Join the Department of Slavic and East European Languages and Cultures for the ninth annual Hongor Oulanoff Memorial Lecture. Dr. Serguei Oushakine, Professor of Anthropology and Slavic Languages and Literatures at Princeton University, will give this year's lecture, "Soviet Things and Post-Soviet People: How to View Socialist History Now."
Museums and exhibitions dedicated to Socialist life-style became ubiquitous during the first decade of this century. This talk looks closely at several recent exhibits in order to understand how the Soviet past is being put on display. Through a series of cases, I show that the decreasing prominence of the firsthand knowledge of socialist lifestyle is compensated by the increasing visibility and importance of socialist things. I will call this type of interaction with the material culture of the socialist period second-hand nostalgia. While retaining the somewhat melancholic longing for the times past (typical for any nostalgia), second-hand nostalgia simultaneously points to a condition of historical disconnect from originary contexts, which made possible the objects of current nostalgic fascination in the first place.