Russia's Peter and Paul Fortress: From Heart of Empire to Museum of the Revolution, 1825-1930
This project is a cultural, intellectual, and spatial history of Russia’s Peter and Paul Fortress – the founding site of St. Petersburg, the imperial mausoleum of the royal family, and the most notorious political prison of the Romanov regime. In these citadel cells the empire’s most illustrious dissidents – Bakunin, Dostoevsky, Chernyshevsky, Nechaev, Kropotkin, Figner, Trotsky – not only suffered and died, but also wrote novels and treatises, planned future political activities, and reimagined what it meant to be a revolutionary actor in tsarist Russia. Over the course of a century, the Fortress was transformed by dissident actors from a realm of discipline into a stage of radical subjectivity and, eventually, a ‘holy site’ of the early soviet regime. Excavating exactly how this occurred reveals a rich genealogy of revolutionary agency and subversive self-narration in the tsarist cell. This work is thus not only intended as a new empirical study of this over-determined space – it also argues for a novel understanding of the birth of the Russian revolutionary tradition; the history of modern state incarceration; and the entwinement of symbols, spaces, and subjects in political cultures of dissent.
Carceral Studies; Intellectual History; Political Imprisonment; Radical Subjectivity; Revolutionary Russia; Spatial History
Robcis, Camille; Traverso, Vincenzo; Craib, Raymond
Ph. D., History
Doctor of Philosophy
dissertation or thesis