The image of imperial Russia in the educational policy of the Turkestan Region at the turn of the XIX–XX centuries (On the example of the Turkestan Department of the Russian Geographical Society)

Zakirova M.H.


The article analyses the history of the development of educational programmes of secondary and higher education in Russian Turkestan in the late 19th – early 20th centuries in the context of the imperial policy of Russia. The methodological basis of the article is Edward W. Said’s concept of Orientalism, which allowed the author to define the policy of the Russian Empire in the field of education in Turkestan in the context of the «knowledge-power» («scientia-potential») structure, which fully reflected the interests of the Russian government in the organisation of research and education, which significantly influenced the formation of political and economic stability, contributing to the emergence of an educated stratum among the population. The study analyses the projects of the development of the schools proposed by N. Ilminsky, the ideas of K. von Kaufman and N. Ostroumov, and also examines the activities of the Turkestan Department of the Russian Geographical Society (RGS, 1896). The most important research of the scholars of the Turkestan Department of the RGS occurred during the imperial period, from 1897 to 1917. Separately, the Turkestan Department has implemented extensive projects in the field of secondary and higher education. The author concludes that the activities of the Turkestan Department of the RGS were crucial for the implementation of educational and cultural projects of the imperial government in the Russian Turkestan, which ultimately contributed to the formation of an educated class, the development of secondary and higher education, and generally had a beneficial effect on the formation of public life in the Central Asian region.


Russian Empire; education; enlightenment; Russian Geographical Society; Turkestan Department.

DOI: 10.31249/rsm/2021.02.04

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