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UST-IZHORA
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Ust-Izhora

The village of Ust-Izhora sits at the mouth of the Izhora River, which flows into the Neva River above St. Petersburg. The location has been important for trade and transportation at least since the 12th century, when the local Izhoran people allied with Russians from Novgorod to defeat an incursion of Swedes who wanted to gain control over the Neva and its trade route to the Black Sea. That 12th century battle earned Prince Alexander of Novgorod the title "Nevsky," or "of the Neva." It also went down in Russian history as a major victory for a unified Russia; the image of Alexander Nevsky has been used to rally patriotic sentiment whenever Russia's borders have been threatened. The Izhora has also been a site for major industrial development, and it was a prime target of attacks from German invaders in WW II. The modern-day village of Ust-Izhora is a mixture of rural garden plots and industrial apartment buildings, and it sits uneasily at the edge of the rapidly modernizing city of St. Petersburg.

Ust-Izhora presents a wealth of opportunities for interdisciplinary investigation, as a point on the boundary between various ancient tribes, between medieval Russia and its northern neighbors, between Petrine Russia and Sweden, between industrial and agricultural Russia, between urban and rural, between modern and traditional economies, and between the upper Neva River and the Neva delta.

 

Workshop team members

Written contributions
Julie Thompson Klein, Wayne State University
(Humanities, Cultural Studies, Interdisciplinarity)
Ust-Izhora: Mapping Interdisciplinary Place on the Neva
Rachel May, Syracuse University and SUNY-ESF
(Philology, Urban Ecology)

Ust-Izhora: Historical, political, and ecological connectivity at a river junction
Robert Naiman, University of Washington (Ecology) Human Benefits from Riparian Conservation
Sergei Grigorievich Kaschenko, St. Petersburg State University (Historiography)  
A selection of images by Solmaz Guseinova (click for larger image)
Ust-Izhora
Nevsky Cathedral reflection fisherman on Izhora Nevsky monument Izhora house