Extreme Science: Towards Global Slavic Humanities

Mark Lipovetsky University of Colorado, Boulder
Abstract: The article discusses the place of Russian Studies in the context of global humanities. The author argues that Russian historical and cultural material of the Soviet and post-Soviet eras, when situated in comparative context, may radically change universally accepted theoretical and historical concepts such as modernity, subalternity, nationalism, post-secular religiosity, culture industry, violence, modern subjectivities, etc. As a case study, the transformations of the concept of postmodernism are discussed in relation to contemporary Russian politics.

Since 2009, Novoe Literaturnoe Obozrenie, Russia’s leading international journal in literary and cultural studies, has become the stage for a heated debate about the "anthropological turn" in the Russianist humanities—the need for it, its principles, goals, and methods.[1] The debate was initiated by Irina Prokhorova, the magazine’s editor in chief, and resulted in four clusters of articles representing a passionate exchange of ideas between scholars of different generations and different disciplinary affiliations from Russia, the United States, and Germany. In her opening manifesto, Prokhorova motivates the demand for an anthropological turn by pointing at the isolationist tradition of Russian historical knowledge, which treats the national experience as a self-sufficient and closed-up monad (à la Leibniz). She argues that such a tradition, despite its post-Soviet adjustments and modifications, invariably leads to a "vicious (and essentialist) circle: either a researcher declares a ‘specific’ path, unique mentality and ‘great’ mission of Russia. . .or returns to perennial and cursed Russian questions," namely, “what to do? and who are to blame?" for the next round of failures of the "global project of modernity" (Prokhorova 2009).

This problem, according to Prokhorova and her followers, can be resolved through a radical reorientation of Russian literary and cultural studies. Instead of universalized scenarios of modernity, she, following the lead of Shmuel Eisenstadt and Johann Arnason, promotes the concept of multiple modernities (see Eisensdtadt, Arnason), within which Soviet experience appears not as an exotic deviation, but as a specific (if self-destructive) variant. In her vision, the Russian humanities should shift from totalizing constructions to a more detailed and individualized study of particular human experiences, from literature-centrism to a broad collaboration with the social sciences (first and foremost, cultural anthropology), from textual analysis to visual and body studies; "in other words, from binary oppositions and attention to intertexts— towards cultural and philosophic anthropology." As Prokhorova’s younger colleague Nikolai Poselaigin has formulated: we need to turn "from texts to the people behind these texts" (Poseliagin 329).

The twentieth-century cultural and political history of Russia as well as its recent political development consistently represent the most radical manifestations and, subsequently, the ultimate testing of most progressive Western theories and ideologies… Thus, global Slavic studies might develop as an area of humanities exploring extreme versions and scenarios of modernity.

In the ensuing debate, the participants, while supporting the general gist of Prokhorova’s manifesto, brought up several significant adjustments. Anthropologists have noted that the proposed program of work does not have much in common with actual cultural anthropology and its methods, and uses the term "anthropological" quite freely. Others pointed at the experience of an analogous movement in the German humanities and in American cultural studies. Ilya Kalinin, a prominent scholar of formalism, noted that the shift of the scholarly focus from texts to human subjects has already happened both within the humanities and the social sciences. However, he criticized Prokhorova and Poseliagin for their reliance on the binary opposition between "live human experience" and "the dead body of a text" and their faith in an essentialized human nature with the text serving as its subservient "mediator" (Kalinin 51).

In Kalinin’s argumentation, supported by some of the other participants in the debate (myself included), the desired synthesis of literary scholarship and broader social foci can be achieved and has already been vividly exemplified in various studies of discursive formations and their mutual interactions. The space of discourse, in Kalinin’s formulation, represents a space above and beyond methods and objects traditionally assigned either to the humanities or to the social sciences: here text functions "not as a mediator of social activity but as its integral part, whereas human sociality (as long as we recognized its constructed nature) reads as textuality. A famous thesis of ‘new historicism’: history is textual—text is historical has to be re-phrased. . .A renovated thesis: a human is textual—a text is humane, could have become the formula of the anthropological turn" (Kalinin 52).

In the course of this debate, I have emphasized the need to develop poetics of discourses, not limited by the rhetoric of a particular discourse, but focusing on their discursive interactions with each other: their hybridizations and mutual translations, methods of problematization and expansion, typology and discursive "genres" (see Lipovetsky 2012). Ultimately, such studies may lead to the construction of discursive cartography—that is, discursive maps of particular cultural periods, which inevitably will be transnational rather than isolated within a given national culture. Literary (or cultural) texts and contexts will remain at the center of such a research program, since literature, at least in Slavic cultures, functions as a major laboratory for discourse making and testing. Literary and cultural texts are where discourses are born and where they are verified and questioned. The full arsenal of literary and cultural studies will need to be utilized; that is, literary scholars will not have to function as armchair sociologists and amateur anthropologists. The analysis of a discourse cannot be limited to "ideas," discourses are first and foremost "forms of the time," albeit different from literary forms per se. Naturally, literary methods of analysis have to be adjusted when applied to discourses and new methods may arise, but this quest will reinstate the significance of the humanities and specifically, literary and cultural studies among the other disciplines.

Literary and cultural texts are where discourses are born and where they are verified and questioned.

It is within this intellectual context, as a part of the "anthropological turn," that Slavic studies can become global; in other words, we have to find the way to inscribe our beloved field into broader contexts—both academically and educationally. For Slavic studies, engagement with the global context would merit breaking through the self-exoticization and self-Orientalizing mode. Yet, one also cannot underestimate intellectual Orientalism surrounding Slavic studies in US academe: unfortunately, this is a two-way street. After the end of the Cold War, the so-called "Second World" became increasingly marginalized in politics, and subsequently in the humanities as well. Both the intellectual development of our field after 1989 and the historical development of Russia and Eastern Europe during the last few years, prove that ignoring the profound connections between different versions of modernity in these countries has a damaging effect not only on Slavic studies but on global humanities as well. Slavic studies can be incorporated into broad comparativist studies without being subsumed by the East/West binary, while still stimulating the global field with new questions and unfamiliar cultural phenomena.

The simplest strategy of "globalizing" Slavic studies involves going beyond any given country’s geographical borders and developing post-socialist studies rather than, say, post-Soviet Russian studies. I mean, for example, the inclusion of diasporic cultural realms coupled with attention to cultural phenomena created in languages other than native (such as literary works by Gary Shteingart, David Bezmozgis, Anna Ulinic, Olga Grushin, Michael Makine, Vladimir Kaminer, and similar émigré authors, writing in English, German, French, but not their native Russian). Although useful and expanding traditional limits of Slavic studies, this line of work does not necessarily require revision of the discipline’s methods and traditional approaches.

The positioning of Slavic studies would be more ambitious and more fruitful within the context of comparative modernities, or more specifically, within a subfield focusing on the history of modernity’s cultural discourses, their mutations, polylogues, influences and ensuing transformations. As historians of Slavic cultures might confirm, these cultures’ specificity typically manifests itself not through the invention of new discourses, but rather through a radical revision, recreation and reformation of existing discursive models borrowed from European and American cultures. Not by accident Aleksandr Sokurov’s Russian Ark is situated in the Hermitage, the largest museum of Western art. A focus on discursive histories and cartographies might open a broad area for new research projects as well as novel courses in universities’ curricula. As a Russianist rather than a Slavist, I could easily imagine new projects or courses in comparative subaltern studies that might include comparisons of the discourses and practices of American slavery and Russian serfdom; of the histories of Native Americans and the indigenous people of Siberia and the Caucuses; of Western imperialist domination over India and the Middle East vs. Russian domination over Central Asia and the Soviet colonization of Eastern Europe. Russian cultural experience from the nineteenth century to the present moment can greatly contribute to projects and courses studying comparative nationalism: the current interaction between Putin loyalists and European as well as American ultra-rights, and between Alexander Dugin and Scandinavian radical nationalism, testify to a high political relevance of such studies. Another fertile subject of increasing political bearing is, certainly, comparative post-secular religion studies. Although such studies are currently focused on radical Islam, they completely obfuscate discourses of new fundamentalism and cultural repression originating in the Russian Orthodox church and in post-1989 Polish Catholicism.

The current political situation in Russia has highlighted the surprising longevity of totalitarianism and its discursive palette.

The current political situation in Russia has highlighted the surprising longevity of totalitarianism and its discursive palette. The dominant perception of Soviet totalitarian society as unified and minutely controlled has been dispelled in seminal works by Steven Kotkin, Igal Halfin, Johan Hellbeck, and Alexei Yurchak. However, the approaches offered by these and some other scholars sadly remain locked within Slavic studies. A productive revision of the stale conceptualization of totalitarianism can be accomplished through comparative studies of totalitarian subjectivities that might include not only the Soviet and German experience, but also the experiences of Chinese and North Korean, as well as Cuban, Chilean, and more broadly, Latin American, dictatorships. The Soviet and recent post-Soviet experience can become central to the underdeveloped field of comparative propaganda and culture industry studies, which typically overlooks the staggering achievements of Stalinist and for that matter Putin’s cultures in this direction. Another significant aspect of totalitarian studies wherein Soviet discourses may complicate and enrich global knowledge is comparative violence studies, which encompasses the modernizing violence of revolution and industrialization/collectivization, including cultural analyses of concentration camps, and offers new conceptualizations of "communal" or "communicative" gratuitous violence exemplified by post-Soviet New Drama no less than by Tarantino’s or Kim-Ki-Duk’s movies. Once again, the current political situation in Russia and its effects on former countries of the Soviet bloc exhibit the extreme political potency of cultural mythologies associated with WWII. Comparative war studies may include not only the representation of WWII in Soviet, German, American, French and British cultures, but also comparative studies of the representations of wars in the cases of, for example, Vietnam and Afghanistan, Iraq and Chechnya, the former Yugoslavia and contemporary Eastern Ukraine.

The Russian avant-garde has already been studied in relation to similar tendencies in global culture; however, the Russian and East European counterculture of the 1960s–2000s typically is excluded from global contexts, despite the fact that its participants evolved in an active intellectual dialogue with global rather than local phenomena. Similarly, if Soviet feminism of the 1920s is somewhat acknowledged as a part of comparative gender studies, the latent sexual revolution of the 1960s along with the revival of patriarchy and a new machismo (with political overtones) of the post-Soviet period remain excluded, although they deeply resonate with similar tendencies in the Western world as well as formerly decolonized countries of the Middle East and South Asia.

 Slavic studies has the potential to provide a new paradigm for the global humanities.

Furthermore, I would like to argue that an engaged interaction with Slavic studies will have a greater positive effect than just a quantitative increase in case studies for the general field of the humanities. Slavic studies has the potential to provide a new paradigm for the global humanities. In certain respects, our field can complicate and problematize many embedded ideologems and fundamental notions of modernity. The twentieth-century cultural and political history of Russia as well as its recent political development consistently represent the most radical manifestations and, subsequently, the ultimate testing of most progressive Western theories and ideologies, wherein corresponding intellectual and political practices appear as early and extreme realizations of modernity’s potentialities, potentialities that may become actual at any given moment in any given region of the world. Thus, global Slavic studies might develop as an area of humanities exploring extreme versions and scenarios of modernity.

For example, a contemporary political situation in Russia appears as an unexpected transformation of such liberal intellectual trends as postcolonialism, anti-globalism, or postmodernism. Russia’s leadership and its ideologues have revived the mythology of Russia’s imperial mission—in exact accordance with Irina Prokhorova’s prediction about slipping into a superiority discourse resulting from intellectual self-isolation. However, a new version of this worn-out ideology has become attractive for more than 80 percent of the Russian population by fusing two seemingly irreconcilable ideological constructions. One is the neo-conservative view according to which Russia is a safe haven for the "true" and authentic values of Christianity, heterosexuality, patriarchy and the "great cultural tradition"—as opposed to "Gayrope" and the United States, which are demonized by the Russian media as immoral, culturally shallow and facing the failures of multiculturalism.

The other view is liberal: a postcolonial ideology depicting Russia as an international subaltern (or "subaltern empire," to use Madlena Tlostanova’s provocative concept [see Tlostanova]) humiliated and disrespected by the "First World" and its imperial domination (in agreement with Hardt and Negri’s vision of empire) through economic and cultural globalization as well as the import of Western democracy. Even Russia’s annexation of Crimea and instigation of the conflict in Eastern Ukraine is justified by the quasi-postcolonial "defense of minorities," in this case Russian-speaking Ukrainians. Similarly, to an external observer it may come as a surprise that contemporary Russian politicians and their intellectual "providers" adopt antiglobalization slogans as a part of their nationalist discourse.

The political transformations of postmodernism in contemporary Russia are most amazing in this respect. Postmodernism appears in underground Russian literature of the 1970s, almost simultaneously with global trends. During Perestroika and especially in the 1990s it spreads into other cultural domains and triggers a broad cultural debate. In the early 2000s, critics start talking about the death of Russian postmodernism, while the simulation of "great narratives," including socialist realism (albeit "de-ideologized" [see Lipovetsky 2004]), seem to dominate the mainstream. However, in the 2010s some features of postmodernism reemerge in political discourses, or rather, postmodernism’s principles start to resonate with a broad array of discourses employed by Putin’s media.

As Peter Pomerantsev, the author of the book Nothing is True and Everything Is Possible, writes about these processes (without using the word "postmodernism"):

When I went to work as a TV producer in Moscow in the early 2000s, I would ask my peers which of the ‘selves’ they grew up with was the ‘real’ them. How did they locate the difference between truth and lies? ‘You just end up living in different realities,’ they would tell me, ‘with multiple truths and different "yous."’

When members of this generation came to power they created a society that was a feast of simulations, with fake elections, a fake free press, a fake free market and fake justice. They are led by religious Russian patriots who curse the decadent West while keeping their children and money in London and informed by television producers who make Putin-worshiping shows during the day and listen to energetically anti-Putin radio shows the moment they get into their cars after work.

It’s almost as if you are encouraged to have one identity one moment and the opposite one the next. So you’re always split into little bits, and can never quite commit to changing things (Pomerantsev 2014).

The generation Pomerantsev refers to is the one formed in the 1990s, when Russian postmodernism became the cultural mainstream for a short while. The identity construction described by him is reminiscent of the postmodernist vision of contemporary identity, resonating deeply with novels by the foremost Russian postmodernist, Viktor Pelevin.

Although these transformations have become most visible recently, this process has not just started today but rather has been building up for quite a while. In December 2012 Rachel Polonsky aptly wrote about Putin’s flight with a flock of cranes: "His micro-light flight of summer 2012, tutoring white cranes in the art of migration, was a ‘fantastic’ stunt combining shamanist and folkloric symbolism" (Polonsky). However, stunts that initially seemed to be a distraction from actual political problems eventually have transformed into a kernel of the new political discourse. Postmodernist spectacles of power have replaced politics, or rather have become Russian politics since 2014.


This "official flag" of Novorossia (New Russia), the cluster of Russia-backed separatist republics on the territory of Ukraine, represents a blatant example of Russia’s political postmodernism. It combines references to the Confederate flag,  symbols (lightings in the eagle’s paw) associated with the United States with Soviet (ears of wheat, hammer) and Russian imperial (double-headed eagle, the crown, St. Andrew’s cross) symbols.

One may detect illuminating arguments for this logic in a smooth transition from the spectacle of opening and closing ceremonies of the Sochi Winter Olympics to the spectacle of the Crimea referendum followed by the peninsula’s "return" to Mother Russia, and from the latter to the bloody spectacles of the Donetsk and Lugansk "independent people’s republics" as the enactment of the "Novorossia" project. No wonder so many political analysts have simultaneously noticed staggering similarities between the last year’s political transformations and the novel Day of the Oprichnik (2006), by foremost Russian postmodernist writer Vladimir Sorokin, depicting the future of Russia as a monarchy, isolated from the West by the wall and policed by death squads modelled after Ivan the Terrible’s oprichiniks.

 Blurred borderlines between fact and fiction, as well as symbolic performances instead of pragmatic politics, indicate a much greater problem.

Apparently, blurred borderlines between fact and fiction, as well as symbolic performances instead of pragmatic politics, indicate a much greater problem. Perhaps these are symptoms of a new worldview that excludes any predictability, negates any rationality, and downplays any attempts to judge the present from the standpoint of historical experience accumulated since the collapse of communism (quite rich for eccentricities and paradoxes), as completely irrelevant and misleading. In short, if there are no criteria for distinguishing between fact and fake, then, in principle—anything is possible. Anything goes: no limits, no breaks, full weightlessness—at least in the minds of immediate participants in Russian contemporaneity.[2]

Such an effect typically emerges in revolutionary periods. Those who, like me, vividly remember the Perestroika period would have no trouble recalling this euphoric sensation. But Russian political and cultural developments since 2012 hardly resemble a revolution; rather, they might account for a negative revolution. A neo-imperialist turn in Russia’s international politics was prepared by a massive freezing of the country’s culture. The logic of this process originates not only in the fear of "color revolutions" similar to those in Ukraine or Georgia, but also in the aggressive reaction to anything that might be associated with postmodernism. The arrest and trial of Pussy Riot in 2012 has unambiguously indicated the combination of these two vectors. The resultant neo-conservative discourse of "spiritual bonds" (to use Putin’s catchphrase) presents itself as a foe to moral and cultural relativism and promotes "eternal" and "unshakable" blood and soil, "true" European values and great "spiritual traditions" as opposed to the soulless and morally corrupt West. This is why it enjoys such support even among Russian intelligentsia, not willing to lose economic advantages of the stable 2000s (which seem to have started evaporating now with the rapid decline of oil and ruble values).

The "restoration" of 2012–2014 appears as the first (since Perestroika) systematic engagement of the Russian state in the realm of the symbolic—a sphere typically controlled by culture and its institutions. This engagement, however, has revealed that in the sphere of contemporary Russian culture a postmodernist logic dominates over any other alternative. This is the same logic that Jean-Francois Lyotard has described in his seminal Postmodern Condition (1979), according to which postmodern knowledge legitimizes itself by paradoxes, catastrophes, and performances rather than by rationality or force. Of course, when such methods of legitimization migrate from culture to politics, one cannot expect any good to come of it. Thus "spiritual bonds," against the intentions of their promoters, can function only as a postmodernist spectacle, which instead of further stabilization, produces an opposite effect—that of a game without rules.

In underground Russian culture of the 1970s–1980s, postmodernism, much like avant-garde before it, has emerged as a critical discourse. The critical component of postmodernism necessarily includes, on the one hand, the undermining of cultural hegemonies, and on the other, the legitimization of the Other—racial, ethnic, sexual, gender, and so forth. It would be unfair to say that the interest in cultural/sexual/religious Others has been suppressed in Russian postmodernist literature and culture, yet, admittedly, it has been overshadowed by the deconstruction of various cultural hegemonies—Soviet ones, when postmodernism developed in the late Soviet underground, capitalist during post-Soviet years. This weakness of Russian postmodernism possibly is responsible—albeit only partially—for the insufficient resistance of Russian society to conservative and imperialist ideologies.

Yet, one may ask what happens with postmodernism when its critical side is completely suppressed? When postmodernism becomes a weapon in the hands of authorities and in this capacity is insulated from any outside criticism? When postmodernist legitimization of the Other is replaced by its demonization, and when this process of enemy-production follows the scripts prepared by socialist realism? Such "postmodernism" degrades into unrestrained and, most importantly, demonstrative cynicism. The spectacular and performative character of postmodernism-cum-cynicism of Russian power constitutes the main factor responsible for blurring the borderline between fact and fiction, truth and blatant fabrication. To a degree, this process is similar to mutations of avant-garde in the 1930s, when, according to Boris Groys, its methods were appropriated by the Soviet ideological machine. Groys has defined this new state-controlled avant-gardist life-creation as Gesamtkunstwerk Stalin (see Groys), arguing that socialist realism had become the realization of Wagner’s dream about the total work of art, the dream shared both by Russian symbolist and Soviet avant-gardists.

Certainly, Putin is no Stalin, and postmodernism is quite different from avant-garde. As Anna Krylova argues,[3] even Stalinist society had been "speaking more than one—all socialist—language of modernity right at the center of its political and popular culture.” Naturally, contemporary Russian culture also cannot be reduced to just one discourse and subjugated to a single center of power; it’s invariably multi-centered. This is why when attempting to characterize what, with a solid dose of mockery, one might label "Gesamtkunstwerk Putin," an ironic modality appears to be more fitting than a heroic or intimidating imperial tune. Many analysts have noted that recent Russian politics imitate the nineteenth-century empires, empires before the Holocaust, before Hitler and Stalin (quite telling is Putin’s reference to the US-Mexico war for Texas as a historical precedent for the annexation of Crimea). When transposed to the cultural sphere, yet treated as politics, this imitation inevitably turns into something grotesque, most reminiscent of the postmodernist steampunk. In the founding steampunk novel, The Difference Engine (1990) by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling, the world’s destiny changes drastically from the invention of a mechanical computer in the Victorian England. In Putin’s Russia, in contrast, the country with computers and the Internet suddenly is re-imagined and re-constituted as if it were a Victorian empire.

Literary scholars found in steampunk the manifestation of postmodernist conceptualization of history as a constructed narrative, a special kind of fiction. In Russia’s political steampunk the same worldview has been transposed from novels’ pages to newspaper headlines and TV screens.

However, the general genre convention of steampunk remains intact: much like a computer in Dickens’s England, Russian "spiritual bonds" and political escapades of 2014 function as quotations from a different epoch, and in this capacity generate turbulent disturbances of time and produce multiple zones of instability and unpredictability. Literary scholars found in steampunk the manifestation of postmodernist conceptualization of history as a constructed narrative, a special kind of fiction. In Russia’s political steampunk the same worldview has been transposed from novels’ pages to newspaper headlines and TV screens. Indeed, present Russian politics is constructed as postmodernist fiction. However, the bloodshed resulting from such a transposition is not fictional, but very, very real.

This is, of course, just an example of how a respected intellectual discourse can transform in contemporary Russia. It certainly calls for comparative studies and may become a part of a course or research program on contemporary cynicism and its cultural embodiments across the world. Yet, the notion of extreme practical and political manifestations of liberal-minded discourses and their unforeseen transformations highlight theoretical questions and demand theoretical revisions of discursive formations, their readjustment and reformulation. Certainly, I am not claiming that Slavic cultures are unique in this respect; most likely, similar paradoxical mutations can be detected in contemporary China, India, Latin America and the Middle East. Yet, in all these cases, we are dealing with unpredictable cultural and political phenomena whose interpretations through pre-existing intellectual lenses appear not only inadequate but dangerously misleading. Only a comparatist’s approach to these phenomena can become a foundation for a new paradigm of global humanities; humanities free from Orientalism and US- and Eurocentrism, humanities offering analytical tools for the postmodern world, which has transcended the utopian horizon of the "end of history" as well as the essentialist notion of the "clash of civilizations."

Certainly, this is a very sketchy overview of the possible lines for the development of global Slavic studies. These and similar directions of research as well as the design of courses would be mutually beneficial for Slavic studies and respective areas of comparison. Development in the proposed directions will require joint appointments, team-taught courses and other administrative innovations, including, in the long run, the creation of new educational programs. The Institute of Comparative Modernities at Cornell, as far as I know, functions only as a research unit. A degree in comparative modernities with a focus in Slavic studies may be a novel endeavor, attractive for undergrads and graduate students alike. Such a program will prepare specialists in Slavic studies who are able to apply their skills and knowledge to broader areas of international studies. It will prepare students for practical activities in cultural as well as social and political spheres. Most importantly, it will educate specialists whose minds will be free from binarist perspectives and simplified concepts of modernity.


  1. See: "Antropologiia kak vyzov?" (articles by Kevin Platt, Dina Guseinova, Tatiana Venediktova, Mark Lipovetsky, Sergei Zenkin, Aleksandr Etkind, Viktor Zhivov, Konstantin Bogdanov, Marina Mogilner, Bruce Grant, Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht), Gumbrecht, Hans Ulrich), Novoe Literaturnoe Obozrenie 106 (2010), http://magazines.russ.ru/nlo/2010/106/; "Kartograpfiruia povorot: Zharkie zimnie debaty," (articles by Nikolai Poseliagin, Herbert Grabes, Mark Lipovetsky, Boris Gasparov, Ilya Kalinin, Sergei Ushakin, Maksim Waldstein, Aleksandr Panchenko, Kevin Platt, Kirill Kobrin, Dina Guseinova, Ricardo Nicolosi, Konstantin Bogdanov, Hans Gunther), http://nlobooks.ru/node/1734#sthash.aiylkpBL.dpuf. Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht, (2012)"Kak ‘antropologicheskii povorot’ mozhet zatronut’ gumanitarnye nauki," Novoe Literaturnoe Obozrenie 114 (2012), http://nlobooks.ru/node/1993#sthash.sJ7h3iG9.dpuf. "Konteksty povorota: identifikatsii i institutsiii" (articles by Olga Breininger, Nikolai Poseliagin, Kevin Platt, Sergei Ushakin, Doris Bachmann-Medic, Petr Safonov, Iurii Zaretskii, Evgeniia Vezhlian), Novoe Literaturnoe Obozrenie 122 (2013), http://nlobooks.ru/node/3755 – sthash.iLRwTz7H.dpuf
  2. In this respect Putin’s Russia resonates with S. N. Eisenstadt’s apt prediction about post-Cold War fundamentalist regimes: "While extreme fundamentalists promulgate elaborate, seemingly antimodern (or rather anti-Enlightenment) themes," they display parallels "with their apparently extreme opposites—the various postmodern movements with which they often engage in contestation, arguing about hegemony among the different sectors of sociaty’ (Eisenstandt 2000, 19–20).
  3. This quotation is from Anna Krylova’s paper, "Imagining Socialism in the Soviet Century," which she presented at Duke University on April 24, 2015 during the Humanities Futures event in which we both participated, "Global Humanities."


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