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(Post-)Soviet Literary Cosmopolis (2020-)

"(Post-)Soviet Literary Cosmopolis" approaches the challenging task of theoretically developing and applying the EXC 2020’s concept of temporal literary communities to the situation that emerged when Soviet cultural politics laid claim to global cultural dominance. While the Soviet value system was engaged in constant competition with the capitalist world, pre- and post-Soviet literary communities are understood as specific cases of literature in imperial and post-imperial contexts. An integral focus on the history of more or less violent constructions and (post)Soviet reconstructions of "national" literatures must necessarily account for recent discussions of (post)Soviet literatures from the perspectives of postcolonial studies, decolonial studies and world system theories.

 "(Post-)Soviet Literary Cosmopolis" will address the following objectives in particular:

(1)  To analyse the project of “Soviet multinationals literature” as a normative concept of world literature and its strategies of legitimization and implementation, as, e.g., the politics of translation, including the underlying concept of translatability.

(2)  To compare it with pre- and post-soviet imperial and post-imperial concepts and politics of literary nation- and empire-building, in the Russian center as well as in different regions

(3) To elaborate and analyse ‘side effects’ of that project as, e.g., a transnational underground.

(4) To investigate its legacy in Russia and in world literary developments today, e.g., as manifested in forms of institutional heritage, Russian language literatures, translingual poetics related to the Russian/Soviet literary space, as well as new literary nationalisms in post-Soviet regions.

Methodologically, a historical macro-perspective on the developments of literature in the aforementioned imperial and post-imperial contexts will be complemented by the micro-perspective of case studies that focus on different stages, levels (official, semi-official, underground, marginalised), entanglements and specific local/regional situations and micro-communities.


Student Assistant

Translation and/vs. Translingualism: Literary Practice and Reflection in the Context of Late- and Post-Soviet Multinationality (2020-2021)

Associated Research Project
Niovi Zampouka

The Topos of Yerevan (2020-2024)

Doctoral Research Project
Sona Mnatsakanyan