Rediscovering Zaporozhians : memory, loyalties, and politics in Late Imperial Kuban, 1880–1914
Title: Rediscovering Zaporozhians : memory, loyalties, and politics in Late Imperial Kuban, 1880–1914
Author: POLIANICHEV, Oleksandr
Citation: Florence : European University Institute, 2017
Series/Number: EUI PhD theses; Department of History and Civilization
Rediscovering Zaporozhians examines the cultural imagination of intellectual, administrative, and military elites of the largely Ukrainian-speaking Cossack colonial settler community on the North Caucasus, the Kuban host, who in the final decades of the nineteenth century came to celebrate themselves as the heirs and successors of the Zaporozhian Sich. Drawing together findings from nine archives, materials from contemporary periodicals, administrative and personal correspondence, and ego-documents, the dissertation traces the emergence and development of the idea of Kuban as a living relic of Zaporozhia during the late imperial period. Inventing the ancient past for themselves, the Cossack elites pursued different goals at once. They sought to secure the Cossack privileged estate status in the changing world of fin-de-siècle, to negotiate more autonomy in local affairs, to lend the Cossack community organic coherence and enhance its morale, to reaffirm the Cossacks’ loyalty to the ruling dynasty. Finally yet importantly, the notion of the Cossacks’ Zaporozhian origin shaped and maintained the symbolic boundaries of their cultural peculiarities. The dissertation looks at a wide array of examples of using the past—commemorations, monuments, regalia, rhetoric and other culturally charged entities—to show how the Zaporozhian myth came into being and what political implications it entailed. Following these processes against the background of political developments in the Russian Empire, this work weaves them into the general fabric of the imperial ideology of the epoch. In doing so, it probes the limits of allowable in the dealing of the central authorities with cultural differences on the imperial periphery.
Defence date: 26 May 2017; Examining Board: Professor Alexander Etkind, European University Institute (EUI Supervisor); Professor Pavel Kolář, European University Institute; Professor Vladimir Lapin, European University at St. Petersburg (External Supervisor); Professor Mark von Hagen (Arizona State University)
Type of Access: embargoedAccess