History & Memory 21/2
Special issue: Historical Scholarship in Post-Soviet Russia
Guest editor: Gabriel Gorodetsky
This issue is devoted to a fascinating case study on the impact of political and social change on the writing of history: the changing trends in historical research in Russia following the demise of the Soviet Union. The collapse of the Marxist ideological framework that had been imposed on historiography, along with the new access to previously closed archives and the freedom to discuss previously taboo topics, have led to the reassessment of central problems of Russian historiography and opened new fields of research. Following Michael Confino’s opening article on the current state of Russian historiography both inside and outside Russia, the following five articles consider the main issues occupying Russian historians today. Boris Kolonitskii examines the relations between the official “politics of memory” and historical research in the Soviet Union and postcommunist Russia, with particular attention to the 1917 revolution, the founding myth of the Soviet Union. Teddy Uldricks explores the myth of the Great Patriotic War, which continues to be a key element in the national identity of the Russian people, including the conflicting interpretations of the role of the USSR in the origins of World War II. Vera Kaplan analyzes the changes in both the meaning and the role of the concept of socialism, one of the fundamental axioms of Soviet historical discourse, in post-Soviet Russian history textbooks. Victor Shnirelman continues the discussion of school history texbooks from a different perspective, examining the shift in emphasis from class struggle to nationalism and ethnocentrism. He demonstrates that the aspiration to depict Russia as a homogeneous civilization has led to the biased representation of certain non-Russian ethnic communities. Finally, Yaacov Ro’i outlines Russian historiography on one of the most troubled episodes in Soviet history—the deportation of ethnic populations, the impact of which has continued to trouble Russian politics in the post-Soviet period, and to an extent also the politics of other Soviet successor states.
Table of Contents
From the Editor
The New Russian Historiography, and the Old—
Russian Historiography of the 1917 Revolution
New Challenges to Old Paradigms?
War, Politics and Memory
Russian Historians Reevaluate the Origins of World War II
TEDDY J. ULDRICKS
The Vicissitudes of Socialism in Russian History Textbooks
Stigmatized by History or by Historians?
The Peoples of Russia in School History Textbooks
The Transformation of Historiography on the “Punished Peoples”
To subscribe or purchase a single issue to History & Memory visit our website at http://inscribe.iupress.org.