Cultivating Nationhood in Imperial Russia: The Periodical Press and the Formation of a Modern Armenian Identity

Transaction Publishers
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Nineteenth-century Armenia was a zone of competition between the Persian, Ottoman, and the Russian Empires. Yet over the course of the century a new generation of Armenian journalists, scholars, and writers worked to transform their geographically, socially, and linguistically fragmented communities threatened by regional isolation and dissent, into a patriotic and nationally conscious population. Lisa Khachaturian seeks to explain how this profoundly divided society managed to achieve a common cultural bond. The national project that captivated nineteenth-century Eastern Armenian intellectuals was a daunting task, especially since their efforts were directed in the Caucasus--a territory known for its volatile history, its ethnic heterogeneity, and its linguistic complexity. Although this cultural and social maelstrom was both aggravated and tempered by the new Russian arena of economic growth, urban development, and heightened technology and communication, diversity was hardly a recent phenomenon in the region; it had been an endemic part of Caucasian history for centuries. Armenians were no exception to this. While the Georgians, bound to their landed nobility, generally lived within kingdoms, the Armenians experienced centuries of forced resettlement, migration, and centuries of habitation among other peoples. Some Armenians had settled in faraway countries, but many remained in scattered colonies within the boundaries of historic Armenia. This is a study of the formation of modern Armenian national consciousness under Imperial Russian rule. The Tsarist acquisition of Armenian-populated territory and consequent efforts to integrate this territory into the empire imposed sufficient unity to provide a basis for a nascent national movement. The particular influences of Russian imperial rule met the Eastern Armenian communities to create a new environment for a modern national revival. This book reviews how nineteenth-century Armenian intellectuals discussed and conceived of the nation through the formation of the Armenian press. This is a rare blend of national culture and communication networking.
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About the author

"Lisa Khachaturian" received her doctorate in history from Georgetown University. She conducted the research for this book in the libraries and archives of St. Petersburg and Yerevan. Her current research interests include international law, particularly the position of minority rights in the Russian Federation.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Transaction Publishers
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Published on
Dec 31, 2011
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Pages
250
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ISBN
9781412813723
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Language
English
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Genres
History / General
Literary Criticism / European / Eastern
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Vladimir Propp is the Russian folklore specialist most widely known outside Russia thanks to the impact of his 1928 book Morphology of the Folktale-but Morphology is only the first of Propp's contributions to scholarship. This volume translates into English for the first time his book The Russian Folktale, which was based on a seminar on Russian folktales that Propp taught at Leningrad State University late in his life. Edited and translated by Sibelan Forrester, this English edition contains Propp's own text and is supplemented by notes from his students. The Russian Folktale begins with Propp's description of the folktale's aesthetic qualities and the history of the term; the history of folklore studies, first in Western Europe and then in Russia and the USSR; and the place of the folktale in the matrix of folk culture and folk oral creativity. The book presents Propp's key insight into the formulaic structure of Russian wonder tales (and less schematically than in Morphology, though in abbreviated form), and it devotes one chapter to each of the main types of Russian folktales: the wonder tale, the "novellistic" or everyday tale, the animal tale, and the cumulative tale. Even Propp's bibliography, included here, gives useful insight into the sources accessible to and used by Soviet scholars in the third quarter of the twentieth century. Propp's scholarly authority and his human warmth both emerge from this well-balanced and carefully structured series of lectures. An accessible introduction to the Russian folktale, it will serve readers interested in folklore and fairy-tale studies in addition to Russian history and cultural studies.
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