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Type: Thesis
Title: Writing Russia: Anglophone Historians Discursively Constructing AnOther Nation
Author: Dowling, Melissa-Ellen
Issue Date: 2019
School/Discipline: School of History and Politics : History
Abstract: Writing Russia: Anglophone Historians Discursively Constructing AnOther Nation This thesis investigates how Western historians construct the nation of ‘Russia’ for the Anglosphere, and what histories of Russia reveal about the geo-cultural paradigm in the Western cultural context. In writing histories of Russia, Anglophone historians narrativise the past in a way which constructs a literary rendition of Russia in the Western discourse-historical space. This literary ‘Russia’ is an idea of Russia as a nation emerging from its textual representation. Analysis of several sweeping history texts through the prisms of nationalism, postcolonialism, and literary criticism, suggests that histories of Russia construct Russia in a ‘discordic’ manner. The term ‘discordus’ is used here to describe the tension that exists in the texts of Anglophone historians and the process for reconciling such tension. Depending on the context, the same author can portray Russia as Western or non-Western, European or non-European, homogenous or heterogeneous. As a result, the Russia that is constructed by these historians cannot easily be slotted into a discursive paradigm that is based on the dichotomies between East and West, Europe and non-Europe, nation and region. Historians employ a range of literary tactics to smooth over the contradictions in their narratives of Russia, which in turn allows them to maintain the integrity of their master narrative. This thesis explores these tactics in detail by analysing how different authors portray four key episodes in Russian history: the Mongol invasions, the reign of Peter the Great, World War II, and the Putin period.
Advisor: Pritchard, Gareth
Tubilewicz, Czeslaw
Dissertation Note: Thesis (Ph.D.) -- University of Adelaide, School of History and Politics, 2020
Keywords: Russia
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