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Borderlands as Modern Homelands? Mapping Ukraine and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania

Borderlands as Modern Homelands? Mapping Ukraine and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania

Chapter:
(p.186) Chapter Eight Borderlands as Modern Homelands? Mapping Ukraine and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania
Source:
Mapping Europe's Borderlands
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226744278.003.0009

This chapter focuses on opportunities (or lack thereof) for Ukrainians, Lithuanians, and Belarusians in political geography—in short, territorial space rather than historical time. Most borderlanders were not afforded opportunity to write, map, and transform the plural, multiconfessional, multiethnic borderlands of Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus, and the Pale of Settlement into nation-state homelands. The ability of literate minorities to politically imagine a territorial homeland was dependent not only on the level of group “consciousness,” but also on the nineteenth-century episteme of progress and the discursive practices it generated. The chapter shows that minorities of European Russia not only lacked a political patron; the ethnoschematic models and sociopolitical structures limiting the agency of their map production were indeed astounding. Political direction to borderland identities was by no means foreordained: maps were made by human beings, not nations in the abstract or impersonal economic forces.

Keywords:   Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus, political geography, minorities, maps, cartography

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