Call for Papers: Images of Otherness in Russia, 1380-1917: At the Crossroads of History and Politics

Bulat R. Rakhimzyanov's picture
Call for Papers
May 31, 2019
Subject Fields: 
Russian or Soviet History / Studies

Call for Papers

Images of Otherness in Russia, 1380-1917: At the Crossroads of History and Politics


Editors: Kati Parppei (University of Eastern Finland), Bulat Rakhimzianov (Institute of History of the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Tatarstan)

Defining ‘them’ in relation to one’s own reference group – ‘us’ – has been an essential phase in the formation of collective identities in any given country or region. Perceptions of the ‘others’ often have been pejorative as such, stamping (assigning, stereotyping) the representatives of ‘them’ with negative features in order to emphasise the positive attributes of ‘us’. In times of conflict, these perceptions and stereotypes have tended to culminate in antagonistic enemy images.


In the case of Russia, the formation – or rather, formulation – of these binary definitions can be traced back to mediaeval texts, in which religion represented the dividing line: Orthodox Christians versus non-Christians or Christians of other confessions. Along with the formation of national identities from the 18th century onwards, the negotiations over Russia’s geopolitical position and its ‘Russianness’ took place primarily in relation to metonymies such as Europe and Asia. Simultaneously, the ongoing expansion of the empire transferred numerous ‘external others’, such as the Tatars and e.g. inhabitants of Russian-annexed territories in the Caucasus and Central Asia, into internal minorities.


The edited volume in preparation calls for articles that examine the multi-faceted processes of the formation of images and perceptions of the ‘others’ in pre-revolutionary Russia. The proposed articles should address issues such as:

- the contextualisation of perceptions and descriptions of ethnic/religious groups in textual sources at a given time period (mediaeval, pre-modern, imperial)

- visual images of otherness

- ‘internal others’ – perceptions of non-Russian ethnic groups in Russia

- perceptions of ethnic Russians by other ethnic groups of Russia

- images as actors in political history

- images of otherness in relation to nationalism and national narratives

- images and perceptions versus relationships between diverse ethnic groups in real life

- enemy images and wartime propaganda

- theoretical discussions of otherness, with case studies from Russia

Other approaches are equally welcome, as well as those involving multi-disciplinarity. The language of the publication is English. Draft articles written in Russian are welcome; they will be translated into English by professional editors. Only previously-unpublished original articles are welcome. The publisher of the volume will be announced at a later date.

Interested authors should submit an abstract not exceeding 500 words, written either in English or Russian, by 31 May 2019, to Dr. Kati Parppei and Dr. Bulat Rakhimzianov


The preliminary timetable for publication:

31May 2019                 Deadline for submitting abstracts

30June 2019                 Accepted articles for the publication will be selected

31January 2020   Deadline for submitting article drafts

February-May 2020      Comments from the editors, correcting articles for peer review

June-December 2020     Peer reviews, final correction of the articles

2021-2022           Volume publication               



Contact Info: 

Dr. Bulat Rakhimzianov

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