The Dulles Plan for Russia: Soviet Literature, Conspiracy Theories, and the Anthropology of Morality

Comparative Literature Luncheon Series
Mar 28, 2016
12:15 PM to 01:30 PM
102 Kern

Alexander Panchenko, Russian Academy of Sciences

This talk will focus on continuity of Soviet conspiratorial ideas and narratives in post- Soviet Russia. What ‘performative shifts’ of late Soviet discourse were adopted and transformed by ‘communities of loss’ in the 1990s and 2000s? Why did conservative nationalism of the 1970s become so significant for Russian popular culture forty years later? What messages are encoded by the symbolic language of moral panics and conspiracy theories related to the ‘imaginary West’ in the late Soviet and post-Soviet Russian society? These questions can be at least partly answered by an analysis of the so called Dulles Plan for Russia, a conspiratorial forgery based on borrowings from the novel Vechnyi Zov (the Eternal Call, 1971–76) by the Soviet writer Anatoliy Ivanov. The talk deals with its history, ideological contexts and popular reception in present day Russia.

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