Eurasian Theory or Eurasian Discourse: the many faces of Eurasia

Distinguished Lecture of the IMPRS ANARCHIE by the Russian Anthropologist Victor Shnirelman
Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Main Seminar Room, 1 November 2017 at 6 p.m.

How has the image of Eurasia as an entity been interpreted, reinterpreted and contested both in time and space? As a political, religious, and cultural symbol, an image can be instrumentalised to serve the goals of various actors. One idea of Eurasia was rooted in the discourse of the late 19th through the early 20th century and given a political interpretation by Russian émigré intellectuals in the 1920s. Eurasianism was the first attempt to develop a scholarly theory that supported the imperial claims of a particular faction within Russian nationalism. From the very beginning this image had two different targets: an empire’s integrity was at stake, and, simultaneously, concerns about relationships with Russia’s close neighbors were growing. Rescuing the Russian empire’s integrity was a core component of the Eurasian idea in the 1920s. (Speaker’s abstract)

The lecture marks the official launch of the new ANARCHIE cohort devoted to the topic of "Representing Domination". It is also the opener of the Autumn School for the previous cohort on "Economic and Demographic Drivers of Social Change" taking place at the MPI on 2-3 November.

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