11–12th April 2022

Jesus College, Cambridge

SOVIET MATERIALITIES
11–12th April 2022
Jesus College
University of Cambridge, UK

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ABOUT

The aim of this conference is to explore how a turn towards materiality can enrich our understanding of the Soviet cultural landscape. We invite proposals that consider material and objects, their journeys through time and space, their processes of making and re-making, and how those perspectives might uncover alternative modernisms, defamiliarise Sovietness, and explore the diversity of Soviet experiences and identities.

We expect that this theme will stimulate conversations between scholars working in a variety of different disciplines — including history, literary studies, the history of art and architecture, and anthropology — making this an interdisciplinary and methodologically-focused conference.

 

While there has been substantial interest in Soviet material culture over the last 20 years, there is, to-date, no coherent handbook on the material turn in Soviet studies. There remains much to be done in terms of analysing how materials powerfully shaped Soviet subjectivities and activities. What theoretical thinking around materials emerged from the ideological context of “actually existing socialism”? How might these theories echo or diverge from Western or capitalist traditions of matter and objecthood? Soviet Materialities conference will serve as the starting point for compiling an edited volume on this topic.

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Assistant Professor of Russian History and Digital Humanities

University of Houston

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Professor of Transnational and Modern European History

Durham University

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Visiting Professor at the Institute for Art and Cultural Studies

University of Copenhagen

Arthur Andersen Teaching and Research Professor

Northwestern University

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Professor of Anthropology and Slavic Languages and Literatures

Princeton University

 
 

FURTHER INFO

The conference will feature a methodologies masterclass in which senior scholars from the fields of art history, anthropology, and Slavic studies will explore approaches to the study of material culture and the history of materiality, stimulating methodological questions about how scholars of the Soviet past engage with sources, interlocutors, and archival materials

 

Soviet Materialities will be hosted over two days, 11–12th April 2022, at the University of Cambridge and supported by a grant from CEELBAS. The working language of the conference will be English.

 

We are working on a digital platform that will provide remote, free access to the conference proceedings. Further information about this, and how to register to attend the conference, will be circulated in the new year.

We look forward to welcoming speakers and audience members, online or in person, in April.

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ORGANISERS

​Mollie Arbuthnot

Junior Research Fellow, Jesus College, University of Cambridge

Christianna Bonin

Assistant Professor, American University of Sharjah

Gabriella A. Ferrari

PhD candidate, Princeton University; Associate Specialist in Russian Works of Art, Sotheby's

Thomas Drew

PhD candidate, University of Manchester

Tadeusz Wojtych

PhD candidate, University of Cambridge

In association with:

 

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