Article

A contested landscape: Monuments, public memory, and post-Soviet identity in Stavropol', Russia

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Abstract

Much recent literature in cultural, political and social geography has considered the relationship between identity, memory, and the urban landscape. This paper interrogates such literature through exploring the complex materialisation of memorialisation in post-Soviet Russia. Using the example of the statue of General Alexei Ermolov in Stavropol', an analysis of the cityscape reveals interethnic tensions over differing interpretations of the life and history of the person upon whom the statue is based. The existence of a rich literature on Ermolov and the Russian colonial experience in the North Caucasus helps to explain this. The symbolic cityscape of Stavropol' plays an important role in interethnic relations in the multi-ethnic city; it is both an arena through which Russian identity is communicated with people and produced and reproduced, and an arena through which Russian citizens compete with each other for authority on historical narratives that operate at and between a number of scales. People's readings of the cityscape can reveal much about power and space in contemporary Russia.

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“By laying bare the racial fault lines in one community after another, by calling attention to the circumstances of life in the heart of the black community while demanding better, the streets that bear his name are Martin Luther King’s greatest living memorial.” Traditionally, public commemoration in the South has been devoted largely to remembering the region’s role in the Civil War and the mythic Old South plantation culture supposedly lost as a result of that conflict. These memories remain deeply ingrained in the southern landscape of monuments, museums, historical markers, and place names. Yet, African Americans who seek to make their own claim to the South and its history increasingly challenge Civil War-centered conceptions of the past. Perhaps the best known of these struggles involve ongoing calls to remove public symbols of the Confederacy. At the same time, African American southerners are using direct political action to build memorials that recognize their own historical experiences, struggles, and achievements. A major pillar in this trend is the commemoration of another, quite different revolution from that of the Civil War—the Civil Rights Movement. The naming of streets after slain Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. is the most widespread example of African American efforts to rewrite the landscape of southern commemoration. Despite the growing frequency of naming streets in honor of Dr. King, this new cultural phenomenon has received limited attention, even though the inscription of King’s legacy onto streets is a potentially valuable indicator of where the South is in terms of race relations. On the one hand, communities name streets after King as a result of the increased cultural and political power of African Americans and the liberalization of white attitudes. While the commemorative movement is driven [End Page 88] predominantly by the activism of African Americans, there are noteworthy instances of whites not only supporting the cause but leading it. On the other hand, naming streets for King is often a controversial process that exposes continued racial divisions. Black activists who seek to rename thoroughfares that cut through and connect different communities have confronted significant public opposition. This frequently leads to the placement of King’s name on minor streets or portions of roads located entirely within the African American community. At the same time that Martin Luther King streets speak to how far the South has come since the Movement, they also speak to how far the region still has to go in reaching the dream of racial equality and social justice. The emergence of Martin Luther King streets increasingly marks the symbolic place that these streets occupy within the lives of southerners and Americans in general. Martin Luther King Drives, Boulevards, and Avenues are important centers of African American identity, activity, and community—constituting what journalist Jonathan Tilove has called “Black America’s Main Street.” These streets are memorial arenas—public spaces for interpreting and debating King’s legacies, grappling with questions of race and racism. For many activists, finding the most appropriate street to identify with him comes with the difficulty of convincing the white establishment that King’s name belongs on major roads, that his legacy has relevance and resonance to everyone’s lives. To marginalize the commemoration of King on side streets within the black community, particularly in the face of African American requests not to do so, is to perpetuate the same force of segregation that the Civil Rights leader battled.1 Martin Luther King streets serve as points of pride and struggle in the contemporary South. The photographs here challenge negative representations of these roads. As Tilove so keenly observed in Along Martin Luther King, “It has become a commonplace of popular culture to identify a Martin Luther King street as a generic marker of black space and not incidentally, of ruin, as a sad signpost of danger, failure, and decline . . . .”2 Not all of King’s roads are located in blighted areas, and only by exposing and combating that stigmatizing misconception can we hope to show the great potential of placing King’s name...
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Streets named for Martin Luther King, Jr are common yet controversial features in cities across the United States. This paper analyses the politics of naming these streets as a ‘scaling of memory’– a socially contested process of determining the geographic extent to which the civil rights leader should be memorialized. Debates over the scaling of King's memory revolve around the size of the named street, the street's level of prominence within a hierarchy of roads, and the degree to which the street transcends the spatial confines of the black community. A street-naming struggle in Eatonton, Georgia (USA) exposes how the scaling of memory can become a point of division and contest within the black community as activists seek to fulfil different political goals. Analysing these intra-racial contests allows for a fuller appreciation of the historical consciousness and geographic agency of African Americans rather than seeing them as a single, monolithic group.
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This article explores the formation of post–Soviet Russian national identity through a study of political struggles over key Soviet–era monuments and memorials in Moscow during the “critical juncture” in Russian history from 1991 through 1999. We draw on the work of Pierre Bourdieu and Pierre Nora to explain how competition among political elites for control over the sites guided their transformation from symbols of the Soviet Union into symbols of Russia. By co–opting, contesting, ignoring, or removing certain types of monuments through both physical transformations and “commemorative maintenance,” Russian political elites engaged in a symbolic dialogue with each other and with the public in an attempt to gain prestige, legitimacy, and influence. We make this argument through case studies of four monument sites in Moscow: Victory Park (Park Pobedy), the Lenin Mausoleum, the former Exhibition of the Achievements of the National Economy (VDNKh), and the Park of Arts (Park Isskustv). In the article, we first discuss the role of symbolic capital in the transformation of national identity. Following an examination of the political struggles over places of memory in Moscow, we analyze the interplay between elite and popular uses of the monuments, exploring the extent to which popular “reading” of the sites limits the ability of elites to manipulate their meaning. We conclude by looking at the Russian case in comparative perspective and exploring the reasons behind the dearth of civic monuments in post–Soviet Russia.
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Recent geographical literature has given extensive consideration to monumental landscapes and collective memory. Vernacular landscapes have been given limited attention, though they too bear testimony to collective memory. The vernacular and monumental are intertwined in urban space, and ambiguity and fluidity mark their border, yet their distinction remains significant. The monumental sustains collective memory, linking the past, present and future. The vernacular provides spatial forms for the routines of everyday life. Yet, professionals and critics often interpret and present the vernacular as a symbol of collective memory, or a monument, rather than recognizing that collective memory in the vernacular is critical when centered on the complex relation between space and lived experience. The case study of Berlin during post-WWII reconstruction as well as the reconstruction following reunification demonstrates consistency in problems arising from treating the vernacular as the monumental.
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Memory has been figured as an important process of placing and locating people and communities, both geographically and socially. Memory has also been significant in research on people who are not part of a formal record of history. This memory work includes a focus on black identity, especially in the work of Toni Morrison and Paul Gilroy. This paper seeks to examine the relevance of memory and re-memory for the social geographies of the South Asian population in Britain. In the first section I examine visual and material cultures as mechanisms for memory, especially their role in figuring diasporic positioning, and identity politics. These memories are in the form of testimonies and biographical narratives. In the paper I have argued for the relevance and value of re-memory in understanding the narratives of British Asian heritage in the everyday domestic environment. Re-memory is an alternative social narrative to memory as it is a form of memory that is not an individual linear, biographical narrative. Re-memory is a conceptualization of encounters with memories, stimulated through scents, sounds and textures in the everyday. 'Home possessions' constitute precipitates of re-memories and narrated histories. These are souvenirs from the traversed landscapes of the journey, signifiers of 'other' narrations of the past not directly experienced but which incorporate narrations of other's oral histories or social histories that are part of the diasporic community's re-memories. Collectively, visual and material cultures are identified as precipitates of these re-memories in the form of historical artefacts of heritage and tradition.
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In the early 1990s, Russia was depicted in the western media as a country in the midst of major social upheaval owing to its transition to a market economy. The image was one of Mafioso businessmen and oligarchs getting rich at the expense of a society that was wracked by misery, undermined by corruption, prostitution, and drug abuse, and that had abandoned its children and elderly persons. In the first decade of the twenty-first century Russia’s image — no longer one of pity — continues to be simplified: the country wields oil and gas as a weapon, is full of racist skinhead violence, has a KGB-suecessor security service with growing influence, and has returned to the Cold War.1 These images, while not false when taken separately, are nonetheless incomplete. Moreover, their juxtaposition is arbitrary and does not allow for an accurate understanding of the past two decades of development in Russian society. With the western media portraying Russia as a country struggling with its old imperialist demons, it pays to return once again to a detailed examination of the question of nationalism in politics.
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In 2003, about 730 streets across the US has been named for Martin Luther King, Jr., a slain civil rights leader. The renaming of streets for him has been controversial. For one, renaming streets, especially the popular ones, can involve public debate and controversy, and has exposed local racial and political tensions. For instance, the renaming had led to shouting matches at government meetings, boycotts of businesses, protest marches, petition drives, court appeals, the vandalization of roads and other inappropriate acts. The renaming to Martin Luther King, Jr. of sections of streets only shows that African Americans are racial outsiders and that major portions of the larger community are reserved for whites and white historical figures. This has led to renaming of segments of streets rather than entire roads. Some black officials are calling for moving the name Martin Luther King, Jr. to more prominent streets and nationally recognized streets.
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The Caucasus mountains rise at the intersection of Europe, Russia, and the Middle East. A land of astonishing natural beauty and a dizzying array of ancient cultures, the Caucasus for most of the twentieth century lay inside the Soviet Union, before movements of national liberation created newly independent countries and sparked the devastating war in Chechnya. Combining riveting storytelling with insightful analysis, The Ghost of Freedom is the first general history of the modern Caucasus, stretching from the beginning of Russian imperial expansion to the triumph of nationalism after the Soviet Union's collapse. In evocative and accessible prose, Charles King reveals how tsars, highlanders, revolutionaries, and adventurers have contributed to the fascinating history of this borderland. Based on new research in multiple languages, the book shows how the struggle for freedom in the mountains, hills, and plains of the Caucasus has been a perennial theme over the last two hundred years-a struggle that has led to liberation as well as to new forms of captivity. The book sheds light on the origins of modern disputes, including the ongoing war in Chechnya, conflicts involving Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan, and debates over oil from the Caspian Sea and its impact on world markets. Ranging from the salons of Russian writers to the circus sideshows of America, from the offices of European diplomats to the villages of Muslim mountaineers, The Ghost of Freedom paints a rich portrait of one of the world's most turbulent and least understood regions.
Article
In this chapter, seven specific aspects of nationalism, which define the main features of contemporary debate and dissent, are discussed to illustrate the ways in which nationalism currently figures in cultural geography and closely allied fields. To geographers, the most outstanding feature of nationalism is its unvarying claim to a territorial homeland. Tying the nation to territory has often involved identifying a prototypical landscape as representative of the collective identity. The "long-distance nationalism" of "absent patriots" is taken seriously, it is as a novel phenomenon tied to the nationalist proclivities of groups of recent immigrants from formerly colonial countries to the countries of Western Europe and North America. There are cases where religion and nationalism have been almost complete partners, as with, for example, the Greek and other Orthodox Christian churches. Women's roles in politics seem to decline along with the rise of nationalism.
Chapter
Taking Nationalism More SeriouslyNationalism and TerritoryEthnic versus Civic NationalismLong-distance NationalismReligion and NationalismGender and NationalismNationalism and LandscapeConclusion
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According to the Russian NGO SOVA Center, 20 people were killed and at least 148 were injured in racist and neo-Nazi attacks in 2011 in Russia. Although a decline on 2007 (when 89 people were killed and at least 618 injured), the figure remains worryingly high. These people, as well as many others who are not included in these statistics, are victims of Russia's violent geographies of ethnic relations. Through research conducted over the course of two years in 2008 and 2009, supplemented by an analysis of research conduced by NGOs and independent researchers, I document post-Soviet ethnic relations in Stavropol'skii Krai.
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Drawing on the theoretical insights of Paul Ricoeur this paper investigates the geographies of public remembrance in a post-conflict society. In Northern Ireland, where political divisions have found expression through acts of extreme violence over the past 30 years, questions of memory and an amnesty for forgetting have particular resonance both at the individual and societal level, and render Ricoeur’s framework particularly prescient. Since the signing of the Belfast Agreement in 1998, initiating the Peace Process through consociational structures, discovering a nomenclature and set of practices which would aid in the rapprochement of a deeply divided society has presented a complex array of issues. In this paper I examine the various practices of public remembrance of the 1998 bombing of Omagh as a means of understanding how memory-spaces evolve in a post-conflict context. In Omagh there were a variety of commemorative practices instituted and each, in turn, adopted a different contour towards achieving reconciliation with the violence and grief of the bombing. In particular the Garden of Light project is analysed as a collective monument which, with light as its metaphysical centre, invited the populace to reflect backward on the pain of the bombing while at the same time enabling the society to look forward toward a peaceful future where a politics of hope might eclipse a politics of despair.
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This paper examines the commemoration of the Second World War in the non-Western context of Singapore. It argues that the Singaporean state has viewed the war-fought when Singapore was still part of a larger colonial entity that was British Malaya-as a means of raising the awareness of a ‘shared history’ among its citizens. We first outline how the task of appropriating Singaporean war memory in the postcolonial present may be potentially inflected by a myriad of local as well as transnational challenges. Then, drawing on one particular national memoryscape dedicated to the war, the Reflections at Bukit Chandu, we explore some of the strategies the state has adopted to mitigate these. Finally, we illustrate, from visitors’ perspectives, how contestations over the site’s (post)colonial geography, history and representations of race have continued to make the site highly contentious. On a larger canvas, we demonstrate how national appropriations of the past can become fraught ‘battlefields’ of collective memories from ‘within’ as well as ‘without’ the nation.
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Good old Russia! So it really does belong to Europe. And I'd always thought that was just a mistake of the geographers. (Alexander Pushkin [quoted from Susan Layton, Russian Literature and Empire: Conquest of the Caucasus from Pushkin to Tolstoy [Cambridge, 1994], p. 86)
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Since the 19th century at least public monuments have been the foci for collective participation in the politics and public life of villages, towns, and cities. They have acted as important centres around which local and national political and cultural positions have been articulated. Monuments are an important, but underutilised, resource for the geographer interested in debates surrounding national identity. Through a variety of examples, the ways are explored in which examinations of the sociology, iconography, spatialisation, and gendering of statues reveal important ways in which national "imagined communitiies' are constructed. -Author
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The renaming of streets is a significant, if often overlooked, aspect of post-socialist change in Central and Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union. Such renamings are one manifestation of the ‘reconfiguring’ of both space and history which is a central component of post-socialist transformations. Street name changes are part of the process of creating new public iconographic landscapes which accord with the values of post-socialist regimes and the study of such changes can offer significant insights into ways in which post-socialist states are redefining national identities and national pasts. This paper focuses on the renaming of streets in Bucharest, Romania over the 1990–1997 period as one component of the ‘modern historical geographies’ of post-socialist change. A central theme in street name changes has been the evocation of the pre-socialist period, which has been increasingly constructed in terms of Romania's ‘Golden Age’.
Article
In this paper I explore the role of public statuary in constructing a heroic analysis of the past through an examination of the centenary celebrations staged to commemorate the 1798 rebellion in Ireland. Monuments entered the area of public, secular space in Ireland mainly during the nineteenth century. It was not until the latter decades of that century that nationalist statuary, which sought to elaborate Ireland's quest for political independence, emerged. The significance of these monuments rests, I argue, in their popular appeal and the debates that surrounded their construction and unveiling. Although an alliance of nationalist interests was achieved during the centenary celebrations, this paper emphasizes the tentative nature of that alliance and the gendered iconography and discourse surrounding the statues themselves.
Article
Memory and nostalgia have attracted an increasing amount of critical interest in recent years. Whereas sites of memory often invoke, but also extend far beyond, spaces of home, nostalgia invokes home in its very meaning. And yet, whereas spatial narratives explore the sites and landscapes of memory, nostalgia is usually described in temporal terms rather than in spatial terms and is understood as a wider "desire for desire" [Stewart S, 1993 On Longing: Narratives of the Miniature, the Gigantic, the Souvenir, the Collection (Duke University Press, Durham, NC), page 23] rather than as a desire for home. In this paper I show how memory and nostalgia informed the establishment and promotion of an Anglo-Indian homeland called McCluskieganj in Bihar in the 1930s. Homemaking at McCluskieganj was enacted in gendered and racialized ways that inscribed and yet erased the collective memory of mixed descent shared by its Anglo-Indian residents. Whereas an imperial lineage was imagined through the figure of a British forefather, an Indian maternal ancestor was more usually refigured as Mother India. In this paper I examine Anglo-Indian homemaking at McCluskieganj in terms of productive nostalgia. First, rather than a nostalgic desire for home being apolitical or confining, settlement at McCluskieganj showed its liberatory potential for Anglo-Indians. Second, rather than focus on nostalgia solely in narrative or the imagination, I show that productive nostalgia implies its embodiment and enactment in practice. Third, rather than nostalgia being seen in terms of loss, mourning, and the impossibility of return, productive nostalgia is oriented towards the present and the future as well as towards the past. Fourth, rather than focus on the temporality of home as a site of origin and an unattainable past, I show how productive nostalgia refocuses on the desire for both proximate homes and more distant homes. Anglo-Indian homemaking at McCluskieganj enacted a productive nostalgia that was oriented towards the present and future as well as towards the past, and revealed an attachment to both India and Britain as home.
Book
In tracing the process through which monuments give rise to collective memories, this path-breaking book emphasizes that memorials are not just inert and amnesiac spaces upon which individuals may graft their ever-shifting memories. To the contrary, the materiality of monuments can be seen to elicit a particular collective mode of remembering which shapes the consumption of the past as a shared cultural form of memory. In a variety of disciplines over the past decade, attention has moved away from the oral tradition of memory to the interplay between social remembering and object worlds. But research is very sketchy in this area and the materiality of monuments has tended to be ignored within anthropological literature, compared to the amount of attention given to commemorative practice. Art and architectural history, on the other hand, have been much interested in memorial representation through objects, but have paid scant attention to issues of social memory. Cross-cultural and interdisciplinary in scope, this book fills this gap and addresses topics ranging from material objects to physical space; from the contemporary to the historical; and from 'high art' to memorials outside the category of art altogether. In so doing, it represents a significant contribution to an emerging field.
Article
In the summer of 2007, the geopolitics of Russo-North Caucasian relations were once again manifest in inter-ethnic violence. During the course of six weeks of rioting between ethnic Russian (russkii) and non-ethnic Russian (rossiiskii) citizens, three students were killed (one Chechen and two Russians) and pogroms were conducted widely. This article addresses these events through a focus on the nature and politics of the riots and those involved. I argue that a range of tensions came together to form a localised geopolitics, and that this contributes to an understanding of why these events took place. Ultimately, the riots are important as an event which reveals much about the complexity of power, space, and identity in contemporary Russia.
Article
Since the fall of the Communist government in 1989, Hungary's political monuments and historical shrines have undergone great change. Although popular attention focused on the removal of overtly political monuments, new shrines were also created, and forgotten memorials were restored. In a departure from earlier political eras, decisions about contested places are issuing from local authorities and private citizens, rather than from the central government. The result is a sometimes subtle rearrangement of public memorials and shrines that interprets the national past by drawing symbolic and spatial parallels between some historical events while rejecting connections among others. The meanings of events and places, particularly those linked to twentieth-century wartime and civil upheavals, remain contested.
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Article
This essay examines the monument constructed by the Italian state in the center of Rome to commemorate Vittorio-Emanuele II, first king of united Italy. Opened in 1911 and constructed in the Beaux-Arts architectural style popular at that time as appropriately “imperial” for urban monuments throughout the West, the Vittoriano's symbolism and iconography produce a “memory theater” through which the official rhetoric of a united and imperial Italy was intended to be conveyed to the nation.Yet despite attempts by succeeding governments to promote it as a dignified and sacred center of the city, the nation, and the short-lived Italian empire, the monument has been derided throughout its history. Concentrating on “official culture,” we analyze the form and iconography of the monument, trace the various planning interventions made by both Liberal and Fascist governments between the wars that emphasized the Vittoriano's centrality within urban space and Italian territory, and comment on its use by the Italian dictator, Benito Mussolini, to promote an imperial spatiality through his performative rhetoric, which often unfolded while facing the monument in the Piazza Venezia. While urbanistic and territorial interventions emphasized horizontal axialities, burial and construction of a crypt for Italy's Unknown Soldier at the monument produced a vertical axis that linked military sacrifice and past heroism to aerial flight and future victory within the Fascist cult of male youth.
Article
This paper analyzes the link between the changing geographical scale of dominant ideologies in Russian society and the architectural scales of different versions of the preeminent national monument, the Cathedral of Christ the Savior. The history of this process of national monumentalization in Russia is profiled by focusing on mutual influences between processes at these two scales, and the interplay between the state, society, and the Russian Orthodox Church. Within the context of the new Cathedral, ongoing but nevertheless underestimated pre-Soviet and post-Soviet antireligious practices are revealed through an analysis of the politics of scale that shaped the monumentos meanings at different historical periods. Thus, the paper also attempts to contribute to the understanding of the importance of scale in politicogeographical studies.
Book
Since the collapse of the USSR there has been a growing interest in the Stolypin Land Reform as a possible model for post-Communist agrarian development. Using recent theoretical and empirical advances in Anglo-American research, Dr Pallot examines how peasants throughout Russia received, interpreted, and acted upon the government's attempts to persuade them to quit the commune and set up independent farms. She shows how a majority of peasants failed to interpret the Reform in the way its authors had expected, with outcomes that varied both temporally and geographically. The result challenges existing texts which either concentrate on the policy side of the Reform or, if they engage with its results, use aggregated, official statistics which, this text argues, are unreliable indicators of the pre-revolutionary peasants reception of the Reform. Available in OSO: http://www.oxfordscholarship.com/oso/public/content/history/9780198206569/toc.html
Article
Public monuments to significant individuals or to political concepts are all too familiar. But the notions underlying them are not so obvious. Sergiusz Michalski traces the history of the public monument from the 1870s, when erecting them became an artistic, political and social pre-occupation, to today when the distinction between public monuments and public sculpture is increasingly blurred. The author shows how, in its golden age – up until 1914 – the public monument served the purpose of both education and legitimization. The French Third Republic, for example, envisaged the monument as a symbol of bourgeois meritocracy. In more recent decades, the public monument has been charged with the task of commemorating and symbolizing one of humankind's most terrible catastrophes - the Holocaust. Today, although the artistic failure of countless European war memorials has signaled the beginning of the demise of the public monument in the West, it continues to flourish elsewhere, commemorating despotic leaders from Kim Il Sung to Saddam Hussein.
Article
There's a concept I find myself coming back to again and again—"speciation." It's drawn from the vocabulary of evolutionary biology and means, roughly, the process by which new species arise. Speciation occurs when a species must adapt to new circumstances; the more new circumstances, the more new species. Thus one kind of Finch (to take a relevant example) becomes many kinds of Finches when those Finches are compelled to adapt to the circumstances presented by, say, a set of different Islands. To each Island its own Finch. The same process occurs in human history though we don't really have a name for it (though "ethnogenesis" comes close). When people of one culture spread to many different locales, their cultures "speciate," that is, become adapted to those new locales and thereby differentiate from the "parent" culture. This process can be very striking in places places where lots of different locales (however defined) are packed into a tiny geographic area. So it is in the Caucasus. Its geography is remarkably diverse, the result being a plethora of what are (to continue the analogy) separate ecological islands. As people moved from island to island, they speciated: their cultures adapted to local conditions and differentiated. To each island its own culture. This is why the Caucasus, though small, is so remarkably complex: it presents huge variety in a small space. And it is this complexity, together with the fact that the Caucusus stands at the nexus of three major empires (the Persian, Turkish, and Russian), that make its story so complicated. There are just a lot of moving parts in the "system." Happily, we have Charles King to help us make sense of it all. In The Ghost of Freedom: A History of the Caucasus (Oxford, 2008), he draws together the many threads of Caucasian history into one rich, dense, though supple cloth. Much of the considerable beauty of this book is found precisely in Charles' ability to weave many complicated themes into one easy-to-follow story, and all in artful but not arty prose. This is a book you can read. Charles also pays considerable attention to the imaginary Caucusus, that is, the one that lived in the heads of the Persian, Turkish, and Russia imperialists who dominated the place for centuries, and the one that, at least in my case, continues to lead and mislead today. Suffice it to say that what you think you know about the Caucusus, you probably don't. So I suggest you pick up this book and let Charles remove the scales from your eyes. It's an enjoyable experience.
Article
From reviews of the first edition: "This splendid, well-written, amply documented volume is remarkable in several respects, including the fact that, despite being the first extended treatment of its subject, it is likely to remain the definitive one." —Professional Geographer "A fascinating look at the American obsession with historically violent and tragic places." —Western Historical Quarterly "Attitudes, values, beliefs, and experiences all play a part in the national collective unconscious that leads some sites to be sanctified, others to be obliterated, and still others to be ignored. Foote provides a valuable perspective on this process in a well-written and thoroughly illustrated book that offers a provocative theoretical perspective on the imprinting of historical memory on the American landscape." —Public Historian "[This] is an erudite history and description of how Americans have, or have not, interpreted/recognized the meaning of violent and tragic events throughout their history." —Space and Culture Shadowed Ground explores how and why Americans have memorialized—or not—the sites of tragic and violent events spanning three centuries of history and every region of the country. For this revised edition, Kenneth Foote has written a new concluding chapter that looks at the evolving responses to recent acts of violence and terror, including the destruction of the Branch Davidian compound at Waco, Texas, the Oklahoma City bombing, the Columbine High School massacre, and the terrorist attacks of 9/11. Kenneth E. Foote is Professor and Chair of Geography at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he directs the Center for Geographic Education.
Article
Book description: This is the first book to examine the nature of the highly distinctive leader cults of 'High Stalinism' in the USSR and Eastern Europe as a political, sociological and cultural phenomenon. It explores the way the leader cult was established and its operation and function within these states. It examines the way in which the cults were produced and disseminated, their place in art and literature, the reception of the cult and its adaptation for different audiences, including children and different national groups. It looks at the way the Stalin cult was exported to the communist states of Eastern Europe, and examines the highly distinctive cults which developed around figures such as Rákosi in Hungary, Bierut in Poland, Tito in Yugoslavia and Hoxha in Albania. The book examines the impact of de-Stalinisation on these cults, the conflicting responses to this process, and the survival of aspects of the cult.
Article
Yes The Russo-Chechen conflict, arguably the bloodiest confrontation in Europe since World War II, only attracts the attention of the Western media when the Chechens stage terrorist ‘spectaculars’ such as the ‘Nord-Ost’ or Beslan school sieges. Putin’s uncompromisingly tough line against the Chechens is popular among an ethnic Russian electorate traumatised since its own ‘Black September’ in 1999. Since 9/11 this conflict has been presented almost exclusively as Russia’s frontline in the international ‘war on terrorism’. All Chechens who oppose Putin’s policies in Chechnya are dismissed as ‘terrorists’ and ‘bandits’. Yet a satisfactory political resolution of the conflict seems far off; thousands of Chechen civilians continue to suffer and die. Russia’s attempt at ‘Chechenisation’ of the conflict appears to have achieved its ‘Palestinisation’. How far has the policy of demonising the Chechens, which helped Yeltsin and Putin to launch their respective wars, become a major obstacle to peace in Chechnya?