Modernity Russian Poland and the Grand Duchy of Finland were both overdeveloped minority regions within the multinational Russian Empire. Despite their common imperial affiliation, the countries had their separate political histories. Poland had long been an
Poland and Finland in a Contrastive Comparison, 1830—1907
Wiktor Marzec and Risto Turunen
Rochelle Goldberg Ruthchild
Two of the earliest women's suffrage victories were achieved in the Russian Empire, in Finland and Russia, as a result of wars and revolutions. Their significance has been largely ignored, yet study of these achievements challenges the standard paradigms about the conditions (struggle within a democracy, geographic location on the 'periphery'), which favoured early suffrage breakthroughs. This article analyses the particular circumstances in Finland and Russia, which, in a relatively short amount of time, broke down resistance to giving women the vote. An examination of the events surrounding the February 1917 Russian Revolution, which toppled the Tsar, demonstrates the significant role of women in initiating and furthering the revolutionary momentum as well as fighting for their own rights. Both the Finns and the Russians pioneered in extending the legacies of the French and American Revolutions to include women.
Issues of Conservation, Digitization, and Scientific Use
magazines of the period of the Russian empire are spread among different libraries and archives in the Russian Federation. The level of their completeness and integrity may greatly vary as they are printed on low-quality and fragile paper, which is often
Photographers of Siberia in Late Imperial Russia
This article is focused on several themes connected with the history of photography, political exile in Imperial Russia, exploration and representations of Siberia in the late 19th–early 20th centuries. Photography became an essential tool in numerous geographic, topographic and ethnographic expeditions to Siberia in the late 19th century; well-known scientists started to master photography or were accompanied by professional photographers in their expeditions, including ones organized by the Russian Imperial Geographic Society, which resulted in the photographic records, reports, publications and exhibitions. Photography was rapidly spreading across Asian Russia and by the end of the 19th century there was a photo studio (or several ones) in almost every Siberian town. Political exiles were often among Siberian photographers, making photography their new profession, business, a way of getting a social status in the local society, and a means of surviving financially as well as intellectually and emotionally. They contributed significantly to the museum’s collections by photographing indigenous people in Siberia and even traveling to Mongolia and China, displaying “types” as a part of anthropological research in Asia and presenting “views” of the Russian empire’s borderlands. The visual representation of Siberia corresponded with general perceptions of an exotic East, populated by “primitive” peoples devoid of civilization, a trope reinforced by numerous photographs and depictions of Siberia as an untamed natural world, later transformed and modernized by the railroads construction.
Andrei V. Grinëv
The annexation of the Grand Duchy of Finland by the Russian Empire after the victorious war with Sweden in 1808–1809 sharply changed the military-political situation in the Baltic. Into the hands of the Russians fell a vast territory with such
Otto Habeck, Anna Bara and Oxana Zemtsova
Adam Johann von Krusenstern, Georg Heinrich von Langsdorff, Otto von Kotzebue, Adelbert von Chamisso: Forschungsreisen auf Kamtschatka: Auszüge aus den Werken by Marie-Theres Federhofer and Diana Ordubadi, eds. Review by Otto Habeck
Frozen Assets: British Mining, Exploration, and Geopolitics on Spitsbergen, 1904–53 by Frigga Kruse Review by Anna Bara
In the Lands of the Romanovs: An Annotated Bibliography of First-Hand English-Language Accounts of the Russian Empire (1613–1917) by Anthony Cross Review by Oxana Zemtsova
Books Available for Review
Edward Kasinec and Janis A. Kreslins
The article discusses the possible authorship and provenance of more than two hundred drawings of the peoples of the Russian Empire in the 1740s, held presently in the Department of Prints and Drawings of the National Museum in Stockholm, Sweden. Based in part on both the external physical evidence of the folios' binding and a stylistic analysis of the drawings themselves, the authors conclude that these little-known drawings may have been a gift from Empress Elizabeth I to her relative, the King of Sweden, and that at least some of the drawings were the work of Augustin Dahlstein.
Runaway Brides, Orthodox Missionaries, and the Construction of Empire among the Buriats, 1870s–1917
Jesse D. Murray
This article revisits the trope of the runaway bride, a popular means of narrating the conversion to Orthodoxy of Buriat women during the nineteenth century that depicted women's conversions as pragmatic and lacking religious meaning. Using petitions and memoranda from church archives, Murray finds that encounters between Buriats and missionaries over the conversion and remarriage of Buriat women served as a powerful means of incorporating the Buriats into the Russian Empire by producing new, imperially shaped possibilities for Buriat self-definition. Women seeking conversion and remarriage utilized conceptions about women's individual rights within marriage based in discourses about marriage and patriarchy then widespread in central Russia. Men contesting the remarriage of wives and daughters treated Buriat custom as a formally sanctioned branch of imperial law, transforming flexible custom into codified, inflexible customary law.
The Northward Course of Empire, The Adventure of Wrangel Island, 1922–1925, and “Universal Revolution”
Vilhjalmur Stefansson was an Arctic explorer and anthropologist. The article analyzes two of his books, The Northward Course of Empire and The Adventure of Wrangel Island, in the context of the “universal revolution” including World War I and the Russian Revolution at a time when Siberia, especially its Arctic region, was widely seen as separate from the rest of the former Russian Empire. Stefansson moved through the English-speaking world of Canada, the US, and Great Britain, while acting as an advocate of the colonization of the Arctic region. Later, Stefansson’s connections with the Soviet Union put him under suspicion of un-American activities, but a retrospective assessment of his career shows him to be a sometimes mistaken but often farsighted advocate of Arctic development.
Jane F. Hacking, Jeffrey S. Hardy and Matthew P. Romaniello
This special issue of Sibirica is devoted to exploring Russia’s complicated relationship with Asia. Along with an edited volume (Russia in Asia: Imaginations, Interactions, and Realities, forthcoming), it is an outgrowth of the “Asia in the Russian Imagination” conference that was held at the University of Utah in March 2018. This conference brought together an interdisciplinary body of scholars from the United States, Canada, and Russia to discuss how Russians imagined and interacted with the peoples of Eurasia. Chronologically this conversation spanned the Russian Empire, Soviet Union, and post-Soviet Russia, and included not just the geography and peoples possessed by Russia but also the bordering states of Japan, China, and the Ottoman Empire. This is certainly not a new line of inquiry, but there is still much to be understood about these complex relationships, both real and imagined.