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Session Submission Type: Roundtable
Affiliate Organization: ASEEES Digital Humanities Group
Attachment to place—knowing where we belong—is one of the ways in which we know who we are. In Russia the years of war and revolution (1914-1922) triggered rapid transformations in Russians’ understanding of their national identity and their definitions of and attitudes toward the idea of a “homeland.” This process became particularly visible in the imaginative literature produced between 1914 and 1922 by ordinary Russians, literature that lends itself to a new understanding of the broad patterns of place-based identity in this turbulent time.
Our roundtable on “Poetic Geographies of Revolutionary Russia” continues the discussion of the 2020 Slavic DH group pre-conference workshop on the University of Virginia project on Mapping Poetic Geographies of Revolutionary Russia. The project uses a set of DH tools to examine a large corpus of 600 literary works by 75 writers written between 1914 and 1922 for patterns of place-based consciousness. The central analytical tool is called a “place-based concept” (PBC), which is a kind of tree that connects up to five different components to each spatial image appearing in the corpus—these are place type, place scale, political leaning, feeling/ attitude to place, and time. The website and database aim to give researchers and students a much more nuanced view of Russian place-based identity, well beyond the established stereotypes of West vs. East, Russia between Europe and Asia, center vs. periphery, capital vs. province.
Anna Borovskaya-Ellis, U of Virginia
Aaron Michael Thompson, U of Virginia
Yuliya Walsh, U of Virginia