Difficulties of Mental Mapping of Historical Time in the Chuvash National Identity: Cultural Continuities and Intellectual Failures

Автор: Kyrchanoff, Maksym W. - подписаться на статьи автора
Журнал: Volume 16, Number 1 / March 2017 - подписаться на статьи журнала


The concepts of historical time are among the focal points in the perception and invention of national history. The concepts and categories of historical time were actualized among non-historical nations when the latter became independent actors of historical process. The nationalists played a peculiar role in inventing the idea of historical time in general when they were fighting against their opponents from other formally dominating groups. The Chuvash concept of historical time was formed by the Chuvash nationalists while the first attempts to invent the Chuvash historical time took place between the two World Wars when the Chuvash nationalistically-oriented intellectuals tried to separate the category of the Chuvash historical time from the Russian collective representations of historical time. The Chuvash Soviet intellectuals of the second half of the twentieth century developed a loyal alternative of historical time integrated into a greater Soviet-Russian historical context. The collapse of the Soviet Union and fragmentation of the common historical space led to the disintegration of holistic historical time. The Chuvash intellectuals of the 1990s and the 2000s tried to revive a national idea of historical time of their predecessors from the interwar period. The intellectual community of historians in Chuvashia consists of two groups of historians who cultivate either a national Chuvash or a pro-Russian version of historical time. On the one hand, the general uncertainty of the Chuvash historical time concept among intellectuals, on the one hand, stimulates the rise of historical pessimism. On the other hand, the historical situation in general has created a landscape for intellectual maneuvers. Therefore, the debates about historical time among the Chuvash nationalists still continue. The general trajectories of collective representations of transformations of historical time are still unclear.