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An Empire of Others. Creating Ethnographic Knowledge in Imperial Russia and the Soviet Union

Dr. Roland Cvetkovski

Roland Cvetkovski, Alexis Hofmeister (eds.), An Empire of Others. Creating Ethnographic Knowledge in Imperial Russia and the Soviet Union, Budapest: CEUP 2014.

Ethnographers helped to perceive, to understand and also to shape imperial as well as Soviet Russia’s cultural diversity. This volume focuses on the contexts in which ethnographic knowledge was created. Usually, ethnographic findings were always superseded by imperial discourse: Defining regions, connecting them with ethnic origins and conceiving national entities necessarily implied the mapping of political and historical hierarchies. But beyond these spatial conceptualisations the essays particularly address the specific conditions in which ethnographic knowledge appeared and changed. On the one hand, they turn to the several fields into which ethnographic knowledge poured and materialised, i.e. history, historiography, anthropology or ideology. On the other, they equally consider the very impact of the specific formats, i.e. pictures, maps, atlases, lectures, songs, museums, and exhibitions, on its academic as well as non-academic manifestations.