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Sense of Place lecture series: "The Arctic in the Russian Imagination"

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This talk will focus on the ways the Russian North, the Arctic and Siberia have been imagined through different historical/political moments of the early Soviet period to the present day. My present talk is divided roughly into five sections: 1) defining the North 2) the early Soviet period of expansion 3) Stalinist Polar exploration 4) the GULAG Archipelago, Siberia as the place of internment/incarceration; 5) and erasure: post-1992, the camps as lost sites of memory; oil and mineral extraction; the impact on indigenous populations. In examining these shifts in representation, my goal is to showcase how the Arctic in the Russian/Soviet imaginary is not static, but has been consistently reconfigured through various historical and ideological paradigms, each set to in some way erase or reconceive the historical imaginary that came before.

Bio: Lilya Kaganovsky is Associate Professor of Slavic, Comparative Literature, and Media & Cinema Studies, and the Director of the Program in Comparative & World Literature at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Her publications include How the Soviet Man was Unmade (Pittsburgh, 2008); the edited volumes Mad Men, Mad World: Sex, Politics, Style and the 1960s (Lauren M. E. Goodlad, Lilya Kaganovsky and Robert A. Rushing, Duke, 2013) and Sound, Speech, Music in Soviet and Post-Soviet Cinema (Lilya Kaganovsky and Masha Salazkina, Indiana, 2014); and articles on Soviet and post-Soviet cinema. She is a member of the editorial board of the journal Studies in Russian and Soviet Cinema and regularly contributes film reviews to the on-line cinema journal KinoKultura. She is currently completing a book on Soviet cinemas transition to sound (The Voice of Technology: Soviet Cinemas Transition to Sound, 1928-1935; under contract with Indiana UP), and starting new work on early Soviet documentaries.

This talk is part of the Slavonic Studies series.

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