Essays

Essays are selected scholarly articles published without prior peer-review process.

Latvians in Guernsey An emerging translocal labor diaspora

The Channel Island of Guernsey was among the first places for Latvians to look for work abroad after the mid-1990s. Over time, an emerging culture of migration has developed on Guernsey among the Latvians.

Essay by Aija Lulle January 22, 2014

Feast in a time of plague the May Day celebrations of 1917–1918

For the celebrations of the First of May, 1917, all the buildings on the Palace Square, including the Winter Palace, were decorated for the first time with white drapes with red edgings and revolutionary slogans. Under the Bolsheviks, avant-garde artists assumed the right to develop art for the newly formed communist state, and the commission to decorate Petrograd for May Day 1918, was awarded to futurists.

Essay by Natalia Murray May 14, 2013

Vasily Grossman and Hrachya Kochar

There is a great deal that we do not yet know about Vasily Grossman’s life. The widely held belief that Grossman lived out his last years in poverty and isolation is probably mistaken.

Essay by Yury Bit-Yunan May 10, 2013

PUSSY RIOT: REFLECTIONS ON RECEPTIONS Some Questions Concerning Public Reactions in Russia to the Pussy Riot’s Intervention and Trial

Here it is suggested that the greatest crisis of social consensus that the Pussy Riot action produced, and the deepest collective anxiety that surfaced in the discussion, was the fear of the active and politically conscious woman, a woman who does not hesitate to use violence in claiming her subjectivity from the authority of the church, the family, the establishment, or the state. Concerning one principal issue, the public opinion was especially dramatically polarized, and that is what the three authors want to look closer at, namely, Pussy Riot’s feminist agenda.

Essay by Yulia Gradskova Irina Sandomirskaja Nadezda Petrusenko February 20, 2013

The land, the sea and the water in between On the liquefaction of culture

Even though the sea is characterized by its transgression of all borders, the founding of Sealand has shown that one can transform the sea into some sort of land, into Sea-Land. Because the sea is dislocated, one can set up a location. Because it is not the realm of defined territories, one can declare part of it as a territory and thereby align it with the land and the terrestrial idea of a state. But if one does, it is no longer “sea” in the strong sense of the word,1 but rather a symbolic aggradation of the sea — just sealand.

Essay by Sven Rücker June 27, 2012

Cia Rinne and the soundpoetic event Listening for other languages

For many of its practitioners, creating sound poetry means vigorously demonstrating the here and now of the poem, which has no counterpart in text; encouraging the people in the audience to place trust in their own listening rather than look to a text for answers; and by extension challenging the idea of an object which lends itself to ownership, or can be saved to experience later.

Essay by Hannah Lutz June 27, 2012

The truncated road movie: Thomas Brasch and the Berlin Wall

Brasch’s novella does two things: it presents lives smothered by incarceration, and it also places the reader on the other side of the barrier, as a witness to the road movie that crashes into the Wall.

Essay by Jakob Norberg June 27, 2012

Sofi Oksanen’s “Purge” in Estonia

The post-Soviet Estonian politics of memory have centered on the themes of national suffering and heroism, which function as a “dominant narrative and state-supported memory regime”. The fixation on victimhood has served as a screen memory18 for avoiding questions about the Holocaust in Estonian territory and the collaboration of Estonians in Soviet rule.

Essay by Eneken Laanes June 27, 2012

Songs from Siberia The folklore of deported Lithuanians

This article focuses on the texts of songs, poems, prayers, and jokes created by Lithuanians deported to Eastern Siberia in large-scale relocations from the Lithuanian Soviet Republic in 1948 and 1949.

Essay by Vsevolod Bashkuev June 27, 2012

In the shadow of Rumkowski

The deportation of children, the elderly, and the sick transformed Łódź from a traditional ghetto to an industrial slave city and established the motto for which Rumkowski would become known: work is our only way out.

Essay by Olaf Haagensen June 27, 2012