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Russian Physical Anthropology Of The Nineteenth–Early Twentieth Centuries: Imperial Race, Colonial Other, Degenerate Types, And The Russian Racial Body

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Chapter Summary

This chapter advances a contextualized and historical approach in the field of imperial history, an approach that focuses on the original semantics of imperial experiences and on analysis of particular imperial situations that defined and influenced the semantics. It deals with the conscious project of modernization of the Russian empire by means of rationalization of its self-representation with the help of modern knowledge. Having calculated the indicators for all population groups studied by Russian anthropologists within the borders of the empire, Ivanovskii coded them and established three degrees of racial kinship. The resulting liberal imperialism failed as a political program because it did not deliver workable political solutions for many problems of imperial developments. This does not mean that imperial modernization was a doomed academic and political project - only that concrete political and social conjunctures of the beginning of the twentieth century made it look inadequate scientifically and politically.

Keywords: anthropologists; imperialism; Ivanovskii; Russian



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