Cultural and Political Imaginaries in Putin’s Russia


In Cultural and Political Imaginaries in Putin’s Russia scholars scrutinise developments in official symbolical, cultural and social policies as well as the contradictory trajectories of important cultural, social and intellectual trends in Russian society after the year 2000. Engaging experts on Russia from several academic fields, the book offers case studies on the vicissitudes of cultural policies, political ideologies and imperial visions, on memory politics on the grassroot as well as official levels, and on the links between political and national imaginaries and popular culture in fields as diverse as fashion design and pro-natalist advertising. Contributors are Niklas Bernsand, Lena Jonson, Ekaterina Kalinina, Natalija Majsova, Olga Malinova, Alena Minchenia, Elena Morenkova-Perrier, Elena Rakhimova-Sommers, Andrei Rogatchevski, Tomas Sniegon, Igor Torbakov, Barbara Törnquist-Plewa, and Yuliya Yurchuk.
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Niklas Bernsand, researcher, Centre for Languages and Literature, Lund University. His main research interests concern memory, cultural diversity and language in Ukraine. Barbara Törnquist-Plewa, Ph. D. (1992), Centre for Languages and Literature, Lund University. She has published extensively on nationalism, identity and collective memories, including The Twentieth Century in European Memory (Brill 2017), and Whose Memory? Which Future? Remembering Ethnic Cleansing And Lost Cultural Diversity in Eastern, Central and Southeastern Europe (Berghahn 2016).
Notes on Contributors

Introduction: Cultural and Political Imaginaries in Putin’s Russia
Niklas Bernsand and Barbara Törnquist-Plewa

Part 1: Cultural Policy and Ideological Movements

1 Russia: Culture, Cultural Policy, and the Swinging Pendulum of Politics
Lena Jonson
2 ‘Middle Continent’ or ‘Island Russia’: Eurasianist Legacy and Vadim Tsymburskii’s Revisionist Geopolitics
Igor Torbakov
3 Eduard Limonov’s National Bolshevik Party and the Nazi Legacy: Titular Nations vs Ethnic Minorities
Andrei Rogatchevski

Part 2: Memory Politics

4 Constructing the “Usable Past”: the Evolution of the Official Historical Narrative in Post-Soviet Russia
Olga Malinova
5 Dying in the Soviet Gulag for the Future Glory of Mother Russia? Making “Patriotic” Sense of the Gulag in Present-Day Russia
Tomas Sniegon
6 Memory Watchdogs. Online and Offline Mobilizations around Controversial Historical Issues in Russia
Elena Perrier (Morenkova)

Part 3: Popular Culture and Its Embeddedness in Politics

7 “Your Stork Might Disappear Forever!”: Russian Public Awareness Advertising and Incentivizing Motherhood
Elena Rakhimova-Sommers
8 Fashionable Irony and Stiob: the Use of Soviet Heritage in Russian Fashion Design and Soviet Subcultures
Ekaterina Kalinina
9 Humour as a Mode of Hegemonic Control: Comic Representations of Belarusian and Ukrainian Leaders in Official Russian Media
Alena Minchenia, Barbara Törnquist-Plewa and Yuliya Yurchuk
10 The Cosmic Subject in Post-Soviet Russia: Noocosmology, Space-Oriented Spiritualism, and the Problem of the Securitization of the Soul
Natalija Majsova

The book is intended for specialists as well as for undergraduate and postgraduate students in the fields of politics, culture and society in Russia and other Post-Soviet countries, cultural policy, memory, history, Putin, ideology, nationalism, political regimes, elites, grassroots, Post-Soviet politics, social media, social movements, intellectual history, and imperial visions.
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