Printer Friendly

The unfinished puzzle of identity in imperial Russia.

Marcus C. Levitt, The Visual Dominant in Eighteenth-Century Russia. 362 pp. DeKalb: Northern Illinois University Press, 2011. ISBN 0875804422. $49.00.

Olga Maiorova, From the Shadow of Empire: Defining the Russian Nation through Cultural Mythology, 1855-1870. 277 pp. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2010. ISBN 0299235949. $29.95.

Elena Vishlenkova, Vizual'noe narodovedenie imperii, ili "uvidet' russkogo dano ne kazhdomu" (Visual Ethnography of the Empire, or "Not Everyone Can See the Russian"). 384 pp. Moscow: Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie, 2011. ISBN 5867938628.

It seems surprising today that not so long ago the question of identity--ethno-cultural, national, imperial, regional, and so on--played a small and secondary role in the historiography of imperial Russia. Deeply committed to the grand problematic of the empire's gradual demise and replacement by the Soviet Union, Cold War scholarship (in Russia and abroad) did not ignore questions of identity so much as allow them to be subsumed under what then appeared to be more pressing concerns. The rapidity with which the topic of identity took center stage in the late 1980s and early 1990s can be attributed to the coincidental confluence of two distinct factors. First, under the influence of what was then called "the new cultural history," the complexity and contingency of identity itself was coming to the fore throughout the discipline of history. National identity in particular underwent a quick shift from something tacitly agreed on as relatively stable to a flexible and contested set of values and ideas based on the "invention of tradition" and the "imagination of community." (1) Second, scholarship of this sort grew widespread around the same time that power in the Soviet Union was being decentered, flowing out from Moscow into the regions and allowing for the rise of national states that would soon recenter power on themselves. In short, questions of difference, affiliation, and identity in the former Soviet and imperial Russian space were in obvious need of exploration just at the time when the intellectual equipment for that exploration was being delivered. (2)

By now it would not be going too far to say that problems of identity have become an essential concern for historians of imperial Russia. The "cursed questions" remain, but now those overtly political bol'nye voprosy, like "who is to blame?" and "what is to be done?" have been supplemented by a new focus on the equally thorny, and even more irresolvable, "who are we?" and "where are we going?" (3) These questions, too, resonated loudly in the Russian Empire. How ultimately to distinguish Russian from Ukrainian, Western from Slav, regional or national from imperial, and so on were fraught and difficult problems, rendered even more intractable by an autocratic state that imposed its own structures of meaning and organization on the society it governed. As difficult as questions of identity in imperial Russia may have been, however, they could not be ignored. As with other external developments that continued to threaten Russia with the need for change, like industrialization or political liberalization, the outside world kept making demands, and clear forms of identity and allegiance were yet another inescapable presupposition of European modernity.

To be sure, identity must be understood as a myth or a useful fiction, but it is one of the essential myths on which modern history is made. No doubt the "culturally constructed" nature of collective identity helped delay its appearance as a key historiographical problem, partly because the topic does not lie within the provenance of any single discipline. As scholarship on identity formation has become more sophisticated, it has been carried out in disciplines as disparate as art history, literature, political science, and psychology. Historians interested in identity issues have often been compelled to move outside their disciplinary comfort zones.

Yet as much as we have learned in recent years, if the three books under consideration here are any indication, our increasingly extensive and sophisticated scholarship has done more to complicate these questions than to provide any clear resolution to them. These three studies are separated by period and source base, but they are united in their common attempt to make sense of the long quest to assign definite meaning to the complex and layered sociopolitical structures of imperial Russia. Perhaps the biggest obstacle confronting that project involved reconciling the institution of the imperial state (and its awkwardly interrelated multiple constituencies) with more humanistic and integrated conceptions of Russian identity. It is not surprising that Geoffrey Hosking's discussion of national identity is mentioned in all three studies. Hosking's approach to imperial Russian history as a conflict between a nascent national community and a powerful autocratic empire has been taken up by many scholars as a useful framework. (4) In all three texts here, however, the contradictions and enigmas of identity in imperial Russia are what take center stage, further complicating the overarching conflict Hosking singled out.

Marcus Levitt's study is the least indebted to Hosking, largely because he focuses exclusively on the 18th century, before the conception of European states as necessarily ethnically or constitutionally based national communities had grown commonplace. For this reason, it may seem somewhat inappropriate to include Levitt's book among studies that more directly concern themselves with problems of identity. The questions Levitt asks involve individual self-conception as often as they do collective forms of identity. Yet it is fair to say that Levitt's primary concern--visuality in 18th-century culture--feeds directly into larger questions about what it meant to be Russian. After all, as Levitt points out in his introduction, "The challenge posed by Peter the Great's opening a 'window on Europe' was to see, to make others see, and to be seen" (6). Ultimately, according to Levitt, this desire to be seen would undergo a dramatic reversal that enabled the rise of one of the most important foundations of Russian self-understanding in the 19th century. The Visual Dominant can therefore be understood as an oblique but potentially crucial contribution to understanding the formation of Russian identity.

At least until its final two chapters, the issue that looms largest in Levitt's study involves a very different problem from the one that would trouble 19th-century Russia. In that later era, the search for national uniqueness would become paramount, but in the 18th century the question of identity mainly involved locating Russia's place among a family of European states. Levitt describes an 18th-century trajectory whereby the search for a place at the European table eventually led from imperial self-satisfaction to agonized national self-reflection. Though Levitt has already produced more than one important study in literary and cultural history, The Visual Dominant is probably his most ambitious work. Steeped in a broad cross-section of theory, it sets out to accomplish a task that has long beguiled Russian studies: to rescue the 18th century from the relative neglect and obscurity from which it has had difficulty emerging. Historians have struggled to contest the assumption that a genuinely native Russian culture did not come into being before the 19th century. The rarefied cultural elite of the 18th century often seems unformed and imitative, removed from its pre-Petrine, Orthodox past but just beginning to cut its teeth on the West European values to which it had been recently introduced. Levitt rejects this view as both prejudicial and mistaken, and he attempts to replace it with his own positive conception of 18th-century culture, which he grounds in a wide-ranging set of values and practices he summarizes in the term "ocularcentrism."

"Ocularcentrism" refers to Levitt's thesis that both the practical and symbolic role of vision pervaded Russian culture in the 18th century at almost every level. By positing the visual as dominant, Levitt establishes an impressively new perspective that brings together otherwise distinct and isolated phenomena. Most important, his emphasis on vision allows him to connect Russia with the markedly ocularcentric European Enlightenment. Furthermore, in one of the book's most interesting chapters, Levitt links enlightenment vision to the Orthodox hesychastic emphasis on seeing as bogovidenie. Here, as in Carl Becker's classic Heavenly Kingdom of the Eighteenth-Century Philosophers, he identifies a mechanism through which Enlightenment ideals, though ostensibly antithetical to Christian tradition, connect to and carry on from a Christian basis. (5) Levitt even suggests a certain ocular connection, though tenuous and conflict ridden, between popular and elite culture in the visual presentation of miraculous icons before the people. From a very different perspective, moreover, his emphasis on vision supports an intriguing analysis of 18th-century Russia as a culture in the Lacanian "mirror stage" of development. In this reading, Russia is portrayed as just growing cognizant of its "selfhood," a stage that promotes a sense of "exaltation" as an entity with limitless future possibility. Levitt interprets this dawning awareness as a basis for the extremes of imperial self-admiration evident in such forms as Lomonosov's odes and various other panegyrics to Russian rulers.

The individual chapters of The Visual Dominant are, for the most part, quite distinct from one another, held together mainly by reference to one or another expression of visuality. Thus the book challenges readers in two ways: it asks us to accept the separate analyses in the individual chapters, and it asks us to accept the larger argument that, indeed, "the visual" dominated 18th-century Russian culture and thought. Although various readings of vision serve well to ground the book's separate chapters, the general concept of a unifying visual link at times strains credibility. Visuality here encompasses, among other things, the following functions: the state's aim to acquire visibility for Russia on a European stage, the lingering hesychastic tradition of "seeing" the divine inner light, the general Enlightenment concept of knowledge as light, the visible (public) persona as a driver of classical tragedy, the quest on the part of certain Russian courtiers for self-promotion through heightened visibility, physico-theological proofs of God's existence in the visible world, the presentation of icons invested with spiritual power, and the goal of political transparency, both in Catherine II's vision of Russia and in those of her critics.

Can the act/idea/metaphor of vision/light/visibility, advanced in such widely varied ways, anchor a new understanding of 18th-century Russia? To be sure, Levitt's examples of visuality as a recurring theme throughout the 18th century are legion, but the nagging concern with his approach involves the use of vision as a distinguishing characteristic. Sight and seeing are such common metaphors--from Plato's cave to Buddhism's "third eye" to the ubiquitous allusion to the "light" behind so many world religions--that a reader has to wonder whether vision, when the net to capture it is cast as widely as it is in this book, will not be found nearly everywhere. Is ocularcentrism, in short, a near universal? At times, Levitt seems to undermine his own arguments by pointing to the importance of visuality not only in the secular Enlightenment and older Christian traditions but even, for example, in the roots of Indo-European words, a point which only heightens the sense that reference to sight and vision may be found wherever we might look. We will need to wait and see whether other scholars pick up on and further develop Levitt's conception of 18th-century ocularcentricity to get a sense of the concept's ultimate usefulness. The argument here is made with too broad a brush, but even so The Visual Dominant should prove highly evocative as a means of reenergizing discussion of the Russian 18th century.

Toward the end of his book, Levitt points out that, in line with the "binary dynamics" theory of Russian cultural history advanced by Lotman and Uspenskii and reinterpreted by Boris Groys, a "radical rupture that has yet to be healed" (264) divided 18th- from 19th-century Russia. As a result, the 19th century "fiercely turned away from sight" (6) and began to privilege the written text above all other forms. (6) There is much to be said for the dominance of linguistic modes of expression in 19th-century Russia when, as Levitt points out, even the visual arts were to some extent conditioned by a logocentric mentality. The concept of this shift from a desire to reveal oneself and be seen to a skepticism that Russia could ever really be seen and understood by the outside world, or should even want to be seen, is a basic premise behind the book's insistence on the historical importance of the 18th century. For Levitt, 19th-century suspiciousness of the visual was firmly grounded in reaction to its 18th-century appeal.

It may be surprising, then, to note that Elena Vishlenkova chooses to trace the development of Russianness (across the last quarter of the 18th century into the first quarter of the 19th century) precisely through an in-depth investigation of visual sources. Vishlenkova argues that the visual played a profoundly important, though little noticed, role in shaping Russian identity in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Whereas Levitt explores the idea of visuality within linguistic forms of expression, Vishlenkova takes the opposite approach and attempts to read visual texts as objects with a "language" of their own (9). In Vishlenkova's study, visual media, far from being overthrown as a central category of thought in the 19th century, are essential to the expression and recalibration of Russianness. How can Levitt and Vishlenkova look at much the same period and wind up with such disparate readings? The answer lies mainly in the cultural strata from which they each take their sources. Levitt's book primarily examines high culture from Lomonosov to Radishchev, while Vishlenkova does her best to dig into a more lowbrow and popular segment of society in the early stirrings of mass culture and kitsch. Indeed, one of the great strengths of Vishlenkova's text is that it explores subjects hitherto beneath the interest of most art historians and out of the purview of most other researchers.

Vishlenkova sets out to examine the process by which a Russian "national visual culture" (81) came into being as a result of successive illustrated attempts to distinguish various forms of "us" and "them." She argues that a sense of Russianness was certainly coming into being in the 18th century, even if it was not the kind of "national" consciousness assumed or expected in the West. Because historicizing visual media remains a relatively new and interdisciplinary approach, Vishlenkova draws on a sophisticated set of analytical tools and makes use of an impressively international and multilingual methodological arsenal that would have been unusual in Russian scholarship even a short time ago. The resulting text might be thought of as a "thick description" of visual images of Russians in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. As in David Cooper's recent analysis of national identity in literary sources of the same era, Vishlenkova seeks to fill in some of the profound early gaps in our understanding of Russian national identity. (7)

Taken broadly, Vishlenkova's analysis reads as a complex dialectical process. At first, a chosen imagistic typology of imperial subjects is created, next its shortcomings as a reflection of reality are critiqued by contemporaries, whereupon a new perception of Russianness begins to emerge that in turn becomes the subject of a new critique. Problems with the resulting imagery, which early on was most often produced by foreign illustrators, involve the various tensions in a complex polity like that of the Russian Empire, including conflicts between empire and nation but also between Russia and Europe, elite and popular, cosmopolitan and local, and so on.

Even though this process of image creation is mostly self-contained, the watershed moment in Vishlenkova's story does not arise from within. The Napoleonic invasion of 1812 looms large here as a turning point that demands a reformulation of Russia as a national community rather than, exclusively, an imperial state. Vishlenkova emphasizes the importance of wartime political cartoons in reformulating images of Russia and Russians. In her reading, the legend of the pitchfork-wielding narod rising up and pushing out the Napoleonic armies seems rather plausibly to be the product of propaganda illustrations in journals such as Syn otechestva. Echoing Stephen Norris, Vishlenkova describes how the state first profited from such images but later feared and intentionally limited them, shutting down celebratory representations of peasant power even before the Napoleonic Wars had drawn to a close. (8) State limitations were only partly effective, however, because as Vishlenkova expresses it, "Forbidden for sale and distribution, [popular caricature] continued on in the form of the lubok, peasant products, and decorative and applied art. It would be more accurate to say that it dissolved into these forms, allowing processes of national identity formation to seep into Russia" (259).

Vishlenkova remains so keenly attuned to the distinct "visual language" she examines that at times her emphasis on visual sources seems to ignore the role of contemporaneous written sources. Though her focus is limited in time, the large ambition here is to get at something previous scholars have found elusive: the way that nonelites understood Russian identity, not in terms of words but through a pictorial language, which Vishlenkova refers to as a "communicative system" (12). The potential problem with this approach, as Levitt points out, is that pictures don't "speak" until the language they are written in is understood. For Levitt, fluency in a visual language requires prior verbal or textual understanding: "There is simply no such thing as 'visual evidence' anterior to cultural context and to language" (13). In Vishlenkova's reading, by contrast, a sense of Russian identity comes into being most directly in and through visual imagery, a medium that has the advantage of being "legible" to an illiterate audience. Vishlenkova is clearly aware that visual imagery did not develop in isolation from written expression, and she sometimes includes written sources as part of her analysis, yet one cannot help but assume the background existence of a more extensive interaction between visual and verbal expression than is described here. It would have broadened and benefited Vishlenkova's study had she, for example, put her visual sources in dialogue with the sorts of political and cultural materials Hans Rogger long ago used to produce his National Consciousness in Eighteenth-Century Russia. (9) As with Levitt's text, but from the other side, one senses the work begun here will not be complete until a fuller synthesis between word and image is achieved.

Another concern involves Vishlenkova's analysis of the painter Aleksei Venetsianov. Vishlenkova presents Venetsianov's work as a sort of culminating point in the development of Russian popular imagery. While other artists had portrayed ordinary Russians according to various conventions or political aims, Venetsianov is credited with producing something close to an authentic vision of Russianness that established both "a new aesthetic and a new understanding of narodnost' as aesthetic" (245). It is certainly interesting to note how Venetsianov's portraits and landscapes appear extraordinarily naturalistic from the point of view of earlier popular imagery. On the one hand, Vishlenkova is careful to point out that Venetsianov "achieves the effect of naturalness" rather than suggesting that he portrays Russian peasants with direct verisimilitude, unencumbered by convention (238). On the other hand, she certainly emphasizes Venetsianov's immersion in a peasant milieu and agrees with Venetsianov's friend Pavel Svin'in that the painter's years in the countryside helped him achieve a "special understanding of authenticity" (239). Since Venetsianov's paintings are treated here as a decisive moment in the accurate representation of Russia, to leave out a more complete description of the ways in which he drew on artistic, particularly romantic, convention to idealize his figures, is a bit like suggesting that John Constable (Venetsianov's British contemporary) straightforwardly captured the authentic English countryside. For all that, Vishlenkova's more important point--that the evolution of Russian imagery had put Venetsianov in a place to confidently portray his own idiosyncratic vision of Russianness--still holds. Visual depictions of "Russians" evolved out of the contradictions involved in representing a national state in an imperial polity, and this is perhaps the driving force behind the evolution of this imagery. While Vishlenkova detects a certain degree of progress in the development of a Russian image into the 19th century, it is abundantly clear that the problems she points to were far from solved.

Not surprisingly, then, competing and conflicting ideals of Russianness lie at the heart of From the Shadow of Empire, Olga Maiorova's study of reform-era national identity in the 1860s. Maiorova's subject is, in essence, conservative nationalism during the first half of the reign of Alexander II. The "sixties" in 19th-century Russia have for so long been understood in terms of an upwelling of liberal and radical thinking that Maiorova's emphasis on conservatism is particularly refreshing and involving. The rigorous scholarship of this study maintains the focus squarely on the "nation/empire" problem in the writings of prominent historians, journalists, litterateurs, and political thinkers, and Maiorova convincingly demonstrates that the early reform era constituted an essential turning point for the Right just as it did for the Left.

Although Maiorova makes explicit the conflict between national and imperial identity, by the 1860s the intellectual context for this problem had shifted considerably. Now writers and publicists were attempting to unite the two forms of identity in new and varied ways; they were searching, as Maiorova puts it, for a "peculiar blend of national sentiment and imperial pride" (5). Maiorova's close readings reveal both the agony of the problem in the 1860s and the remarkable creativity of certain proposed solutions. The resulting "cultural mythology" identified the imperial state either as the creation of the Russian people or as a constituent part of a larger Slavic religious/ethnic whole. Those concerned with establishing Russian identity on a firmer footing in this era sought out, in Maiorova's phrase, a "charmed space" (182) in which the various contradictions produced by Russian history could be reconciled. The reform-era Left had a well-documented tendency to fantasize about utopian social systems, and Maiorova shows how the Right also proposed various usable fictions in an effort to resolve its troubled sense of identity into a new ideal. Her chapter on the Varangian origins debate serves as an excellent entry point. It is such a clear and compelling work of intellectual and cultural history that one can easily imagine it standing alone as part of an undergraduate course on imperial Russia. Especially instructive is Maiorova's description of the M. O. Mikeshin monument to 1,000 years of Russian history, a work that, by attempting to grasp some sort of sociopolitical whole, only wound up exposing the contradictions and complexities of Russian/Ukranian/Slavic identity and the impossibility of agreeing on a common version thereof.

The writers Maiorova examines are, for the most part, quite familiar to scholars of reform-era Russia--Mikhail Petrovich Pogodin, Fedor Ivanovich Tiutchev, Mikhail Nikiforovich Katkov, Lev Nikolaevich Tolstoi, Ivan Sergeevich Aksakov, Nikolai Ivanovich Kostamarov, and Stepan Aleksandrovich Gedeonov. What is new here is that she has them speaking to, and debating with, one another rather than, as many of them are often portrayed, representatives of the Right and defenders of the state in opposition to the Left. Maiorova does much to reveal the importance of these figures in the discourse of conservative nationalism. Indeed, one sometimes wonders why she does not choose to define her study explicitly as an analysis of reform-era conservatism (Tolstoi here, almost a lone voice for a more sober and pragmatic approach to Russianness, at times appears out of place). While Maiorova's conservatives focused on history, war, and religion as unifying elements, the left-leaning glorification of the peasantry as the embodiment of Russianness was an even more widespread marker of identity in this period, yet populist nationalism remains largely absent here. The challenge of linking conservative nationalism with the Left's populist and/or revolutionary nationalism is daunting, but Maiorova's study makes it seem like a crucial next step. Russian populism, after all, proposed yet another version of imagined community. Socialist and anarchist leanings on the left may make the comparison seem impossible, but a professed love of rodina (however differently conceived) was nearly a constant across the political spectrum.

Like Vishlenkova, Maiorova also relies heavily on the influence of war, in this case the Crimean War and the Polish rebellion of 1863. Noting that "the regime blocked all institutional avenues for building civil society, and war became the only arena for mass participation in political life" (126), Maiorova goes a long way toward explaining the defensive tenor and martial swagger of conservative nationalism in this era. War comes to seem, perhaps for the first time, an endemic domestic need designed to secure political unity. Maiorova notes this shift in Katkov's passing phrase that war "will be a triumph for us" (102) as opposed to a triumph against the enemy. Going farther, she hints more than once that the habit of generating internal unity through external conflict may help explain certain post-Soviet trends in contemporary Russian politics, though she makes no explicit connection to current events.

From the Shadow of Empire is a studiously written book, careful to stay within its limits. It concludes with a short chapter on Nikolai Iakovlevich Danilevskii's vision of a Slavo-centric future in Russia and Europe (1869), a reasonable culminating point, since Danilevskii's widely known position includes much that was drawn from the earlier but lesser known arguments that take up the bulk of this study. It seems a shame that Maiorova did not choose to pursue her topic up through the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78, especially since the book already includes a number of examples from this slightly later period. Perhaps, since Maiorova's book is very much to be welcomed for what it does accomplish, we can hope that it will constitute the first stage of a larger project on competing conceptualizations of identity throughout the reform era.

As noted above, since identity formation takes place across a wide spectrum of cultural practices, scholarship on the subject must often transcend disciplinary boundaries, and indeed all three of these texts are more or less indifferent to rigorous disciplinary distinctions. Each of them could be referred to accurately as cultural history, though only one was written by a practicing historian. The historian, Vishlenkova, clearly uses the broadest source base in her argument, and her analyses tend toward the exhaustive, though many would consider her book a study in art history rather than history proper. However, like such art historians as T. J. Clark and Linda Nochlin, whose work is of equal interest to historians and art historians, Vishlenkova blurs the line between art history and history to the point that the reader forgets the distinction. The other two studies are both produced by scholars in Slavic languages, and while both rely more on the in-depth analysis of specific texts, both also sit well within the discipline of history.

Simon Franklin and Emma Widdis have offered a useful caveat about coming to grips with questions of national identity, pointing out that identity exists in the minds of those to whom it pertains and is not a "'thing' to be located, described, and explained." For this reason, they conceive of identity as "a field of cultural discourse" for which there is no need to "resolve the contradictions." (10) Locating identity in the eye of the beholder should not, however, prevent us from acknowledging that processes of identity formation can produce tangible, sometimes even violent and deadly, results. It is not surprising in this respect that both Vishlenkova and Maiorova focus so much attention on the effects and desires generated by war. Taken together, these three studies powerfully affirm the contradictory, multivalent, and shifting nature of identity in imperial Russia. Yet if one steps back and observes all three as a group, one begins to notice certain broad connections, as though each were filling in a small part of some huge but as yet unfinished mosaic. Scholars must certainly accept the inevitable complexities and unresolvable contradictions that confronted those contemporaries who sought to make sense of Russianness, but interdisciplinary work to fill in the remaining gaps--in disparate sources, distinct periods, methodologies that do not yet speak to one another, and so on--should continue to improve our understanding of identity and identity formation. As scholars across different disciplines continue to learn from one another, what seems indecipherable or enigmatic now may later appear part of a complex and interconnected, if still indistinct, whole.

Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College

Florida Atlantic University

5353 Parkside Drive

Jupiter, FL 33458 USA

(1) Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origins and Spread of Nationalism (London: Verso, 1983); Eric Hobsbawm and Terence Ranger, eds., The Invention of Tradition (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983). Other extremely influential studies of national identity from this period include Ernest Gellner, Nations and Nationalism (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1983); Anthony D. Smith, The Ethnic Origins of Nations (London: Blackwell, 1986); and Eugen Weber, Peasants into Frenchmen: The Modernization of Rural France (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1976).

(2) Russian and Slavic studies have offered rich and numerous variations on these themes in recent years. To indicate the historiographical, political, and sociological importance of the question in current scholarship, one indication would be the founding of the journal Ab Imperio in 2000 with the aim, at least in part, of furthering the study of questions related to conflicting conceptions of identity in the region of imperial and Soviet Russia.

(3) It is worth clarifying here that scholarship on questions of identity per se, though rather differently conceived, was far from absent in the mid-20th century. Important studies in which the subject is made explicit include Michael Cherniavsky, Tsar and People: Studies in Russian Myths (New York: Random House, 1969); Alexandre Koyre, La philosophie et le probleme national en Russie au debut de XIX siecle (Paris: Campion, 1929); Hans Rogger, National Consciousness in Eighteenth-Century Russia (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1960); and Andrzej Walicki, The Slavophile Controversy: History of a Conservative Utopia in 19th-Century Russian Thought (Oxford: Clarendon, 1975).

(4) The most complete expression of this argument is found in Geoffrey Hosking, Russia: People and Empire, 1552-1917 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1997).

(5) Carl L. Becker, The Heavenly Kingdom of the Eighteenth-Century Philosophers (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1932).

(6) Iu. M. Lotman and B. A. Uspenskii, "The Role of Dual Models in the Dynamics of Russian Culture (Up to the End of the Eighteenth Century)," in The Semiotics of Russian Culture, ed. Ann Shukman (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1984); Boris Groys, "Poisk russkoi natsional'noi identichnosti," Voprosy filosofii, no. 9 (1992): 52-60.

(7) David Cooper, Creating the Nation: Identity and Aesthetics in Early Nineteenth-Century Russia and Bohemia (DeKalb: Northern Illinois University Press, 2010).

(8) Stephen Norris, A War of Images: Russian Popular Prints, Wartime Culture, and National Identity, 1842-1945 (DeKalb: Northern Illinois University Press, 2006).

(9) Rogger, National Consciousness in Eighteenth-Century Russia.

(10) See Simon Franklin and Emma Widdis, eds., National Identity in Russian Culture: An Introduction (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), xii.
COPYRIGHT 2013 Slavica Publishers, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2013 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:The Visual Dominant in Eighteenth-Century Russia, From the Shadow of Empire: Defining the Russian Nation through Cultural Mythology, Vizual'noe narodovedenie imperii, ili "uvidet' russkogo dano ne kazhdomu" / Visual Ethnography of the Empire, or "Not Everyone Can See the Russian
Author:Ely, Christopher D.
Article Type:Book review
Date:Sep 22, 2013
Previous Article:Recent Russian historiography on the Decembrists: from "liberation movement" to "public opinion".
Next Article:Windows on the Soviet Union: the visual arts in the Stalin era.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2022 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters |