Theorizing Siberian Sex

Gender, Sexuality, and Colonial Desire in Siberian Regionalist Discourses on Racial Mixing

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Author:
Olga Trufanova Doctoral Researcher, Ludwig Maximilian University, Germany

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Abstract

This article examines discourses on racial mixing in Siberia and its interpretations among the founders of Siberian regionalism. Debates about miscegenation were crucial for the development of racial theories in the late Russian Empire, as well as regionalists’ vision of Siberia and its colonization. Yet the importance of gender and sexuality for their ideas has been largely overlooked. The present article partially remedies this gender-blindness by centering gender, sexuality, and desire in the analysis of several writings by Afanasii Shchapov, Serafim Shashkov, and Nikolai Iadrintsev. The article argues that gender and gendered sexuality were essential for regionalists’ understanding of miscegenation, race, civilization, and the Russian Empire. As the research demonstrates, gender and sexuality not only undergirded, but also produced, figuratively and literally, race and empire.

The colonial conquest of non-European territories not only established a hierarchy between the colonizers and the colonized, but also created a power structure where race, class, and gender intersected and mutually shaped one another. When one reads the texts of Siberian regionalists—public intellectuals in the late Russian Empire—one notices that this intersectional vision of colonialism was integral to their views on Siberian history and the issues of Russian–Siberian colonial encounters.

In 1867, 25-year-old Siberia-born scholar Nikolai Iadrintsev wrote an essay under the title “Zhenshchina v Sibiri v XVII i XVIII stoletiiakh” (Women in Siberia in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries). Already in the first paragraph of the text, Iadrintsev demonstrated his sensitivity to the double oppression of Indigenous Siberian women in a colonial context—an optic that we could now call intersectional:

During its colonizing movement into Siberia in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the Russian population surely brought [to Siberia] all the customs and mores of ancient Rus’, with all the roughness of that time . . . . It is clear that . . . the people indulged their basest instincts in family and home life . . . . The cruelest oppression, in all its inhuman form, became the fatal lot of a foreign [Indigenous] woman.1

Iadrintsev's essay became one of the pioneering texts to raise the subject of the violence of Russian colonizers against Indigenous and Russian women in Siberia. Drawing on rich archival materials, Iadrintsev cited cases from various corners of Siberia of women being enslaved and forced into prostitution. The text aimed to unmask Tsarist “barbarism” and the inability of Russians to bring the “light of civilization” to the peoples of Siberia in the early stages of its colonization. The main evidence for Iadrintsev's claim was numerous accounts of the inhuman treatment of Indigenous and Russian women by Russian colonizers.

Although Iadrintsev's interpretation of Russian–Siberian encounters had its specificity, the centrality of women as well as gender and sexuality in his text illuminates a wider interest in these issues among the founders of Siberian regionalism—a social and political movement that appeared in the 1860s and was preoccupied with the status and importance of Siberia within the Russian Empire. For example, Serafim Shashkov, another Siberian regionalist, used the issue of the abduction and sexual exploitation of Siberian women by Russian colonizers as an illustration of Russia's failure to be a “good empire” for its colonial domains in Asia. Afanasii Shchapov, whose ideas greatly influenced regionalist thinking, developed an entire theory of Russian–Siberian interracial attraction, rooting it in notions of sexuality and desire.

Each author approached the problem of Siberian–Russian hybridization from different theoretical perspectives that shaped their conclusions. Shchapov's views were heavily influenced by social Darwinism, Iadrintsev conceived of Russian–Siberian intimate relations in the vein of the Enlightenment discourse of civility (although he adopted Darwinist ideas in his later works), and Shashkov found his inspiration in Marxist theory and paid more attention to economic inequality. Despite these variations in interpretations of Russian colonial experience and miscegenation2 in Siberia, all three authors looked at interracial sexual relations in Siberia to evaluate Russian colonialism and civilization.

This article examines how regionalists applied concepts of gender, sexuality, and desire in their discourses on colonization and miscegenation in Siberia. Based on selected texts by Nikolai Iadrintsev (1842–1894), Afanasii Shchapov (1831–1876), and Serafim Shashkov (1841–1882), considered the founders of Siberian regionalism, the article demonstrates how gender, sexuality, and desire shaped regionalists’ attitudes toward, and understanding of, miscegenation in Siberia.3 More generally, the article highlights the relevance of gender and sexuality in racial discourses that aimed to characterize Russian imperialism and colonialism. It focuses in particular on articulations and explanations of radical forms of miscegenation, such as abduction, rape, and the exploitation of (Indigenous) women, as well as the role of gendered sexuality in racial mixing during the Russian colonization of Siberia. Filtering the analysis through the prism of critical racial, feminist, and postcolonial theories, the article deconstructs the analyzed discourses and dismantles the colonial, gender, and racial power relations and hierarchies that the texts voluntarily or involuntarily (re)produced, but also criticized.4

As existing research demonstrates, race in the Siberian regionalists’ early writings “provided a means of articulating their critique of the failures of Russian colonization and advocating regionalism within the Russian Empire.”5 In this context, interracial mixing between Russians and native Siberian peoples, and the forms it took, became a means to measure a colonizer's level of civilization and to evaluate Russia's colonial politics.6 As David Rainbow demonstrates, the logic behind this was rooted in the idea that “human bodies defined in racial terms reflected the success or failure of imperial power.”7 Yet what Rainbow's study, as well as other inquiries into racial thought in the late Russian Empire, overlooks is that human bodies are never gender-neutral. Neither were they in the texts of Siberian regionalists. This article argues that it was not a generalized human body, but a gendered, racialized, and, for some regionalists, class-specific body onto which regionalists projected their visions about the character of Russian colonization of Siberia.

The “gender-blindness” of the studies on Russian regionalism is all the more surprising because the topics of sexuality, desire, and race have been broadly discussed in research on Western colonialism.8 Inversely, gender-critical studies on Russian colonialism have not incorporated the texts of Siberian regionalists. Even Madina Tlostanova's celebrated book Gender Epistemologies and Eurasian Borderlands, which is devoted to the issues of race, gender, and body in the Russian Empire and its colonies, completely overlooks the intellectual legacy of Siberian regionalists and focuses mostly on the Caucasus, mentioning Siberia only in passing.9 Another goal that this article pursues is thus to connect the case study on the Siberian colonial past to the body of scholarship on race, sexuality, gender, and colonialism and see how they can enrich each other.

Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Colonial Settings

Recent research has challenged the notion that race was an insignificant concept in the late Russian Empire.10 In the second half of the nineteenth century, efforts to define “Russianness” and comprehend imperial diversity in racial terms rapidly gained popularity in the imperial centers of Saint Petersburg, Kazan, Moscow, and Kyiv. Although the terminology of racial thought was in its formation and race was often replaced by synonymous words like plemia (tribe), poroda (breed), narod (folk), or narodnost’ (ethnicity or nationality), it is evident that racial concerns received much attention from both liberal and conservative intellectual elites.11 Contrary to a widespread perception of race as biological and therefore an unchangeable determinant, nineteenth- century visions of race were more flexible both in and outside the Russian Empire.12 The boundaries between biology and culture were blurred, and biological traits were seen as formative for cultural features, whereas cultural practices were believed to have the ability to shape the racial profile of an individual and a collective. This understanding of race as malleable and elastic was a reason that interracial encounters, both physical and cultural, occupied so much space in the minds of many imperial actors.13

Against this background, anxieties connected to the intimate relations between Europeans and Indigenous people became a primary concern for many colonial regimes across the globe. In some cases, the problem was not the intimate relations themselves but the claims of the children for European inheritance.14 In other cases, the preoccupation was precisely about interracial sex and the racial hybridity of its progeny. The latter was often seen as a path of racial degradation by which a “superior” race became corrupted through its contamination by an inferior one.15

Yet interracial intimacies also had their proponents, who believed that “blood mixing” could strengthen and enrich a society's racial profile. Because almost all European nations, including Slavic ones, were products of racial hybridization, these views enjoyed some popularity in nineteenth-century Europe.16 As a result, attitudes toward miscegenation were often inseparable from one's political views.17 However, as the regionalists’ example shows, views on miscegenation could vary quite significantly even among representatives of the same movement.18

Although miscegenation is essentially about sex, the analysis of discourses around it often disregarded the place of gendered sexuality and sexual desire in it. Yet, as Ann Laura Stoler noticed, sexuality was an integral component of miscegenation and, just like the latter, was politicized and charged.19 More importantly, men's and women's sexualities and sexual desires in colonial power relations were highly asymmetrical forces.

Feminist, postcolonial, and decolonial research has examined the gendered and sexualized nature of colonial politics, practices, and epistemologies.20 Edward Said's “Orientalism” and the many studies and discussions it generated show how the “Orient” became a place of projection and realization of white male sexual fantasies.21 Similarly, Anne McClintock argues that imperial powers frequently sexualized colonial lands and their female inhabitants, depicting them as willing to be subjugated, possessed, and impregnated.22 At the same time, the perceived lower status of an Indigenous woman in her society could be interpreted as evidence of the overall inferiority of this society and culture.23 This idea paved the way for racist and Islamophobic sentiments, demonizing Indigenous/Black/Muslim men and victimizing women. In addition to victimization, however, such views have led, on the one hand, to colonial projects of liberating non-white women from their own men, and, on the other, to the hypersexualization of non-white women, as in the case of the myth of the black rapist.24

Commonly, white male sexual desires were projected onto Indigenous women and therefore put them in danger of being sexually assaulted and abused. Nineteenth-century Orientalist discourse typically portrayed native women as owners of an animalistic sexuality unbound by cultural norms. This portrayal made these women seem like potential prostitutes always eager for sexual intercourse.25 Late nineteenth-century Europe experienced a boom of pornographic imagery of the “Orient.” In France, writings by Gustave Flaubert and Eugène Fromentin offered readers detailed descriptions of their sexual adventures in Egypt, Lebanon, or Constantinople.26 As such discourses reached their audiences, the (colonial) Orient started to be seen as a place where a white man could satisfy his boldest erotic fantasies.

Apart from shaping images of “the Orient” and an “Oriental woman” that most comfortably fit white men's imagination, male sexual desire was also responsible for the creation of racial hierarchization. By the late nineteenth century, European men began to rank racialized female bodies according to their ability to arouse a European man, whereby the most attractive women granted their race a higher position in the racial hierarchy than those who were not in white men's favor.27 This “bodily topography” of the world, largely driven by the erotic fantasies of European men, strengthened the hierarchical vision of races and shaped colonial relations. Indeed, sex was at the very heart of racism; essentially, unequal sex based on class, gender, and racial inequalities underpinned much of colonial practice and thinking. As Robert Young puts it, this sex was a “proliferating machinery of colonization.”28 Furthermore, as Young states, it was precisely sexuality that served as a mediator between culture and race in the racial theories of the late nineteenth century.29 This article builds on these arguments but also argues that sex could be the proliferating machinery of (anti)colonial discourses and criticism of the empire.

Siberian Regionalism in Context

In the second half of the nineteenth century, attempts to conceive of race in sexual and gender terms emerged in the Russian Empire, and Siberian regionalists were among those who tried to give the connection between race, gender, and sex a theoretical footing. Their discussions of miscegenation in Siberia, I argue, can be regarded as a product of the intersection of (proto)feminist, liberal, and racial theories and movements that developed in the Russian Empire in the course and aftermath of the Great Reforms.

During the period between 1861 and 1874, Tsar Alexander II sought to modernize Russia and increase its economic development after Russia's defeat in the Crimean War (1853–1856) by instituting a series of reforms in all sectors of society. The major reform was the abolition of serfdom, initiated in 1861, which resulted in the abandonment of the system of personal bondage of peasants to landlords that had existed in Russia for centuries and by the mid-nineteenth century immobilized almost a third of the empire's population.

One of the reform's intentions was to create a workforce of former serfs in industries. Yet the reform also had a side effect, namely the economic mobilization of women from the upper classes. The abolition of serfdom reconfigured the position of noblewomen in society. Many estates and landowners went bankrupt, and noblewomen were forced to seek new meaning in life, as well as ways to become involved in economic activities. This coincided with the growing movement for women's rights in the Russian Empire of the second half of the eighteenth century, the opening of the courses and universities for women, and the reevaluation of the women's role in society.30 Regionalists, I argue, pursued this feminist agenda on activist and scholarly levels. While promoting women's active participation in advancement of education and science in Siberia (Shchapov's wife, for example, founded a reading circle for female gymnasium students),31 they also tried to highlight the historical role of women in Russian and Siberian history.

What distinguished Siberian regionalists from other sociopolitical movements of the time, as the movement's name suggests, was their regional focus on Siberia and its socioeconomic and political development.32 This focus was no coincidence: all regionalists were born in Siberia and had first-hand experience of local life with all its frustrations and perspectives. Afanasii Schapov, for instance, was born into a mixed family and was, in fact, himself a product of miscegenation (Iadrintsev and Shashkov grew up in Russian families). All three met in Saint Petersburg where they founded a Siberian circle in which they discussed the futurities of Siberia and prospects of its independence. This activity did not go unnoticed by the state, and in 1865 it charged the regionalists with Siberian separatism. As a result, forty people, including our three authors, were sent into exile (remarkably, Siberian separatists were supposed to be exiled from Siberia).33 All three were able to return from exile (Shashkov, unfortunately, with undermined health) and continued their scientific and educational activities.

In addition to the political, economic, and social aspects of Siberia's development, regionalists actively engaged in discussions about so-called Siberians (sibiriaki)—a new race that, regionalists believed, was a product of mixing between the “Great Russian nation” and Siberian Indigenous peoples. This new race was a result of the long history of Russian colonization of Siberia. When Russian traders, Cossacks, and servitors first came to Siberia, they did not find themselves in an empty space, but on lands inhabited by many Indigenous peoples belonging to various language families, ethnic groups, and religions, and leading different lifestyles.34 Starting from the late sixteenth century, Muscovy and the subsequent Russian Empire colonized and subjugated these peoples.

The character of the interaction between Russian colonizers and Indigenous groups, particularly the level of violence involved, is a subject of historical debate with a century-long history, to which regionalists made a significant contribution.35 An important part of this debate resided in the fact that most of the first colonizers in Siberia were single men who complained about “having no one to cook and bake” and the dilapidation of their households in the absence of women.36 In historiography, this situation of gender imbalance has typically been referred to as “the lack of women.” As one may guess, this situation offered fruitful soil for sexualized violence and assaults of the local female population. Many Cossacks, especially during the early phase of colonization, robbed Indigenous communities and captured their women and children.37 The intermarriage between Russians and natives began almost immediately and was not prohibited officially as long as natives, at least nominally, converted to Christianity.38 The intimate relations between Russians and Siberian natives, as well as the sexual desire of the male colonizers that ostensibly resulted from the “lack of women,” were conceived in moral, cultural, and racial terms.

Mestizaje, or miscegenation, was one of the most politicized issues among late Imperial intellectuals, and attitudes on this issue varied. On the one hand, the racial understanding of “Russianness” was predicated on the idea of the racial mixture of the Slavic people out of which “Great Russians” (velikorussy), “Little Russians” (malorussy), and “White Russians” (belorussy) originated. Therefore, the Russian nationality (narodnost’) could be interpreted positively as a product of a “peaceful merger (sliianie) of Slavic settlers with the Finnish and Mongolian tribes (plemena).”39 From this viewpoint, Russians did not lose their racial traits, but on the contrary, strengthened their blood through mixing. At the same time, others worried that miscegenation represented a peril to the colonizer's racial profile. For the opponents of miscegenation, the nativization (obynorodchivanie) of the Russians in Siberia or elsewhere was either proof or a harbinger of Russian civilizational failure.

The miscegenation controversy can be clearly distinguished in early regionalist writings. The main proponent of the optimistic perspective on miscegenation was Afanasii Prokopievich Shchapov. In his studies on the Russian colonization of Siberia, Shchapov went as far as to claim that “Slavic-Russian colonial self-propagation” in the region fulfilled a grand mission of producing a “new physiological and ethnographic composition of the population,” the scale and grandeur of which was comparable only to the colonial expansion of England.40 In contrast, Nikolai Iadrintsev saw Russian–Siberian mixing more pessimistically and advocated for measures against Slavic “degeneration” in Siberia.41

This divide in the regionalists’ attitudes to miscegenation is tangible in their interpretations and articulations of Siberian sexual interactions. The intimate relations between Russian men and Indigenous women (and occasionally Russian women and Indigenous men) became a cornerstone and, at the same time, a stumbling block in regionalists’ visions of Siberian colonization, but also the Russian race and Empire.

Indebted to Women: Racial Development and Class in Afanasii Shchapov's Works

Afanasii Prokopievich Shchapov (1831–1876) can be considered a regionalists’ teacher and inspirer whose views on race and Siberian autonomy strongly shaped the further development of the movement.42 By the 1860s, Shchapov had established himself as a critic of Imperial politics at Kazan University, where he was a professor. His research focused on religious dissent and self-organization in Russian history—topics largely opposed to prevalent historiographic tradition.43 Among his students at that time was Serafim Serafimovich Shashkov.

Shchapov became the first to apply racial arguments in his studies on Siberia. Already in 1864, he authored several articles about the “ethnographic organization” of the Siberian population in which race came to the foreground of the historical picture of Russian colonial expansion into the region. In these articles, Shchapov promoted the idea that Russian colonial history was crucial in shaping the Russian race through the natural and social environments of the newly incorporated territories.44 He aimed to provide a solid “scientific foundation” for his arguments against Tsarist politics and to propagate race as an analytical concept among contemporary intellectuals.45

The interracial mixing between Russians and Indigenous Siberians quickly became the cornerstone of Shchapov's intellectual work. Shchapov was one of the first to argue that Siberians were a new race distinct from Russians.46 The two, however, were closely related. Shchapov considered the entire history of Siberian incorporation into the Russian state as primarily an anthropological process that transformed both the Russian and Indigenous populations.

Shchapov evaluated miscegenation in Siberia positively and did not believe it to endanger the Russian race because the latter was protected against “contamination” by the so-called “law of generative and progressive overweight of blood or the law of hereditary increase and overweight of the assimilating power of a race or tribe.”47 In other words, the “Slavic-Russian tribe” as a stronger race tempered throughout the long history of blood mixing with other tribes could not be overrun by Siberian Indigenous bloodlines that Shchapov believed to be naturally weaker.

Shchapov did not deny that interracial mixing was a process full of violence and resistance. However, he described acts of colonizer violence, like the abduction of Indigenous women, as well as the reactions of Indigenous populations, as a part of natural selection and the struggle for survival: “In the ethnological language of the time,” wrote Shchapov, “this was the struggle of indigenous bones against Russian bones and blood.”48

An integral part of this competition between races was the “fight for women.” In his article “The historical-geographical distribution of the Russian population” (Istoriko-geograficheskoe raspredelenie russkago narodonaseleniia) Shchapov aspires to provide a “scientific” foundation for numerous cases of abduction of Siberian Indigenous women by Russian colonizers. These cases, to Shchapov, exemplified nothing other than the “means and results of crossbreeding.” “First,” writes Shchapov, “it is kidnapping and capturing indigenous women as iasyr’”—a captive meant to serve as a warrant of her community's subjugation and loyalty to the colonizers. Due to the “lack of women” in early colonial Siberia, he continues, Russian Cossacks, servitors, merchants, industrialists, and free people (guliashchiie liudi) had to “constantly kidnap and capture wives and daughters of different Siberian tribes, and sometimes buy them.”49 The cohabitation with captured Indigenous women inevitably led to mixing, crossbreeding of tribes, and the birth of a new hybrid population that, to Shchapov, was an early stage of the physiological-ethnographic process of nationality-genesis (narodozarozhdenie).50

Throughout the article, Shchapov cites seventeenth-century sources from Siberia that reported cases of violence against Indigenous women, including kidnapping, concubinage, slavery, and trafficking. In one instance, Shchapov refers to a commonly cited letter by Moscow Patriarch Philaret to Siberian archbishop Cyprian. In this letter, Philaret expressed his concern at the situation of intermarriage in Siberia: “In Siberian towns many servitors . . . live not according to peasant customs, but according to their vile lusts; many Russian people . . . live with Tatars and Ostyaks and Vogul women and commit abominations [skvernaia deiut], and others live with unbaptized Tatar women and do disgusting things with them [deiut s nimi protivnosti].”51

Shchapov essentially translates these sources from the language of Christian morality into the language of “objective” and “impartial” racial science. With this translation, “nasty lust” (skvernaia pohot’), “disgusting things” (protivnosti), and “violent possession” (nasilstvom emliut) become “recruitment into the population” (nabor v sostav naseleniia), “merging” (smeshenie), and “crossbreeding” (skreshchivanie). He depicts male colonizers not as violent perpetrators, but as “spreaders of racial mixing” and “the first instruments of physiological and ethnographic popularization.”52 Thus, on both linguistic and conceptual levels, acts of sexualized colonial violence receive an anthropological legitimization.

The historical documents used by Shchapov, many of which were written by the clergy, serve not as evidence of Russia's low level of civilization in the early stages of colonization (which, as we will see, is the case in Iadrintsev and Shashkov), but as proof of miscegenation's inevitability. Shchapov's colonizer who captures and coerces a young Indigenous Siberian woman into cohabitation is just a pawn in the great game of natural selection. He is driven by blood and not personal intent or sinfulness. In fact, Shchapov turns the critical and moralizing tone of the sources against their authors. The efforts of the Orthodox Church to counter interconfessional marriages and intervene in this organic racial merging merely demonstrate the inability of the unenlightened and religiously prejudiced mind to comprehend the immutable laws of nature. Unlike religious readings of lust as a sin, Shchapov celebrates the sexual attraction of men to women as an undoubtedly positive and productive force.

In Shchapov's theoretical model, gendered sexuality and attraction act as primary drivers, and at the same time reflectors, of racial progress. As in the case of miscegenation, the roles of an object and a subject of desire are clearly determined and gendered. He articulates this attraction mechanism in an article on the role of peasant women in the formation of the Russian nation: “The nervous and cerebral system of human nature, like the sphere of feeling, consciousness, thinking, and will, has been one of the most powerful forces in the progressive modification of the general bodily structure and mental development of a human . . . precisely because of its constant excitation by the sexual, physiological, and aesthetic influence of a woman. That's why in the sphere of sexual selection woman has had as much active participation as man.”53 Thereby Shchapov discloses the androcentrism of his theory, for the person whose development is incentivized by women, at least in the heteronormative paradigm in which Shchapov wrote, is typically a man.

A race, subsequently, progresses through men's attraction to women and women's alleged attractivity to men. The “sexual instinct” instigated by a woman's beauty, according to this scheme, serves as the driving force of not only miscegenation, but racial progress. However, it is difficult not to notice the questionable character of Shchapov's proclaimed racial gender equality. Notwithstanding Shchapov's efforts to reclaim women's place in the anthropological history of humankind, the female is doomed to passivity and is entirely determined by men and the “male gaze.” Thus, while men take the active role of agents of sexuality who “fight for women” and compete with one another, women appear as objects of sexual desire and triggers, but not participants, of racial progress.

Despite the obvious gender asymmetry of this theoretical model, Shchapov assigns a special and, arguably, the leading role in miscegenation in Siberia to women. Women, he states, were not passive recipients of men's “natural attraction,” but “took as active a part in the sexual selection as men.”54 According to Shchapov, the folk, peasant woman (narodnaia, krestianskaia zhenshchina) in Siberia stirred “the powerful forces of progressive modification of the general bodily structure and mental development of a human being” because she exercised “sexual, physiological, and aesthetic influence” upon the racial forces of humankind.55

Shchapov's focus on the peasant woman is not accidental, but indicative of the intrinsic link between class and race.56 In Shchapov's writings, this link receives analytical elaboration. Class dictated a certain lifestyle and regular daily practices that imprinted on a physical portrait of a society over the centuries. The peasantry, to Shchapov, possessed specific physical and cultural qualities that were most promising for the development of the entire Russian race. The peasant woman was a laborious farmer who accumulated racial energy and vitality through her daily physical activities. By virtue of these specific physical, class, and racial qualities, the Russian peasant woman acted as a biological container and Kulturtraeger of the best qualities of the Russian race. Due to these inherent qualities, she became an effective transmitter of Russian blood and culture in her new Indigenous family.

Shchapov's vision of the peasant woman's anthropological mission in Siberia went beyond civilizing Indigenous peoples and “ameliorating” their race. To him, she not only elevated the “racially inferior” peoples of Siberia to the allegedly higher level of development of the Slavic-Russian nation, but also brought the latter closer to the most developed human types of “Western European” and “North American.”57 Her special anthropological mission ostensibly assisted, if not led, racial evolution and stimulated the birth of new races, practically making the Russian peasant woman a key agent of the empire's (self-)civilizing project.

It is noteworthy that Shchapov contrasted the Russian peasant woman with the “carefree and wilted” Indigenous woman who led an “idling-nomadic” life. Implicitly, he compared the peasant woman to the “lower” orders of the Russian population, such as Cossacks or servitors who, instead of ameliorating and Russifying Siberian races and cultures, “went native” themselves and thus failed the empire's civilizing mission.58 Thus, class shaped race or predetermined its development, and not vice versa.59

Shchapov also argued that lifestyle directly affected women's fertility and subsequently had a direct impact on a race's ability to procreate and expand. Not surprisingly, Shchapov held Russian peasant women to be more fertile than Indigenous women. For example, Shchapov thought that the poor natural and social environment affected the so-called nativitarnaia sposobnost’ (reproductive ability) of Buryat women.60 In addition to the harsh climate, Shchapov traces the reason for low Indigenous fertility rates to “the low status” of women within their own societies. Mistreatment and abuse of women, in addition to a society's “backwardness,” were paths to infertility, racial degradation, and even extinction. The arrival of Russian women, from this perspective, was a salvation for the Buryat tribe, which in this way received an influx of a “new, refreshing, revitalizing genetic force.”61 Moreover, Shchapov incorporated brutality toward women into his critiques. His approach, however, was rooted in racial and biological (“neuro-physiological and anthropological”) instead of cultural and moral terms, and aimed at relations within Indigenous communities. Nevertheless, Shchapov continued to interpret the violence of Russian colonizers against Indigenous women as a sign of their racial strength and superiority.

Women, thus, played an ambivalent role in Shchapov's theory. On the one hand, he asserted that women were as important in sexual selection and racial development as men. However, a closer look reveals that their role consisted of embodying certain qualities or entities (for instance beauty, frugality, or vitality, but also personifying nation, race, or racial purity or dignity), or evoking certain feelings and actions in men, such as attraction or competition over women. This produced a paradoxical situation where women, while embodying and personifying race, were also excluded from it.62 A woman's importance for the race consisted of her imagined biological and cultural qualities, but racial progress only occurred as long as the male population recognized and utilized these qualities. Shchapov summarizes this essentialist vision of woman as Kulturtraeger who “naturally” embodies and preserves traditions, stating that: “starting a revolution is easier than changing the organization of a kitchen.”63 Needless to say, the ability to register and evaluate these innate female qualities, as well as to determine them in the first place, remained monopolized by men, including Shchapov himself.

From the “Unbridled Animal Passions” to “Marital Attraction”: Russian and Siberian Women in the Works of Nikolai Iadrintsev

Nikolai Mikhailovich Iadrintsev (1842–1894), one of the central ideologists of Siberian regionalism, was born in Omsk in a merchant family that had a connection to the Decembrists.64 Already at a young age, Iadrintsev was inspired by the idea of regional patriotism that some years later would make him, along with Grigorii Potanin, one of the core ideologists of Siberian regionalism. Throughout his life, Iadrintsev authored dozens of texts on Siberian history, the most famous of which—Sibir’ kak koloniia (Siberia as a colony, 1882)—can be considered one of the most influential texts on Siberian history and a bible of Siberian regionalism.65

An earlier article, “Women in Siberia in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries,” is less well known than Iadrintsev's later works.66 Yet I argue that it should be used as a starting point in the evolution of Iadrintsev's views on miscegenation in Siberia, and it provides an insightful illustration of how gender and sexuality were mobilized to criticize the Tsarist regime before race came into play to a full extent.

The article begins with a telling statement that the colonization of Siberia in its early stages brought nothing but misery to Siberian Indigenous peoples and particularly Indigenous women. The reason for this was the “miserable civilization” of seventeenth-century Russian society, manifested through “ignorance, illiteracy, rudeness of manners, and demoralization in public and family life,” which, in their turn, led to “cabals, serfdom, despotism, and oppression of all kinds.”67 Indigenous women, Iadrintsev argues, occupied the lowest position within Siberian society and subsequently experienced “the cruelest oppression in all its inhuman form.”68

In fact, Iadrintsev refers to the same sources that several years later Shchapov “translated” into the language of racial theory. Iadrintsev does not make this translation. He does not (yet) see the kidnapping and sexual exploitation of “Ostiak, Kyrgyz, Kalmyk, Bashkir, and Buryat girls” as an inevitable and natural process of racial mixing, but condemns them as immoral, ignominious, and intolerable. The text does not mention “neutral” terms like mixing or crossbreeding. In contrast, it clearly shows that the encounter between Russian colonizers, who were predominately single men, and Indigenous inhabitants of Siberia, especially women, was profoundly unequal and violent. Iadrintsev even describes cases of women's seemingly voluntary decision to “sell and enslave themselves” as forced by economic necessity and as the only way to escape death by starvation.

Iadrintsev identifies sexual desire, or rather lustfulness and its adjacent qualities, as a root cause of the violence in Siberia. Throughout the article, Iadrintsev chooses various examples of Russian colonizers’ sexual misconduct, describing them as “a whirlpool of immorality,” “wild impulses of unbridled and animal passions,” “bacchanals involving violence and the most disgusting crimes,”69 “satisfaction of one's sensuality,” “depravity,” and so on. The main source of lustfulness and the moral decay it caused were male colonizers. Iadrintsev names servitors70 (sluzhilye liudi) who kidnapped Indigenous women and children for “temporary use” and “satisfaction of their sensuality,” Cossacks who captured women and children “for debauchery” and formed harems to “satisfy their voluptuousness,” and colonial governors (voevody) who misused their positions of power within colonial administration to “satisfy their carnal needs.”71

Iadrintsev's interpretation of men's sexual appetites radically opposes that of Shchapov. While Shchapov holds sexual attraction to women to be a positive attribute of race, and rape to be an unavoidable and natural competition of races over women, Iadrintsev does not conceal violence against women, calling it by its name and harshly criticizing it as highly ignominious behavior. Moreover, Shchapov's use of the biological terminology of racial mixing, merging, or crossbreeding produces an illusion of the inevitable, natural, and neutral character of miscegenation, whereas Iadrintsev registers violence and clearly identifies victims and perpetrators.

Yet Iadrintsev attributed sexuality not exclusively to the sphere of morality. The vocabulary he applied to describe sexual desire and the forms of sexual (mis)behavior indicates that he located sexuality between biological and moral domains and conceived it in both biological and moral terms. On the one hand, he portrayed male sexual lust as a natural need that sought to be satisfied, particularly with regard to the “lack of women.”72 At the same time, however, he presented uncontrolled and brutal sexuality as an indicator of immorality, a marking on the scale of civilization that, in the case of Russian colonizers in Siberia, seemed to be fairly low. For Iadrintsev, a higher level of civilization could and had to be achieved, among other things through restraining one's sexual instincts and passions, “bridling one's animality,” and otherwise covering and controlling what Iadrintsev believed to be natural and inevitable. Inversely, if reason remained untrained, and education and “the light of European thought” were lacking, one's animality “naturally” burst out in the flows of uncontrolled sexuality.

Contrary to Shchapov's Darwinist ethos, Iadrintsev drew his inspiration from the Enlightenment and Christian ideas based, among other things, on the hierarchic and dualistic vision of body and mind, whereby the reason or the spirit is supposed to control the body and its sensuality, as well as to suppress its basic needs, be that food, sex, warmth, or something else.73 In this paradigm, personal and social improvement is achieved through the ascetic practices of abstinence and restraint.

Iadrintsev argued that the “full demoralization” of Siberian society initially caused by the colonizers’ inability to reasonably and civilly dispose of their biology turned out to be contagious and was transmitted to certain women. He criticized voluntary polygamy, practiced among certain Russian women on Kamchatka, with the same passion as cases of forced prostitution of Indigenous women. In this way, Iadrintsev aimed his critique of shameful sexual misbehavior not only at Russian men, but also at certain Russian women. However, he accused them of very different “sins”: men of brutal, violent, and inhuman treatment of women and the “satisfaction of their carnal appetites,” and women of the frivolous disposal of their sexuality. In other words, men's sexuality had to be sanctioned when it became brutal toward others, and women's when it was liberated.

While the dissoluteness of Russian women in Kamchatka was a manifestation of the failed civilization mission in Siberia, Iadrintsev deemed most Russian women in Siberia victims of the failed colonial regime. The Russian woman, writes Iadrintsev, “entered this new land as if to make herself an even greater sufferer.”74 He continues: “The more a woman was oppressed, the more she naturally hated the oppressor and more easily gave herself to another.”75 Instead of tolerating their tyrannical Russian husbands, Russian women ran away into the Kyrgyz steppes or further to Bukhara where they joined local communities and married local men. The article ends with Iadrintsev's lament: “She preferred the Asian, Muslim society, the Kyrgyz yurt, to the slavery and tyranny to which she was subjected in her family and society, and this was her only way out!”76

Similarly to Shchapov's narrative, a Russian woman's body, her sexuality, and her reproductive capacity were key elements of race in Iadrintsev's article. In fact, a woman's body, sexuality, and the ways that they behaved fell under the jurisdiction of their societies’ moral and racial responsibilities.77 However, Iadrintsev did not see intermarriages between Russian women and Indigenous men (inorodtsy) as an opportunity to revitalize both races and spread Russian blood and culture among Siberian “savages.” On the contrary, such intermarriages represented an alarming syndrome of sickness of a great scale—a racial degradation. He argued that the state should take measures against it and prevent it in the future by means of enlightenment and education among its population. Otherwise, the Russian race would literally lose its body parts—women.

Although Iadrintsev's general skepticism toward racial mixing remained in his later writing, the tone and language of its description underwent tangible transformations, primarily under the influence of racial theory. “Debauchery” and “animal instincts” gave way to “marital attraction” and “physiological process” that organically developed toward foreigners on both sides. Like Shchapov, Iadrintsev understood miscegenation as a process of men mixing with women.78 Iadrintsev, however, was far more detailed about the mechanisms of attraction and the ways that sexuality both impacts and is impacted by interracial mixing.

Natural sexual attraction to the opposite race, as Iadrintsev discovered, was an outcome of rather than a reason for racial mixing. Yes, he stressed, the initial cause of Russian men mixing with Indigenous women was necessity due to the “lack of Russian women.” However, subsequent generations of mixed and “pure”-blood colonizers increasingly started to prefer foreigners (inorodtsy) or “mestizos” as marriage partners. These transformations in sexual preferences concerned both women and men. As a result of this century-long mixing, Siberian women claimed to “love a mestizo [karym] and not a Russian [maganyi],” whereas Russian men, according to Iadrintsev's calculations, “increasingly prefer brunettes.”79

For Iadrintsev, these changes in sexual preferences in Siberia were much more than a mere consequence of interracial mixing. They were a racial transformation on the physiological level. He notes: “In the East, the allurement of foreign beauty was as much a purely physical process as it was a manifestation of the feelings of the heart.”80 In other words, instead of, or in addition to, it being a matter of personal choice, bloodlines and biology dictated the choice of a sexual partner.

To support his argument, Iadrintsev turned to a poem by Fyodor Ivanovich Baldauf (1800–1839), an engineer working in the Baikal region and also a poet. In his poems, written in an Orientalist spirit, Baldauf described his romantic adventures on Siberian Indigenous lands. His main work “Avvan and Gairo” describes the love between a Russian man and a Tungus (Evenk) woman. Baldauf's poem makes it evident that Siberia played the role of the exotic and erotic Orient in the Russian Empire.81 The poem describes the Russian man's sexual attraction to an Evenk woman as a “magical flower of love” that grows in one's heart even “in a desolate and sullen Dauria.”82 The woman, too, has all the attributes of the classical Oriental female portrait that Iadrintsev formulates as the “wild courage” and “peculiar charm of a savage woman who gives her heart wholeheartedly.”83 The inclusion of this poem in Iadrintsev's theoretical model, however, extends its interpretation beyond Orientalism as a form of cultural othering and puts it in the service of the racialized theory that naturalized sexual attraction between peoples of different races and obscured or legitimized the violence inherent in such encounters.

Although intimate relations between Russians and Indigenous peoples could be depicted in a romanticizing fashion, Iadrintsev's attitude to miscegenation was critical and largely negative.84 The sexual attraction to (mostly women of) other races appeared not as an engine of racial development, but as a peril to the Russian race. The signs of the racial degradation of the Russian “tribe” could already be observed and, to Iadrintsev, required investigation and counteraction. “With such a propensity of the Siberian Russian population to merge with the non-Russians,” he wrote, “it is necessary to investigate to what consequences, both physical and moral, this merger leads.” The consequences, he concluded, were mostly negative and “unfavorable for the Russian-Slavic tribe.”85

Iadrintsev found that most of miscegenation's deteriorating impact was located in the sexual and reproductive spheres. The first sign of racial degradation he mentioned was the adoption of polygamy and “Indigenous views” on women.86 Iadrintsev offered the example of Russians who became “Tatarized” through contact with Tatars. The “Tatarization” package, to Iadrintsev, included “the adoption of polygamous inclinations,” “voluptuous sensuality,” and “disobedience to Russian Orthodox-church manners and customs.”87 The formula “Indigenous views on women” hints at the fact that this effect was experienced by the male Russian population. This demonstrates yet again how asymmetrically miscegenation functioned with regard to gender and gendered sexuality, and that sexual desire and “views” were a racial prerogative of men, whereas women were to be viewed and desired.

Nevertheless, Russian women's sexuality did not remain untouched by the “contaminating effects” of mixing with Siberian natives. The major negative consequence that Iadrintsev traced, besides changing sexual preferences, was the decline in fertility among Russian women in mixed marriages. This consequence, to Iadrintsev, was “the most disadvantageous aspect of the new race.”88

The extent to which Russian women's fertility was diminished was also predetermined by racial factors, namely which tribes they mixed with. Iadrintsev created a kind of fertility scale to which he assigned various Siberian ethnic groups. The worst impact on Russian women's fertility, according to this scale, occurred when they mixed with “the least fertile tribes, such as the Ostyaks [Khanty] Tunguz [Evenki], Samoyeds [Nenets] and other northern Asian tribes.”89 This hierarchical racial gradation based on fertility rates resonated with Shchapov's geographical determinism that postulated poor fertility among Indigenous women in the North due to their “oppressed state.” Yet in sharp contrast to Shchapov, who believed that Northern societies in Siberia could be revitalized by Russian peasant women's reproductivity (nativitarnaia sposobnost), granted to them by their class and racial advantage, Iadrintsev saw Russian women's fertility as endangered and weakened by Indigenous “blood.”

These radically different conclusions highlight the ambiguity of the role that women's sexuality and reproductivity played in racial and national ideologies, as well as the extent to which this issue could be manipulated. On the one hand, a woman was believed to encapsulate the essence of race and was therefore “meant to” extend and expand her superior race to lower-standing societies. From this perspective, racial features were stronger in a woman than in a man. On the other hand, a woman's role as a symbolic embodiment of race and nation made her and particularly her sexuality a perfect target for potential racial, cultural, or moral contamination, as well as sexual violation.90

Iadrintsev's early writings transformed the motif of deteriorating Russian influence upon Siberian natives and Indigenous women, asserting Indigenous corrupting influences on Russian sexual behavior. Moreover, if the critique of the “voluptuousness” of early colonizers in Siberia was aimed at “educating desire”91 in cultural and moral senses, Iadrintsev's later works presented sexuality as a predominately biological attribute of a race. Such relocation of sexuality and sexual desire from the cultural into the racial and biological domain solidified racial prejudice according to which a race was imbued with a set of essential, innate features that could hardly be changed in a nonbiological way.

Between Siberian Prostitutes and European Knights: Serafim Shashkov's Theories of Love

Serafim Serafimovich Shashkov (1841–1882) was born in Irkutsk in a poor Russian family. At seventeen, Shashkov wrote his first article, “Buryats of the Irkutsk province, their mores, traditions, beliefs, legends, songs” (1858), which indicates his early interest in the lives of the non-Russian population of Siberia. His further intellectual career can be roughly divided into a regionalist and a postregionalist period, with a division line around 1869 when Shashkov was sent into exile along with other regionalists. While in exile, he shifted his focus from Siberia and dedicated his work to general social problems, among other things “the woman question.”92

Shashkov's literary heritage testifies to his deep interest in the position of women across regions and epochs. Two major works by Shashkov, Istoriia Russkoi zhenshchiny (The history of the Russian woman, 1898) and Istoricheskiia sud'by zhenshchiny, detoubiistvo i prostitutsiia (Historical destinies of the woman, infanticide and prostitution, 1898), that he wrote in exile provide cultural, social, and economic explanations of women's “deviating” sexual and reproductive behavior and criticize social systems that, to Shashkov, bear responsibility for women's oppression and exploitation.93 In his studies, Shashkov offered a theoretical footing based on recent developments in the spheres of social and economic science. If Shchapov's main lens to look upon (or, rather, discard) women's exploitation was racial theory, and Iadrintsev operated with both racial theory and Christian ethics, the main optics through which Shashkov analyzed women's oppression became Marxist economic theory.

For Shashkov, prostitution embodied the highest form of women's oppression and exploitation in patriarchal society. Instead of seeing prostitution as a sign of racial or moral degeneration, Shashkov argued that it was an economic institution produced primarily by extreme female poverty. As evidence, Shashkov noted that almost all female sex workers “came from the working class or from poor peasant families.”94 The critical assessment of prostitution and its economic foundations rested at the core of Shashkov's historical and sociological studies and can be discerned in his earlier essay “Slavery in Siberia” (Rabstvo v Sibiri, 1869).95

Although formulated broadly as addressing slavery in Siberia, the article discusses the abduction and sexual exploitation of Indigenous and Russian women by Siberian colonizers. Shashkov characterizes the history of Siberian colonization in racial terms. To him, the Russian encounter with the Indigenous peoples of Siberia was a “clash between two hostile races” that shared the same level of development. This scenario, to Shashkov, was the worst possible one, for it exemplified “the bloody path of domination, covered with the bones and ashes of the exterminated tribe.”96 Slavery, the main theme of the article, is presented as an expected result of such an “interracial clash.”

If Shchapov was clearly convinced of the superiority of the Russian race over Siberian Indigenous peoples and Iadrintsev, by contrast, criticized early Russian colonizers for being bad enlighteners for their own “savages,” Shashkov had a low opinion of both Russians and native Siberians. Although victims of colonization, Siberian Indigenous inhabitants, for Shashkov, were brutal and rude savages. Yet Russians, too, long “nurtured in the milk of serfdom,” had daily experienced violence and oppression and therefore were “slaves themselves.”97 To Shashkov, people socialized as unfree know no other way of social organization, and “respect for the human dignity and freedom of others is only possible for someone who has never carried the chains of slavery himself.”98 Obviously, Shashkov's criticism of slavery did not appear coincidentally in the aftermath of the abolition of serfdom in 1861 Yet, to him, it was not the former serfs and peasants, but the entire society that bore the mark of slavery and its other side—tyranny. And women as a historically vulnerable social stratum experienced most of it.

Shashkov offers several reasons to explain the enslavement and sexual exploitation of women in Siberia that are tightly interconnected but might appear contradictory at first glance. One reason was the previously discussed “lack of women” in Siberia that supposedly “forced” men to kidnap, traffic, and exploit women, as if a man's lust and sexual desire was a burden (however, Shashkov formulates the “lack of women” as an excuse rather than an underlying reason for violence). Another cause was the rough manners and crude morals of “voluptuous and depraved” conquerors.99 Finally, he pointed to extreme poverty among the Indigenous population in Siberia and particularly Indigenous women, caused by a highly exploitative colonial regime.100 The core cause of the economic exploitation of women's sexuality, therefore, was the low civilization level of Russians. Greed for money and women were not only interconnected, but fulfilled the craving for power and satisfied the brutal, tyrannous inclinations of an uncultivated, rough society.

For Shashkov, women and money acted as compatible and convertible resources to accumulate and manifest power, with the only exception that women could be obtained for free by means of kidnapping and later used as “goods” for money-making. A wife could be sold in the case of financial need and another one could be bought or taken by force from Indigenous settlements.101 A practical man, Shashkov asserted, would take several Indigenous women at once for commercial circulation in a place with a high demand for women.102 The higher the status or title of a man, the more women he could have and the more money he could gain. Moreover, lust for profit guided not only men selling wives and concubines for “fornication,” but also customs officers, who would accept bribes to let the “forbidden goods” into Russia.103 This made prostitution and female trafficking profitable not only for the enrichment of individuals, but for the entire Russian state.

Shashkov found the reason for the poor state of Russian morality at least in part in the history of Russian interracial mixing with the peoples from the East, namely with the Byzantines, under the Tatar-Mongol yoke, and with the native peoples of Siberia. In “The history of the Russian woman,” Shashkov postulates that a Russian woman's oppressed state and her exclusion from social life resulted from the influence of Asiatic peoples who mingled with Russians: “Through this mixture of races,” writes Shashkov, “the wild Eastern views on the impurity and inferiority of women, Asian rules, customs, rituals, beliefs, and family traditions were easily established on the Russian soil that had been tamed by the traditions of Byzantine and clan origins.”104 The rudeness and roughness of manners and tastes in Russian society were therefore adopted from the inherently rude and despotic Orient. The colonial despotism that Siberian women suffered under, it turned out, returned to Siberia as a boomerang of an earlier Asian cultural-racial influence upon Russian society.

If the Orient, or the East, exercised a negative influence upon the Russian race, the positive counterexample worth following represented Europe and “the West.” Shashkov did not specify the countries, cultures, or regions that he had in mind. Instead, he drew a picture of an idealized, cross-epochal Europe with sophisticated mores and developed culture. In a sense, Shashkov's theorizing is an emblematic example of how the imagined and demonized Orient produced the imagined and idealized Occident, illustrated by the status of women. Crude Oriental views of women, Shashkov believed, enclosed her in her chambers (terem), made her a sex slave, and made love for her animalistic, primitive, and uncultivated. By contrast, a European woman was liberated from her sexual enslavement and “turned from a bed doll, from a beloved thing, into a free-loving person.”105

A measurement of civilization, to Shashkov, was neither the strength of men's sexual desire nor women's fertility. Rather, it was the quality of sexual attraction and the degree of sophistication, or even the aestheticization, of love. In fact, Shashkov's vision of love and attraction followed the lines of nineteenth-century romanticism that idealized courtly love from Medieval Europe. Russian society, Shashkov concluded, was unable to correspond to these ideals. A Russian woman “could not inspire in a man that romantic love, that enthusiasm, that passion for beauty, that devotion, even to the point of self-sacrifice, which we see in ancient Europe.”106 The status of the Russian woman as an object of men's lower instincts and as a means of achieving physical satisfaction was quite literally embodied in her figure. With disgust, Shashkov described the Russian woman as a fat, lazy, and passive “capon in a skirt,” and love toward and with her as “mere concupiscence and irritation of nerves resulting from the increased tide of blood.”107 A civilized, European-style love, on the contrary, had to be elevating and practically dematerializing.

Moreover, love among civilized races, Shashkov supposed, had to overcome its racial and group inertia and had to be appropriated and directed onto a specific individual. Essentially, the love itself appeared only when the conventionally natural, physical “need of women” and sexual activity was superseded by an aesthetic admiration and “passionate devotion to the beauty” of a particular woman. The love of cultivated races was supposed to leave its racial, generic nature, and become individualized.108

Like Shchapov and Iadrintsev, Shashkov treated woman, her sexual behavior, and her attractivity as a mirror of the degree of social or racial development. He reinforced an understanding of a society or a race that remained male-centered, where men were a society's active force and core agents. Developed races and civilizations treated women respectfully, restrained their “animal instincts,” and merged them into “romantic love.” In their turn, women of civilized races were sexually temperate, yet evoked men's sexual attraction, which served as a driver of progress for the entire race.

Even though Shashkov's scientific goal was mainly to defend women and dismantle repressive social structures that forced them into prostitution or various forms of degradation, the role that he ascribed to them remained effectively passive. The economic theory that Shashkov developed offered valuable explanations as to why women in Siberia and elsewhere often came to be the most oppressed social group. Yet not only did he not offer any solutions to the existing problems, but he also depicted women's economic oppression as a direct outcome of Russian men's interconnected moral and racial “depravity.” In this scheme, women appeared eternally entrapped as victims of men's racial vices.

In terms of racial mixing, women also seemed relevant only as far as men's “views on women” were concerned. Instead of feeling and acting herself, a woman was supposed to evoke specific feelings and actions in a man, elevate his instincts to the level of romantic love, and achieve it not only through her personality, but also her body.

Conclusions

Regionalists’ visions of miscegenation in Siberia and its importance for the Russian race rested on the division of gender roles. The three authors discussed here defined racial mixing as an essentially asymmetrical process in which either Russian men married Indigenous women or Indigenous men took Russian women as wives. Yet the activity of the male and the passivity of the female reflected at a deeper theoretical level their imagined roles in the genesis and development of the races.

These roles, though with some variations, were effectively male-centered. All of them judged race by the actions of men and by the condition or status of the women at whom these actions were directed. Although the regionalists paid tribute to women in Siberian history, their prescribed role for women remained essentially that of a sufferer. In all the discussed texts, woman bore the burden of representing her race and indicating its stage of development. As Costlow, Sandler, and Vowles note, “The progress and development of civilization could be gauged by relations between men and women: primitive societies were characterized by violent, rapacious, and promiscuous male tyranny over women, while in more civilized societies women were treated respectfully, and ideals of mutual love and pleasure were cultivated.”109

For all three authors discussed here, a woman and her body bore a burden of representation, acting as a measure and reflection of Russian and Siberian civilizations. Yet the regionalists’ estimations of the level of civilization, especially Russian, varied quite radically. In Iadrintsev's and Shashkov's opinion, a supposedly oppressed Buryat woman, a “promiscuous” Kamchadal Russian woman, a runaway Russian woman in the steppe, or a lazy and fat Russian woman in a nobleman's chamber (terem) were emblems of Russian social and political crises and at the same time arguments for reform and change. In Shchapov's case, poor treatment of the Indigenous woman signaled the degeneration of her society, which the Russian peasant woman came to miraculously amend and “revitalize.”

This gendered reading of miscegenation was essentialistic and implied that each gender possessed inherent, inborn qualities that guided them through racial (trans)formations and interracial encounters. In the analyzed writings, most of these qualities were situated in the sphere of sexuality. Male sexual desire simultaneously drove racial progress and, if untampered, had the potential to lead the race astray. The assessment of men's sexual attraction to women correlated with attitudes toward miscegenation, and if the latter was positive, so was the characteristic of colonial intimate relationships, no matter how much violence they implied. Thus, the boundary between the constructive “powerful force of progressive modification of the general bodily structure and mental development of a human being”110 and destructive “lustfulness” was thin and, as the variety of regionalist interpretations demonstrates, in the eyes of the beholder.

The interpretation of female sexuality also heavily depended on the author's stance toward racial mixing. In Iadrintsev's and Shashkov's writings, women's sexuality mostly appeared as a victim of men's lust, greed, and immorality. Yet it also had certain qualities that would elevate the race. Shashkov suggested that truly developed people and races (meaning their male representatives) were able to experience romantic love, which overcame the physiological, generic nature of sexual attraction. Evoking this elevating love, in its turn, was a woman's racial responsibility. Shchapov, in his turn, celebrated the women's attractivity (as perceived by men) as the mechanism that drove the race forward. Notwithstanding the qualities to which a woman and her sexuality were prescribed, her main function was to evoke certain feelings and inspire action in a man.

This analysis demonstrates that for nineteenth-century Siberian regionalists, gendered sexuality and sexual desire were crucial forces that powered the incorporation of Siberia, conceived metaphorically and literally, into the racialized body of the Russian Empire. The range of interpretations of and approaches to sexual relations in colonial Siberia found in the texts of regionalists suggests that not only attitudes toward miscegenation, but also toward sexuality, are politically and ideologically loaded and therefore subject to manipulation. Their example shows that even thinkers considered anticolonial and fighting for oppressed groups can (re)produce discriminatory discourses that constitute the coloniality of gender.111 In this way, sexuality became not only a physical weapon of colonialism but also a discursive weapon of writing and theorizing it.

Acknowledgments

The research for this article was conducted as a part of the DFG-funded project “Absorbing the Asian Frontier: Food and Food-Related Knowledge in 17th and 18th Century Siberia.”

Notes

1

Nikolai M. Iadrintsev, “Zhenshchina v Sibiri v XVII i XVIII stoletiiakh (Istoricheskii ocherk)” [Women in Siberia in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries (A historical sketch)], Zhenskii vestnik [Women's bulletin] 8 (1867), 104–123, here 104.

2

Miscegenation is marriage or cohabitation by people of different races. The concept was used in racial theories as well as discriminatory political regimes and ideologies of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and was rooted in the idea of the degrading influence of interracial unions on the progeny. These theories have been discredited in recent years. “Miscegenation: Social Practice,” Encyclopedia Britannica, 20 January 2023, https://www.britannica.com/topic/miscegenation.

3

Among the founders of Siberian regionalism, the name of Grigorii Nikolaievich Potanin (1835–1920) should also be mentioned. However, his literary heritage appears to be less engaged with the issues of miscegenation, although the sources that he collected and published covered related topics. See: Grigorii N. Potanin, Materialy dlia istorii Sibiri [Materials for the history of Siberia] (Moscow: Katkov i Ko, 1867).

4

To ease the readability of the article, the most frequent terms like race, miscegenation, crossbreeding, and interracial mixing are used without quotation marks, yet require critical reading.

5

David Rainbow, “Racial ‘Degeneration’ and Siberian Regionalism in the Late Imperial Period,” in Ideologies of Race: Imperial Russia and the Soviet Union in the Global Context, ed. David Rainbow (Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2019), 179–207, here 185.

6

Ibid., 188.

7

Ibid., 181.

8

To name just a few studies that have connected Western colonialism to racial, gender, and sexual power relations: Anne McClintock, Imperial Leather: Race, Gender and Sexuality in the Colonial Contest (New York: Routledge, 1995); Ann Laura Stoler, Carnal Knowledge and Imperial Power: Race and the Intimate in Colonial Rule (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2010); Ann Laura Stoler, Race and the Education of Desire: Foucault's History of Sexuality and the Colonial Order of Things (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1995); Robert J. C. Young, Colonial Desire: Hybridity in Theory, Culture and Race (London: Routledge, 1995); María Lugones, “Heterosexualism and the Colonial/Modern Gender System,” Hypatia 22, no. 1 (2007), 186–219; Antoinette Burton, Gender, Sexuality and Colonial Modernities (London: Routledge, 1999); Martha Hodes, Sex, Love, Race: Crossing Boundaries in North American History (New York: New York University Press, 1999).

9

Madina Tlostanova, Gender Epistemologies and Eurasian Borderlands (New York: Springer, 2010).

10

David Rainbow, ed., Ideologies of Race: Imperial Russia and the Soviet Union in Global Context (Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2019).

11

On racial terminology in late Imperial Russia and its contemporary meanings, see Vera Tolz, “Constructing Race, Ethnicity, and Nationhood in Imperial Russia: Issues and Misconceptions,” in Ideologies of Race: Imperial Russia and the Soviet Union in Global Context, ed. David Rainbow (Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2019), 29–58; and Nathaniel Knight, “Chto my imeem v vidu govoria o rase? Metodologicheskie razmyshleniia o teorii i praktike racy v Rossiiiskoi Imperii” [What do we mean when we speak about race? Methodological considerations about the theory and practice of race in the Russian Empire], Etnograficheskoe obozreniie [Ethnographic review] 2 (2019), 114–132. For an overview of receptions of race among different intellectual schools and movements, see Marina Mogilner, Homo Imperii: Istorii͡a fizicheskoĭ antropologii v Rossii, (XIX—nachalo XX vv.) [Homo Imperii: the history of physical anthropology in Russia (nineteenth – the beginning of the twentieth century)] (Moscow: Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie, 2007); Marina Mogilner, “Russian Physical Anthropology of the Nineteenth–Early Twentieth Centuries: Imperial Race, Colonial Other, Degenerate Types, and the Russian Racial Body,” in Empire Speaks Out: Languages of Rationalization and Self-Description in the Russian Empire, ed. Ilya Gerasimov, Jan Kusber, and Alexander Semyonov (Leiden: Brill, 2009), 155–190; Marina Mogilner, “Beyond, Against, and With Ethnography: Physical Anthropology as a Science of Russian Modernity,” in An Empire of Others: Creating Ethnographic Knowledge in Imperial Russia and the USSR, ed. Roland Cvetkovski and Alexis Hofmeister (Budapest: CEU Press, 2014), 81–120.

12

Tolz, “Constructing Race, Ethnicity, and Nationhood in Imperial Russia,” 31.

13

For the analysis of entanglements between gender, race, sexuality, and West European colonialism, see McClintock, Imperial Leather; Stoler, Race and the Education of Desire; Stoler, Carnal Knowledge and Imperial Power; and Young, Colonial Desire.

14

Stoler, Carnal Knowledge and Imperial Power, 39.

15

Ibid., 71, 109, 144.

16

Tolz, “Constructing Race, Ethnicity, and Nationhood in Imperial Russia,” 45.

17

Ibid., 38.

18

The differences in regionalists’ attitudes to miscegenation are presented in David Rainbow's analysis of the concept of race in Iadrintsev, Shashkov, and Shchapov's writings. Although Iadrintsev and Shashkov adopted the concept from Shchapov, they developed andreinterpreted it almost beyond recognition. See Rainbow, “Racial ‘Degeneration’ and Siberian Regionalism.”

19

Ann Laura Stoler, “Rethinking Colonial Categories: European Communities and the Boundaries of Rule,” Comparative Studies in Society and History 31, no. 1 (1989), 134–161, here 149.

20

Tlostanova, Gender Epistemologies and Eurasian Borderlands; Stoler, Carnal Knowledge and Imperial Power.

21

Edward Said, Orientalizm: Zapadnye kontseptsii vostoka [Orientalism: Western concepts of the Orient], trans. A. Govorunova (Saint Petersburg: Russkii Mir, 2006).

22

McClintock, Imperial Leather, 24. Also see Tlostanova, Gender Epistemologies and Eurasian Borderlands.

23

Sarah Carter, Capturing Women: The Manipulation of Cultural Imagery in Canada's Prairie West (Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1997), 160.

24

On the detrimental effects of the myth of the Black rapist on Black women in the US context, see the chapter “Rape, Racism and the Myth of the Black Rapist” in Angela Davis, Women, Race, & Class (New York: Knopf Doubleday, 2011).

25

Alain Corbin, Jean-Jacques Courtine, and Georges Vigarello, eds., Istoriia tela: Ot velikoi Frantsuzskoi Revoliutsii do Pervoi Mirovoi Voiny [History of the body: From the great French revolution to the First World War], trans. O. Averianova, vol. II, Kultura povsednevnosti [Everyday culture] (Moscow: Novoe Literaturnoe Obozrenie, 2014), 161.

26

Ibid., 160–161.

27

Ibid., 161.

28

Young, Colonial Desire, 92.

29

Ibid., 91.

30

Richard Stites, The Women's Liberation Movement in Russia: Feminism, Nihilism, and Bolshevism, 1860–1930 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2021). For the relevant feminist agenda, see especially Part II, “The Woman Question (1855–1881).”

31

Afanasii P. Shchapov, “Olga Ivanovna Shchapova: Kharakteristika eia umstvennykh i sotsial'no-nravstvennykh kachestv” [Olga Ivanovna Shchapova: A characteristic of her intellectual and socio-ethical qualities], in Sochinenniia A.P. Shchapova [Works of A. P. Shchapov], vol. 2 (Saint Petersburg: Izd. M.V. Pirozhkova, 1906), 9.

32

Various regionalist movements in the Russian Empire emerged in the nineteenth century, and the Siberian group was one of them. For our purposes, Siberian regionalists will be referred to as “regionalists” in this article.

33

Rainbow, “Racial ‘Degeneration’ and Siberian Regionalism,” 182.

34

On the history of Siberian colonization written from the perspective of its Indigenous people, consult, for instance, James Forsyth, A History of the Peoples of Siberia: Russia's North Asian Colony 1581–1990 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994); and Anna Reid, The Shaman's Coat: A Native History of Siberia (London: Weidenfeld, 2002).

35

Tsarist, Soviet, and post-Soviet historiography has been divided by the attitude toward the Russian conquest of Siberia, whereby the narrative of violent and exploitative colonization (particularly popular in late Imperial, early Soviet, and contemporary postcolonial historiography) is opposed by the narrative of peaceful incorporation and “friendship of the peoples” promoted after Stalin's conservative turn and during the postwar period, as well as in contemporary “patriotic” historiography. For a detailed engagement with the historiography about Russian colonialism in Siberia, see David N. Collins, “Russia's Conquest of Siberia: Evolving Russian and Soviet Historical Interpretations,” European Studies Review 12, no. 1 (January 1982), 17–44.

36

Yuri Slezkine, Arkticheskie zerkala: Russiia i malye narody Severa [Arctic mirrors: Russia and the small peoples of the North], trans. O. Leontieva (Moscow: Novoe Literaturnoe Obozrenie, 2008), 57.

37

Ibid., 41.

38

Willard Sunderland, “Russians into Iakuts? ‘Going Native’ and Problems of Russian National Identity in the Siberian North, 1870s–1914,” Slavic Review 55, no. 4 (1996), 806–825, here 812.

39

Tolz, “Constructing Race, Ethnicity, and Nationhood in Imperial Russia,” 39.

40

Afanasii P. Shchapov, “Etnograficheskaia organizatsiia Russkago narodonaseleniia” [Ethnographic organization of the Russian population], in Sochineniia A.P. Shchapova, vol. 2 (Saint Petersburg: Izd. M.V. Pirozhkova, 1906), 368.

41

Tolz, “Constructing Race, Ethnicity, and Nationhood in Imperial Russia,” 40.

42

Rainbow, “Racial “Degeneration’ and Siberian Regionalism,” 185.

43

Ibid., 183.

44

Aleksei V. Malinov, “Oblastnichestvo v Istorii Russkoi Mysli” [Regionalism in the history of Russian thought], Zhurnal sotsiologii i sotsial'noi antropologii [Journal of sociology and social anthropology] 16, no. 1 (2013), 41–52, here 47.

45

Rainbow, “Racial ‘Degeneration’ and Siberian Regionalism,” 183.

46

Ibid., 182.

47

Afanasii P. Shchapov, “Istoriko-etnographicheskaia organizatsiia Russkogo narodonaseleniia (Statia vtoraia)” [The historical-geographical organization of the Russian population (Second article)], in Russkoe Slovo [Russian word], 2 (1865), 81–107, here 96.

48

Shchapov, “Istoriko-etnographicheskaia organizatsiia Russkogo narodonaseleniia,” 83.

49

Ibid., 82.

50

Ibid., 85.

51

Shchapov, “Etnograficheskaia organizatsiia Russkago narodonaseleniia,” 376.

52

Shchapov, “Istoriko-etnographicheskaia organizatsiia Russkogo narodonaseleniia,” 85.

53

Afanasii P. Shchapov, “Znacheniie narodnoi zhenshchiny v antropologicheskom i sotsial'nom razvitii Russkoi narodnosti” [Significance of the peasant woman for the anthropological and social development of the Russian nationality], in Sochinenniia A.P. Shchapova (Saint Petersburg: Izd. M.V. Pirozhkova, 1906), 32, https://archive.org/details/shchapov2/page/38/mode/2up?view=theater (accessed 3 June 2023).

54

Women appeared quite often in Shchapov's texts, and his interest in the status of women was not limited to the context of racial issues but occupied quite a large part of his studies on Russian history. See Shchapov, “Znacheniie narodnoi zhenshchiny”; Afanasii P. Shchapov, “Polozheniie zhenschiny v Rossii po do-Petrovskomu vozzreniiu” [The status of woman in Russia according to pre-Petrine views] in Sochineniia A.P. Shchapova, vol. 2 (Saint Petersburg: Izd. M.V. Pirozhkova, 1906), 105–153; Afanasii P. Shchapov, “Vliianie obschestvennogo mirosozertsaniia na sotsial'noe polozheniie zhenschiny v Rossii” [The influence of the social worldviews on the social status of woman in Russia] in Sochineniia A.P.Shchapova, vol. 2 (Saint Petersburg: Izd. M.V. Pirozhkova, 1906), 55–104; Shchapov, “Olga Ivanovna Schapova.”

55

Shchapov, “Znacheniie narodnoi zhenshchiny,” 32.

56

Shchapov's idealized image of a peasant woman was probably inspired by populism (narodnichestvo) and was characteristic of the racial vocabulary of the time, in which folk (narod) could occasionally be used synonymously with race.

57

Shchapov, “Znacheniie narodnoi zhenshchiny,” 45.

58

Rainbow, “Racial ‘Degeneration’ and Siberian Regionalism,” 185.

59

More on why race in the late Russian Empire was more malleable than class can be found in Rainbow, ed., Ideologies of Race.

60

Shchapov, “Znacheniie narodnoi zhenshchiny,” 45.

61

Ibid.

62

The exclusion of women from the body of the nation and their simultaneous symbolic function of embodying the nation are discussed in detail by Nira Yuval-Davis and are referred to as “passive citizenship.” Nira Yuval-Davis, Gender and Nation (Los Angeles: Sage, 1997).

63

Shchapov, “Etnograficheskaia organizatsiia Russkago narodonaseleniia,” 384–385.

64

Mikhail V. Shilovskii, Sibiskriie oblastniki v obschestvenno-politicheskom dvizhenii d kontse 50–60 godakh XIX veka [Siberian regionalists within the sociopolitical movement of the 1850s–1860s] (Novosibirsk: Izdatel'stvo Novosibirskogo universiteta, 1989), 27, http://poisk.ngonb.ru/flip236/sib_oblastnichestvo/01/90_13951_Шиловский%20М.%20В.%20Сибирские%20областники%20в%20общественно-политическом%20движении%20в%20конце%2050-х-60-х%20г.XIX%20века-1989/ (accessed 21 July 2023).

65

Rainbow, “Racial ‘Degeneration’ and Siberian Regionalism,” 190.

66

Iadrintsev, “Zhenshchina v Sibiri v XVII i XVIII stoletiiakh.”

67

Ibid., 106.

68

Ibid.

69

Ibid., 118.

70

Servitors (sluzhilye liudi) is an umbrella term for the people at the state service. In the context of Siberian colonization, it refers to the colonizers paid by the state and sent to Siberia to subjugate and govern the local population.

71

Iadrintsev, “Zhenshchina v Sibiri v XVII i XVIII stoletiiakh,” 107–116.

72

As Marianna Muravyeva shows, the argument that sexualized violence against Indigenous women resulted from the lack of Russian women in Siberia is highly unconvincing. Muravyeva says that “lack of women” was a claim of a very specific social strata (namely, the unsurprisingly single servicemen, more than a half of whom were criminals) rather than a reflection of reality. In addition, the situation in central Russia proves that a shortage of women was not necessary for them to suffer from violence, often sexualized. Marianna Muravyeva, “Abduction of Women in Early Modern Russia: Modernizing the Empire,” Russian History 43, no. 3–4 (30 December 2016), 338–371.

73

Notably, Christian moral ideals continued to be significant for Iadrintsev even at the later stage of his scientific career, and he criticized racial theory for its hierarchical treatment of human beings. Nikolai M. Iadrintsev, Sibirskiie inorodtsy, ikh byt i sovremennoe polozhenie [Siberian foreigners, their way of life and contemporary situation] (Tiumen’: Iu. Mandriki, 2000), 162.

74

The idea that Russian women in eastern parts of the empire had an unenviable fate challenged the mythos of Siberia as a naturally democratic region. The persistence of this myth can be seen in some contemporary articles, for example Iu. M. Goncharov, “Zhenshchiny frontira: Sibiriachki v regional'nom sotsiume serediny XIX-nachala XX v.” [The frontier women: Siberian women in the regional society of the mid nineteenth–beginning twentieth century], Sibirskaia zaimka [Siberian lodge], 30 December 2002, https://zaimka.ru/goncharov-siberians/ (accessed 21 July 2023).

75

Iadrintsev, “Zhenshchina v Sibiri v XVII i XVIII stoletiiakh,” 122.

76

Ibid.

77

This motive reflects the larger question of women and their role in nation-building explored by many feminist scholars, including Nira Yuval-Davis, Susan Brownmiller, Elena Gapova, and others. According to these scholars, a woman's body often becomes a projection of national(istic) interests and sentiments and is associated, in both literal and symbolic ways, with the (re)production of the nation. In this imagination, a woman's reproductivity and sexuality must serve the nation, and control over them does not belong to a woman, but to the nation-state (or, as in case of the discussed texts, to the empire and Russian race). See Yuval- Davis, Gender and Nation; Elena Gapova, Klassy natsii: Feministskaia kritika natsiestroitel'stva [Theclasses of the nation: A feminist critique of nation-building] (Moscow: Novoie literaturnoie obozreniie, 2016); Susan Brownmiller, Against Our Will: Men, Women and Rape (New York: Ballantine, 1993).

78

Nikolai M. Iadrintsev, “Russkaia Narodnost’ Na Vostoke (Stat'ia Pervaia)” [Russian ethnicity in the east (first article)] Delo [Case] 11 (1874), 299–340, here 311.

79

Rainbow, “Racial ‘Degeneration’ and Siberian Regionalism,” 187.

80

Iadrintsev, “Russkaia narodnost’ na vostoke,” 313.

81

On Russian Orientalism and the role of Siberia, see Daniel R. Brower and Edward J. Lazzarini, eds., Russia's Orient: Imperial Borderlands and Peoples, 1700–1917 (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1997); David Schimmelpenninck van der Oye, Russian Orientalism: Asia in the Russian Mind from Peter the Great to the Emigration (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2010); Vera Tolz, Russia's Own Orient: The Politics of Identity and Oriental Studies in the Late Imperial and Early Soviet Periods (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011).

82

Iadrintsev, “Russkaia narodnost’ na vostoke,” 314.

83

Ibid., 313.

84

Generally, Iadrintsev's attitude to miscegenation and Sibiriaki (Siberian mestizos) remained ambivalent throughout his life and fluctuated between their perception as degenerate and ideal racial types. See Rainbow, “Racial ‘Degeneration’ and Siberian Regionalism,” 197.

85

Iadrintsev, “Russkaia narodnost’ na vostoke,” 188.

86

Ibid., 335.

87

Ibid., 322; Iadrintsev, Sibirskiie inorodtsy, ikh byt i sovremennoe polozhenie, 196–197.

88

Iadrintsev, “Russkaia narodnost’ na vostoke,” 317.

89

Ibid., 318.

90

On how women become targets of sexual violence because of their symbolic instrumentalization in a patriarchal nation-state, see Brownmiller, Against Our Will.

91

Stoler, Race and the Education of Desire.

92

Andrei E. Zainutdinov, “Sotsiologicheskiie vzgliady S.S. Shashkova” [Sociological views of S. S. Shashkov], Peterburgskaia sotsiologiia segodnia [Saint Petersburg sociology today] 5 (2014), 230–243, here 232.

93

Serafim S. Shashkov, Istoriia Russkoi zhenshchiny [The history of the Russian woman] (1879), reprinted in Sobranie sochinenii S. S. Shashkova [Collected works of S. S. Shashkov], vol. 1 (Saint Petersburg: Tipografiia I. N. Skorokhodova, 1898), 697–889; Serafim S. Shashkov, Istoricheskiia sud'by zhenshchiny, detoubiistvo i prostitutsiia [Historical destinies of the woman, infanticide and prostitution] (1871), reprinted in Sobranie sochinenii S. S. Shashkova, vol. 1 (Saint Petersburg: Tipografiia I. N. Skorokhodova, 1898), 1–696.

94

Zainutdinov, “Sotsiologicheskiie vzgliady S.S. Shashkova,” 241.

95

Serafim S. Shashkov, “Rabstvo v Sibiri (Istoricheskii ocherk)” [Slavery in Siberia (A historical sketch)], Delo 1 (1869), 163–187, https://vital.lib.tsu.ru/vital/access/services/Download/vtls:000623402/SOURCE1 (accessed 21 July 2023).

96

Ibid., 164.

97

Ibid.

98

Ibid.

99

Ibid., 165.

100

The fact that economic exploitation of Siberia was a key historical factor to Shashkov is visible from his article about Siberian Indigenous peoples (inorodtsy) in which the entire analysis of their status is conducted through the economic lens (specifically trade, taxation, and alimentary politics). See Serafim S. Shashkov, “Sibirskie inorodtsy v XIX stoletii” [Siberian foreigners in the nineteenth century] (1867), reprinted in Sobranie sochinenii S.S. Shashkova, vol. 2 (Saint Petersburg: Tipografiia I. N. Skorokhodova, 1898), 548–632.

101

Shashkov, “Rabstvo v Sibiri,” 165.

102

Ibid., 166.

103

In the Russian Empire, there were many inner-imperial customs that were used to regulate trade. Ibid., 181.

104

Shashkov, Istoriia Russkoi zhenshchiny, 752.

105

Ibid., 757.

106

Ibid..

107

Ibid., 755.

108

Ibid., 756.

109

Jane T. Costlow, Stephanie Sandler, and Judith Vowles, “Introduction,” in Sexuality and the Body in Russian Culture, ed. Jane T. Costlow, Stephanie Sandler, and Judith Vowles (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1993), 1–38, here 5.

110

Shchapov, “Znacheniie narodnoi zhenshchiny,” 32.

111

Lugones, “Heterosexualism and the Colonial/Modern Gender System.”

Contributor Notes

Olga Trufanova is a doctoral researcher at Ludwig Maximilian University Munich and a doctoral candidate at the Graduate School for East and Southeast European Studies at the University of Regensburg. In her doctoral project “Absorbing the Asian Frontier: Food and Food-Related Knowledge in 17th and 18th Century Siberia” she investigates the role that food and corporality played in the colonization and exploration of Siberia. Her research interests encompass but are not limited to (post)colonial history, Russian history, gender studies, and body history. ORCID: 0000-0002-2215-3599.

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The International Yearbook of Central, Eastern, and Southeastern European Women's and Gender History

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