Annotation

Bukhina O., Mitsyuk N. A., Pushkareva N. L. Making the Familiar Unknown ("image of the self" as a Subject of Research). Following the Theme of the 2016 Aseees-mag Convention (.pdf) 

 

Annotation: In accordance with the theme of the ASEEES-MAG Convention of 2016, “Images of the Other”, Slavic and American researchers decided to give the title “Images of the Self” to the new summer congress of the International Association for the Humanities (IAC). More than 200 scholars and academics developed their discussions at Ukrainian Catholic University, Lviv, Ukraine on 27-29 June 2018. Participants sought to examine how states, societies, interest groups and social movements, as well as individuals, represent themselves, to others as well (using a variety of means, including language, culture, literature, politics of history, and politics as such). As it became evident, images of the self can be found not only in scholarship but in popular writing, artistic expression, and public sphere as well. How does self-representation help to construct stereotypes and instrumentalized narratives? How do resources arise for toler-ance, mutual respect, and cooperation? These issues appear in headlines worldwide, but they seem especially salient in Eastern Europe and Eurasia. This was the goal of a huge international discussion. The participants of the conference discussed how nations could strengthen their ethnic identity, as well as build boundaries between citizens and immi-grants. Anthropologists have repeatedly stressed that ethnic identity is relational, and people define themselves through what sets them apart from other groups. At the conference, it was important to discuss what people thought about other nations, how it helped them shape what they thought of themselves, and how it helped to create a sense of unity that overcame earlier divisions. The Convention was supported by the Open Society Foundation, the New York Carnegie Corporation, the International Renaissance Foundation (IRF), the Association for the Study of Slavic, Eastern Europe-an and Eurasian Cultures (ASEEES), the Lviv City Council, and the Scientific Lviv program. 

 

Key words: image of the Self, image of Other, ethnic stereotypes, culture, gender, imagology.

 

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Fokin A. A. “The Crisis of the Revolution and the Tasks of the Proletariat”: Source Evaluation of Documents Composed During the 1930s by the Bolshevik-Leninists (.pdf) 

 

Annotation: The paper examines a handwritten document composed in the 1930s by representatives of the Left Opposition in the Verkhneuralsk prison and found there in 2018. The text entitled “The Strategy of the Proletariat Revolution” is the first of the eleven documents grouped under the general title “The Crisis of the Revolution and the Tasks of the Proletariat”. The existence of these documents is the conclusive proof of the Left Opposition’s activities during their imprisonment. In the introductory paragraph, I provide a brief summary of the found texts and discuss the possibility of determining the authorship and the authors’ goals. I argue that, by writing the documents, the authors pursued two goals. On the one hand, the Left Opposition criticised the Stalinist model of the Soviet Union and proposed an alternative version of the country’s development. In their opinion, Stalin wrongly portrayed the idea of socialism, while the Left Opposition representatives were the advocates of the right Leninist tradition. On the other hand, an active group discussion brought the meaning to the authors’ lives during their imprisonment and created an impression of unity with other prisoners. The found document consists of three parts, in which the authors outline the theory of permanent revolution typical for Leon Trostky’s advocates. They also describe the Stalinist model of socialism as national socialism. Further, the authors note that the Left Opposition’s defeat also means the Trotskyists’ failure and the collapse of the Leninist party, which, in turn, leads to a crisis of revolution and sets new challenges for the proletariat.

 

Key words: Bolshevik-Leninists, left opposition, Verkhneuralsk political isolator, source study.

 

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Sirotkina I. E. Dancing under Instruction: Creating “Soviet Mass Dance” in the 1920s (.pdf) 

 

Annotation: In his book on the history of creating “self-made art” in the USSR, Igor Narskiy describes a paradox: “self-made” art managed from the top, creativity under instruction, controlled independent art. In the article, the author discusses how, in the mid-1920s, the Soviet state attempted to introduce control over what traditionally was under-stood as the most direct, spontaneous and free, the “Dionysian”, kind of dance (in Russian, plyaska). In some respect, free dance yielded to pressure, although it resisted in other aspects. The author examines the 1920s as the period pre-ceding the frames of Igor Narskiy’s research. In the period, the political control over art was not yet total, and it produced some very grotesque institutional forms like the governmental department of mass plyaska. This directly affected the so-called salon or social dances, including tango and foxtrot. They were labeled “bourgeois” and forbidden at public dancehalls. In the 1920s, tango, foxtrot and other jazz dances were replaced by the “mass plyaska” and “physical culture dance”. The author looks at the individuals who were involved in the process, to understand whether they suffered or strived working within the Soviet system. 

 

Key words: mass dance (plyaska), physical culture dance, mass dance instructor, the Soviet self-made art, foxtrot.

 

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Slezkin Yu. L. "House on the Embankment", Weekend. Early 1930s (.pdf) 

 

Annotation: In 2019, the Corpus publishing house will publish the book “Government House. The Saga of the Russian Revo-lution” by Yu.L. Slezkin (Corpus, Moscow), which has already sparked a wide discussion in academic circles. The publishing house gives the book the following description: “Government House” is not similar to any other book about the Russian revolution and the Soviet power. Yuri Slezkin's documentary narrative, comparable to the great literary epics, such as Tolstoy's “War and Peace”, Grossman's “Life and Fate”, Solzhenitsyn's “GULAG Archipela-go”, tells about the fate of the inhabitants of the prestigious housing complex, Government House, now known as the House on the Embankment. The inflexible Bolsheviks, the builders of the new world, hardened in prisons and exile, turn into high-ranking officials, overgrown with families and everyday life, undergo Stalin’s purges, execute the en-emies of the people, and go to execution themselves. A new world remains for their children. From the vast array of archival materials, letters, diaries, interviews, supplemented with rare photographs, a unique saga about the Govern-ment House as the enchanted castle inhabited by ghosts of a bygone era is born”. The fragment published below helps to understand the specifics of this polemical book. Published with permission of the publisher. 

 

Key words: Stalinism, "House on the Embankment", history of leisure, the Soviet political elite.

 

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Malysheva S. Yu. Memory Operations: Evolution of the Historical Mythology of the “November” Holidays in Russia (.pdf) 

 

Annotation: The article deals with the use of “November” holidays (November 7 and 4) as the tools for the institutionaliza-tion of cultural memory of historical events. An attempt is made to reflect on the evolution of historical mythology and to redefine the meaning of the main Soviet holiday – the Day of the Proletarian Revolution during the 20th and early 21st centuries. In the early Soviet period, revolutionary retrospective prevailed in the historical mythology of October. During the Great Patriotic War, it was extensively revised to the appeal to the stories and personalities of Russian history. In the late Soviet period, the historical component of the holiday was significantly reduced and for-malized. The collapse of the Soviet Union, its ideological heritage, the formation of different ideas of the country's past and future, acute civil political and military confrontations of the 1990s, and the gradual dissipation of the Soviet identity in the late 20th and early 21st centuries actualized the task of changing the historical longue durée – from the revolutionary retrospective to a national/nationalist one. These circumstances predetermined the fate of the main rev-olutionary holiday of the USSR. The rapid and historically unjustified change of historical meanings of the “Novem-ber” holiday in Russia in the 1990s and early 2000s testified to the quality of the political situation in the country, the state of power, and the lack of consensus in the sociopolitical sphere. Operations with cultural memory, enhanced construction and planting of historical mythology are most often due to the lack of legitimation of power and the desire to justify or update it. 

 

Key words: Holiday, November 7, Historical Mythology, Cultural Memory.

 

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