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Regular version of the site
The Soviet Forestry Industry in the 1950s and 1960s: A Project of Modernization and Technology Transfer from Finland

Kochetkova E. A.

Iss. 52: Economic and social history. Helsinki: University of Helsinki, 2017.

‘The magic on the sea shore’: The manor of Schloss Fall and the navigation in the Gulf of Finland in the nineteenth century

Kraikovski A.

International Journal of Maritime History. 2018. Vol. 30. No. 2. P. 349-354.

Book chapter
Water Management in Russian Monasteries, 16th-18th cc.

Kraikovski A., Dadykina M., Kalemeneva E. A.

In bk.: Gestione dell'acqua in Europa (XII-XVIII Secc.) / Water Management in Europe (12th-18th centuries). Vol. 49. Firenze: Firenze University Press, 2018. Ch. 15. P. 319-336.

"Boundaries of History" Louise McReynolds - "Excavating Empire: Russian Archeologists and the ‘Imperial Imaginary’, 1804-1918"

Event ended

On June 14, 2018, Thursday, 6:30 pm Department of History and the Center for Historical Research at the HSE in St Petersburg invite you to a session of the “Boundaries of History” research seminar. Louise McReynolds (University of North Carolina) will present a talk: "Excavating Empire: Russian Archeologists and the ‘Imperial Imaginary’, 1804-1918"

Abstract: Geoffrey Hosking’s adage that “the Britain had an empire, whereas Russia was an empire” speaks to fundamental conceptual differences between the techniques that democratic vs. autocratic governments used as they colonized territories throughout the 19th century. Often quoted but seldom explored in detail, this maxim turns on the fact that western countries annexed territories overseas, whereas the Russians expanded into contiguous areas. This truism, however, fails to address either the theories that motivated the different strategies for expansion, much less their consequences. This project looks at the evolution of archeology, emergent in the 19th century as a new kind of discipline for studying human cultures. Archeology played a distinctive and pivotal role because of its intrinsic duality: a modern discipline, it was tasked with uncovering the pre-modern that permitted historical social and political relations to be imagined in new ways. Archeologists pieced together the diversities in the material cultures layered beneath territories, with borders both real and imagined. Many artefacts found at digs could be seen as evidence of cultural distinction, and therefore the basis for an independent polity. The question posed here is, What role did excavations play in the competing notions of nationalism, imperialism, and internationalism in Imperial Russia?

This project includes a vital digital component, a website that includes: visualizations of excavations; a prosopographical gallery of the men and women involved; georeferenced maps of the digs; and social and professional network wheels. These wheels make plain the futility of trying to categorize archeologists according to presupposed political leanings based on social estate, education, or ethnic origin. In sum, by exploring archeological ruins as “sites that condense alternative senses of history,” I am interested in how political and social spaces of empire came to be imagined by archeologists in the first place.

Moderator: Prof. Alexander M. Semyonov
Working language: English
Address: 17 Promyshlennaya St., room 412
Contact email: vepopov@hse.ru


Louise McReynolds

Professor, University of North Carolina


Luise McReynolds earned her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1984 and taught for more than twenty years at the University of Hawai’i, where she also sat on the joint steering committee with members of the East West Center and developed a Certificate Program in Cultural Studies. 2006 she moved to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and was promptly elected president of the Southern Slavic Conference. Her research focused on the development of middlebrow culture in late imperial Russia, McReynolds’s books include The News Under Russia’ Old Regime (Princeton UP, 1991) and Russia at Play: Leisure Activities at the End of the Tsarist Era (Cornell UP, 2003), which won the Norris Hundley Prize from the Pacific Coast Branch of the American Historical Association, and “Murder Most Russian: True Crime and Punishment in Late Imperial Russia” (Cornell, 2013), distinguished with the Heldt Prize from the American Association for Women in Slavic Studies. She edited, with Joan Neuberger, Imitations of Life: Two Centuries of Melodrama in Russia (Duke UP, 2001), and translated, among other manuscripts, the sensational “women’s novel” from 1910: Evdokiia Nagrodskaia’s The Wrath of Dionysus (Indiana UP, 1998). In addition, she has published numerous book chapters and articles in, for example, Slavic ReviewJournal of Popular Culture, and Radical History Review. Her research has been supported by the Institute for Advanced Study, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Social Science Research Council, the National Council on East European and Eurasian Research, the National Humanities Center, the Kennan Institute, Fulbright-Hays, and the International Research & Exchanges Board.