Academic Year:

Research Program:
PoM Pontica Magna

Mari State University, Russia



Research project: Jadids and Iashliar: Cultural Reform in Late Imperial Kazan

The project examines the dynamics of Tatar cultural politics in search for the definition of identity in Kazan at the turn of the twentieth century. Tatar school, literature and, later, theatre, became useful channels through which Tatar intellectuals expressed their concept of identity. What did it mean to be ‘Tatar’? To what degree was the Tatar reform movement in the nineteenth century a part of the revolutionary change that orientated Islamic communities towards progress and modernization? In my analysis, I focus on the evolution of two generations of Tatar reformers, namely jadids and the radical-minded iashliar. It is the analysis of the tensions and debates between these two group helps us understand the development of the notions like ‘nation’, ‘progress’, ‘modernization’ among Kazan intellectuals. This approach allows me to view the reform movement not only as a local alternative among ‘multiple jadidisms’ (as defined by Adeeb Khalid) but also study its development.