Gender and National Identity in Twentieth-Century Russian Culture

By Mamoon, Trina R. | Canadian Slavonic Papers, September-December 2006 | Go to article overview

Gender and National Identity in Twentieth-Century Russian Culture


Mamoon, Trina R., Canadian Slavonic Papers


Helena Goscilo and Andrea l.anoux, eds. Gender and National Identity in TwentiethCentury Russian Culture. DeKaIb: Northern Illinois University Press. 2006. x, 257 pp. Illustrations. Index. Contributors. Cloth: $38.00. Paper: $22.50.

The first work of its kind in Russian Studies to focus on the relationship between gender and national identity, this anthology is a welcome addition to the scholarship. As the introduction notes, "many recent studies of Russian nationalism and state formation make no mention of gender, let alone treat it as a vital component of national identity" (p. 9). Joined by Andrea Lanoux as co-editor, Helena Goscilo continues to produce bold and provocative work (including Fruits of Her Plume and Dehexing Sex, and her pioneering studies of Russian women writers like Tolstaia and Petrushevskaia) that sheds light on this crucial intersection of gender and Russian identity. This review will present synopses of each chapter, so that researchers may more easily identify topics and themes of interest.

Goscilo and Lanoux begin with an informative and accessible overview of gender constructions in Russian culture, society and language, from their origins in myth to present day developments. The introduction sets out the questions for consideration: "Under what social conditions has Russian national identity been articulated as masculine or feminine? What impact do gendered representations of nationhood exert on the lives of real men and women?" (p. 9).

The first essay offers a wealth of examples drawn from a wide variety of linguistic and cultural contexts. Valentina Zaitseva argues that the gender inherent in the Russian language fosters sexist cognitive behaviour, promoting a gendered national identity and culture.

In Helena Goscilo's incisive exploration of widowhood in Russia, this gendered concept serves as a trope for the nation. The proliferation of the genre of memorial (hagiographic) literature produced by widow-archivists of "great men" in pre-revolutionary Russia and the Soviet Union illustrates how women's identity in Russia is "relational"they never write on behalf of themselves alone-while men's is "existential" (p. 59).

Also treating the genre of memorial literature, Elizabeth Jones Hemenway shows how gendered representations of female revolutionaries assisted in the construction of Soviet national identity, ascribing a subordinate and motherly/sisterly, i.e. "desexualized" (p. 88) role to women.

Focusing on the binaries of power and pleasure, seduction and discipline, Lilya Kaganovsky finds an original angle on Soviet identity, recounting the use of sound technology to reinforce nationalist ideology in the early film The Road to Life. Homoerotic scenes of male bonding and the absence of female subjects affirm masculinist identity, through both "bodily discipline and linguistic control" (pp. 102-9).

Suzanne Ament shows how, by feminizing Mother Russia and emphasizing traditional expectations. Communist Party propaganda during World War 11 manipulated gender representations in wartime songs to mobilize the nation and solidify Soviet identity. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Gender and National Identity in Twentieth-Century Russian Culture
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.