Volume 69 Number 3 Abstracts

Fair Encounters: Bulgaria and the “West” at International Exhibitions from Plovdiv to St. Louis

Mary Neuburger

By the late nineteenth century, world’s fairs had captured the imagination of Bulgarian political and intellectual elites. Bulgarians were not only enthusiastic pilgrims to the major world’s fairs in the west, but by 1892 they had staged their own international trade exhibition in Plovdiv. Here, as elsewhere, the fair phenomenon was an arena for broadcasting messages of national prowess and progress, as well as a context for the performance and contestation of national identity. But for Bulgarians the fair phenomenon at home and abroad was also part of a highly contested process of negotiating its unique place between east and west, politically, economically, and culturally. The tensions and dilemmas that characterized the Plovdiv fair experience were also palpable in Bulgarian participation in fairs abroad, such as the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893 and the St. Louis Fair of 1904, where both the nation and the west were yet again reimagined.

Articulating Identity through the Technological Re-Articulation of Space: The Hungarian Millennial Exhibition as World’s Fair and the Disordering of Fin-de-Siecle Budapest

Dorothy Barenscott

In this article, Dorothy Barenscott examines the dynamic interplay between modern urban development and world exhibition in the social imaginary of nation and empire, suggesting how Hungary’s identity as imperial partner with Austria was increasingly tied to the multisensory experience of, and participation in, the growth of Budapest as the empire’s second capital during preparations for Budapest’s 1896 Millennial Exhibition. Whether a real or only perceived “world’s fair,” this exhibition provided the perfect vehicle to further the goal of modern urban expansion and define what it would mean to be “Hungarian” to an international as well as a regional public. Guided by the Millennial Exhibition, a constellation of interconnected building projects arose within the urban fabric of Budapest: the construction and refinement of Andrássy Avenue, the Hungarian Parliament building, and Budapest’s underground subway.

Rodin in Prague: Modern Art, Cultural Diplomacy, and National Display

Cathleen M. Giustino

Fin-de-siecle Prague, a provincial capital city in the Habsburg empire, was a site of Czech-German nationality conflict. In 1902 it was also home to the largest exhibition of Auguste Rodin’s art outside France during his life. Due to the nationalism that enveloped Czech culture and politics, the Rodin spectacle was no mere display of modernism. National activists in the Mánes Association of Visual Artists, including Stanislav Sucharda and Jan Kotěra, designed the Rodin exhibition to advance Czech cultural maturity through cosmopolitan art and to convince foreigners of the Czech nation’s singularity, unity, and progressiveness. Ultimately, though, the events surrounding the exhibition of Rodin’s works in Prague projected Czech disagreement over the meanings of folk heritage and western progress for national identity. Still, the blending of modern display and cultural diplomacy strengthened French-Czech relations and in small but significant ways helped secure Czechoslovakia’s creation at the end of World War I.

Witnessing for the Defense: The Adversarial Court and Narratives of Criminal Behavior in Nineteenth-Century Russia

Louise McReynolds

“Witnessing for the Defense” takes readers into the adversarial courtroom in postreform Russia. A fundamentally new type of public arena, the courtroom allowed representatives of the state (prosecutors) to debate with professionals (defense attorneys and expert witnesses), each side making a case about criminal behavior and justice for society (jurors and the readers who followed reports on trial) to judge. Analyzing how the defense changed over time for the same type of crime, the murder of a lover by the woman whom he had jilted, Louise McReynolds shows how the courtroom provided a place for the discussion of newly emerging concepts and theories from the social sciences. Psychiatry is especially important because it was raising questions of individual personality and personal responsibility that had the potential to undermine the status quo. Thus this article shifts the focus on the legal reforms of 1864 from politics to culture.

The Economy of Nerves: Health, Commercial Culture, and the Self in Late Imperial Russia

Susan K. Morrissey

In early twentieth-century Russia, personal health became a commodity in a rapidly expanding commercial culture. As medical services and products (patent medicines, gadgets, self-help books) became widely available, new advertising strategies played upon both the threat of disease and the promise of health and well-being. This marketplace helped to feed new ideas about individual and social health, including such modern concepts as life-style choices. It also promoted competing models of the modern self: images of the weak and enervated victim of modern life were countered by visions of a healthy, strong, and controlled subject, able to master life forces. Focusing upon the disease construct of neurasthenia, Susan K. Morrissey explores how “nervousness” became a mass diagnosis and an emblem of the modern era-both its illnesses and its potential for regeneration. The making of a modern social sphere, Morrissey argues, depended not just on (professional) claims to specialized knowledge and broader political forces but also on commercial culture itself.

Too Much Trust: Regional Party Leaders and Local Political Networks under Brezhnev

Yoram Gorlizki

Why did the campaign for “trust in cadres” (doverie k kadram) come to be so emblematic of the Brezhnev era? In this article, Yoram Gorlizki argues that following the failure of Nikita Khrushchev’s institutional experiments, Leonid Brezhnev turned to “trust”-ties grounded in ongoing personal relationships-as a means of lowering the Soviet system’s high transaction costs. Focusing on in-depth studies of three regions, Kabardino-Balkaria, Kirov, and Krasnodar, Gorlizki suggests that the leadership system in each shifted towards a pattern marked by modest but stable institutional constraints on regional leaders, a carefully calibrated system of seniority, and a set of order-enhancing norms that are referred to as “hierarchical ethics.” Mirroring the newleadership arrangements in Moscow, this combination of regional institutional constraints and political norms was the most compatible with a pattern of informal devices for cooperation that would come under the label of “trust” (doverie). Gorlizki contends that while Soviet officials had always resorted to personal relationships in order to attain their official goals, the campaign for “trust in cadres” gave cover to such practices by in effect elevating them into a component part of the regime’s ideology. Gorlizki concludes by describing the variety of dangers these arrangements carried with them.

Pronatalism, Gender Politics, and the Renewal of Family Support in Russia: Towards a Feminist Anthropology of “Maternity Capital”

Michele Rivkin-Fish

This article examines the gendered consequences of linking family support to state pronatalist goals in contemporary Russia. By analyzing the policies, proposals, and critiques circulating on the maternity capital program, Michele Rivkin-Fish demonstrates how state power and citizenship are being constructed through struggles over the meanings of gender and family. She further argues that studies of Russian demographic politics must bring attention to both institutional transformations and the symbolic levels of discourse. This holistic approach, rooted in feminist anthropology, illuminates the particular, cultural logics informing demographic debates as well as the apparent contradictions between ideologies, policies, and practices. Pronatalist discourses engage Russian politicians, experts, and laypersons in efforts to undo the troubling legacy of Soviet gender relations and the 1990s fertility crisis; in the process, these policies define and deploy state power in ways that sustain and normalize gender inequalities.