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Medievalisms and Russia

The Contest for Imaginary Pasts

136 pages
Amsterdam University Press

This new monograph devoted to a detailed exploration of the ways in which the medieval past has been wielded to propagandic effect in Imperial, Soviet, and post-Soviet Russia.

From politicians’ speeches to popular culture, from Orthodox Christianity to neo-paganism, the medieval Russian past remains crucial in constructing national identity, mobilizing society during times of crisis, and providing alternative models of communal belonging. Frequent appeals to a medieval Slavic past, its heroes and myths, have provided—and continue to provide—a particularly powerful tool for animating imperialist and populist sentiments.

This study explores persuasive—and pervasive—recourse to tropes concerned with the Middle Ages in Imperial, Soviet, and post-Soviet Russia, seeking to explain why an often romanticized medieval past remains potent in Russian politics, society, and culture today.

Author Bio
Eugene Smelyansky =================

Eugene Smelyansky is a Teaching Assistant Professor of History at Washington State University, and has written on Russian medievalisms for The Public Medievalist