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278 KUSKOVA, Ekaterina Dmitrievna (born Esipova) (1869–1958) Russian journalist, editor and publisher; independent Marxist and feminist political activist. Ekaterina Dmitrievna Esipova was born on 8 December 1869 in the provincial Southern Ural capital of Ufa, the first of two children in her family. Her father, Dmitrii Petrovich Esipov (probably a member of Russia’s untitled nobility; date of birth unknown), taught language and literature in the local secondary school and was subsequently an excise tax collector until his suicide in the mid-1880s. Her mother, Liudmila Mikhailovna Esipova (date of birth unknown), a Tatar whom Ekaterina resembled physically, died of tuberculosis in 1884. In 1885, Ekaterina graduated with highest distinction from the Mariinskii secondary school for girls in Saratov, a provincial capital on the lower Volga. Either that year or the next, she married her former physics teacher, Ivan Petrovich Iuvenaliev (1853?–1889), the son of a civil servant and member of the Saratov lesser nobility. She had two sons, Nikolai Ivanovich (1887–?) and Aleksandr Ivanovich Iuvenaniev (1888?–1890). After her husband’s premature death from tuberculosis in 1889, and with few career options open to a single mother, Ekaterina resumed her education in the early 1890s, studying midwifery at Moscow’s Vospitatel’nyi Dom (Foundling Hospital). (In Russia women could only obtain paramedical training, since they were barred entry to university medical courses.) It is not known whether Ekaterina ever completed her program. In Moscow, Ekaterina was drawn to the fight against tsarist oppression and in 1893 married fellow radical Petr Ivanovich Kuskov (1868–?), a law student of peasant origin . Although this was a so-called fictitious marriage (arranged for political reasons— not uncommon among Russian radicals seeking to mislead the police), she would retain Kuskov’s name after separating from him a year or so later. Kuskova was soon attracted to Marxism and, from 1895 to early 1896, lived abroad among Russian social democratic émigré communities in Switzerland (Geneva and Baugy sur Clarens). In mid-1896, she moved to Brussels, where she remained until late 1897; towards the end of 1897, she moved to Berlin, where she remained until late 1898 or early 1899. Like many radicals from Russia, where political parties were illegal, Kuskova found a safe 279 haven in these European refuges. In these years, Kuskova entered into what would be a life-long political and journalistic collaboration with fellow Marxist and common law husband, Sergei Nikolaevich Prokopovich (1871–1955), a nobleman of modest income who worked as a statistician and economist (he would later become a well known economist both in Russia and in emigration after 1921). Kuskova embarked on a career in journalism in the late 1880s or early 1890s, publishing her first articles in the liberal newspaper Saratovskii Dnevnik (Saratov journal) (the precise dates are not known). She then worked with the Russian social democratic émigré press in Berlin during 1897–98 (all opposition press was illegal in Russia before 1905). Upon returning to Russia at the end of the century (in late 1898 or early 1899) and settling in St Petersburg, Kuskova played a central role in the Liberation Movement, a coalition of radicals and liberals dedicated to winning civil liberties and constitutional government. After Tsar Nicholas II granted Russia a constitution in October 1905, making political parties legal for the first time, Kuskova joined the Kadet (Constitutional Democratic) Party for a brief period, serving on its Central Committee. However it was journalism rather than party politics that was her weapon of choice in the struggle for democracy and equality. From 1903 to 1907, she operated her own publishing house, producing monographs on critical economic and social issues of the day. She also worked as editor, publisher and/or contributor to a variety of short-lived liberal and radical periodicals in these years. Kuskova joined the ranks of Russia’s burgeoning women’s movement in 1906, signing an appeal for women’s rights published that year in the newspaper Nasha Zhizn’ (Our life), of which she was a founder and editor. In 1908 (either shortly before or soon after moving to Moscow), she attended the Pervyi Vserossiiskii Zhenskii S’ezd (First All-Russian Congress of Women) as a delegate. Kuskova’s feminism, born of numerous encounters with discrimination in both her personal and political life, found frequent expression in her journalism. She championed the demand for women’s equality in the liberal Moscow newspaper Russkie Vedomosti (Russian news, 1908– 1918), as well as in journals such as Soiuz Zhenshchin (Union of...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9786155053726
Related ISBN
9789637326394
MARC Record
OCLC
868217084
Pages
698
Launched on MUSE
2014-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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