Transnational Russian Studies offers an approach to understanding Russia based on the idea that language, society and culture do not neatly coincide, but should be seen as flows of meaning across ever-shifting boundaries. Our book moves beyond static conceptions of Russia as a discrete nation with a singular language, culture, and history. Instead, we understand it as a multinational society that has perpetually redefined Russianness in reaction to the wider world. We treat Russian culture as an expanding field, whose sphere of influence transcends the geopolitical boundaries of the Russian Federation, reaching as far as London, Cape Town, and Tehran.
Our transnational approach to Russian Studies generates new perspectives on the history of Russian culture and its engagements with, and transformation by, other cultures. The volume thereby simultaneously illuminates broader conceptions of the transnational from the perspective of Russian Studies. Over twenty chapters, we provide case studies based on original research, treating topics that include Russia’s imperial and postcolonial entanglements; the paradoxical role that language plays in both defining culture in national terms, and facilitating transnational communication; the life of things ‘Russian’ in the global arena; and Russia’s positioning in the contemporary globalized world. Our volume is aimed primarily at students and researchers in Russian Studies, but it will also be relevant to all Modern Linguists, and to those who employ transnational paradigms within the broader humanities.