Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Replying to the two contributions in this special issue, this commentary considers the work “celebrity” can do as a concept and topic of inquiry for historians of Russia. The author compares and contrasts “celebrity” (as an angle of vision) with investigations the formation of “public” and “private” life in 19th century Russia. He underlines two uses of the concept: 1) as a reminder of continuities and instabilities that link modern forms of fame with pre-modern systems of reputation; and 2) as a marker of global forces that were pushing beyond nationalized, institutionalized frames of public and private life. The author returns to some earlier work he has done on Russian intellectual history, to consider how discussions of “celebrity” reframe what an older literature might describe as the “making of intelligentsia traditions.” He also highlights several important conceptual contributions made by Konstantin Shneyder’s historiographical analysis, and considers what conclusions can be drawn from Matthew Klopfenstein’s reconstruction of the “operatic” death of Angiolina Bosio.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-27
Number of pages3
JournalPerm University Herald - History
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 27 2021


  • Celebrity
  • Intelligentsia
  • Modernity
  • Private
  • Public
  • Reputation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Cultural Studies
  • Archaeology
  • Archaeology


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