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.
Rochelle Goldberg Ruthchild
Poland and Finland in a Contrastive Comparison, 1830–1907
Wiktor Marzec and Risto Turunen
This article presents a conceptual history of socialism in two Western borderlands of the Russian Empire—namely, the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Finland. A contrastive comparison is used to examine the birth, dissemination, and breakthrough of the concept from its first appearance until the Revolution of 1905. The concept entered Polish political conversation as a self-applied label among émigrés in the 1830s, whereas the opponents of socialism made it famous in Finland in the 1840s in Swedish and in the 1860s in Finnish. When socialism became a mass movement at the turn of the century, socialist parties (re)defined the concept through underground leaflets and brochures in Poland, and through a legal labor press in Finland. In both cases, the Revolution of 1905 meant the final democratization of socialism, attaching more meanings to the concept and making it the most discussed ism of modern politics.
Issues of Conservation, Digitization, and Scientific Use
This report reflects the work that leading academic libraries in Siberia (in Tomsk, Irkutsk, and Krasnoyarsk) have been conducting over the past ten years on digitization of Siberian newspapers published between 1857 and 1991. These newspapers are valuable and often unique sources for the history, ethnography, economy, and everyday life of the Siberian people. Creating a comprehensive and common free-access database of Siberian newspapers promotes their preservation for current and future researchers, introduces them to scientific use. The report contains brief data on already digitized newspapers and on electronic sources where these newspapers can be found. The report shows the challenges, perspectives, and achievements of digitization, as well as possible ways of systematization, search for information and analysis of a large set of various newspaper texts.
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.
International Women's Day, the First Decade
Rochelle Goldberg Ruthchild
The year 2010 was the centennial of Clara Zetkin's proposal for an annual women's holiday, which became known as International Women's Day, and 2011 was the centennial of its first celebrations. The first ten years of the holiday's existence were a particularly tumultuous time in world history, with the advent of World War I, revolutionary upheavals in some of the major combatant countries, and the demise of the German, Habsburg, Ottoman, and Russian empires. During this time, International Women's Day celebrations quickly gained great popularity, and in 1917 sparked the February Russian Revolution. This article focuses on the development of the holiday from its U.S. and Western European origins and goal of women's suff rage, to its role in empowering Russian women to spark a revolution, and its re-branding as a Soviet communist celebration. Special attention is paid to the roles of two prominent international socialist women leaders, Zetkin and Alexandra Kollontai, in shaping the holiday's evolution.
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.
Andrei Val’terovich Grinëv
The annexation of the Grand Duchy of Finland by the Russian Empire after the war with Sweden in 1808–1809 sharply strengthened the Russian trading fleet. It is not surprising that Finnish ships, despite their small number, visited the Russian colonies in America over a rather long period—from 1816 to 1856—though at times with substantial temporal intervals. Some of them belonged to the Russian-American Company (RAC), some were chartered by it, and some were in joint possession with the Russian-Finnish Whaling Company. In addition, many Finnish sailors and skippers served on ships of the RAC’s colonial flotilla and on company ships that carried out charter trips between Baltic ports and Russian America and eastern Siberia.
Linda L. Clark, Olga Gurova, Elena Bedreag, Daniela Koleva, Kristen Ghodsee, Roza Dimova, Evguenia Davidova, Maija Jäppinen, Tanja Petrović, Valentina Mitkova, Daniela Naydeva, Jelena Bakić, Irina Genova, Galina Goncharova, Michelle DenBeste, Katarina Loncarevic, Avital H. Bloch, Leda Papastefanaki, Olena Styazhkina and Eszter Varsa
James C. Albisetti, Joyce Goodman, and Rebecca Rogers, eds., Girls' Secondary Education in the Western World: From the 18th to the 20th Century
Djurdja Bartlett, FashionEast: The Spectre That Haunted Socialism
Ioan Bolovan, Diana Covaci, Daniela Deteşan, Marius Eppel, and Elena Crinela Holom, eds., În căutarea fericirii. Viaţa familială în spaţiul românesc în secolele XVIII-XX (Looking for happiness. Family life in the Romanian territory from the eighteenth to the twentieth century)
Ulf Brunnbauer, “Die sozialistische Lebensweise“: Ideologie, Gesellschaft, Familie und Politik in Bulgarien (1944-1989) (“The socialist way of life“: Ideology, society, family and politics in Bulgaria [1944-1989])
Gerald Creed, Masquerade and Postsocialism: Ritual and Cultural Dispossession in Bulgaria
Krassimira Daskalova and Tatyana Kmetova, eds., Pol i Prehod, 1938-1958 (Gender and Transition, 1938-1958)
Evdoxios Doxiadis, The Shackles of Modernity: Women, Property, and the Transition from the Ottoman Empire to the Greek State (1750-1850)
Katalin Fábián, ed., Domestic Violence in Postcommunist States: Local Activism, National Policies, and Global Forces
Kristen Ghodsee, Lost in Transition: Ethnographies of Everyday Life after Communism
Liubov Krichevskaya, No Good without Reward: Selected Writings
Tomislav Z. Longinović, Vampire Nation: Violence as Cultural Imaginary
Ivana Panteli´, Partizanke kao građanke: društvena emancipacija partizanki u Srbiji, 1945-1953 (Female partisans as citizens: Social emancipation of female partisans in Serbia, 1945-1953)
Bojana Pejić, ERSTE Foundation and Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien, eds., Gender Check: A Reader. Art and Theory in Eastern Europe
Christian Promitzer, Sevasti Trubeta, and Marius Turda, eds., Health, Hygiene and Eugenics in Southeastern Europe to 1945
Rochelle Goldberg Ruthchild, Equality and Revolution: Women's Rights in the Russian Empire, 1905-1917 Reviewed by Michelle DenBeste
Giulia Sissa, Sex and Sensuality in the Ancient World
Lidija Stojanovik-Lafazanovska and Ermis Lafanovski, The Exodus of the Macedonians from Greece: Women's Narratives about WWII and Their Exodus
Lex Heerma van Voss, Els Hiemstra-Kuperus, and Elise van Nederveen Meerkerk, eds., The Ashgate Companion to the History of Textile Workers, 1650-2000
Galina I. Yermolenko, ed., Roxolana in European Literature, History and Culture
Susan Zimmermann, Divide, Provide, and Rule: An Integrative History of Poverty Policy, Social Policy, and Social Reform in Hungary under the Habsburg Monarchy