In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

372 Рецензии/Reviews исследованиях памяти изучать массовое сознание? Как за описа- нием государственной политики увидеть сложную и противоре- чивую социальную реальность? Как анализировать историогра- фические позиции и весь спектр взаимоотношений научного и политического дискурсов? Како- вы перспективы сравнительного изучения государственных по- литик памяти и общественных настроений? Возможны ли (и в каком виде) неполитический ана- лиз глубоко политизированных идеологических дискуссий и не- нормативная критика норматив- ных подходов? Christine BICHSEL Mark Bassin, Christopher Ely, and Melissa K. Stockdale (Eds.), Space, Place, and Power in Modern Russia. Essays in the New Spatial History (DeKalb: Northern Illinois University Press, 2010). xi+268 pp. ISBN: 978-0-87580-425-5 (hardback edition). The anthology edited by Mark Bassin, Christopher Ely, and Melissa K. Stockdale presents us with essays that aim to explore, but also to demonstrate, the importance of space as a category of analysis for studying Russian history (P. 3). At the same time, these essays seek to go beyond the exploration of terra firma, thus an objective real-existing constellation of material conditions outside the realm of social processes (P. 6). In doing so, they voice skepticism of traditional spatial history in and on Russia with its leanings toward geodeterminism by seeking to explain society as being the subject of its geographical milieu (P. 5). Rather, with the idea of a new spatial history, they aim to “problematize the relationship between society and space as a nexus of interaction and selective engagement, with a strong emphasis on the subjective cognition of the historical actors in question” (P. 7). The editors thus heed the call for a new spatial history of Russia voiced by Nick Baron in a review 373 Ab Imperio, 2/2011 Postmodernism, on the one hand, proposed dissolving of the clear boundaries and preference for fluidity over determination. This, in turn, allowed for transgressing the theorization of space as a container for social practices. On the other hand, postmodernism also stressed the importance of the synchronic over the diachronic (Frederic Jameson), and, accordingly, opposed to stressing the temporal over the spatial. In the course of the past twenty years, space as a category has indeed gained more importance in social sciences (see, e.g., Barney Warf and Santa Arias for an overview).4 The book consists of ten essays grouped under the headings of three themes. The two essays of the first theme “Geopolitical Construction of Space” address the topic of political spaces and their particular discursive framing. Melissa K. Stockdale explores the discursive construction of national belonging by comparing and contrasting the historical prevalence and use of the terms “fatherland ” (otechestvo) and “motherland” (rodina) during the first half of the essay for the journal “Jahrbücher der Geschichte Osteuropas.”1 The present book grew out of a conference on “Politics, Space, and Power in Modern Russian History” held in March 2006 at Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Studies (P. 12). The attempt to write a new spatial history of Russia draws on the so-called spatial turn in history and other social sciences. In their introduction, the editors briefly make reference to works of David Harvey (1989) and Edward Soja (1989),2 often seen as starting points for the “spatial turn” debates (P. 1, fn 2). Equally, they refer to Henri Lefebvre, whose seminal book The Production of Space (1991)3 is very much at the center of the debate (Pp. 7, 11). The term “spatial turn” refers to the reassertion of space in social thought. Its proponents call for a reevaluation and an increased importance of space as a category in social analysis. The emergence of the “spatial turn” relates to the intellectual and political movement loosely termed “postmodern.” 1 Nick Baron. New Spatial Histories of Twentieth Century Russia and the Soviet Union: Surveying the Landscape // Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas. 2007. Bd. 55. H. 3. Pp. 374-400. 2 David Harvey. The Condition of Postmodernity:An Enquiry into the Origins of Cultural Change. Cambridge 1989; Edward Soja. Postmodern Geographies: The Reassertion of Space in Critical Social Theory. London, 1989. 3 Henri Lefebvre. The Production of Space. Oxford, 1991. 4 Fredric Jameson. Postmodernism, or the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism. Durham, 1991; Barney Warf and Santa Arias (Eds.). The Spatial Turn: Interdisciplinary Perspectives . London, 2008 (Routledge Studies in Human Geography). 374 Рецензии/Reviews ence of living in it. Place is where the body is, and it is experienced by means of all the body’s senses. Place is the world as we live it, personal and meaningful” (P. 144). John Randolph explores the politics and logistics of operating the main artery...


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 372-377
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.