Archer, Dawn Elizabeth and Williams, Christopher
Constructing a shared history, space and destiny: the children’s reader Udmurtia Forever with Russia.
Pragmatics and Society
The children’s reader Udmurtiia naveki s Rossiei (Udmurtia Forever with Russia) celebrates the 450th anniversary of what it calls “the voluntary entry of Udmurtia into the Russian State structure”. Published in Russian, its aim is to familiarize young children with certain key episodes in the history of Udmurt-Russian relations which led to the incorporation of Udmurt-inhabited areas into the Russian Empire. In several episodes, the text emphasizes the lack of inter-ethnic conflict in a “multi-ethnic Udmurtia”. Drawing on political history, corpus linguistics and Critical Discourse Analysis, the authors consider the extent to which the book’s representation of Udmurtia and Udmurts provide a distinct Udmurt voice within today’s Russian Federation. Specific attention is paid to the consequences of using ‘unity’ as an argument for achieving ethno-linguistic equality via a Russian civic identity; the way(s) in which this serves the Russian government’s agenda; and its effect on the construction of Udmurt identity.
Readers of post-print must be advised to contact publisher for further reprinting or re-use.