Introduction: Russian Orientology and ‘Oriental Renaissance’ in <i>Fin-de-Siècle</i> Europe

Vera Tolz

in Russia's Own Orient

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9780199594443
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191725067 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Modern European History

Introduction: Russian Orientology and ‘Oriental Renaissance’ in Fin-de-Siècle Europe

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After outlining the book's key issues, the Introduction offers a brief history of Orientology in Russia in the eighteenth and the nineteenth centuries, focusing on how the establishment of university chairs and departments of Orientology was directly linked to the demands of Russian nation- and empire-building. Particular attention is paid to how, as a result of the activities of the Arabist Viktor Rozen, the study of Russia's eastern and southern borderlands, which Rozen called ‘Russia's own Orient’, became one of the research priorities for the Imperial Academy of Sciences in the 1890s. In showing how Rozen's agenda for Russian Orientology was linked to various pan-European intellectual trends, the Introduction also gives profiles of the main figures, Rozen's disciples, whose ideas are discussed in this book.

Keywords: Orientology; Russia; academia; nation-building; empire-building; borderlands

Chapter.  10717 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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