Ab Imperio 4/2022

Aleksandr Turbin's picture

Dear Colleagues,

The latest issue of Ab Imperio (4/2022) is now available at https://muse.jhu.edu/issue/49443

Ab Imperio’s 2022 annual program “The Rise and Fall of the State as an Institution and an Analytical Concept” is aimed at deconstructing totalized ahistorical narrative of the “Russian state” as the main subject of Russian history. The current issue, “The Role of the State in Projects of Social Improvement,” differentiates the state from other forms of political groupness and agency by focusing on social engineering efforts.

The “Archive” section of this issue features an anonymized diary of a young Muscovite drafted into the Red Army in 1940, who first served as a border-guard in Georgia, and then joined NKVD troops, seeing combat for the last time in May 1944 in fighting Ukrainian resistance. For its mixture of ideological clichés and frank depictions of the often-immoral behavior, this historical source does not fit normative theory of soviet subjectivity. In the commentary to the source, Klimentii Fedevich offers a key to this contradiction by contrasting detailed, almost ethnographic sketches and an obvious fiction under the guise of ordinary entries in the diary.


“Methodology and Theory” section:

“Disentangling the State, the Empire, and the Nation” by the Editors.

“The Russian Imperial Situation: Before and after the Nation-State” by Ilya Gerasimov.

“History” section:

“‘From the Seeds Sown in the Soil’: The Boxer Rebellion and the Awakening of Russian Missionary Activity in China (1900–1917)” by Anastasiia Akulich.

“Border Control and Early Soviet Statehood: The Case of the Soviet-Finnish Frontier in the 1920s” by Oksana Ermolaeva.

“Stalin's Hidden Eugenic Agenda: Debating and Practicing Eugenic Abortion in the Soviet Union, 1920–1951” by Björn M. Felder.

“Archive” section:

“The Diary of a Border Guard” by Klimentii Fedevich.

“From Ch***v’s Diary, 1940–1944”

“Newest Mythologies” section:

“Boris Akunin's Political Novel: Russian Musketeers on a Path to the Promised Land” by Elena Baraban.

The issue also contains an extended section of book reviews.

Ab Imperio 2023 Annual Program “Toward a Postnational History of Eurasia: Deconstructing Empires, Denationalizing Groupness” is available at https://sites.google.com/view/openabimperio/2023-annual-program

Ab Imperio Syllabus module – reading library for your syllabi – is available at: https://sites.google.com/view/ai-syllabus

Submission guidelines: https://abimperio.net/