Editors: Kati Parppei (University of Eastern Finland), Bulat Rakhimzianov (Institute of History of the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Tatarstan)
Defining “them” in relation to one’s one reference group, “us”, has been an essential phase in the formation of collective identities in any given country or region. The perceptions of “the others” have often been pejorative as such, equipping the representatives of “them” with negative features to emphasize the positive attributes of “us”. In times of conflict, these perceptions and stereotypes have tended to culminate in extremely negative enemy images.
In the case of Russia, the formation – or rather, formulation – of these binary definitions can be traced all the way to medieval texts, in which religion represented the dividing line: the Orthodox Christians versus non-Christians, or Christians of other confessions. Along with the formation of national identities from the 18th century onwards, the negotiations of Russia’s geopolitical position and “Russianness” took place primarily in relation to metonymies such as Europe and Asia. Simultaneously, the ongoing expansion of the empire transferred numerous “external others” – such as the Tatars, and the inhabitants of the areas of Caucasus and Central Asia annexed by Russia – into internal minorities.
The edited volume in preparation calls for articles that examine the multifaceted processes of the formation of images and perceptions of “the others” in pre-revolutionary Russia. The proposed articles could deal with issues such as:
– contextualization of perceptions and descriptions of ethnic/religious groups in textual sources at each given time (medieval, pre-modern, imperial)
– visual images concerning otherness
– “internal others”; the perceptions concerning other than Russian ethnic groups/ nationalities in Russia
– the perceptions concerning ethnic Russians by other ethnic groups/nationalities of Russia
– images as actors in political history
– images of otherness in relation to nationalism and national narratives
– images and perceptions versus relationships between diverse ethnic groups in real life
– enemy images and wartime propaganda
– theoretical issues concerning the theme, with case studies concerning Russia
Other approaches are equally welcome, also multidisciplinary ones. The language of the publication is English. Drafts written in Russian are welcome; they will be translated into English. The proposed articles should not have been published previously in any forum. The publisher of the volume will be announced later.
The preliminary timetable for publication:
May 31, 2019 Deadline for submitting abstracts
June 30, 2019 Decisions concerning the articles included in the publication
January 31, 2020 Deadline for submitting article drafts
February-May, 2020 Comments of the editors, editing the articles for peer review
June-December, 2020 Peer reviews, editing the articles
2021-2022 Publishing the book