Russian America: Actors, Places and Forms of Cultural Memory
Authors: Elena V. Alekseeva
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The author poses the problem of the memory about the only overseas colonies of the Russian Empire. The article reveals the forms and specifics of the memory of Russian penetration of the North American continent, the development of the territories of the Aleutian Islands, Alaska and California in the XVIII century - 1867. Elements of the cultural circle that penetrated from Russia to the Pacific coast of America (firearms, new food products and methods for their preparation, craft technologies and products, shipbuilding and navigation, log buildings, tools, administration system, European clothing, quasi commodity-money system, Orthodoxy, writing, etc.) are reflected in various forms of cultural memory: Orthodox Christianity, works of fiction, monumental and visual art, architecture, philately, heraldry, theatrical productions, film adaptations, museum exhibitions, souvenirs. Places of memory of the Russian presence in the north of the Pacific region are reflected as toponyms, hydronyms, landmarks of historical parks, museums, cultural centers, memorable days, anniversary events and holidays. The article emphasizes the role of carriers and actors of memory - historians, museum workers, writers, directors, artists, sculptors, associations, societies, the Russian Orthodox Church, and the importance of live communication in the preservation and transmission of cultural memory. In the United States the Russian heritage is protected by the state. The author concludes that history, interpreted in world culture, is more visible than scientific works; it influences the images of historical phenomena in the memory of generations. Representation of historical facts in the mass consciousness is an important tool of cultural policy and ideology.