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Session Submission Type: Panel
Dynamics of rural society during the last Soviet decades have hitherto been largely neglected, yet they are crucial for understanding the late Soviet Union. The aim of the panel is to look at the fabric of Late Soviet society beyond traditional models of social space organization (private vs official), familiar conceptualization of politics (they vs us), or the usual schemes of ideological participation (cynicism vs sincerity), through the lense of things and infrastructures that allow for, encourage people to act, e.g. produce “performative reorganization” of space and/or narrative (Butler and Atanasiou).
Tyler Adkins will focus on the social effects of fermentation equipment in the villages of the Altai Mountains and elaborate on how the infrastructure of dairy fermentation transgresses the binaries of domestic and non-domestic work and redefines social and economic boundaries of the household itself.
Ekaterina Emeliantseva Koller will discuss the contingency of late Soviet rurality/urbanity by focusing on rural fartsovka and the vibrancy of berries as actants in those networks.
Alla Bolotova’s paper will address the boundaries between rural and urban by focusing on mining villages in the Soviet Arctic (Murmansk region) and its residents’ sense of place.
Anna Sokolova will analyze the consequences of Stalinist environmentalism in late Soviet Karelian timber industry settlements and the modes of rearrangement of infrastructural gaps and frictions by various actors.
A Good Barrel is Hard to Find: Infrastructures of Fermentation in a Siberian Village - Tyler Adkins, Princeton U
Berries in Trade for a Tape Recorder: Fartsovka between the City and the Village - Ekaterina Emeliantseva Koller, U of Zurich (Switzerland)
Soviet Mining Villages and Their Afterlife: From Rural to Urban and Back - Alla Bolotova, Aleksanteri Institute, U of Helsinki (Finland)