Call for Papers for ASEEES (Boston Dec. 6-8, 2018): Cultures of Soviet Dissent: Art, Material Culture, Fashion

Alla Myzelev's picture
Call for Papers
February 20, 2018
Massachusetts, United States
Subject Fields: 
Anthropology, Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Eastern Europe History / Studies, Architecture and Architectural History, Humanities

I would like to organize panel for ASEEES (Association for Slavic, Eastern European and Eurasian Studies)  The conference will take place in Boston MA (6-8 December 2018)

Cultures of Soviet Dissent: Art, Material Culture, Fashion

The scholarship on Soviet and Post-Soviet art and material culture had been gaining its momentum since the end of the Soviet regime and collapse of the Soviet Union. Building upon the new theories of dissent and strategies of habitat (Johnson 2011), this panel proposes to investigate the nature of oppositional living under the Soviet and Post-Soviet regime. It investigates the co-opting strategies that helped the citizens live under the Soviet and now Post-Soviet regime and emphasizes the visual and material culture of this resistance.  The art that was produced and the objects that were either purchased or made such as American souvenirs, Tsarist Russian coins or images, Samizdat books to name just a few, had been rarely investigated as objects of political dissent and disobedience.  The panel then asks what constituted strategies of resistance when it comes to the production of art and material culture. It also explores how the objects were used at times completely different than their intended function to create personal stance against political ideologies.

 The panel seeks papers that deal with

  • Making of art as co-oping strategy
  • Use of art as a tool of ideological opposition
  • Use and making of fashion that contradicted the norms prescribed by the period, e.g. short skirts, narrow male trousers, jeans, long hair
  • Use of object to express oppositional culture, e.g. dissidents, styliagi
  • Construction of gender with the use of art, material culture or other visual strategies that contradicted prescribed norms, e.g.  marginalized masculinities, excessive femininity
  • Use of art styles such as abstraction to oppose Socialist Realism or other accepted norms
  • Architectural designs of the unbuilt projects that contradicted soviet styles of domesticity and officialdom
  • Use of crafts against the propagated norms of the interior designs, e.g. doilies, curtains, bed skirts, brick-a-brack, furniture covering harking back to the “bourgeois’ interiors.
  • Other uses of art, material culture and fashion to express dissent, disagreement, delinquency, opposition or aggression.


Contact Info: 

Alla Myzelev

Assitant Professor of Art History

The State University of New York at Geneseo



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