Maria Engström: "No(w)stalgia of Modernity: Neo-Soviet Myth in Contemporary Russian Culture and Politics"
The recent decade of Russian history is often described as an ideological turn characterized by a new wave of revisionism, the revival of Soviet political and cultural mechanisms and structures, and the new expansionist course. On different levels of contemporary politics and culture there appeared a number of narratives, images and practices that reconceptualize and “recycle” the Soviet heritage in order to create the image of a new Russian future in a situation of the economic and political stagnation after the Crimea crisis of 2014. This unity of ideas, images, and practices can be collectively called “the neo-Soviet myth”.
The main goal of the project is to elucidate how the neo-Soviet myth of modernization is perpetuated in culture and various forms of cultural consumption, and used by various actors in the creation of a new Russian identity.
Using an interdisciplinary qualitative approach, we will perform a systematic analysis of multimodal texts which constitute the key elements of the neo-Soviet myth of modernization. Our approach is based on the three primary theoretical frameworks—cultural recycling, compensation theory and cultural semiotics. The project will thus fill in the gap in the studies on contemporary cultural and political discourses in Russia by analyzing this less studied but no less important aspect of contemporary Russian culture.
- Project leader: Maria Engström
- Project period: 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2024
- Funding organisation: The Swedish Research Council
- Total funding: 5 810 000 SEK
- Aleksei Semenenko, Associate professor in Russian Literature at Umeå Univerity, is also a project member