This edited volume presents new research on Russian-Asian connections by historians, art historians, literary scholars, and linguists. Of particular interest are imagined communities, social networks, and the legacy of colonialism in this important arena of global exchanges within the imperial, Soviet, and post-Soviet eras. Individual chapters investigate how Russians imagined Asia and its inhabitants, how these different populations interacted across political and cultural divides, and how people in Siberia, China, and other parts of Asia reacted to Russian imperialism, both in its formal and informal manifestations. A key strength of this volume is its interdisciplinary approach to the topic, challenging readers to synthesize multiple analytical lenses to better understand the multivalent connections binding Russia and Asia together.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Imaginations, Interactions, and Realities
Jane F. Hacking, Jeffrey S. Hardy, and Matthew P. Romaniello
Part I: Imaginations
1. "These Great Plains of Russia Were Once the Bottom of the Sea": Peter Simon Pallas, Siberian Geohistory, and Empire
Ryan Tucker Jones
2. The View of the Golden Mountains: The Altai and the Historical Resilience of Resource Imagination
3. Imaginary Travel to Imaginary Constantinople: A Painted Panorama, Periodical Press, and the Russo-Turkish War (1828-1829)
4. Chinese Roads in the Russian Imagination and in Reality: The 1870s as a Decade of Discovery
Part II: Interactions
5. Captivity and Empire: Central Asia in Nineteenth-Century Russian Captivity Narratives
6. Imperial Dreams and the Russo-Japanese War: The Diary of Field Chaplain Mitrofan Srebrianski
Xenia Srebrianski Harwell
7. Bad Medicine: Ritual, Sacrifice, and the Birth of Soviet Sakha Literature
8. Heroism or Colonialism: China and the Soviet Imagination of Manchuria in Port Arthur
Part III: Realities
9. Welfare and Work: Reintegrating "Invalids" into Soviet Kyrgyzstan after the Great Patriotic War
Michael J. Corsi
10. Urbanization, Language Vitality, and Well-Being in Russian Eurasia
Lenore A. Grenoble
11. Evolving Language Contact and Multilingualism in Northeastern Russia
Jane F. Hacking is Professor of Russian at the University of Utah. She is the author of Coding the Hypothetical (1998). She publishes in the areas of L2 Russian phonology and the development of second language proficiency. In 2017 she was recognized for Outstanding Contribution to the Profession by the American Association of Slavic and East European Languages.
Jeffrey S. Hardy is Associate Professor of History at Brigham Young University. He is the author of The Gulag After Stalin: Redefining Punishment in Khrushchev’s Soviet Union (2016), which was awarded honorable mention for the W. Bruce Lincoln Prize by the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies.
Matthew P. Romaniello is Associate Professor of History at Weber State University and editor of The Journal of World History. He is author of Enterprising Empires: Russia and Britain in Eighteenth-Century Eurasia (2019) and The Elusive Empire: Kazan and the Creation of Russia, 1552–1671 (2012).