Russian political culture through the prism of science fiction at an international conference


On March 23 and 24 UCRS arranged an international conference entitled "‘Russian World’ and Other Imaginary Places: (Geo) Political Themes in Post-Soviet Science Fiction and Utopias".

Contemporary Russian fantastic fiction continuously expresses anxiety about territorial right-sizing of Russia, losing or regaining its imperial greatness, turning into the colony of the ‘West’ or redeeming the sense of historical importance and political prominence. Utopian narratives dwell on Russia’s greatest selling points: territory, history, and language (culture at large). These components have become instrumental for post-Soviet Russian imperial thinking and political projecting, so in most cases, utopias offer visions of alternative territorial planning, alternative history, alternative language or a combination of them. This conference looked at the post-Soviet Russian political culture through the prism of the utopian narratives, including various genres of science fiction, anti- and dystopias, fantasy, and utopias proper.