Frontier Orientalism in D.A. Milyutin's Descriptions of the North Caucasus in the 1840s
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Keywords

North Caucasus
Orientalism
Frontier
D.A. Milutin
Kabarda
Chechnya
Intellectual Acquisition
Narrative
Military Statistics
Ethnography Descriptions

How to Cite

1. Tkachenko D. Frontier Orientalism in D.A. Milyutin’s Descriptions of the North Caucasus in the 1840s // Journal of Frontier Studies. 2023. № 4 (8). C. 48-71.

Abstract

The article delves into the analysis of Orientalist conceptions put forth by the Russian military scholar, D. A. Milyutin, in his narrative about the peoples of the North Caucasus. This study is anchored in “postcolonial critiques”, a lens extensively applied by international researchers to evaluate the actions of European powers in global peripheries. The aim of this research is to introduce the hitherto overlooked unpublished manuscripts of D. A. Milyutin into academic discourse. Specifically, this focuses on his descriptions of Kabarda and Chechnya, which form the foundation for analyzing the scholarly issue discussed.

The paper reveals that, when describing local populations, Russian military scholars actively leaned on Orientalist conceptions. They not only furnished those conceptions with empirical data but also interpreted them in context of the realities faced on the Russo-Caucasian frontier. Assertions that juxtapose Europe with the East, the interplay between the scholarly study of the region and its governance structure, and notions about the inherent stagnation of Eastern societies, as well as the belief in the necessity of external control for the development of Eastern communities, are all echoed in D. A. Milyutin’s works. Concurrently, his rendition of pan-European thoughts introduces a unique “frontier Orientalism”. This perspective captures descriptions of the militarized lifestyle of local residents, their raiding habits along the Line, and provides reasoning for the extended duration of Russian military engagements in the ethnic territories of the Caucasus.

This article is tailored for a diverse range of scholars, as well as anyone with a keen interest in the intellectual history of the Caucasus and the evolution of socio-political thought in the mid-19th century Russian Empire.

https://doi.org/10.46539/jfs.v8i4.492
pdf (Русский)

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