries with the complex challenge of modernity. It does so by taking the self-awareness of empire seriously, and by looking into how bureaucrats, ideologues, politicians, scholars, and modern professionals described the ethnic, cultural, and social diversity of the empire. Empire then reveals itself not through deliberate and well-conceived actions of some mysterious political body, but as a series of imperial situations that different people encounter and perceive in common categories. The rationalization of previously intuitive social practices as imperial languages is the central theme of the collection. This book is published with support from Volkswagen Foundation, within the collective research project Languages of Self Description and Representation in the Russian Empire
Main Description
This collection turns to different modes of self-representation and self-description of the Russian Empire in an attempt to reveal social practices and processes that are usually ignored by the teleological, nation-centered historical narratives.

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