Mapping Imagined Geographies of Revolutionary Russia

“Mapping Imagined Geographies of Revolutionary Russia” (MAPRR) helps us construct a topography of Russians’ feelings and attitudes toward their beloved country during the tumultuous years between 1914 (the start of World War I) and 1922 (the end of the Civil War). These attitudes echo even today.

Drawing from period literature across Russia, MAPRR offers unique insight into strongly opposing identities in close relation to their sense of belonging to a place. Explore the myriad ways that authors imagined Russia in their writings of the moment.

Attachment to place—knowing where we belong—is one of the ways in which we know who we are. We call this sense of belonging “place-based identity.” From 1914 and the start of World War I through 1922, when the revolution and Russian civil war ended, Russians’ feelings about their national identity underwent radical shifts. Their feelings about “Russia” and “homeland” (rodina)—and many other places—transformed the imagined geography of their country and the world. Major writers and ordinary Russians alike made this process particularly visible in the poems, stories, and essays they wrote in this turbulent time.