Wilson Center Experts

Laura Engelstein

Fellowship
Kennan Institute

Expertise:
Russia and Eurasia
;
Russia
Affiliation:
Professor, Princeton University
Wilson Center Project(s):
Embedded Margins: Cultural Exclusions in Late Imperial Russia
Term:
Sep 01, 1993
-
Jun 01, 1994

Project Summary

The Russian Empire operated in part through the creation of marginalized and stigmatized groups, which helped define the national community by their radical difference and juridical vulnerability. Five of these--Christian sectarians, penal exiles, Jews, Gypsies, and Muslims--will be the focus of this study, which hopes to explain the way in which political and cultural mechanisms interacted in the maintenance of absolute rule. Though they constituted fully developed communities that merit independent study, I hope rather to explore their role as elements in the consturction of the Imperial body politic and to show how the figured in the symbolic arsenal of Imperial Russian self-representation.