Thursday, January 13, 2011

Russian Women Travelers in Central Asia and India

The Russian Review for January 2011 carries a study by Katya Hokanson on “Russian Women Travelers in Central Asia and India.” She points out that as the Russian Empire enlarged to the East and to the South in the nineteenth century it brought an increase in travel writing which gained popularity with the Russian reading public.

The perspectives of three women writer-travelers of the mid to late nineteenth century, Elena Blavatskaia, Elena Apreleva, and Iuliia Golovnina, provide insight into the techniques of presenting the expansion of the empire to the public and assimilating the new territories and ideologies as part of Russian history, geography and identity. Women writers themselves were on the increase in the nineteenth century, with many establishing careers as writers and journalists, yet they were still much less common than male writers and their perspectives are valuable, since their subject position could rarely be taken for granted. They had to explain why they were writing, or resort to male pseudonyms, and the maneuvers they employed indicated how they constructed their identity as European Russians first and foremost.

No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments to this blog are subject to moderation, and may appear at our sole discretion, if found to add relevance to the site's topics.