Early Cinema in Russia chronicles one of the great lost periods in cinema history, that of Pre-Revolutionary Russia. In contrast to standard film histories, Yuri Tsivian focuses on reflected images: it features the historical film-goer and early writings on film as well as examining the physical elements of cinematic performance.
"Tsivian casts a probing beam of illumination into some of the most obscure areas of film history. And the terrain he lights up with his careful assembly and insightful reading of the records of early film viewing in Russia not only changes our sense of the history of this period but also . . . causes us to re-evaluate some of our most basic theoretical and historical assumptions about what a film is and how it affects its audiences."—Tom Gunning, from the Foreword
"Early Cinema in Russia . . . reveals Tsivian's strengths very well and demonstrates why he is . . . the finest film historian of his generation in the former Soviet Union."—Denise Y. Youngblood, Historical Journal of Film, Radio, and Television
"A work of fundamental importance."—Julian Graffy, Recent Studies of Russian and Soviet Cinema
Eco-nationalism examines the spectacular rise of the anti-nuclear power movement in the former Soviet Union during the early perestroika period, its unexpected successes in the late 1980s, and its substantial decline after 1991. Jane I. Dawson argues that anti-nuclear activism, one of the most dynamic social forces to emerge during these years, was primarily a surrogate for an ever-present nationalism and a means of demanding greater local self-determination under the Soviet system. Rather than representing strongly held environmental and anti-nuclear convictions, this activism was a political effort that reflected widely held anti-Soviet sentiments and a resentment against Moscow’s domination of the region—an effort that largely disappeared with the dissolution of the USSR. Dawson combines a theoretical framework based on models of social movements with extensive field research to compare the ways in which nationalism, regionalism, and other political demands were incorporated into anti-nuclear movements in Russia, Lithuania, Ukraine, Armenia, Tatarstan, and Crimea. These comparative case studies form the core of the book and trace differences among the various regional movements to the distinctive national identities of groups involved. Reflecting the new opportunities for research that have become available since the late 1980s, these studies draw upon Dawson’s extended on-site observation of local movements through 1995 and her unique access to movement activists and their personal archives. Analyzing and documenting a development with sobering and potentially devastating implications for nuclear power safety in the former USSR and beyond, Eco-nationalism’s examination of social activism in late and postcommunist societies will interest readers concerned with the politics of global environmentalism and the process of democratization in the post-Soviet world.
In this extraordinary and definitive study of the Russian economy from 1600-1725, Richard Hellie offers a glimpse of the material life of the people of Muscovy during that tumultuous period—how they lived, what they ate, how they were taxed, what their wages allowed them to enjoy. Making these determinations required more than a decade of work and analysis of over 107,000 records. The resulting book devotes chapters to each category of consumer goods, in which transactions involving the product are summarized. Hellie further provides notes and commentary on the transactions to locate their place in the full Russian economy.
Impressive in scope and data analysis, Economy and Material Culture of Russia, 1600-1725 will be an invaluable resource and reference work for all readers interested in economic history and the history of material culture. Since there is no comparable one-volume work for any other society at any other time in history, Hellie's is a truly unique and profound achievement.
In 1552, Muscovite Russia conquered the city of Kazan on the Volga River. It was the first Orthodox Christian victory against Islam since the fall of Constantinople, a turning point that, over the next four years, would complete Moscow’s control over the river. This conquest provided a direct trade route with the Middle East and would transform Muscovy into a global power. As Matthew Romaniello shows, however, learning to manage the conquered lands and peoples would take decades.
Russia did not succeed in empire-building because of its strength, leadership, or even the weakness of its neighbors, Romaniello contends; it succeeded by managing its failures. Faced with the difficulty of assimilating culturally and religiously alien peoples across thousands of miles, the Russian state was forced to compromise in ways that, for a time, permitted local elites of diverse backgrounds to share in governance and to preserve a measure of autonomy. Conscious manipulation of political and religious language proved more vital than sheer military might. For early modern Russia, empire was still elusive—an aspiration to political, economic, and military control challenged by continuing resistance, mismanagement, and tenuous influence over vast expanses of territory.
Since the rise of Putin, many have puzzled by the strange affinity of the far right in the West for today's authoritarian Russia. Entangled Far Rights explores the deep roots of this phenomena and reveals it to be a running thread through the entire history of the long 20th century and present regardless of the changing political character of Russia's regimes.
On July 20, 1917, Russia became the world’s first major power to grant women the right to vote and hold public office. Yet in the wake of the October Revolution later that year, the foundational organizations and individuals who pioneered the suffragist cause were all but erased from Russian history. The women’s movement, when mentioned at all, is portrayed as meaningless to proletariat and peasant women, based in elitist and bourgeoisie culture of the tsarist era, and counter to socialist ideology. In this groundbreaking book, Rochelle Goldberg Ruthchild reveals that Russian feminists in fact appealed to all classes and were an integral force for revolution and social change, particularly during the monumental uprisings of 1905–1917.
Ruthchild offers a telling examination of the dynamics present in imperialist Russia that fostered a growing feminist movement. Based upon extensive archival research in six countries, she analyzes the backgrounds, motivations, methods, activism, and organizational networks of early Russian feminists, revealing the foundations of a powerful feminist intelligentsia that came to challenge, and eventually bring down, the patriarchal tsarist regime.
Ruthchild profiles the individual women (and a few men) who were vital to the feminist struggle, as well as the major conferences, publications, and organizations that promoted the cause. She documents political party debates on the acceptance of women’s suffrage and rights, and follows each party’s attempt to woo feminist constituencies despite their fear of women gaining too much political power. Ruthchild also compares and contrasts the Russian movement to those in Britain, China, Germany, France, and the United States. Equality and Revolution offers an original and revisionist study of the struggle for women’s political rights in late imperial Russia, and presents a significant reinterpretation of a decisive period of Russian—and world—history.
The first generation of Russian modernists experienced a profound sense of anxiety resulting from the belief that they were living in an age of decline. What made them unique was their utopian prescription for overcoming the inevitability of decline and death both by metaphysical and physical means. They intertwined their mystical erotic discourse with European degeneration theory and its obsession with the destabilization of gender. In Erotic Utopia, Olga Matich suggests that same-sex desire underlay their most radical utopian proposal of abolishing the traditional procreative family in favor of erotically induced abstinence.
2006 Winner, CHOICE Award for Outstanding Academic Titles, Current Reviews for Academic Libraries
Honorable Mention, Aldo and Jean Scaglione Prize for Studies in Slavic Languages and Literatures, Modern Language Association
“Offers a fresh perspective and a wealth of new information on early Russian modernism. . . . It is required reading for anyone interested in fin-de-siècle Russia and in the history of sexuality in general.”—Bernice Glatzer Rosenthal, Slavic and East European Journal
Through a series of essays, Eurasian Environments prompts us to rethink our understanding of tsarist and Soviet history by placing the human experience within the larger environmental context of flora, fauna, geology, and climate. This book is a broad look at the environmental history of Eurasia, specifically examining steppe environments, hydraulic engineering, soil and forestry, water pollution, fishing, and the interaction of the environment and disease vectors. Throughout, the authors place the history of Imperial Russia and the Soviet Union in a trans-chronological, comparative context, seamlessly linking the local and the global. The chapters are rooted in the ecological and geological specificities of place and community while unveiling the broad patterns of human-nature relationships across the planet. Eurasian Environments brings together an international group scholars working on issues of tsarist/Soviet environmental history in an effort to showcase the wave of fascinating and field-changing research currently being written.
This book makes accessible—for the first time in English—declassified archival documents from the former Soviet Union, rabbinic sources, and previously untranslated memoirs, illuminating everyday Jewish life as the site of interaction and negotiation among and between neighbors, society, and the Russian state, from the beginning of the nineteenth century to World War I. Focusing on religion, family, health, sexuality, work, and politics, these documents provide an intimate portrait of the rich diversity of Jewish life. By personalizing collective experience through individual life stories—reflecting not only the typical but also the extraordinary—the sources reveal the tensions and ruptures in a vanished society. An introductory survey of Russian Jewish history from the Polish partitions (1772–1795) to World War I combines with prefatory remarks, textual annotations, and a bibliography of suggested readings to provide a new perspective on the history of the Jews of Russia.
Innovative poets such as Vsevolod Nekrasov, Lev Rubinstein, and Dmitry Prigov are among the most prominent literary figures of Russia in the 1980s and 1990s, yet they are virtually unknown outside Russia. The same is true of the numerous active Russian performance art groups, especially the pioneering Collective Actions group led by the brilliantly inventive Andrei Monastyrsky. Everything Has Already Been Written strives to make Moscow Conceptualism more accessible, to break the language barrier and to foster understanding among an international readership by thoroughly discussing a broad range of specific works and theories. Janecek’s study is the first comprehensive analysis of Moscow Conceptualist poetry and theory, vital for an understanding of Russian culture in the post-Conceptualist era.
A compelling study of unofficial postwar Soviet art, The Experimental Group takes as its point of departure a subject of strange fascination: the life and work of renowned professional illustrator and conceptual artist Ilya Kabakov.
Kabakov’s art—iconoclastic installations, paintings, illustrations, and texts—delicately experiments with such issues as history, mortality, and disappearance, and here exemplifies a much larger narrative about the work of the artists who rose to prominence just as the Soviet Union began to disintegrate. By placing Kabakov and his conceptualist peers in line with our own contemporary perspective, Matthew Jesse Jackson suggests that the art that emerged in the wake of Stalin belongs neither entirely to its lost communist past nor to a future free from socialist nostalgia. Instead, these artists and their work produced a critical and controversial chapter in the as yet unwritten history of global contemporary art.