After the initial surge of new artistic and institutional experiments in the post-1991 years, many Russians involved in cultural production became disillusioned with the prestige and role of culture in the emerging social and political order. Meanwhile, the Russian state was struggling to reform and maintain cultural and educational institutions and their infrastructure. The vocabulary of modernisation re-entered Russian political discourse during Dmitry Medvedev’s presidency. Technological and economic innovation was to be in the forefront of the country’s political agenda.
With Vladimir Putin’s third re-election, the creative class gathered political momentum, and cultural and intellectual practices in Russia regained social and political relevance. At the same time, culture and its traditional institutions became increasingly integrated into state policies in order to reconstruct a uniform national and geopolitical Russian identity. Official views of the country’s future draw from an understanding of Russia as a unique civilization separate from the West.
In keeping with the Aleksanteri Institute’s multidisciplinary research agenda and the Academy of Finland Centre of Excellence ‘Choices of Russian Modernisation’, the 15th Aleksanteri Conference invites proposals that focus on the cultural challenges and intellectual choices Russia and its diverse population face today. We welcome scholars from all fields of humanities, social and political sciences to contribute to the investigation of the role of cultural analysis in enriching our understanding of Russia’s recent developments. We encourage panel proposals with three presentations, discussant and chair, but will also review individual paper proposals.
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