Document Type

Honors Paper


Petko Ivanov

Publication Date



The Rossiskii Etnograficheskii Muzei (Russian Ethnographic Museum), in Petersburg, Russia, portrays narratives of Russia to Russians. However, there are two main yet distinct Russian identities: rossiiskii, the Russian word to denote citizenship and state identities within Russia, and russkii, the Russian word to denote the Russian ethnic identity. This study investigates opposing narratives that embed ethnic Russianness in and separate it from the Russian state. I investigate how both the museum and Russian citizens engage with ethnically Russo-centric imaginations in the space of this museum. This study is the product of almost three months of fieldwork at the Russian Ethnographic Museum, including photo-documentation of the museum and interviews with curators and visitors. I demonstrate that the displays within the museum and the ways in which visitors negotiate the established narratives make claims about ritual citizenship through narratives of progress and objects.



The views expressed in this paper are solely those of the author.