New Special Issue: Digital Selves: Embodiment and Co-Presence in New Media Cultures in Central Europe and Eurasia

Tatiana Klepikova's picture

Dear H-Soyuz subscribers,

Cassandra Hartblay and I have guest-edited a special issue of Digital Icons: Studies in Russian, Eurasian and Central European New Media, titled "Digital Selves Embodiment and Subjectivity in New Media Cultures in Eastern Europe and Eurasia" that may be of interest to some colleagues on this network, especially as we work on updating our syllabi for the Fall term.

This special issue asks what bodies have to do with the presentation of self online in new media cultures of Eastern Europe and Eurasia. Extending the disability studies concept of bodyminds to analyse how social actors present themselves online in, through and with their physical-and-psychic selves, this issue of Digital Icons brings together a variety of intersectional conversations in feminist, queer, and disability theory. In doing so, the issue examines how publics assemble online through and with local cultural notions of the body and embodiment, and through affinities built on specific experiences of sociopolitical identities refracted through bodies. With contributions from authors writing about civilians at war, the assemblage of vibrant disability counterpublics on the Russophone internet, contestations around concepts of ethnicity and heritage in border regions through digital music online, queer stories of coming out in Russia and anti-homophobia protest in Poland, this issue touches on vibrant, varied scenes in contemporary daily life of new media users in the region.

The issue is published in open access and is available at


Tatiana Klepikova and Cassandra Hartblay (University of Toronto)

Bodyminds Online: Digitally Mediated Selves in Regional Cultural Context            
Cassandra Hartblay and Tatiana Klepikova (University of Toronto)

On Making Presence: Blind Authors’ Digital Storytelling in Russia    
Svetlana Borodina (Columbia University)

‘But We Are Always at Home’: Disability and Collective Identity Construction on Runet    
Philippa Mullins (London School of Economics and Political Science)

Visuals and the Invisible in the ‘Forgotten’ War in Ukraine: Combating Clichés of War Photography through Social Media 
Alisa Sopova (Princeton University)

Listening to Ethnic Identity Online: Digitally Mediated Finno-Ugric Music Traditions in St. Petersburg
Anya Shatilova (Wesleyan University)

Rainbow Mary and the Perceived Threat of LGBTQ+ Bodies in Poland    
Ela Przybyło (Illinois State University)

‘Я – ГЕЙ! (I am gay!)’: Russian Coming Out Video Narratives on YouTube    
Clinton Glenn (McGill University)

Best wishes for August and the coming semester,

Tatiana Klepikova and Cassandra Hartblay.