The image of Persian women in Russian travelogues in the 19th century

Dr. Elaheh Karimi Riabi
(Asst. Prof. in University of Tehran, NSP scholarship holder in Slovak Academy of Science)

13 September 2023 (Wednesday) at 10:00 CET
Institut of World Literature SAS + online

Travelogues are significant sources of knowledge about the culture, rituals, customs, geography, and climate of nations. Although travelogues contain valuable information about nations, countries, and civilizations, they are at times affected by the hegemon’s viewpoints about the status of the concerned society, turning them into strategic tools for the purposeful study of that society. Although the 19th century is marked by the rivalry of Western powers over winning the Persian kings and usurpation of their natural resources, Persia has never been formally colonized. The fact has led to the Western indirect intervention in the country in the disguise of visitors, merchants, orientalists, and spies, giving way to a plethora of travelogues we have today on Persia. The postcolonial literature with its significant figures including Edward Said indicates that texts are not void of meaning. As such, travelogues carry a general message about the colonies that label them with backward, primitive, feudal, and pre-industrial badges. In these texts, the colonized is characterized by passivity rather than agency. Here, the East is framed within a Western perspective and the resulting generalization leaves the colonized bereft of human dignity. The present research is an analysis of Persian women’s images in literary texts (travelogues) of the 19th century with an imagological approach. As a postcolonial investigation, it is the first of its kind to deal with women’s images in Persia. The purpose of the case study of the travelogues by Stanislav Yulyevic Lomnitskii (1854 – 1916) and Egor Ivanovich Cherikov (1804 – 1862) is to shed a critical light on his postcolonial discourse that presents Persia and the Persians as the “other” to the Russian “self”.

Meeting ID: 830 9399 5890
Passcode: 322674