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David Rainbow

May 5, 2021

Ideologies of Race

Imperial Russia and the Soviet Union in Global Context

McGill-Queens Press 2019

Conflicting notions about the dynamics of race in Russia and the Soviet Union have made it difficult for both scholars and other observers of the region to understand rising racial tension in Russian and Eurasian societies. Ideologies of Race: Imperial Russia and the Soviet Union in a Global Context (McGill-Queen's University Press, 2019) is an interdisciplinary anthology that brings together historians, literary scholars, and anthropologists of Russia, the Soviet Union, Western Europe, the United States, the Caribbean, and Latin America to examine the intersection between ideas about race and racializing practices. In this interview, editor David Rainbow (University of Houston) discusses Russian and Soviet ideologies in a global history of race, defining the evolving understanding of race vis-à-vis nationality and ethnicity in Russia, accounting for state sanctioned racist practice in the ostensibly antiracist Soviet state, the legacy of Alexander Pushkin, the consequences of a prevailing attachment to Russian exceptionalism in the study of race, challenges for North American scholars studying the subject, and key takeaways for the undergraduate classroom. 

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