ITP International Training Program

「CULTURAL CREATION OF ‘RUSSIAN REALITY’」研究会開催(於:オックスフォード大学聖アントニー校)



St Antony’s College (Dahrendorf Room, Founder’s Building), Oxford
15 March 2009

It is widely accepted that our sense of ‘reality’ is constructed by cultural representation. Literature, film, painting, photography, and other cultural media attempt not only to reflect ‘existing’ reality but also to determine our modes of perception and behaviour. In Russia, this use of representation to create ‘reality’ seems to have been particularly powerful, with different means, logics, and effects in different historical conditions. These all deserve to be closely examined and located in their wider historical and cultural contexts.

Our conference will focus on two major episodes of ‘Russian reality’–the colonial situation in the Russian Empire, and socialist society. Russian intellectuals have long searched for appropriate representations of ‘self’ and ‘other’ between ‘West’ and ‘East.’ These representations always seemed precarious, because Russia was often identified with the ‘East’ by the ‘West,’ while, following the ‘West’s’ example, it invaded and attempted to ‘civilise’ the ‘East.’ Doubt, therefore, has been constantly cast on the correspondence of representation to reality.

In the Soviet Union, the discrepancy between representation and reality in every sphere of life became a chief concern of the regime, though it was never officially acknowledged as such. Declaring the ‘representation/reality’ discrepancy to be non-existent, the country’s officially recognised system of representation–Socialist Realism–so radically distorted the concept of ‘the real’ that it almost redefined ‘reality’ as its idealised representation. Consequently, the more the discrepancy was concealed, the more strongly it was felt.

Inviting leading international specialists in the field, this conference intends to interrogate the status of ‘reality’ in Russian and Soviet cultural practice. The subjects of our discussions range from the spaces of everyday life and public media to high art.

  General chair: Katharina Uhl (University of Oxford, UK)
10:00-11:30 Panel 1: Reality of Socialist Realism (I)
Chair: Catriona Kelly (University of Oxford, UK)
Sandra Evans (University of Tübingen, Germany) ‘The Creativity of Rubbish or the Reality of Ambivalence in the Communal Apartment’
Monica Rüthers (University of Basel, Switzerland) ‘Socialist Living in the New Family Home of the Khrushchev Era’
11:30-12:00 Coffee break
12:00-13:30 Panel 1: Reality of Socialist Realism (II)
Chair: Andrei Zorin (University of Oxford, UK)
Mikhail Ryklin (Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany) ‘“The Best in the World”—Discourse of Metro, Discourse of Terror’
Junna Hiramatsu (University of Oxford, UK) ‘Mimetic Representation and Violence in Stalinist Culture: The Case of M. Sholokhov’
13:30-15:00 Lunch break
15:00-17:30 Panel 2: Colonial Reality in the Russian Empire
Chair: Mark Bassin (University of Birmingham, UK)
Kyohei Norimatsu (University of Oxford, UK) ‘The Dispute over “Russian Orientalism” in the Mirror of Bestuzhev-Marlinsky’s Ammalat-bek (1832)’
Susan Layton (University of Edinburgh, UK) ‘Russian Tourism, Nationalism, and Social Identity: Representations of Self and Other in the Early Reform Period’
Dany Savelli (University of Toulouse, France) ‘Colonizing Shambhala: From the Usurpation of a Buddhist Myth to a Usurpation of Identity (the Roerich Expedition in Central Asia–1924-1928)’
17:30-18:30 Wine reception
19:00-    Dinner


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