Sibir na ruskim mentalnim mapama: imperijalni i nacionalni prostor
Siberia on Russian Mental Maps : The Imperial and National Space
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Starting from the theoretical problem of understanding the nation-building process within continental empires, this paper investigates the various meanings of ‘Siberia’ in the Russian imperial and national imagination. Analyzing discursive practices that create various representations of the geographical space, this study shows the changes in Russian perceptions of Siberia from the ‘alien’ space and the ‘colony’, to an unalienable part of the national territory (‘Russian land’ or ‘homeland’). Tracing the creation of ‘Russianness’ of Siberia, the author interprets this concept as a part of broader debates about ‘Russian identity’ and the relationship between ‘European’ and ‘Asiatic’ Russia. Therefore, the principal aim of the present study is to examine one of the most important aspects of the process Russia’s transformation from imperial to a ‘nationalizing State’.