Colonizing Oneself

On September 25, 2013 the Center for Urban History hosted a meeting withьProfessor Alexander Etkind where he discussed his recent book Internal Colonization. Russia's Imperial Experience.

Professor Etkind's recent book Internal Colonization, gives a new reading of Russia's cultural history. Alexander Etkind traces how the Russian Empire conquered foreign territories and domesticated its own heartlands, thereby colonizing many people, Russians included. This vision of colonization as simultaneously internal and external, colonizing one's own people as well as others, is crucial for scholars of empire, colonialism and globalization. Transcending the boundaries between history and literature, Etkind examines striking writings about Russia's imperial experience, from Defoe to Tolstoy and from Gogol to Conrad.

Alexander Etkind is а professor of history at the European University Institute at Florence, where he moved after many years of teaching as Professor of Russian Literature and Cultural History at Cambridge. Etkind is the author of Eros of the Impossible. The History of Psychonalayisis in Russia (Westview Press 1996); Internal Colonization: Russia's Imperial Experience (Polity Press 2011); and Warped Mourning: Stories of the Undead in the Land of the Unburied (Stanford University Press 2013).

Videos from the meeting (in Russian):