International Conference "‘Russian World’ and Other Imaginary Places: (Geo) Political Themes in Post-Soviet Science Fiction and Utopias"

                                 23-24 March, 2017

                   Museum Gustavianum, Auditorium Minus

This conference looks at the post-Soviet Russian political culture through the prism of the utopian narratives, including various genres of science fiction, anti- and dystopias, fantasy, and utopias proper. Contemporary Russian fantastic fiction continuously expresses anxiety about territorial right-sizing of Russia, losing or regaining its imperial greatness, turning into the colony of the ‘West’ or redeeming the sense of historical importance and political prominence. Utopian imagination condenses political myths, metaphors, concepts and emotions, thereby giving us a better understanding of the Russian political culture. Indeed, Russian literary utopias have existed in symbiosis with such ideological projects as the ‘Russian World’, Eurasianism, and the idea of the ‘Russian civilization’. On a more ominous note, these visions spilled over purely literary fantasies and become implemented by armed hands in ‘Novorossia’. Utopian narratives dwell on Russia’s greatest selling points: territory, history, and language (culture at large). These components have become instrumental for post-Soviet Russian imperial thinking and political projecting, so in most cases, utopias offer visions of alternative territorial planning, alternative history, alternative language or a combination of them.

To sign up to attend or for more information e-mail Dr. Mikhail Suslov mikhail.suslov@ucrs.uu.se

Admission is free of charge and open to the public.

The conference is arranged by the Uppsala Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies with financial support from the Swedish Research Council.