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Mythological Models and Ritual Behaviour in the Soviet and Post-Soviet Sphere
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9/26/2013 to 9/28/2013
When: 9/26/2013
Where: Russian State University for the Humanities
Contact: Natalya Petrova (CTSFS RSUH)

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The Centre for Typological and Semiotic Folklore Studies at the Russian State University for the Humanities (Moscow) will hold an international conference "Mythological Models and Ritual Behaviour in the Soviet and Post-Soviet Sphere,” September 26–28, 2013.

The Soviet ideology whose aim was to construct a new world was explicitly based on a rationalistic, materialistic paradigm and denounced anything mythological and super-rational. At the same time, however, it actively used traditional images and religious metaphors in its quest for creating a new Soviet person, and even people opposed to the Soviet system not infrequently shaped their protest using the very same mythological models and dichotomies. In other words, the loyalty to the system as well as the opposition towards it was marked by means of a complex and heterogeneous system of mythological texts, prohibitions, and prescriptions. As a consequence of this, some of the patterns formed during the Soviet era continue to be potent in the post-Soviet period. At the same time we see the emergence of new mythological complexes and practices based to a large extent on the opposition towards the values of the Soviet era.

The main aim of the conference is to trace these processes in their diachrony and analyze their manifestations and interrelations at particular points of time. Presentations investigating the following topics are the most welcome:

• taboos and euphemisms;

• transformations of traditional mythological beliefs;

• mechanisms used in the creation of the anti-Soviet ideology;

• the emergence of the new ritualistic culture;

• new magical beliefs and practices;

• legendary biographies of political leaders and national heroes;

• impostors and hoaxers of the Soviet era;

• the scientific progress as the basis of the new mythology;

• the anthropology of money in the Soviet and post-Soviet periods;

• falsification of historical documents as a means of constructing a mythology.

The deadline for abstract submissions is July 1, 2013. An abstract (not exceeding 300 words) including the description of the material to be analyzed in the presentation and the formulation of the problem, as well as the information about the author (name, degree, affiliation, e-mail, and phone number), should be sent to The decision on the inclusion of the presentation in the conference program will be made by July 20.

The conference will be divided into several sessions. Each of them will commence with a lection by an invited keynote speaker on the problem relevant for the section’s main topic. Sections will include from three to five participants. All presentations will be followed by a short review made by a specially invited scholar. Each section will end with questions and general discussion.

The papers presented at the conference should be accompanied by a PowerPoint presentation and, if possible, by distribution of handouts.

The working languages of the conference are Russian and English.

Please bear in mind that the conference proceedings will be published in advance. Consequently, all the participants whose talk will be included in the program should submit the full text of their paper not exceeding 2000 words before September 1, 2013. The style sheet will be provided in due time.

Unfortunately, we are unable to cover any transportation and accommodation costs.

The organizing committee:

Mikhail Alekseevsky (SRCRF), Alexandra Arkhipova (CTSFS RSUH), Jacob Fruchtmann (Forschungstelle Osteuropa, Bremen), Olga Khristoforova (CTSFS RSUH), Sergey Neklyudov (CTSFS RSUH), Anna Sokolova (Institute for Ethnology and Anthropology RAS).



Tel.: +74999734354

Coordinator of the conference: Natalya Petrova (CTSFS RSUH)

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