Galvanizing Nostalgia? Indigeneity and Sovereignty in Siberia

Marjorie Mandelstam Balzer, Ph.D. ’79

Galvanizing Nostalgia? Indigeneity and Sovereignty in Siberia by Marjorie Mandelstam Balzer, Ph.D. ’79, explores critical questions for the survival of Russia. Based on cultural anthropology, field, and historical research in several strategically chosen republics of Eastern Siberia—Sakha (Yakutia), Buryatia, and Tyva (Tuva)—this book highlights Indigenous concerns about self-determination. Focusing on these republics, Balzer compares and contrasts interethnic relations, language politics, and the salience of gender, demography, resource competition, environmental degradation, and increased spirituality. Balzer suggests that a fragile and disorganized dynamic of nested sovereignties has developed within Russia. She concludes that since the Soviet Union collapsed, cultural and political revitalization have been relatively more viable, although still difficult, in areas where Siberians have their own republics. (Cornell University Press, 2022)

Galvanizing Nostalgia cover