Northern Illinois University Press

Space, Place, and Power in Modern Russia

Essays in the New Spatial History

Edited by Mark Bassin, Christopher Ely, and Melissa K. Stockdale

Exploring the creation, transformation, and imagination of Russian space as a lens through which to understand Russia’s development from the 18th century to the present, this volume makes an important contribution to Russian studies and the “new spatial history.”

Scholars have long appreciated space as an important factor in understanding Russia, thanks in part to Russia’s geopolitical position as the largest country in the world: both a part of Europe and distinct from it. The new spatial history treats space not only as an objectively existing physical reality but also as something subjective and culturally produced. Space here is considered both an arena for historical activity and a critical element of this activity, at once shaping history and being shaped by it. Moreover, psychological processes of cognition and perception play a critical role in rendering space meaningful to the societies or groups that occupy it.

The ten essays in this volume are organized along two thematic lines: the general problem of space and power and the valorization of space in the broader process of constructing and negotiating group identities, both social and national. With topics ranging from geopolitical perspectives to intimate personal stories, from the profanation of sacred landscapes to displays of power on the ballroom floor, this collection should be of interest to undergraduates, cultural historians, and historical geographers, as well as specialists on Russia.

Contributors: Robert Argenbright, Mark Bassin, Christopher Ely, Cathy A. Frierson, Patricia Herlihy, Lisa A. Kirschenbaum, John Randolph, the late Richard Stites, Melissa K. Stockdale, and Sergei Zhuk.

(2010) 278 pp., 5 illus.
ISBN 978-0-87580-425-5
cloth $42.00

Mark Bassin is Research Professor of the History of Ideas at Södertörn University, Stockholm, and author of Imperial Visions.
Christopher Ely is Associate Professor of History in the Wilkes Honors College of Florida Atlantic University and author of This Meager Nature.
Melissa K. Stockdale is a Brian and Sandra O’Brien Presidential Professor at the University of Oklahoma and author of Paul Miliukov and the Quest for a Liberal Russia, 1880–1918.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Russian Space Mark Bassin, Christopher Ely, and Melissa Stockdale

Part I: Geopolitical Constructions of Space
1. What Is a Fatherland? Changing Notions of Duty, Rights, and Belonging in Russia Melissa K. Stockdale
2. Nationhood, Natural Regions, Mestorazvitie: Environmental Discourses in Classical Eurasianism Mark Bassin

Part II: Place, Space, and Power
3. Russian Route: The Politics of the Petersburg-Moscow Road, 1700–1800 John Randolph
4. On the Dance Floor: Royal Power, Class, and Nationality in Servile Russia Richard Stites
5. Ab Oriente ad Ulteriorem Orientem: Eugene Schuyler, Russia, and Central Asia Patricia Herlihy
6. Soviet Agitational Vehicles: Bolsheviks in Strange Places Robert Argenbright

Part III: Place, Identity, and Memory
7. Street Space and Political Culture in St. Petersburg under Alexander II Christopher Ely
8. Making and Unmaking the “Sacred Landscape” of Orthodox Russia: Identity Crisis and Religious Politics in the Ukrainian Provinces of the Late Russian Empire Sergei Zhuk
9. Dilemmas of Post-Soviet Identity in Vologda: A Sacred Landscape in Moscow’s Political Shadow Cathy A. Frierson
10. Place, Memory, and the Politics of Identity: Historical Buildings and Street Names in Leningrad-St. Petersburg Lisa A. Kirschenbaum

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ISBN: 978-0-87580-425-5
Space, Place, and Power in Modern Russia $42.00