Totalitarian Routines: Why the Ovation to Stalin Never Ends

Date: 02 Apr - 02 Apr 2024
Time: 16:00 - 17:00
Venue: Galbraith Seminar Room

A seminar by  Dr Kirill Postoutenko (Bielefeld University) as a part of School of Language, Literatures and Cultural Studies Seminar Series.

Across social sciences and humanities, authoritarian and totalitarian regimes are commonly described as exceptional states ruled by extreme personalities and sustained by outrageous actions. As an alternative, the talk provides the microanalysis of ordinary public interaction between Joseph Stalin and his followers. The inability to agree on some basic communication rules (evident even at a carefully staged event) attests to the political shakiness of the regime which seemed invincible until its sudden collapse.   
About the speaker
Kirill Postoutenko is a Senior Researcher in the Special Research Area 1288 (Practices of Comparison) at Bielefeld University, Germany, and Adjunct Associate Professor (Docent) of Russian literature and culture at the University of Helsinki, Finland. He is the author and editor of eleven books and ninety-five articles devoted to systems and communication theory, conversation analysis, history of identity, history of media and communication in the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany and the history of Russian poetry and literary criticism. His most recent books include the edited volumes Ruler Personality Cults from Empires to Nation-States and Beyond Symbolic Patterns and Interactional Dynamics (together with Darin Stephanov, 2021), Media and Communication in the Soviet Union: General Perspectives (together with Alexey Tikhomirov and Dmitri Zakharine, 2022) and Beyond 'Hellenes' and 'Barbarians': Asymmetrical Concepts in European Discourse (2023).

The School of Languages, Literatures and Cultural Studies Seminar Series (SLLCS) promotes Literary and Cultural Studies, including political and social thought, narratology and imagology, film, textual and visual studies, questions surrounding language learning and translation studies, and also practice-led research. We encourage comparative, interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research, as our intellectual inquiry is in the service of national and international debate and knowledge advancement, particularly on the construction of identity and otherness in literature and culture. The seminar series provides a forum for the dissemination and exchange of current and developing research from staff and postgraduate researchers within the school, and also from national and international guest speakers.

Please indicate if you have any access requirements, such as ISL/English interpreting, so that we can facilitate you in attending this event. Contact:  and

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