Date Thesis Awarded
Honors Thesis -- Open Access
Bachelors of Arts (BA)
Frederick C. Corney
The ethnic composition of the Russian Federation is a product of centuries of colonization polices from both the imperial and Soviet governments. Once the Russian state had solidified around a common national identity, it began expanding into new territories, often forcefully. The tactics used by the Russian rulers were at times that of either pure colonizers or of modernizers who wanted to create complete cultural and religious unity and tolerance within their borders. The changing administrative practices between the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union, as well as the differences in policy within these two specific eras, prevented the stable construction of national memory and identity in the colonized areas. When the Soviet Union dissolved, some of these territories regained the ethnic sovereignty they had lost to the Russians. Others, however, were granted partial sovereignty within the newly created Russian Federation. This nebulous political status created an interesting challenge for post-independence memory construction in these regions. This paper will examine memory creation in the Tatarstan Republic by analyzing different sites that represent particular memorial or historical themes for the Tatars. It is divided into four sections: a discussion of the field of cultural and historical memory studies, a history of the Russian rule of the Tatars and its effect on modern memory construction, the current political relationship between the Russians and the Tatars, and finally, the sites of memory themselves. Ultimately, the complex legacy of Russian rule in Tatarstan has forced the Tatars to deviate from traditional post-independence, nationalistic memory construction, in pursuit of a more appeasing approach when constructing their new national myth.
Argodale, Sarah, "Identity and Memory in the Tatarstan Republic" (2010). Undergraduate Honors Theses. William & Mary. Paper 760.
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