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  • Russian Empire through the Eyes of Foreigners: the Image of the Empire in Diaries and Letters of German Diplomats

Student
Title
Supervisor
Faculty
Educational Programme
Final Grade
Year of Graduation
Veronika Petrukhina
Russian Empire through the Eyes of Foreigners: the Image of the Empire in Diaries and Letters of German Diplomats
History
(Bachelor’s programme)
2019
This research focuses on examining the image of the Russian Empire as an intellectual product, created by German diplomats, who served in St. Petersburg in the second half of the 19th century. The high role of images in intercultural dialogue and world politics is underscored by the fact that it is stereotypes that become the basis for the formation of images, suggest the behaviour of the participants in the dialogue in the future and form new foreign policy strategies forming the agenda of world security. During the research, there were raised questions about what images appear from the pages of memoirs of German diplomats in their representation of the second half of the XIX century, how images of Russian society were formed, what features of life in the Russian Empire attracted the attention of the diplomat, how they expressed these images.

This research refers to the theoretical field of direction that studies the concept of “I / Other”, according to the dialectic of which, without an idea of ​​“The Other”, it is impossible to have an idea of ​​yourself, to build a concept of “I”. Such a “Other” for a German diplomat is Russia and Russian society, which makes it possible to contact the source with a question not only about what the diplomat wrote, but also about how he thought, how he described and how he chose the practices that excited him. Thus, in this research, the focus of analysis is aimed at discourse, which was formed by the authors of the images themselves. The microhistorical approach made it possible to see exactly which moments the diplomats were paying attention to, her focus is to understand exactly which practices of Russian society interested them and why, as well as what impressions, moods, feelings and thoughts appeared in their interaction with Russian culture.

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