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Alexander Borisovich Kamenskii
In America today, two communities with sub-Saharan African genetic origins exist side by side, though they have differing histories and positions within society. This book explores the relationship between African Americans, descendants of those Africans brought to America as slaves, and migrants from sub-Saharan Africa, who have come to the United States of America voluntarily, mainly since the 1990s. Members of these groups have both a great deal in common and much that separates them, largely hidden in their assumptions about, and attitudes towards, each other. In a work grounded in extensive fieldwork Bondarenko and his research team interviewed African Americans, and migrants from twenty-three African States and five Caribbean nations, as well as non-black Americans involved with African Americans and African migrants. Seeking a wide range of perspectives, from different ages, classes and levels of education, they explored the historically rooted mutual images of African Americans and contemporary African migrants, so as to understand how these images influence the relationship between them. In particular, they examined conceptions of ‘black history’ as a common history of all people and nations with roots in Africa. What emerges is a complex picture. While collective historical memory of oppression forges solidarity, lack of knowledge of each other’s history can create distance between communities. African migrants tend to define their identities not by race, but on the basis of multiple layers of national, ethnic, religious and linguistic affinities (of which African Americans are often unaware). For African Americans, however, although national and regional identities are important, it is above all race that is the defining factor. While drawing on wider themes from anthropology and African studies, this in-depth study on a little-researched subject allows valuable new understandings of contemporary American society.
This article is an analysis of metadata from 955 closed trials of Soviet people accused of being collaborators during World War II. The trials reveal Soviet officials' understandings of who was capable of collaboration and what kinds of acts were collaboration. At the same time, the aggregate data from trials demonstrates that the accusations were grounded in the realities of the war and were not falsifications like the investigations of the Great Terror in the 1930s.
In 1944-46, five million Soviet citizens returned from displacement to the USSR. They had been forced labourers, refugees from conflict, and prisoners of war in occupied Europe. As they returned, all faced official scrutiny and some were arrested, but the majority of Soviet repatriates went home and not to the Gulag. Repatriation was not an episode of mass repression perpetrated by an all-powerful state. Instead, recently declassified archival collections demonstrate that Soviet administrators and police could hardly keep track of returnees. In the absence of strong state control, the crucible of return was in the relationships between repatriates and soldiers, local bosses, and neighbours. The chaos at the end of the war combined with the popular assertion that repatriates were guilty of collaboration with German occupiers made them attractive targets for abuse. Aspects of this story depended on specifically Stalinist practices, yet repatriation was not uniquely Stalinist insofar as it generated problems found in other incidents of mass displacement, particularly in the aftermath of the Second World War. Rather than exclusively a creation of the Soviet system, the often harrowing experience of return was largely a by-product of war.
Diderot came to Russia in 1773 with A.V. Naryshkin, chambellan of Catherine II, and in St. Petersburg took advantage of his hospitality, as well as the hospitality of his brother S.V. Naryshkin. Conversations with them have become one of the most important sources of Diderot's information about Russia. Over time, their paths as their ideas about the prospects for the development of Russia, diverged, but their ideas about civilization turned out to be closely connected with their reflections on the “special path” of our country.
Early in 1728, in St. Petersburg, Russia, the Duke of Liria—a Spanish diplomat, prominent Jacobite, and an illegitimate grandson of James II—sought to establish a curiously-titled fraternity called the ‘Order of the Anti-Sober’. Using the surviving charter of the proposed fraternal order as a point of departure, this article reconstructs the context and the meaning of Liria’s initiative. While drinking has traditionally been associated with Russia and in particular with the mores of Peter I’s court, this microstudy helps us to see it as a part of European sociable and diplomatic practices of the era. This episode sheds light not only on the broader evolution of fraternal societies in the early eighteenth century, but also on the mechanisms that drove the spread of such forms of associational life across the continent.
Peter I; Peter II;
The chapter by Dmitri Bondarenko, is on the role of historical memory in shaping the relations between African Americans – descendants of slaves forcibly brought from Africa to America centuries ago – and first-generation African immigrants in the USA. Basing on the first-hand evidence from the filed, the author argues that they do not form a single ‘black community’ and that among the reasons explaining this disunity, an important part is played by the different reflection of the past in their historical memory. Most African Americans and African migrants do not have an integral vision of history – of their own history and even more so of each other’s. Their historical consciousness is discrete: there is no history as a process in it, but there are several isolated bright topoi – the most important events. Although all these topoi are directly or indirectly related to the socio-political and spiritual resistance of black people to the whites’ exploitation in or outside Africa, they can be different or be of different importance to African Americans and Africans. There is no concept of ‘black history’ as common history of all the people whose roots are in Africa in the minds of most African Americans and African migrants, especially poorly educated. Bondarenko shows that the key events in African American and African history (namely, the pre-slave trade and pre-colonial period in Africa, transatlantic slave trade, slavery and its abolition in the USA, colonialism and anticolonial struggle in Africa, the civil rights movement in the USA, and the struggle against apartheid in South Africa) are reflected differently and occupy different places in the historical memory and collective consciousness of African Americans and contemporary African migrants to the USA. To some extent, visions of the past promote Africans and African Americans’ rapprochement as victims of long-lasting white domination. However, a deeper analysis shows how the collective historical memory of both groups works more in the direction of separating them by generating and supporting contradictory and even negative images of each other. In general, the relations between African Americans and recent African migrants are characterized by simultaneous mutual attraction and repulsion. Among all ethnoracial communities in the country, the two groups (and also African Caribbeans) consider themselves as the closest to each other; nevertheless, myriads of differences cause mutual repulsion.
This article uses the records of expenditures from a set of estates that belonged to the Golitsyn family to assess the level of ‘routine corruption’ in Imperial Russia in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. The data from these books allow us to identify individual cases of unofficial facilitation payments made by the estates and by peasant communes to district-level officials; to delimit key types of payment situations; and to calculate the sums expended for payments by a given estate in a given year. The resulting numbers are compared to the overall volume of obligations borne by the serfs to the state and to their landlords. Our conclusion is that while the facilitation payments were ubiquitous and accompanied any interaction with the state, the volume of these ‘routine’ payments (as opposed to other forms of extraction) was quite low and they did not put a significant burden on the peasants, while at the same time securing hefty extra incomes for top district officials. Rather, by the last decades of the eighteenth century Russian Imperial officials at the district level might have switched from a tribute-like extortion from the population at large to acquiring vast sums by collecting unofficial payments in more targeted ways.
This article focuses on an analysis of the culture of memory that has developed in contemporary Russia. At the center of the research are the biographies of former collaborators who took part in Nazi crimes and then, after the liberation of Soviet- occupied territories, were mobilized into the Red Army and sub- sequently performed exploits honored by awards. Information that these men were arrested by the NKVD after the war can be found in their personal files, which are not accessible to the broad public. Instead, the fact of their awards and a brief description of their exploits can be found on the site ‘Podvig Naroda’ [Exploits of the People], which has open access. The state memory policy in contemporary Russia, as in the Soviet era, is aimed at emphasiz- ing the heroism of Red Army soldiers; their criminal activities remain in the shadow of the medals they received.
The article highlights the results of field research conducted in Tanzania in August-September 2018, focused on historical memory about Arab slave trade in East Africa and Indian Ocean in the 19-th century and its influence on modern-day interethnic relations in the country.
This paper explores the use of legal imagery in 5th century homilies by Christian authors from Asia Minor writing in Greek. I particularly focus on the idea of legally framed 'redemption' of sinners by Christ.
The present article, based on field evidence collected in 2017, deals with a very recent phenomenon — the Orthodox Old Believers in Uganda. This faith originated in Russia, however in Uganda all its adherents belong to African ethnic groups. We describe the short by now history and current state of the Old-Believer communities in Uganda and then concentrate on their members’ motivation for converting to Old Believers vs. knowledge of this religion. We show that what brings them to Old Believers is the search for the true faith associated with the original and hence correct way of performing Christian rites. In this we see an intricate interplay of the features typical for authentic African cultures and acquired by them in the course of interaction with the wider world. Basing on our case study, we discuss how globalist and anti-globalist trends manifest themselves in the religious context in contemporary Africa.
The aim of this volume is to study various manifestations of how the past influences the present in contemporary African societies and diaspora communities (called so irrespective of the generation of migrants to which the people that form these communities now belong). The contributors look at the role of the past in shaping modern Africa and African diasporas in different contexts – cultural, social, political – and from different perspectives: ‘subjectivist’ (through the imprints and reflections of the past in human minds) and ‘objectivist’ (through the ways by which the social, political, and cultural events of the past direct the processes in the respective spheres nowadays).
This chapter explores experience of the Jewish soldiers of the Russian Army during First World War.
This paper is devoted to the formation of the public debt in Imperial Russia in the 18th century.
One of the most notable events in the cultural history of eighteenth-century Russia is arguably the 1730 publication of Vasilii Trediakovskii’s Ezda v ostrov luibvi (Journey to the Island of Love), a translation of Paul Tallemant’s novel Le Voyage de l’Isle d’Amour. This work, focused as it was on describing and even celebrating the evolution of its protagonist’s amorous feelings, is rightly considered to have opened a new page not only in the history of Russian literature, which hitherto had not known such genres, but also in the history of the Russian language. With its explicit depiction of sexual desires, with its thinly veiled portrayal of caressing different parts of female body as ‘climbing up the hills’ and descending into ‘deep valleys’, this was a text unlike anything the Russians had previously seen in print. It was in the course of producing this translation that Trediakovskii had to codify a new, previously non-existent vocabulary for conducting a polite secular discourse about carnal love and the affective states that accompany it. This vocabulary, in turn, played the key role in the evolution of lyrical poetry and of language of feelings later in the century.
The authors introduce the theme of African futures, and insist on the plural meanings it involves as both a concept and an empirical reality. The relationship between the continent’s futures and its multiple pasts and presents are considered, and the concept of ‘trajectory’ is used to integrate those multiple African realities into an integrated picture of human agency and human
This article uses the example of Arkhangel’sk province in North Russia to examine how the two main parties in the Russian Civil War—the Bolsheviks and the White armies—used elements of nationalism and xenophobia to delegitimise their enemies. It reveals the evolution of patriotic rhetoric, first used by the Whites to discredit the Bolsheviks as German agents, and then by the Reds to delegitimise the Whites as agents of the Entente. In the 1920s anti-Allied sentiments became the main trope in the memory of the civil war both among émigrés and in the Soviet North.
Republican types are understood here as a project of state order that implied seizing political power from a monarch and giving it to the people by means of a coup—either a peaceful or a military one. It is this circumstance that puts republican models aside from projects of state-initiated reforms intended to liberalize but not replace the monarchical regime. A monarch who granted a constitution to his subjects enhanced their rights and liberties, but he did not change their status, since a granted constitution did not imply discussions and approbation by the people. For example, if a benevolent lord replaced socage with rent payments, he enhanced liberties of his serfs, but they did not become free people because of it. On the other hand, republics could have strict laws that limited rights and liberties of individual citizens, but it was thought that the laws resulted from the will of the people, thus the people as a whole remained free. In the first case, liberty was understood as an act, and in the second—as a status.
Unlike constitutional monarchies, which set spatial limits to hereditary power (the private life of the people was supposedly not regulated), republics had temporal limits for elected power, while citizens’ private lives could also be subjected to its control. Titus Livy spoke of a change from a monarchy to a republican regime and explained that “you may reckon...