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Knowledge and the Ends of EmpireKazak Intermediaries and Russian Rule on the Steppe, 1731-1917$
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Ian W. Campbell

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781501700798

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501700798.001.0001

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An Imperial Biography

An Imperial Biography

Ibrai Altynsarin as Ethnographer and Educator, 1841–1889

(p.63) 3 An Imperial Biography
Knowledge and the Ends of Empire

Ian W. Campbell

Cornell University Press

This chapter is a biographical study of the ethnographer and educator Ibrai Altynsarin (1841–1888). The new administrative structure envisioned by the Provisional Statute of 1868 rendered the tsarist state dependent in new ways on the good will and expertise of Kazak intermediaries. One such Kazak intermediary is Altynsarin, a poor Kazak of the Middle Horde's Qïpshaq clan who rose to a position of some influence in local educational affairs. This chapter first discusses Altynsarin's formative years before introducing the concept of “repertoires of governance” to explain both the options and the limitations that his engagement with tsarist knowledge production and administration entailed. It also considers Altynsarin's ethnography of the Kazaks of the Orenburg region, his ideas of Kazakness and how Kazaks should fit into the Russian Empire, and his educational agenda for Kazaks.

Keywords:   ethnography, Ibrai Altynsarin, Provisional Statute of 1868, Kazak intermediaries, repertoires of governance, knowledge production, Kazaks, Kazakness, Russian Empire, education

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