Geschichte Osteuropas und Südosteuropas




Dr. Chechesh Kudachinova

Short Biography

Chechesh Kudachinova holds a doctoral degree in Linguistics from the Moscow State Lomonosov University (kandidat filolog. nauk). She also completed the doctoral dissertation Mapping the Altai in the Russian Geographical Imagination, 1650-1900 at the Berlin Humboldt University. Currently, she is not institutionally affiliated. Her research interests include Siberian studies, new spatial histories, natural history, and the colonial knowledge production.

Project Description

“Making Knowledge in the “Republic of the Unlettered”: Drums, Health, and Natural Knowledge In Seventeenth-Century Siberia”
Drawing on published primary documents and secondary sources, the project seeks to reconstruct the natural knowledge-making scene of pre-Petrine Siberia. It attempts to shift our focus from the eighteenth century “republic of learned men” to agents from the lower social orders and empirical knowledge they generated. The project argues that in the pre-’Gmelian’ period Muscovy developed distinct modes and cultures of the production and consumption of Northeast Eurasia’s natural knowledge. These efforts are best understood not from a perspective that contrasts the Russian and European developments, but from the one that focuses on the historical conditions of the knowledge making.
Despite the absence of print and scientific societies, Muscovy created an alternative mode of institutional knowledge production with the Siberian Chancery at its center (Sibirskii prikaz, 1637). Exploration of resources other than fur pelts formed the important dynamic that shaped the agency as a knowledge institution. Using two currents – official directives and local responses, the chancery set in motion a particular infrastructure, adapting it to the changing colonial realities. What sets apart Muscovy’s experience from the development in the rest of the early modern global world? What conditioned the natural knowledge generation? How were these ways of knowing presented, framed, and used?

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