Alexander Etkind. Internal colonization: Russia’s imperial experience (2011)

Title:Internal colonization: Russia’s imperial experience
Author:Alexander Etkind
Place:Cambridge & Malden, MA
Publisher:Polity Press
Pages:X, 289
ISBN:9780745651293, 9780745651309
File:PDF, 2.27 MB
Download:Click here

Alexander Etkind. Internal colonization: Russia’s imperial experience. Cambridge & Malden, MA: Polity Press, X+289 p. ISBN 9780745651293, ISBN 9780745651309

This book gives a radically new reading of Russia’s cultural history. Alexander Etkind traces how the Russian Empire conquered foreign territories and domesticated its own heartlands, thereby colonizing many peoples, Russians included. This vision of colonization as simultaneously internal and external, colonizing one’s own people as well as others, is crucial for scholars of empire, colonialism and globalization. Starting with the fur trade, which shaped its enormous territory, and ending with Russia’s collapse in 1917, Etkind explores serfdom, the peasant commune, and other institutions of internal colonization. His account brings out the formative role of foreign colonies in Russia, the self-colonizing discourse of Russian classical historiography, and the revolutionary leaders’ illusory hopes for an alliance with the exotic, pacifist sectarians. Transcending the boundaries between history and literature, Etkind examines striking writings about Russia’s imperial experience, from Defoe to Tolstoy and from Gogol to Conrad. This path-breaking book blends together historical, theoretical and literary analysis in a highly original way. It will be essential reading for students of Russian history and literature and for anyone interested in the literary and cultural aspects of colonization and its aftermath.


Acknowledgments … vi
List of Illustrations … viii

Introduction … 1

Part I. The Non-Traditional Orient

1. Less than One and Double … 13
2. Worldliness … 27

Part II. Writing from Scratch

3. Chasing Rurik … 45
4. To Colonize Oneself … 61
5. Barrels of Fur … 72

Part III. Empire of the Tsars

6. Occult Instability … 93
7. Disciplinary Gears … 123
8. Internal Affairs … 150

Part IV. Shaved Man’s Burden

9. Philosophy Under Russian Rule … 173
10. Sects and Revolution … 194
11. Re-Enchanting the Darkness … 214
12. Sacrifi cial Plotlines … 231

Conclusion … 249

References … 257
Index … 283