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Research areas

In 2019-2021, research is carried on in three areas:

1. Territorial hierarchies and historical and geographical presentation models

This part of the research project aims to study how presentation models were constructed in the case of the history of Russia’s regions within the given period, focusing on the introduction and development of key terminology, such as ‘region’, ‘oblast’, ‘krai’, ‘tsardom’ (tsarstvo), ‘borderlands’ (pogranichye), ‘frontier’. Another study point is how the perception of a certain region has been influenced by crucially important historical and cultural constructs, such as the ‘North’, ‘South’, ‘East’, ‘West’, ‘Europe’, ‘Asia’, ‘Orientalism’ (as defined by Edward Said), ‘center’, ‘periphery’, ‘(might-have-been) capital’, ‘province’, ‘marginality’, etc. We are also interested in mental maps, shifts in terminology and interpretation models in historical perspective. A good case might be found, for instance, in the rise of   the toponyms ‘Central Russia’ and ‘Far East’, or in the contemporary understanding of Siberia as a region vs. the Siberias of the past. By analyzing these views, the Laboratory’s research team aims to find how various territorial hierarchies came to be, rising from authoritative judgments, conventional standards, the distribution of economic resources, and the general context of public perception. We intend to study such processes in the dynamics.

Ekaterina Boltunova

Laboratory Head

Yury Akimov

Leading Research Fellow

Боярченков Владислав Викторович

Associate Researcher

Mira Bergelson

Leading Research Fellow

Guido Hausmann

associate researcher

Fedor I. Melentev

Research Fellow

Galina Egorova

Research Fellow

Лаптев Антон Константинович

Research Fellow

Yerofei Moriakov

Research Assistant

Maria Ivanova

Research Assistant

Maria Dolgova

Research Assistant

2. Political and social practices in Russia’s regions (18th to 20th centuries).

Within this area, the Laboratory’s team study strategies and practices of administration in Russia’s regions from 18th to 20th century. We aim to examine the general and the particular in the conventional standards of administration, to trace the mutual relations of the ‘center’ and the ‘region’ and to assess the interregional relations which do not involve or appeal to the ‘center’. Examples may include making use of already tested practices or extrapolating a practice implemented in one region onto another – a frequent case when the regions were different in historical, cultural, technological and geopolitical sense – such as applying the strategies developed in the area north of the Black Sea in late 18th century to 19th century Siberia. We are interested in the social context which forms the background to regional political practices, and in the responses and reactions to suggested formats and strategies.

Willard Sunderland

Academic Supervisor

Ekaterina Boltunova

Laboratory Head

Norihiro Naganawa

Associate Researcher

Grigory Bibikov

Research Fellow

Soeren Urbansky

Associate Researcher

Elena I. Campbell

Associate Researcher

Лаптев Антон Константинович

Research Fellow

Шевский Дмитрий Сергеевич

Research Assistant

Анисимов Кирилл Геннадьевич

Research Assistant

Arina Fedorova

Research Assistant

Pavel Shashonkov

Research Assistant

3. Reflections on the regions and in the regions

This area of study focuses on the political and cultural reflection on regions and in the regions. On the one hand, it implies studying how information on Russia’s regions was obtained in the context of various disciplines, and presentation thereof (e.g., museumification and visual representations of the regions via maps, photographs, etc.). All of these could be initiated at the local level or commissioned by the center. On the other, we are interested in how the region saw itself and who spoke in its behalf and why. We are focusing on the transfer of ideas, on competing identity projects within the regions. Yet another interest in this area is the rise of local cultural and historical memory, with its mechanisms, social practices and institutes of memory.

Willard Sunderland

Academic Supervisor

Ekaterina Boltunova

Laboratory Head

Боярченков Владислав Викторович

Associate Researcher

Fedor I. Melentev

Research Fellow

Guido Hausmann

Associate Researcher

Norihiro Naganawa

Associate Researcher

Erika Monahan

Associate Researcher

Alberto Masoero

Associate Researcher

Карпич Юлия Владимировна

Research Assistant

Maria Ivanova

Research Assistant

Maria Dolgova

Research Assistant

Elena Mitina

Research Assistant


 

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