Russian views of America and American views of Russia have been fundamental to shaping relations and, to some extent, each nation’s self-image. Russian and American travelers tended to emphasize qualities of the other that their respective nations rejected. Through the Other, Russia and America reaffirmed their sense of self. So, what is the history of this othering from the 19th century to the present? What role did travel accounts, journalists, diplomats, and scholars play in shaping how Russia and the America positioned themselves geopolitically, culturally, and ideologically? Here’s Dina Fainberg and Victoria Zhuravleva to peel back the many layers to this relationship.
Dina Fainberg is Assistant Professor in Modern History at City, University of London. She is an historian of US-Russia relations, Soviet media and propaganda, and Cold War Culture. She is the co-editor of Reconsidering Stagnation: Ideology and Exchange in the Brezhnev Era. Her book, Cold War Correspondents: Soviet and American Reporters on the Ideological Frontlines will be published in January 2021.
Victoria Zhuravleva is a Professor of American History and International Relations, Chair of the American Studies Department and Vice-Dean of the Faculty of International Relations and Area Studies at the Russian State University for the Humanities, Moscow, Russia. Her field of research interests is American history with a specialization in Russian-American relations and U.S. foreign policy. She is author of many books and articles, including Understanding Russia in the United States: Images and Myths (in Russian), and editor of Russian/Soviet Studies in the United States, Amerikanistika in Russia: Mutual Representations in Academic Projects (in English).
James Brown, “Living in America”