Posted by: sargodale | July 9, 2009


In reading several articles on the topic of Russian colonization, I’ve decided to focus a portion of my research project on the city of Kazan and the Volga Tatars. Kazan was once the capital of a Tatar kingdom, before it was captured by Ivan the Terrible and assimilated in the Russian Empire. After centuries of Russian rule, the Kazan Tatars have managed to preserve their culture, with the addition of obvious Russian cultural influences. In general, the Tsarist and Soviet policies towards Kazan were much more different than those used in places like Siberia and the Caucasus. The Kazan Tatars were primarily Muslim, so religious policies were an important part of the Russian administration in Kazan.

By choosing Kazan as one area of focus, I’m planning on examining how different aspects of Tatar culture have been persevered. Below is one example of cultural preservation and national identity in Kazan. It is a picture of the Kul Sharif mosque, which is a replica of the mosque that Ivan the Terrible destroyed when he first conquered Kazan. It was constructed in the post-1991 era, and is an interesting symbol of Kazan’s cultural history.

Kul Sharif Mosque


Posted by: sargodale | July 9, 2009


The purpose of this blog is to keep an updated log of the research I am conducting for my senior thesis. I will routinely post progress updates throughout the summer and the 2009-2010 academic school year. I’ve posted my research proposal below, to better explain what I hope to achieve with my research.I’m looking forward to uncovering more information about this fascinating aspect of Russian history. This would not be possible without the generous assistance of the William and Mary Russian faculty, the Charles Center, as well as the donors who make these research projects possible. Thank you all for your continued support!

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