Seminar "The collective memory of the ‘Soviet’ in European Russia and Siberia: historical memory, identity and (a)political stances"

  • Date: –17:00
  • Location: Institute for Russian and Eurasian Studies (IRES) Gamla torget 3, 3rd floor, IRES Library
  • Website
  • Organiser: Institute for Russian and Eurasian Studies (IRES)
  • Contact person: Jevgenija Gehsbarga
  • Phone: 018 471 1630
  • Föreläsning

with Dr. Alla Anisimova and Dr. Matthew Blackburn

Based on extensive in-depth interviews in three cities in European Russia (90) and three cities in Siberia (90) this seminar will involve a joint presentation on the two researchers’ collaborative paper on how memories of the late Soviet period and interpretations of the transition period (1989-1999) are still influential in informing social and political behaviour in today’s Russia. The proposed activity can contribute to research on democracy, as Soviet legacies remain an important factor in the evolution of grass-roots of democracy in Russian regions. In many ways Soviet legacies are seen as an obstacle to democracy in Russia, in as far as it is associated with passivity and paternalism in politics. On the other hand, it can be argued Soviet legacies can serve as the basis of criticism of the current regime. Interview data from European Russia and Siberia reveal both similarities and differences in perceptions of certain aspects of Soviet heritage that can be interpreted in the frames of centre-periphery relations in contemporary Russia; a region-based analysis can reveal how democracy is developing in Russia’s regions and the role of regional identities in this process. In addition, the presentation will include a discussion of future research avenues for national, regional and social identity in Russia today within an interdisciplinary research team.  

Alla Anisimova is Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the Sociology Department Novosibirsk State University, Russia. Dr Anisimova is a sociologist who, after an MA in Society and Politics from the University of Lancaster, completed her postgraduate studies at the Graduate School for Social Research at the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology Polish Academy of Science (Warsaw). She was subsequently a visiting fellow at Aalborg University and Copenhagen Business School (Denmark). Her current research interests lie in the field of identity studies with a focus on Siberian and Russia Far East regional identities and the methodology of social identity research.

Matthew Blackburn holds a PhD on nationalist discourses and the imagined nation in Post-Soviet Russia from the Centre of Russian, Central and Eastern European Studies at Glasgow University (2018). He is a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute for Russian and Eurasian Studies (IRES), where he continues his research into mainstream nationalism and discursive fractures along social, generational and geographical lines. Blackburn’s research interests largely revolve around studying the nation as an imagined community, including collective historical memory, in group-out group categorizations, political legitimacy and state-society relations, and geopolitical imaginaries.