Scenarios of Empire: Russian Imperial Representations in the South Caucasus during the 19th Century

In this paper, I explore representations of the Russian Empire in the South Caucasus in the 19th century through an analysis of various forms of official display, ceremonies and cultural events. I discuss how Russian imperial aesthetics and identity politics interacted with local traditions and shaped a peculiar image of the empire at its southern periphery. The focus will be on three distinct manifestations of imperial display: The statue of viceroy Vorontsov, the Caucasian Museum, and the visit of Alexander III to the region in 1888.