Soviet Student Dormitories: Structures and Legacies

Di 19 Dez 2017
By Dmitry G, via Wikimedia Commons

The workshop will be held January 16, 2018, 9:30-17:00, Forum Transregionale Studien, Berlin, and is convened by Margaret Litvin (Boston University; EUME Fellow 2017/18; Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, Institut für Slawistik) and Susanne Frank (Humboldt Universität zu Berlin; Prisma Ukraïna Reasearch Network).

Speakers include: Susanne Frank (Humboldt Universität zu Berlin / Prisma Ukraïina Research Network), Gesine Drews-Sylla (Universität Tübingen), Schamma Schahadat (Universität Tübingen), Margaret Litvin (Boston University /EUME Fellow 2017-18), Elizabeth Bishop (Texas State University), Masha Kirasirova (NYU Abu Dhabi), Thomas Lahusen (University of Toronto), Svetlana Boltovskaja (Herder Institut Marburg), Tsypylma Darieva (Zentrum für Osteuropa und internationale Studien Berlin)

This one-day exploratory workshop brings together literary scholars, historians, and anthropologists working on Soviet and post-Soviet spaces and cultural formations. We ask whether the Soviet student dormitory can fruitfully be considered as a microcosm for the USSR’s tiered cultural policy toward its various “Easts”: the “domestic abroad,” Eastern Europe, and the Afro-Asian world. Novels by Ismail Kadare, Juri Andruchowytsch, and Sonallah Ibrahim and theoretical works by Svetlana Boym and Yuri Slezkine will guide our conversation: if the Soviet Union can be metaphorized as “a communal apartment” (Slezkine 1994), could it be productive to imagine Soviet inter/national policy as a student dormitory? How detailed could this model get? Would it be useful to think metaphorically about different floors, communal areas, the dezhurnaya, etc.?

Background readings will be circulated in advance. If you would like to attend, please contact prisma(at)

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