The author investigates how Russia’s educated society perceived Central Asia through a selection of high-circulation periodicals reflecting, to some extent, the mentality of their readership (Niva, Rodina, Vokrug sveta, and Zhurnal dlia vsekh).  Noticing that most publications appear in the 1870s-1880s, and that Central Asia disappears from the list of important magazine topics in the 1900s and 1910s, the author stresses the central place of the military conquest (of Khiva in 1873, in particular) and of the public debates linked with it in the curiosity showed for Central Asian matters.  A. Matveev notably assesses the main terms of the negative image conveyed on the Khanate of Khiva (in connection with its practice of slave trade, in particular), opposed to the relative positive covering of the Emirate of Bukhara—the public’s overall perception being that the Russian invasion into Central Asia resulted in prosperity and cultural development of these lands.

The Redaction
CER: I-3.4.C-303