Imagining Russian Regions
- Date: –17:00
- Location: Institute for Russian and Eurasian Studies (IRES) Gamla torget 3, 3rd floor, IRES Library
- Organiser: Institute for Russian and Eurasian Studies (IRES)
- Contact person: Jevgenija Gehsbarga
The seminar will be based on a recently published book entitled "Imagining Russian Regions: Subnational Identity and Civil Society in Nineteenth-Century Russia", where Susan Smith-Peter shows how ideas of civil society encouraged the growth of regional identity in Russia before 1861. Adam Smith and G.W.F. Hegel’s ideas of civil society influenced Russians and the resulting plans to stimulate the growth of civil society also formed regional, provincial and district identities.
It challenges the view of the provinces as empty space found in the works of Nikolai Gogol, who rejected the new non-noble provincial identity and welcomed a noble-only district identity. By 1861, the non-noble and noble public would come together to form a multi-estate provincial civil society whose promise was not fulfilled due to the decision of the government to keep the peasant estate institutionally separate.
Susan Smith-Peter works on Russian history beyond the two capitals of Moscow and St. Petersburg. Beginning with a study of identity in the provinces of European (or central) Russia, she has branched out to investigate the regional identity of the Russian North and Siberia as well. She has published a wide range of articles on topics related to civil society and regional identity as well as Imagining Russian Regions: Subnational Identity and Civil Society in Nineteenth-Century Russia with Brill in 2018.