Kaleidoscopic Odessa: History and Place in Contemporary Ukraine

Tanya Richardson

© 2008

The recent tumult of Ukraine's Orange Revolution and its aftermath has exposed some of the deep political, social, and cultural divisions that run through the former Soviet republic. Examining Odessa, the Black Sea port that was once the Russian Empire's southern window onto Europe, Kaleidoscopic Odessa provides an ethnographic portrait of these overlapping divisions in a city where many residents consider themselves separate and distinct from Ukraine.

Exploring the tensions between local and national identities in a post-Soviet setting from the point of view of everyday life, Tanya Richardson argues that Odessans's sense of distinctiveness is both unique and typical of borderland countries such as Ukraine. Kaleidoscopic Odessa provides a detailed account of how local conceptions of imperial cosmopolitanism shaped the city's identity in a newly formed state. Richardson draws on her participation in history lessons, markets, and walking groups to produce an exemplary study of urban ethnography.

Ethnographically sophisticated and methodologically innovative, Kaleidoscopic Odessa will interest anthropologists, Slavists, sociologists, historians, and scholars of urban studies.

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Product Details

  • Series: Anthropological Horizons
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 240 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.9in x 9.0in
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Quick Overview

Kaleidoscopic Odessa provides a detailed account of how local conceptions of imperial cosmopolitanism shaped the city's identity in a newly formed state.

Kaleidoscopic Odessa: History and Place in Contemporary Ukraine

Tanya Richardson

© 2008

The recent tumult of Ukraine's Orange Revolution and its aftermath has exposed some of the deep political, social, and cultural divisions that run through the former Soviet republic. Examining Odessa, the Black Sea port that was once the Russian Empire's southern window onto Europe, Kaleidoscopic Odessa provides an ethnographic portrait of these overlapping divisions in a city where many residents consider themselves separate and distinct from Ukraine.

Exploring the tensions between local and national identities in a post-Soviet setting from the point of view of everyday life, Tanya Richardson argues that Odessans's sense of distinctiveness is both unique and typical of borderland countries such as Ukraine. Kaleidoscopic Odessa provides a detailed account of how local conceptions of imperial cosmopolitanism shaped the city's identity in a newly formed state. Richardson draws on her participation in history lessons, markets, and walking groups to produce an exemplary study of urban ethnography.

Ethnographically sophisticated and methodologically innovative, Kaleidoscopic Odessa will interest anthropologists, Slavists, sociologists, historians, and scholars of urban studies.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Series: Anthropological Horizons
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 240 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.9in x 9.0in
  • Reviews

    ‘Richardson finds a way to literally guide the reader through Odessa’s cobbled and storied history in a manner that is ethnographically rich and theoretically invigorating.’

    Liesl L. Gambold, Anthropologica; vol 53:2011
  • Author Information

    Tanya Richardson is an assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology at Wilfrid Laurier University.

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