Paper Title

[3.3] The Contradiction of the Colonial Contract: An Analysis of Russian Authorities’s Attitudes Toward the Indigenous Women of Siberia and Alaska in the 17th, 18th and 19th Centuries

Location

Arts & Education Building 208, Moderated by Dr. Robin Tapley

Start Date

18-1-2019 5:00 PM

End Date

18-1-2019 6:15 PM

Disciplines

History

Presentation Type

Presentation

Abstract

During the Russian colonization of Siberia and later Alaska that occurred in the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Russian officials needed to solve the pervasive issue of satisfying the familial, sexual and household needs of the young Russian men that were maintaining the colonial project. A solution to this problem and one that many Russian men pursued was for the Russian settlers to form relationships (both consensual and forced) with the women who were already around them, the indigenous women of the colonies. In this paper, I explore Russian attitudes toward indigenous women, the role of indigenous women in the colonies and Russian authorities’s resulting contradictory legislation, attitudes and behaviour. With this paper, I work to prove that religious, colonial and governmental Russian authorities operated in a continual state of cognitive dissonance in regard to indigenous women and their role in the colonies caused by their own patriarchal and nationalistic beliefs about indigenous women and women in general, being challenged by the necessary sexual, emotional, familial and in some cases diplomatic role these women had in maintaining the colonial project. Furthermore, this cognitive dissonance resulted in extremely contradictory and almost indecisive legislation, expressed attitudes and behaviour on the part of the Russian authorities.

Comments

I am a honours undergraduate history student at Simon Fraser University. I am incredibly passionate about exploring the intersection between gender, society and politics in a variety of historical contexts and finding places where gender theory has been left out of the larger narrative of a political history and discovering the new conclusions that can be achieved once this perspective is applied. I hope to attend graduate school to continue pursuing this area of historical study.

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[3.3] The Contradiction of the Colonial Contract: An Analysis of Russian Authorities’s Attitudes Toward the Indigenous Women of Siberia and Alaska in the 17th, 18th and 19th Centuries

Arts & Education Building 208, Moderated by Dr. Robin Tapley

During the Russian colonization of Siberia and later Alaska that occurred in the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Russian officials needed to solve the pervasive issue of satisfying the familial, sexual and household needs of the young Russian men that were maintaining the colonial project. A solution to this problem and one that many Russian men pursued was for the Russian settlers to form relationships (both consensual and forced) with the women who were already around them, the indigenous women of the colonies. In this paper, I explore Russian attitudes toward indigenous women, the role of indigenous women in the colonies and Russian authorities’s resulting contradictory legislation, attitudes and behaviour. With this paper, I work to prove that religious, colonial and governmental Russian authorities operated in a continual state of cognitive dissonance in regard to indigenous women and their role in the colonies caused by their own patriarchal and nationalistic beliefs about indigenous women and women in general, being challenged by the necessary sexual, emotional, familial and in some cases diplomatic role these women had in maintaining the colonial project. Furthermore, this cognitive dissonance resulted in extremely contradictory and almost indecisive legislation, expressed attitudes and behaviour on the part of the Russian authorities.