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PhD defense and follow-up lecture (September 27-28)

posted Sep 6, 2017, 1:59 PM by Mykola Makhortykh
UCS is glad to announce the upcoming two-day event: PhD defense of Mykola Makhortykh and lecture by Prof. Alexander Etkind. Both events are organized in collaboration with the Department of Russian and Slavic Studies and the Amsterdam School for Heritage, Memory and Material Culture.

Mykola Makhortykh, 'From Myths to Memes: Transnational Memory and Ukrainian Social Media'
September 27 (11:00, Aula of the University of Amsterdam)

The dissertation examines what occurs with Second World War memories in post-socialist countries with the advent of digitization. For this purpose, it looks into various instances of digital remembrance associated with two episodes of the Second World War in Ukraine – the events surrounding the seizure of L’viv by Germans in 1941 and the capture of Kyiv by Soviets in 1943 – to investigate how contentious war memories are performed in post-socialist digital spaces. Its findings point out the ambiguous interactions between social media and cultural remembrance in post-socialist countries, where digital technology is used both to reinforce hegemonic memory narratives and to sustain alternative visions of the past.

Mykola Makhortykh is a PhD candiate at the Amsterdam School for Heritage, Memory and Material Culture at the University of Amsterdam. His PhD research is focused on Second World War memory in Ukraine and how it is affected by the processes of de-Sovietization, nationalization and digitization that the country is currently undergoing. In his recent research, he has also explored the use of social media in the context of the Ukraine crisis and the role of cultural memory in securitization of the conflict in Eastern Ukraine.

Alexander Etkind, 'The Kremlin Well: A Critical Theory of the Parasitic State'
September 28 (17:00, P.C.Hoofhuis, r. 5.31)

Energy Humanities is a new and booming field of international research, but Russian Studies eschew this field despite its obvious relevance. While economic dependence of post-Soviet Russia on its oil and gas industry has been well-known to scholars, political meanings and cultural repercussions of this situation have not been adequately studied. In this talk, I discuss Russia as a primary case for a new critical theory of resource-based capitalism, and I will illustrate this argument by sounds and images produced by contemporary culture.

Professor Alexander Etkind is Mikhail Bakhtin Professor of History and Russia-Europe Relations at the European University Institute (Florence), and coordinator of the EUI-funded research project Resources of Demodernization: Fossil Energy and Human Capital in the Political Economies across Eastern Europe (2017-2018). Among other books, Etkind authored Warped Mourning: Stories of the Undead in the Land of the Unburied (Stanford University Press 2013), Internal Colonization: Russia's Imperial Experience (Polity Press 2011), and (upcoming) Roads Not Taken: An Intellectual Biography of William C. Bullitt (Pitt Russian East European 2017).