Abstract

The article focuses on the relationship between the Soviet kraevedenie ("regional studies") of the 1920s–30s and national politics in postrevolutionary Russia. The development of a new discipline and mass movement was grounded on the idea of "krai" ("region") visibly defined in nonnational terms. Yet for a majority of kraevedy the interest in the research and representation of locality was considerably tied to the idea of describing the nation. Organizations of local studies appeared in all national republics and territories and were directly connected to the national institutions. Kraevedenie became a significant vehicle of national mobilization in the Soviet republics and national districts. The Russian territory was not marked with national institutions and the Central Bureau of Kraevedenie based in Moscow also tended to represent itself as nonnational. It aimed to coordinate the work all over the Soviet Union but mostly failed since it was perceived as Russian. The author argues that the upheaval of kraevedenie at the beginning of the 1920s and its collapse at the end of the 1930s were directly dependent on Soviet politics in the field of nationalities. When the number of national institutions was reduced and the idea of the Soviet nation was proclaimed, regional studies' institutions became the subjects of considerable restructuring. There was no longer a place for Russian, Ukrainian, or Byelorussian kraevedenie. Since then it has been Soviet kraevedenie throughout the Soviet state.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2164-9731
Print ISSN
2166-4072
Pages
pp. 209-240
Launched on MUSE
2012-06-06
Open Access
No
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