Peer-reviewed articles

Functions of realist art in Sweden, circa 1970 Lena Svedberg & Olle Kåks

How the realist approach during the years around 1970 played out in the force field of society and the psyche, the collective realm and the individual, is exemplified by our two very different Swedish case studies. Svedberg’s political narratives compose montages in which fictional, metaphorical figures are inserted side by side with political leaders drawn from newspaper clips. Kåks’s allegory-like oil painting shows a stone worker working in the face of his imminent disappearance. They both reveal myths as opposed to historically manifested commodity relations.

By Charlotte Bydler and Dan Karlholm Inga kommentarer till Functions of realist art in Sweden, circa 1970

Architectural history and new reality Leonhard Lapin’s textual practice

The article discusses the writing of architectural history in Soviet Estonia in the late socialist period as a particular form of historiographic practice in which the contact between “history” and “reality” is pursued through avant-gardist practices of merging art and life. The case is built on the “historical depictions” or the short texts on the history of Estonian modern architecture written by Leonhard Lapin.

By Epp Lankots Inga kommentarer till Architectural history and new reality

Socialist realism in translation The theory of a practice

Following the 1934 establishment of socialist realism as the main “method” to be applied in all spheres of Soviet artistic production, more particular discourses evolved addressing the issue of how the concept was to be interpreted and defined in the various fields of culture. Literary translation was no exception. This paper explores the significance of the discourse on socialist realism for Soviet translation practices and translation theory during late Stalinism.

By Susanna Witt Inga kommentarer till Socialist realism in translation

The mystery of The Blue Cup Arkadii Gaidar and socialist realism

Arkadii Gaidar (1904–1941) is one of the most popular Soviet children’s writers and an undisputed part of the Soviet literary canon. The Pioneer organization used him as a symbol to mold young Soviet citizens, the characters from his books entered Soviet folklore, and generations of Soviet children have been brought up on his books. Nonetheless, his path from military commander to a classic of Soviet literature was far from ordinary. This paper reviews Gaidar’s work, focusing especially on the analysis of his short story The Blue Cup as the most representative of his oeuvre and of the political and literary context of the 1930s.

By Aleksei Semenenko Inga kommentarer till The mystery of The Blue Cup

Nabokov on socialist and cinematic realism

The aim of this article is to show to what extent Nabokov’s relations to the two phenomena Soviet art and cinematic art were interrelated and subtly intertwined. Focusing on a cinematic scene in Nabokov’s first novel, Mary (1926), the analysis traces how the themes of cinematic deception techniques and mimetic violence are developed by Nabokov. It is shown how cinematic effects in Nabokov addresses the violence inherent in socialist realist aesthetics: political censorship and manipulation on the one hand, and the programmatic extinction of artists labeled as “bourgeois” on the other.

By Karin Grelz Inga kommentarer till Nabokov on socialist and cinematic realism

Adorno’s realism

Adorno’s understanding of realism in the present is often taken to have been simply negative. In the posthumously published Aesthetic Theory, too, the negative view is predominant; there are, however, traces of another conception of realism. Adorno proposes, although with some caveats, that what he calls an adequate conception of realism is not only possible, but also something that art in the present cannot and must not avoid.

By Sven-Olov Wallenstein Inga kommentarer till Adorno’s realism

drug control policies in Russia. Unhealthy, deviant, and criminal

Although agencies involved in drug control and regulation are important for the reproduction of differentiated practices of drug use, they formulate a rather homogeneous image of a drug user as an unhealthy deviant and criminal, and an unequivocal threat to society. In the process of policy realization, the most vulnerable groups of users become the main target of public intervention. As a result, stigmatization and violence against these groups becomes institutionalized and legitimized.

By Alexandra Dmitrieva and Zhanna Kravchenko Inga kommentarer till Unhealthy, deviant, and criminal

On policymaking and policy change in Russia

Policy-making is an applied process. We can ask: towards what end or goal are policy-makers striving? At present, as far as domestic and increasingly foreign policy-making in Russia are concerned, an important policy direction can be described with reference to development.

By Marina Khmelnitskaya Inga kommentarer till On policymaking and policy change in Russia

The case of the Baltic Sea area Spatial Politics & Fuzzy Regionalism

This article engages with political region building by examining the diverging conceptions of the Baltic Sea region since the 1970s. It maps the fuzzy geography arising from the enmeshment of territory with a multitude of frameworks for regional action. After 1989, the region became the object of interregional and neighborhood policies established by the European Union, with shifting territorial delimitations according to various internal and geopolitical needs of the day.

By Norbert Götz Inga kommentarer till Spatial Politics & Fuzzy Regionalism

Understanding the Clashes Between historians & Roma Activists

This paper deals with the dilemmas scholars can run into when they encounter the conflict between political activists and what can be proven by evidence. The dispute with historians revolves around what the anthropologist Michel-Rolph Trouillot terms “Silencing the past”. This is certainly true in the case of the Roma and genocide. What complicates the case is that a long-standing memory is part of a still ongoing political activist campaign to build a recognized memory for all of Europe’s Roma.

By David Gaunt Inga kommentarer till Understanding the Clashes