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Award Number Grant ProgramAward RecipientProject TitleAward PeriodApproved Award Total
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RZ-51635-13Research Programs: Collaborative ResearchClaudia JensenThe Russian Court Theater in the Late 17th Century and its Context in Trans-national Information Exchange10/1/2013 - 9/30/2017$290,000.00Claudia Jensen   University of WashingtonSeattleWA98195-1016USA2013Theater History and CriticismCollaborative ResearchResearch Programs29000002899850

Research, writing, and preparation for print and e-book publication of a volume of essays, journal articles, and conference papers relating to diplomacy and theater in 17th-century Russia. (36 months)

Why did the Russian tsar create a court theater in 1672? In order to answer this, we turn to sources that have rarely been used in the study of early Russian culture: newspapers and diplomatic reports. As our work shows, the origins of Russia’s theater are embedded in the communications revolution that took place throughout Europe in the 17th century. Our project makes important contributions not only to theatrical history, but also to broader historical issues. These include gender (the roles of the Russian royal women); the relationship between official diplomatic channels and the newspaper presses of the West; and communications and information exchange between Russian and Western diplomatic networks. Finally, in revealing the true origins of Russian theater in the 17th century, our work makes important contributions to the debates about “Westernization” in Russia, and the extent to which this pre-dates the well-known reforms of Peter the Great, beginning in the 18th century.