Dissertation Defense: Yelizaveta Raykhlina

Candidate Name: Yelizaveta Raykhlina

Major: History

Thesis Advisor: Catherine Evtuhov, Ph.D.

Title: Russian Literary Marketplace: Periodicals, Social Identity, and Publishing for the Middle Stratum in Imperial Russia, 1825-1865

This dissertation examines pre-reform Russian periodicals as sources of middle-class culture and argues for the importance of these sources for understanding the fluctuating nature of Russia’s middling groups. It focuses on the private, for-profit newspaper Northern Bee (Severnaia pchela) and thick-journal Library for Reading (Biblioteka dlia chteniia) as genres of European middle class culture transposed onto Russian soil that were produced for an audience of the “middle stratum”, composed of gentry in state service, non-noble civil servants, provincial landowners, wealthy merchants, manufacturers, professionals, and some townspeople. In addition to the periodicals, the dissertation uses archival sources and published correspondence and memoirs. The dissertation begins by contextualizing the publishers and editors of these periodicals as the successful products of Catherine II’s social engineering project, who propagated the values of education, work, and individual achievement. It then analyzes the sources for these periodicals, showing that the Bee and the Library transferred the genres and journalistic practices of European bourgeois publications into a Russian context. The dissertation follows with an examination of how these publishers categorized their middle-stratum audience, arguing that conceptions of Russia’s middling groups were highly flexible, but that a common denominator was the practice of reading secular Russian-language publications. As the thematic chapters illustrate, the practical information contained in these periodicals was suited to the concerns of middle-stratum Russians in Saint Petersburg and Moscow as well as in provincial towns and country estates. Furthermore, since the middle stratum was diverse in social origin and came from several legal estates, the representations of the middle stratum in these periodicals emphasized behavior, specifically the pursuit of education and individual achievements. Finally, the dissertation examines critical reactions to these publications and traces their decline in the context of generational shifts and the appearance of cheaper, more competitive periodicals. This dissertation contributes to recent scholarly reexaminations of Russia’s middling groups and presents a fundamental reinterpretation of pre-reform journalism. Working at the intersection of Russian literary, cultural, and social history, this dissertation argues that a better method of understanding Russia’s middle stratum is through shared cultural behavior. Different sizes of [n]CPPs display different behaviors upon pressure. [5]CPP shows the surprising formation of polymeric phases and [6]CPP undergoes deformations of the nanohoop, first reversible ovalization and then aggregation at even higher pressures. These two irreversible aggregations are due to the formation of new intermolecular σ-bonds. Surprisingly, the pressure coefficients, the rate of the Raman shifts as a function of pressure, change at a particular pressure threshold characteristic of each [n]CPP, but this pressure threshold is independent of the vibrational mode for that molecule. We identified this pressure as the beginning of an ovalization deformation of the nanohoops. This ovalization induced by pressure is reversible up to the pressure range studied for the series of [n]CPPs (n=7, 9, 10 and 12) except for [8]CPP. In the latter case, we find a metastable conformation at 8 GPa with significantly changed dihedral angles of adjacent phenyls, which provides an example for a new mechanism of irreversibility involving different conformations with pressure. In addition to above σ-bonding under high pressure, we also explain a reversible diradical monomer polymerization of quinonoidal oligothiophenel and interpret the different color changes in solution with mild external physical stimuli (concentration, temperature and low pressure). This reversible reaction consists of the formation/dissociation of σ-dimers and σ-polymers from a stable quinonoidal diradical precursor to an aromatic species by forming weak and long intermolecular C-C single bonds.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018 at 12:00pm to 2:00pm

Edward B. Bunn, S.J. Intercultural Center, 662
37th and O St., N.W., Washington

Event Type

Academic Events, Dissertation Defense


Georgetown College, History, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences



Open to the public and the press?


Event Contact Name

Carolina Madinaveitia

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