Based on materials collected during a fieldwork in Barnaul (Siberia, Russia) in 2001-2004, the article explores two provincial academic discourses that are focused on issues of Russian national identity. Ethnohistories of trauma address Russia's current problems through the constant re-writing of the country's past in order to demonstrate the non-Russian character of its national and state institutions. In the second discourse, ethno-vitalism, the struggle over constructing and interpreting the nation's memory of the past is replaced with a similar struggle over constructing and interpreting perceptions of the nation's current experience. Produced by professional intelligentsia, these frameworks and discourses provide a useful link to understanding imaginary constructions of the national belonging in a situation where more positive ways of inventing traditions and imagining communities are unavailable or discredited.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)